"Time is running out"
Re The GenCost Report, Rewiring Australia and Hume Link. It was quite a surprise when CSIRO's chief energy economist recently pointed out the severe limitations of CSIRO's GenCost report. And it was even more of a shock to find out that the cost of firming (batteries, hydro, Bio energy) and Transmission: 20,000kms of powerlines - required additional components of 'The Renewable Energy Superpower' - hadn't even been included in the total cost to "rewire Australia". This revealed a huge lack of discipline and planning, and throws into question the claim that 'renewables ARE the cheapest form of energy'.
Hume Link, the transmission line connecting Sydney to Snowy 2 and Snowy 2 itself, are good illustrations of this. The initial cost of Snowy 2 was estimated at $2bn, with a completion date of 2024. One naturally assumed this included the cost of transmission lines. Certainly, Chris Bowen gave the impression it did, but, unbelievably, of course it didn't.
So now the completion date has blown out to 2028 or more, and the cost of Snowy 2 has risen to $10bn and climbing as the tunnel boring machines get continuously bogged. The cost of the previously ignored environmentally destructive and socially disruptive overhead transmission lines is estimated at $6bn and climbing. And they are arguing against spending another $1billion to preserve the environment by undergrounding them - which communities in the bush would agree to tomorrow - because 'consumers wouldn't be able to afford it!' Well let's be honest. It is unaffordable already. It's a shambles. If it wasn't true, you couldn't make it up, it's so out of control. What's another $1Bn going to matter? If we can save the bush from further damage and use todays 'best practice' technology it would be a small price to pay.
It is quite clear. If Australia wants to avoid financial disaster, and that's where we're headed - while pursuing our chosen path to alternate energy - planning needs to be a lot better, before it's too late. Time is running out. Once we get too far down the track, the horse will have bolted. We need to call a halt now. Engineering, financial and operating costs need to be more critically and rigorously examined, than has been the case so far, to be certain we make the right choices. Ideology may be a key driver, but change demands discipline and has to work for the common good.
Re Kinghorne Street roundabout construction: I still stand by my previous criticisms of this proposed roundabout for the same reasons however the council appears determined to proceed regardless.
This is one project the incoming (Albanese) Federal Government could have scrapped or reallocated when reviewing grant programs from the previous coalition Government.
I notice two of the three corner properties at the Kinghorne/Albert intersection have sold recently (the fourth is the public housing units).
When the roundabout is completed, the residents of the corner properties will be subjected to all vehicles using Kinghorne Street braking and then accelerating in front of their properties plus headlights flashing into their windows all night. I sympathise with them.
Funding could be better spent on more needy roadworks elsewhere.
I await with curiosity the plans for detours on Kinghorne and Albert Streets while construction is undertaken. Other nearby streets will obviously carry much greater traffic loads and volumes.