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 Another Turnbull legacy—Snowy 2.0

15.10.19. Finally, the truth about Malcolm Turnbull’s Snowy 2.0 ruse to push water up hill with a stick and watch it run down the hill again is being exposed for what it always was—a very expensive ploy by a desperate Turnbull to stay in office. The massively ego driven Waffler always sought glory, he wanted to leave a Turnbull legacy for all Australians—to be remembered, revered—and that he will be, but far from the way in which he had dreamed. And we all thought Gillard and Rudd were bad? Tunbull was reported to have donated about $550,000 to charity through his Turnbull Foundation—a little more than his $528,000 prime ministerial salary. Do you think his pension goes that way also? Ha, Ha!
The promised Snowy Hydro 2.0 project will be an expensive white elephant according to a leading energy expert. “Here is a project that is likely to cost five times more than the then prime minister [Malcolm Turnbull] said it would, and whose capability is nowhere near what has been claimed of it,” the director of the Victorian Energy Policy Centre, Bruce Mountain, told 7.30. 

Source: ABC

Snowy Hydro 2.0 a costly white elephant that won’t deliver, says energy expert

“This is a project that we can confidently forecast will be a drain on the public purse and whose service in the transition to a cleaner energy future can be met far more cheaply from other sources.
“Snowy Hydro 2.0 was a political get-out-of-jail card, played at the public’s expense.”
Dr Mountain wants the project paused while an independent panel reviews the worth of the project and whether the money could be better spent.
Mr Turnbull first announced the project with much fanfare in 2017.
“The unprecedented expansion will help make renewables reliable, filling in holes caused by intermittent supply and generator outages,” he said at the time.
“It will enable greater energy efficiency and help stabilise electricity supply into the future.”
He assured the electorate it would cost $2 billion and be up and running by 2021.
Less than a year later, that estimated cost had doubled.
By April 2019, a contract for part of the project was signed for $5.1 billion — and that doesn’t include transmission costs, which will cost billions more.
Who will actually pay for transmission is still being decided.
Snowy Hydro said it shouldn’t have to bear the cost as it won’t be the only user of the infrastructure.
“Someone’s going to pay for it,” Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad told 7.30.
“The taxpayers will pay for it through your taxes, or you pay for it through your bills.
“What I would argue is that that allows more energy into the market, producing downward pressure on the energy component of your bill.”
Mr Mountain isn’t convinced it will lead to lower electricity prices.
“There will be public subsidy in Snowy Hydro — whether it comes from the electricity payer or the taxpayer is yet to be worked out — but it will be a loss overall,” he said.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor refused to admit there had been a major cost blowout since the project was announced.
“We made our investment decision after we had done a cost benefit and after we’ve done the feasibility work in December 2017. The cost came out at $3.8 billion to $4.5 billion,” he told 7.30.
As a wholly owned government company, Snowy Hydro has competing priorities. The government wants it to help push down prices while also making a profit on behalf of taxpayers. When pushed on which aim was more important, Mr Taylor said they can both be achieved.
“The beauty of this investment is that it can deliver an investment for shareholders, which is Snowy and ultimately the Australian taxpayers, and at the same time put downward pressure on electricity bills.”
How long will it take?
While costs have escalated, timeframes have also blown out.
Mr Turnbull initially promised the project would be up and running within four years of the announcement.
“The Snowy Hydro scheme was built over 25 years and this is a project that we can add to that scheme within four years — and that’s the company’s estimate, not mine,” he told Lateline in March 2017.
“Remember, this has all been designed — this project — all the drawings have been done, all the engineering has been done.”
The latest Snowy Hydro estimate is that the project won’t be storing and generating energy until 2025.
“I don’t recall that four years,” Mr Broad said.
“We were talking at the feasibility study as being 2025.”
The new scheme is designed to be an energy store.
For that to work, water has to be pumped from the lower reservoir, Talbingo, to the upper reservoir at Tantangara when power prices are low.
The water will be released and resultant electricity sold back into the market when demand and power prices are high.
Environmental groups are calling for an independent inquiry into the Snowy Hydro expansion, saying it could potentially scar already vulnerable eco-systems.
To be able to do that on the scale needed requires 27 kilometres of new tunnels.
Ted Woodley is a former senior energy executive who is now a member of the National Parks Association, a group of volunteers whose aim is to protect public parks.
He is alarmed by the scale of the project and what it will do to the Kosciuszko National Park.
“The project, in my mind, was always large, but I had never envisaged it would be this large or this complex or this impactful,” he told 7.30.
“I think most people in Australia, when they learn the facts, will be as concerned as I am.
“We’re talking about 100 square kilometres of this park will be permanently damaged, and in some cases destroyed.
“This to me is tragic.”
Snowy Hydro disputes Mr Woodley’s assertion that 100 square kilometres of park would be damaged. It says most of the impacted areas will be rehabilitated and that only 1 square kilometre of national park will be permanently damaged.
Will it deliver?
Snowy Hydro’s CEO thinks the project is absolutely essential as Australia moves away from coal.
“[It’s] part of a wider agenda of increasing renewables in this country,” Mr Broad said.
“There’s a massive amount of renewals coming into the market — you can’t have it without some kind of storage.
“It is cuckoo land stuff if you think you can just have renewables without storage.”
But critics wonder if Snowy Hydro 2.0 will ever deliver on the promises.
“We’ve been drip fed information for the last two-and-a-half years, since the project was announced. And as the information has come out, the costs have exploded, the impacts have exploded,” Mr Woodley said.
“And, in fact, the benefits have been clearly shown to be overstated.”
For Bruce Mountain, the economics just doesn’t stack up.
“Snowy is just, simply, too expensive for what it provides,” he said.
“We can do this cheaper though things like demand management.”
In addition, it may actually be affecting other investment.
Dr Mountain said the Government’s backing of a project the size of Snowy Hydro 2.0 means that private investors don’t think they can compete.
“We know that this is already distorting the market,” he said.
“Competitors aren’t building projects because it looks like Snowy 2.0 will definitely happen.
“But that’s not the best outcome for Australia.”
Mr Turnbull has been approached for comment.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • luk1955 15/10/2019, 6:33 am

    Back in the days of the depression, before politicians had so much power as they have today, massive infrastructure projects were done under budget, with few errors, and functioned for decades, in many cases still going today. Yet recently here in Australia, massive infrastructure projects are over budget, never perform to their promises, and cause massive environmental damage. It is like the politicians set these projects up to fail so they can take our money without bringing any of the benefits the projects touted.

    I accuse our politicians of these failures because they hate us so much, they want to control us so much, and they are all in for communism, which has never been of benefit to the electorates, only the elites. How are our current crop of thieves and misanthropists any different than what Stalin, Mussolini, or Hitler were to their peoples? And we put up with it when we should be hanging these aliens in public.

    • Wallace 15/10/2019, 6:43 am

      Luk, regarding our politicians: you have omitted the most important and meaningful descriptor—gross incompetence!

    • Ex ADF 15/10/2019, 7:05 am

      I do not believe our pollies are communists or whatever. They are merely fools who, in order to seem proactive and politically astute, are suckered in to these grandiose schemes by public servants or glib snake oil salesmen. The Mincing Poodle and his submarines comes to mind.

      • Cliff 15/10/2019, 8:06 am

        You’re wrong about the submarines. Everyone, including Payne, has always known it was the wrong choice. But it was the right choice to win votes by providing jobs in solar South Australia, so, with absolute cynicism and not a single snake oil salesman required, they went ahead with it without considering for one moment the fate of the crews, most of whom are not yet born, who will serve – all too briefly should we ever go to war – in these obsolete death traps.

    • Penguinite 15/10/2019, 7:32 am

      The Unions can’t escape citing as prime interventionists. It seems Union interference in and on building sites increases costs by 30%!

      • nev 15/10/2019, 10:53 am

        Yes Pen and over regulation by various levels of Government add another 30%

      • Pensioner Pete 15/10/2019, 11:00 am

        And add yet another 30% for the brown paper bags passed under the table to the politicians to get this stupid decision through.

  • Aktosplatz 15/10/2019, 6:46 am

    I don’t think anyone here on this Blog thought that Turnbull’s idea would work. I mean, when has any of Turnbull’s ideas worked?

    Look at the French Submarine Farce.

    • DT 15/10/2019, 8:00 am

      “Born Lucky” again?

      The electricity to pump water back uphill to the dam would be supplied by a wind farm.

      Like the Sydney desalination plant using Infigen Energy’s Capital Hill Wind Farm energy, or more precisely, that energy production claimed to offset what the plant needs from the main grid.

      Another profiteering venture for crony capitalists.

  • Frankie Carter 15/10/2019, 7:56 am

    It is I…I’m back the Undesirable Italians have had me captivate in a wine cellar I escaped through a trap door! Then ran through the grape vines crossed the Murray to safety! Now Ali Cupper our state MP here in Mildura is complaining about the Federal Governments up coming agriculture visa for Pacific islanders that will stop the corruption in the labour force up here. We still need more troops and Supplies! Infowars.com God Bless you all

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 15/10/2019, 8:46 am

      That explains the wine stained shirt, thought that you might have fallen in a vat.

      • Frankie Carter 15/10/2019, 9:47 am

        Yes that was I…I didn’t think anyone seen me, they threw me in the vat as well drank me self out of that one, not a bad year that red…

  • DT 15/10/2019, 7:58 am

    A Snowy Mountains Scheme original part of that planning that was discarded on a cost effectiveness basis, cost-benefit.

    Said to be likely to cost up to $12 billion for Snowy 2, for that amount of money a large coal or gas fired power station could be built, 2-3,000 MW generators, High Energy Low Emissions technology. Or the latests Japanese improved technology that re-burns the emissions to obtain extra value from the coal improving operational efficiency.

  • DT 15/10/2019, 8:05 am

    In short, so called renewable energy via wind and solar is inefficient and not cost effective so owners are subsidised to provide emissions-free Paris Agreement virtue signalling “farms” to replace very efficient and reliable power stations.

  • Frankie Carter 15/10/2019, 8:07 am

    It is I… Again, Turnbull was nothing more then a Globalist pay him no attention.

  • Cliff 15/10/2019, 8:13 am

    Malcolm Turnbull can rest easy. He has definitely left a long lasting legacy – for conservatives, he is, and will almost certainly remain for many, many years, quite possibly decades – the most detested and reviled Liberal leader ever to ‘grace’ the office of PM.

    There are very few men who I would turn my back on if someone attempted to introduce me to them. Malcolm Turnbull to close to the top, if not at the top, of that very small list.

    • DT 15/10/2019, 8:30 am

      Add his Black Hand Faction followers, they let it happen.

  • Lorraine 15/10/2019, 8:14 am

    They are mad, and we the voter allows this madness

    • DT 15/10/2019, 8:31 am

      Yes Lorraine, but look opposite, worse still offered and many if not most hand in hand with the Mansion plan.

  • crankykoala 15/10/2019, 8:51 am

    Interesting, one wonders how this was fast tracked? Where are all the feasibility and environmental studies? Why was Turdbulls brain fart rubber stamped? Where were the Greens with their three toed frogs and left handed leeches? Think about Adani and black throat finches, nine years before they were allowed to proceed — and we know why.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 15/10/2019, 8:51 am

    In Japan they do in fact pump water back uphill at night using spare electricity produced by power plants idling along when power demands are low to keep the boilers flashed up. They have the two important things for pumped Hydro we don’t have, a lot of water and a lot of spare power plus high mountains with reservoirs we don’t have either . Perpetual motion doesn’t exist

  • Muphin 15/10/2019, 11:17 am

    Turnbull, aka the TURD, is akin to the dung beetle, it too can walk on water and push S*$%T up hill.

  • JG 15/10/2019, 3:59 pm

    Unfornately none of the clowns called pollies of what ever party are NEVER held accountable BUT we go on paying them. Crudd, Dillard, Turnshit What a system. If you loose your job then what chance you get a great big pay out AND continue to get your salary.
    When hell freezes over.
    Now I wonder why we view pollies as incompetent, self promoting, ego driven, lying blood suckers.
    They should be under the same rules as a company director.

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