Reliable power, who needs it!

kilvert head

Michelle Guthrie, the Boadicea of the ABC, expressed her displeasure in a recent public address at the government’s intention to slip the words “fair and balanced” into the broadcaster’s charter, and most will easily grasp just why a bureaucratic warrior might find this an onerous imposition, not to mention a budget-draining one.

When your existing staff is of one mind, seemingly incapable of seeking enlightenment and quotes from those who represent alternate views, the only solution would seem to be the wholesale hiring of a mirror team that approaches issues from the opposite pole. Much better to stick with the existing cadre of partisan reporters and editors, swear blind at Estimates hearings that you have no idea who they vote for and which causes they support (it always worked for Mark Scott), then send your minions straight back to ruining the live-cattle export business with the help of vegan pals, accusing the RAN of torturing uninvited would-be arrivals with the hot mufflers of leaky boats and promoting as the go-to researcher on the allegedly non-existent health perils of wind turbines a Media Watch staffer  who formerly laboured for a green group promoting — yes, indeed — planet-saving energy “sources”.

Countering nonsensical assertions that base load power is “a dinosaur” and Australia doesn’t need it anymore would be a particularly expensive proposition, certainly if the reporting of young Nick Kilvert were to be roped back to something resembling the real world by the editorial input of those perhaps not so keen to tweet and re-tweet in support of standard-issue greens/left causes. Young Nick writes:

Base load power is a term we’re hearing a lot in discussions about our energy future. But what does it mean, and is it really relevant?

Because wind and solar are intermittent, the argument goes, we need a constant power source chugging away in the background to cover supply when the sun goes down and the wind stops.

Key points:

  • The ‘base load’ concept is misinterpreted and outdated
  • Demand varies hugely and energy production needs to be responsive
  • Hydro can be used to balance intermittent solar and wind

But energy researchers say the term is a “dinosaur” that has been misunderstood, and that it no longer applies to our dynamic energy market.

Predictably, given Ms Guthrie has yet to hire those “fair and balanced” recruits needed to see ABC coverage somewhat more multi-faceted than the minutes of a Newtown Greens branch meeting, the only “experts” quoted draw their salaries and travel allowances from institutions conspicuously pledged to a carbon-free future. If Nick had covered this year’s AFL grand final, we’d know the name of one team but have no idea who they might have been playing.

Of course, if Ms Guthrie believes the report is adequate and comprehensive, she might like to set the example and run the national broadcaster’s sprawling operation without the benefit of baseload power at, say, 7.00 pm, when demand for reliable, dinner-cooking electricity is particularly heavy. Wouldn’t it be a pity if the ABC were to go black and stay that way.

Or perhaps not.

Young Nick’s assault on baseload power, complete with its chorus of likeminded experts, can be read via the link below.

— roger franklin

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