Some Ohm Truths About the Great Green Fantasy

No sane person should be fooled. A climate-cult madness has infected governments and their activist agencies; exemplar, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Delusions of grandeur is a common manifestation of madness. Climate cultists fit the profile. Clothing themselves in virtue, they strut about proclaiming that they can save the earth from a fiery end if only we would give away the foundational building block of progress and prosperity; namely, fossil fuels.

As Stephen Kruiser puts it, they act “as if we can go from Point A to Point Z without hitting any of the 24 points between them. They truly believe that they can mandate the future.” As I said, delusions of grandeur; epitomised by AEMO and its “2022 Integrated System Plan.” A plan having the delusional and grandiose objective of engineering “a true transformation of the NEM [National Electricity Market, which excludes WA and NT] from fossil fuels to firmed renewables.”

The plan calls for the supply of electricity to “almost double” by 2050; from “just under180 terawatt hours (TWh), to 320 TWh.” That’s an 80 percent increase not a near-doubling by the way. Bear in mind, we are told, this electricity is needed “to serve the electrification of our transport, industry, office and homes, replacing gas, petrol and other fuels.” Hold your understandable incredulity about the ability to produce so much reliable electricity without coal and gas; think about how much electricity will actually be required by 2050. It’s likely that immigration and increased productivity will at least double the size of the economy over the next 28 years. This requires no more than a modest GDP growth rate of roughly 2.5 percent per year. (In the twenty years from 2000 to 2019, growth averaged 2.9 percent per year.)

Now take into account the impact of electrifying transport.  Transport uses up about 25+ percent of energy production. So not only will doubling the size of the economy require additional electricity but so will its transport component. A linear relationship, using simple arithmetic, suggests, other things equal, that the supply of electricity would need to grow by 167 percent; about twice the growth assumed by AEMO. AEMO does also bring in what it calls “distributed energy” [solar panels on roofs and pinching electricity from over-charged car batteries] and also “energy efficiency.” Still, it is very likely that the totally unrealistic aims of AEMO are nevertheless insufficient to power Australia in 2050. To wit, it’s a case of delusions being not delusional enough. Increased madness required.

Focus on some elements of the prevailing madness. The plan is to orchestrate a “a nine-fold increase in utility scale variable renewable capacity.” For the avoidance of doubt, this translates into nine-times the current number and/or size of wind and solar farms. Where will they be built? Apparently, most everywhere in Renewal Energy Zones (REZs); on and offshore. Nine times! Concentrate on that. Bear in mind that we’ve gone from the first wind turbine built in 1987 to the current number in 35 years. And in the next 28 years we are to build nine times the current build; not taking account of decay and obsolescence? Must be so, activists within AEMO have it in their plan as Point Z.

The Plan is also to build 10,000 kilometres of new transmission lines and all the big ugly pylons that carry them. There was an instructive article in The Australian from Ted Woodley and Simon Bartlett, two very well credentialed people who ought to know. “Transmission line program unrealistic,” it’s headed. You don’t say, you might say. Among other cost blowouts, the proposed high-voltage connection between Victoria and NSW (VN1) is now estimated to cost $3.3 billion from the initial estimate of $1.6 billion four years ago. As Woodley and Bartlett comment, the final cost will “no doubt” be “much more than $3.3 billion.” They go through a number of other projects with similar cost blowouts; and address the sheer challenge of building so much infrastructure in so short a time. As they say, “after decades of minimal transmission being built.” And they go on to comment on the “vehement opposition to overhead lines from communities and landowners.” It’s worth a read. AEMO should read it. No, it might trigger them.

A common factor which runs through all socialist and green agendas is the money illusion. John Lennon nailed it. Money can’t buy you love. We see it everywhere. Money is mistaken for real things. So, for example, one hospital nurse costs, say, $100,000 per year in wages and oncosts. Therefore $1 billion will get us another 10,000 nurses. No, not quite. Not tout de suite. Not any time remotely soon. One kilometre of transmission line costs so much and takes so much time to build; ergo multiply the unit time and cost by 10,000 and out pops the answer. Give it verisimilitude by putting it in a plan. Go back to 2017 and gullibly accept that Snowy 2.0 will be built by 2021 for $2 billion. Have I got a Harbour Bridge to sell you. 

And so it is, in the mind of Chris Bowen and his Labor comrades, that 3.8 million Australian households will have a 7.2kw power point installed to power their EVs by 2030. Will 3.8 million households have an EV which they want to power? A good question but Bowen is working on coming up with an offer which can’t be refused. Namely, by taxing the hell out of petrol and diesel cars. And when you look at his authoritarian demeanour, it might be too risky to assume that the horse’s head will not appear under your bedclothes.

His main problem of course isn’t heavying you and me, it’s the number of electricians. It’s hard to get one to come around right now. I spoke to one from a well-known contractor last October and he told me it would be this June before my turn came up in the queue. Notice: Required, electricians to upgrade the electrical wiring of 3.8 million households by 2030, to upgrade all connecting substations, to upgrade wiring to and from the substations. It simply can’t be done. Nothing close to it can be done, even if the electricity is available; which it won’t be if, as AEMO projects, 14GW of the remaining 23GW of coal power is withdrawn by 2030. It’s all pie in the sky. Stalin’s and Mao’s five-year plans reprised. Real life’s such a bummer to a renewable-energy drummer.  

20 thoughts on “Some Ohm Truths About the Great Green Fantasy

  • Katzenjammer says:

    Of course it’s possible. By 2050 our universities will have churned out many more teal era certified engineers, fully thrained in modelling it in SimEarth.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    As Tony Abbott saw it, “the future is coal.” He was speaking on behalf of the fossil-fuel proprietors of course, which is only Right and proper. He was also dead-set against any expenditure on renewables or research into them, as is Peter Smith. (Do either of them own coal shares?)
    Smith in the above article does not mention the fact that fossil carbon is the only source of road tar, and an important one for the plastics and synthetics ubiquitous in modern life. Think car tyres, plastics for car and home interiors, synthetics for clothing, and not to be forgotten, electical insulation. (His sparky might have neglected to mention that.) It is a one-off, never-to-be-renewed resource far too valuable to waste on electricity generation, when cheaper substitutes are available. Otherwise, the human future may well be one of driving electric-powered or horse-drawn vehicles with wooden wheels and seats over cobbled roads.
    Smith’s coal-paved path naturally leads him on to reject the science of climatology in toto. The fundamentals of physics and chemistry on which it rests also have to be rewritten to suit the needs and bank accounts of the present coal owners. Much the same thing of course happened in the USSR in Stalin’s day over the science of genetics. (Google up the Lysenko controversy.)
    Smith is also an ‘activist.’ Otherwise he would never have written this article. I am an activist also, otherwise I would never have written this comment (awaiting ‘approval’; ie checking for political correctness of the Right sort, and that it does not conflict with the short-term needs of the coal owners, so obviously calling the shots at this ‘liberal’ online journal.)
    Activists forever! For to adopt the ‘passivist’ alternative is to turn oneself into a human sheep!

  • Alistair says:

    I have seen this sort of argument before – some guy suggesting that to reach zero emissions by 2030 – 2050 we would have to mine more copper in the next ten years than has been mined in the previous three hundred years. etc. etc. But the fallacy is obvious. The guy assumes that the current situation will be projected into the future and it looks impossible. However, the World Economic Forum is constantly telling us that the future will not be like the past and that there will be a “Great Reset” What they are trying to tell you in ALL of their on-line pronouncements is two undeniable FACTS. “You will own nothing and be happy” which translates to – we wont need all that copper because none of you are going to own a car. And secondly, we intend to de-populate the planet, (https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-global-depopulation-agenda-is-an-absolute-reality-not-a-conspiracy-theory/) so there wont be as many people around to need all that copper anyway.
    The amount of copper that the WEF allows on the market will determine how many people there are and how much copper they get … not the other way around.

    Their objective is well and truly achievable – Dont be misdirected by any plans a politician put forward – they are just the minions who will have to implement the WEF’s REAL agenda.

  • Biggles says:

    Bowen is the Minister for Windmills and Poverty.

  • STD says:

    Actually Peter, I would say it is more akin to a psychotic fantasy.

  • ianl says:


    I agree. The impossible raw materials requirements for even the 1st generation Net Zero parameters can be read in:


    Even if Michaux (main author) is only half-correct in his analyses, as an example the amount of copper needed exceeds by 9000% the known total world copper ore Resources – geoscientists need to increase exploration activities beyond imagination, and that assumes unknown ore deposits actually exist to be found and mined in the magnitudes required. Similarly for aluminium, lithium, vanadium … and on and on. (Several of my colleagues and myself are slowly working through the Michaux paper, testing his estimates and stated assumptions against our own databases).

    So yes, Alistair, the simplest, the easiest approach to be taken by the elite activists (eg. WEF and infiltrated cabinets) is to reduce standards of living and just use segments of the police forces as armed militia to quell outbreaks of anger, as Trudeau did in Canada against the truckers. This likelihood has been stated before quite a few times.

  • Rafe Champion says:

    All of this nonsense is being tracked by the Energy Realists of Australia who are producing material to circulate to anyone and everyone who is interested in the issues.
    Pete Smith is an avid reader of this material, in case you were wondering why he is so well-informed:)

    See also a brief account of the fundamental problem – wind droughts and no large-scale storage.

  • PT says:

    I’ll at least give them this: they accept that electricity generation must increase, and that it’s not enough to simply replace existing electricity generation. None of the pro-green politicians, especially Albanese and the Greens themselves show any indication that they grasp this at all.

  • Alistair says:

    Thanks for the link. Its not the article I had in mind, but just as good if not better!
    Personally. I don’t think that politicians have the intellectual capacity do even the most basic of sums, as in this instance, in order to understand the impossibility of their pronouncements. And I think that is the key skill which underwrites their entire careers. The ability to swallow without consideration any nonsense that their advisors tell them. Our new journalist class have the same skill-set – parrot the narrative and question nothing.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Well done, PS. Thank you. AEMO certainly a case for Sherlock Ohms.
    In the semantics of today, Putin weaponised energy, the UN/UNFCCC weaponised CC alarmism, the political class weaponised RE and we now have to deal with the consequences of their folly.What a mess.

    Yet in the Senate the passage of the CC Bill was described as “a momentous day”. One Green senator said there’s a “sigh of relief wherever I go”. Another said this is just the beginning. We can only meaningfully mitigate catastrophic CC by committing to Net Zero by 2035.” And so on and so forth.

    Only Pauline Hanson was prepared to take on the “false prophets of doom”. They were “selling this stupidity by promising new jobs.” “We can’t control the climate or weather.” So many policy contradictions. Why is it OK to sell coal and gas abroad yet demonise them here? Does Australia want to be hostage to China, the manufacturer of most of AEMO’s vast projected RE infrastructure, like the EU is to Russia? And so on and so forth.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    The AEMO Integrated System Plan is total integrated nonsense.
    Good luck with those all-electric battery-powered long-haul aircraft.
    You go first in those, greenies. Test ’em out for us.
    Looking forward to those all-electric Kenworth trucks suppling our supermarkets too.
    I am told that pandanus leaves can make ok toilet paper. Back to nature, guys.

  • Tony Tea says:

    Anyone catch this bare-faced claim from Adams on Saturday?

    “Lovelock became the gloomiest of all Greenhouse Effect prophets, fearing the planet would become uninhabitable, at least for humans, by the middle of the 21st century. Later he admitted to an excess of pessimism and devoted himself to dreaming up new technologies to delay our doom. Thus he became a convert to nuclear power, which he saw as “the least worst option”. I suspect that towards the end, seeing the surge in renewables, he might have changed his mind.”

    If Lovelock embraced nuclear, it would take a leftist’s talent for fibs to have the audacity to put those words into his mouth (post mortem, at that), and to even vaguely hint he would have had anything at all to do with wind and solar. Not only that, wind and solar were around when Lovelock had his nuclear Damascene, at which point did he say wind and solar were the best technology? No, he backed nuclear. Adams is shameless.

  • ianl says:

    Some people still think that bureaucrats and politicians are just stupid about the consequences of Net Zero.

    Nope. No one is that silly. It’s deliberate, even malicious. The EU President is now demanding that heating of houses in the forthcoming northern winter be rationed. The newly minted UK Prime Minister, having suggested that the UK may actually mine its’ own enormous gas deposits (requires fracturing the drillholes for improved gas flows) while she was hunting Party Member votes, has backflipped a millisecond after winning that election and will now borrow > £150bn to cap wholesale gas prices. This destroys the suppliers since they cannot purchase imported gas for the capped price.

    Instead of this trail of destruction, why not increase supply by mining the gas deposits across the UK and the EU ? Obviously, the answer to that is that the reduction of living standards is deliberate.

    Aus bureaucrats and politicians persist in refusing to address the questions. This is not stupid ignorance. It is deliberate.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    ianl: “It’s deliberate, even malicious.”
    Agreed. The poor public is now wedged between a desperate political class and its CC ideology.
    Greens McKim yesterday attacked the nasty “FF psychopaths” in the Senate. According to him, they are threatening the survival of the entire human race.
    What a decision by the new UK PM. A Conservative leader prepared to bankrupt the country instead of abandoning Net Zero.
    As for the Russian “FF psychopaths”, they are not going to sell/export gas for the “capped pric”.
    A bleak winter ahead for the UK/EU.

  • Necessityofchoice says:

    Re:- Delberate and Malicious ?
    Davos next year may well have had some gate crashers, were it not that there appears to be only one road in and one road out, guarded by gents with guns.
    Their mantra – ‘You will own nothing and you will be happy’ will by then translate; if all goes to plan, into …
    ‘You will be cold, you will be hungry’, AND and you will be angry !!


    Perhaps the AEMO activists and NetZero’ers have been eating baked beans on a more than reasonable basis. Their cargo cult energy religion is full of wind.

  • Lawrie Ayres says:

    There is the added problem of sourcing the material to build the thousands of wind turbines each of which will use 900 tonnes of steel (imported from China presumable since we won’t have the capacity to make it here) and 2500 tonnes of concrete containing 500 tonnes of cement. These people are off their rocker. It does not surprise me that Chris Bowen might have these mad dreams because he is patently stupid but surely there are engineers in his realm that tell him the truth. Also I heard a professor from QU pointing out the impossibility of reaching Net Zero world wide. We currently mine 4 million tonnes of copper each year but the requirement will be for over 4000 million tonnes over the next 30 years. That means a thousand times more copper mines. As if that is not environmentally damaging enough there is not that much copper to be found let alone dug up and refined using what energy? They are mad and they will destroy us before their madness is stopped.

  • Robyn says:

    The political decision making that has brought us to this point is both breathtakingly stupid and sinister.

    Only a couple of days ago the aluminium smelter companies in the EU are claiming that they will have to shut down from the beginning of 2023 as their hedging contracts for electricity expire. It will cost them €10,000 to manufacture for a selling price of €2500.

    So, where will the aluminium to build all these electric vehicles, buses and airplanes come from exactly? The dumbfounded look on the face of the climate true believers that I encounter when’ I ask them if they have yet decided which 43% of ALL the stuff that runs their homes and lives are they going to give up to meet these completely unachievable targets is enlightening. Given our emissions fell barely 5% over 2 years of lockdown it is crystal clear that far worse living circumstances await us.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man or woman that might save us from the inevitability of chaos that is coming. But I am not at all hopeful. That person has probably not yet been born.

  • Biggles says:

    Get back to the basic science, folks. Ask the next climate catastrophist you meet; what is the wavelength in the solar spectrum which excites CO2? You will immediately find out that they know nothing.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    It is whatever it is. But once the CO2 molecules are energised, they pass that energy on to molecules they are in contact with: which of course, is the principle of the microwave oven. Energise the water molecules inside it with microwaves of the appropriate frequency, and they in turn will energise those in the meat, pastry, spaghetti bolognaise or whatever it is you are cooking up in the said oven.
    So maybe in the interests of all shills in this coal shillery, it would be best to campaign for the abolition of all such devices, and campaign for (coal-fired of course) fuel stoves.

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