Image for Nero fiddled. Basslink fried ...

*Pic: The Basslink route from the Basslink website, http://www.basslink.com.au/basslink-interconnector/maps/

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. In Tasmania Parliament has fiddled while Basslink has fried ...

It is a complete farce. And no-one is doing anything about it ... least of all Parliament.

What did they do on crucial days this week:

• Introduce a Vote of No-Confidence in Speaker Elise Archer (Labor).

• Introduce a Vote of No-Confidence in Energy Minister Matthew Groom (Greens).

What a farce. Thus ensued endless debate of no consequence because the Libs have the numbers in the House of Assembly.

Good god!

It is beyond farce.

The Greens, I reckon, are immensely culpable here; Labor is still mired in last century under Bryan Green ... and you can understand its immoveability. But the Greens are a different kettle of fish.

This could have been the moment to seize the day. As Jack Gilding said just yesterday ( Comment 68 HERE ):

It is clear that we need to increase our renewable energy generation. We do not need a new expert committee and 12 months to explore the possibility. The ACT government just contracted for 100 MW of wind power at 9c/kWh and the price is fixed for 20 years.

A feed-in tariff of 12-15c would rapidly ramp up the solar industry in Tasmania. Added advantages of solar are that people would invest their own money and the electricity would be generated and used locally, not requiring new network infrastructure.

Matthew Groom keeps talking up a second Basslink as a way of maximising Tasmania’s “renewable energy contribution” but for the foreseeable future this is pure fantasy.  It is abundantly clear that Tasmania does not have enough renewable energy generation capacity to meet its own needs, let alone be a net exporter on the existing Basslink.

It is pointless talking about a second interconnector until firm plans are in place to substantially increase our generation from solar, wind and small hydro.

So, why didn’t the Greens leap on the Feed-In-Tariff; suggesting that is an immediate solution to encourage the Libs away from 1950s thinking and into the future.

Or at the very least follow Gilding’s other call for honesty ...

The Minister needs to be candid with the public about the challenges we face and the real costs so that the whole community can contribute to the solution and reduce the cost of this crisis.

Matthew Groom’s Ministerial Statement on Energy Security provides little reassurance that our electricity needs will be met in the short term, and does nothing to suggest that the government has a plan to ensure our long term security of supply from affordable renewable energy. The cost of meeting our energy shortfall with gas and diesel will be very high, but the Statement provides no new detail on this cost. …

Tasmania’s Hydro storages have been depleted to keep a couple of Industrial multi-nationals supplied with power. You can’t blame Hydro ... they have simply been following the orders of short-term thinking Lib-Lab treasurers.

God you weep.

As Lyndall Rowley said just yesterday ( Comment 86 HERE )

How can the citizens of Tasmania have confidence in a government (regardless of which party) that isn’t primarily focused on addressing the critical and urgent issues in play?

How is the government planning for the future in terms of climate change and associated impacts such as lack of water, reduced & intermittent hydro power,and so on?

Tasmania is in a state of emergency - especially energy, water and internet connectivity right now - and no-one in charge seems to be reacting accordingly.

Hear Bloody Hear!x

• PS: The Tasmanian Parliament exists in a bubble. Siloed from reality. With quaint customs and a Legislative Council stuck in the 19th century. You expect to see Queen Victoria presiding rather than Her Maj’s portrait lording it over this anachronism. Like too much in Tasmania it is utterly divorced from reality; ever reliant on federal handouts ... like Matthew Groom’s quaint plea to the feds for a second Basslink cable ...

• Hag has been told Treasury has a list of contingency plans in the event of crisis-point with power. First to go are householders and last are hospitals/old peoples’ homes. Industrials - which have cut their power use - are somewhere in the middle ... • Hag also hears that the boss of Tas Networks a while ago purchased a generator for his home. I’m told - and this may just be a load of tosh - that he/she has just recently upgraded it to a large one. His view is the lights are going to go out. Political tribalism can’t solve this issue. Hag wondered if perhaps there is reason to form a citizens group to call for the major industrials to be turned off or scaled back now with Federal government financial support? Even the Greens won’t suggest this as it is politically unpalatable. It might get to the point it is too late! …

Hag wonders if potatoes aren’t the answer. Apparently it’s a secret plan of Premier Will and has just been leaked. Read all about what spuds can do on The Big Riddle HERE

• Mike Bolan in Comments: As I have written elsewhere, we are trying to use regulations written by lawyers in the past, to make decisions about 21st century evolving complex problems - this makes government look like zombies who lurch from one threatening posture to another. It cannot work. Humans do not excel in committees, parliaments and boards of inquiry. We excel when we are responding in real time to evolving inputs - riding horses, flying airplanes, sailing ships and so on. What we’re not good at is writing instructions telling ourselves what to do under future contingencies. There’re a lot of reasons for that …

Mercury: Tasmania’s internet slows to a crawl

• Pete in Comments: iiNet has posted it as a ’... widespread disruption’ lasting 3 months

• Luigi in Comments: The bar graph widget is a wonderful thing.  The most important thing to appreciate is that it is “live”:  it shows power use/generation right now!  You can easily see this by watching the green part of the bar (wind power) change minute by minute …

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