Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Securing Tasmania’s Energy Future

Discussion paper – The Australia Institute Tasmania

First published June 11

How Tasmania can become energy self-reliant and an exporter of renewable energy

Download, read for yourself, HERE

*Leanne Minshull is the Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Chris Harries

    June 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Barney (#19),

    For the record, the Franklin below Franklin scheme would have produced 180 MW average in a high rainfall year. More like 90 MW in a low rainfall year. Not enough power for even one Basslink. Then consider that federal dam compensation money was utilised to build two alternative dams, the King and Henty-Anthony schemes, having a combined capacity of 130 MW.

    With regard to wind energy, all can see that the environmental movement has been supporting these renewable energy forms very vigorously. But we are also cognisant that there is no free lunch in energy supply. Every form of energy has some environmental impact that needs to be managed as best as possible. Bird strike is a management and siting issue that has to be attended to.

    I think you would agree with that? Or are you suggesting that everything put forward should be built without due regard for the protection of environmental values?

  2. Russell

    June 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Re #19
    “We should have wind farms but unfortunately the greenies don’t like them.”

    That’s totally false. Only ill-informed morons don’t like them, including Tony Abbott and Co. If birds were actually stupid enough to run into wind turbines, then they must be hitting trees left right and centre as well.

  3. Barney Rubble

    June 18, 2017 at 11:49 am

    We should have wind farms but unfortunately the greenies don’t like them. They are the most clean form of power generation but a bird might hit one. There is also wave technology which for whatever reason is not being pursued either.

    If bob hawke hadn’t used the proposed Gordon power station we would have three bass cables by now selling energy. Stupid politicians chasing votes, we are all paying for it now though.

  4. Russell

    June 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Re #17
    Then stop parroting the false term ‘clean coal.’ The most advanced coal-fired power station is in Japan and is ‘reputed’ (with rubbery figures) to only lower emissions by a pathetic and unrealistic 25% compared to a dinosaur like Hazelwood.

    The ‘need for more’ baseload generation is a myth as the existing neanderthal structures are plenty for industry while everyone else advances to personal production.

    It won’t make any difference to stopping the ecocide.

    If you watched the ABC report last night you will see that in a very short time Australian household solar will contribute 25% of the electricity in the grid. Other countries produce their entire energy from solar and storage.

    Australia is being led by corrupt neanderthals who are pocketing donations from the biggest polluters on the planet and should be brought before the Courts for ecocide.

    Technology and responsible people have moved on. Only the Troglodytes cling to fossil fuels.

    Renewables are leading the way. Even Victoria and NSW are installing storage systems now, after South Australia showed the way.

    Join the future or be left behind in your cave.

  5. Robin Charles Halton

    June 15, 2017 at 1:19 am

    #15 Russell, lets call it a modern coal fired technology as compared to the dirtier older powers stations that are being shut down!

    There is no question the entire electricity conundrum is going to be a real hoot as we will invariably see entire episodes of theater coming from the political front between now and the next Federal election.

    Despite the Paris Agreement and all of the other hu ha at the end of the day the public will vote to cut power prices before emissions targets.

    Unfortunately Australia is starting from a lower point than it should to reduce emissions in the foreseeable future as current older power stations are closing at a greater rate than replacement generators!

    Who ever gets back into government will have to demonstrate a willingness to pursue modern base load power generators whether it be new technology coal &/or the more expensive and consuming gas generators.

    Once the terms for reliable power is established with base load as the first priority then Renewables can rapidly follow to maintain the balance.

    Smart governments will embrace a mix of generation options and just not the highly emotional lowest emission options to ensure peaceful social order and national security.

  6. John Wade

    June 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    If anyone was willing to dig a little they would find that Alan Finkel, Josh Frydenberg, Jon Faine and Rafael Epstein are part of a knit circle of a Melbourne establishment.
    The song is the same or, they all sing from the same song sheet.

  7. Russell

    June 14, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Re #13
    Can you read Robin? Try #11.

    There is no such, and never will be, thing as “clean coal.” That’s in the realm of your “fancy and way out dreamy untested technology”.

  8. Chris Harries

    June 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    In today’s news the Liberal senators have stated that they will not endorse any national strategy that does not lower power prices. That’s obviously raw electoral bait, so it will work for them, pragmatically speaking.

    The unwritten part of their statement is that they don’t give a hoot about the impacts on future generations (i.e. people who can’t cast a vote). Because if we do give a hoot, then we can’t escape the fact that some political decisions have to be made that put a price on sustainability – in order to protect their futures.

    This appeal to existing voters runs across society. Labor and even Green MPs all appeal for lower energy prices as a bottom line, knowing that this nerve is much more raw than any environmental sensibility or compassion for those who are not yet born.

    Yet our morality is being deeply challenged like never before. We know the hard reality of what failure to act entails for the future. It is this dualistic set of challenges that is making climate change the most diabolical political moment of our times.

  9. Robin Charles Halton

    June 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    The Federal government needs to lead the way to resurrect the nations electricity supply to ensure it is reliable and affordable.
    Many of the Coalition are saying this right now!

    It will take guts and determination to put Australia back on its feet but it is essential PM Turnbull and the Coalition display a mature position that reflects the reality for living in a modern world and not for backing down into awkward back corners presented by Shorten and others of similar ilk.

    There is no reason why solar, wind and some more hydro applications cannot be brought on stream asap as supplementary supply!

    It must be remembered we do not have a nuclear solution unless the population vote for the inclusion power to replace gas and especially coal, I suspect that is unlikely!

    Personally I think despite all of the Climate Change talk it is in the national interest that affordable clean coal technology is embraced along with some faster burning and more expensive gas generation to provide that ever reliable base load component.

    As an nation we cannot afford to compromise our lifestyle,business, industry, manufacturing and an adequate feeling of national security to go down the dodgy path of placing Renewables in front of Base Load reliability.

    Younger voters many who live in a virtual world of gadgetry with overly green ambitions need to realise the nation cannot possibly go down the path of addressing so called Climate Change issues without sending the nation into recession.

    A mix of energy options especially the rebuilding by government, base load generators preferably clean coal will be an important step foward in Australia reestablishing its political stability in the southern region.

    Ongoing power shortages should not be expected to be tolerated, the PM has to make his position clear to fund a nation rebuilding program based on provision of affordable and reliable power and not fancy and way out dreamy untested technology that currently remains unsuitable for commercial application.

    The government may also need to reconsider its position towards cashed up investment ready Chinese JV arrangements with the Australian government!

    The way it is looking the nation needs to get a grip of itself asap as outside interests controlling our internal infrastructure has taken a turn to due excessive Chinese soft power that would ultimately end up turning the nation against itself, divide the population , make us look like fools and sadly end up with a hostile outcome.

    Australia needs to now stand on its feet to embrace unity and national security leading up to the next federal election otherwise we are dead ducks.

    Be warned that time is running out!

  10. philll Parsons

    June 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    #11 Pumped hydro does use more energy that it produces. It is however a battery able to store ‘surplus’ production from any other energy source and be drawn on quickly when energy is needed.

    No water will see humans in extremis and negate Glockmanns horizontal ram.

  11. Russell

    June 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Re #10
    Do you bother reading and ingesting anything before you start tapping the keys?

    1. Hazelwood’s closure has been in the making for the last 20 years (despite it being located in the middle of its coal mine), it didn’t just happen overnight.
    2. Your so-called ‘baseload power’ is failing miserably because it has all been privatised and nothing has been spent on its infrastructure to cater for the future.
    3. There is no such thing as ‘clean coal.’ It is a wank!
    4. South Australia’s energy problems were caused by a severe weather event as a direct result of coal-fired power station emissions.
    5. It will be too late in the time it would take to build a coal-fired power station anyway.
    6. You can’t pump Hydro if you don’t have any water. You will also use more energy in the process than you make, unless you have some monstrous mega Clockmann pump.

    Your only alternatives are:
    1. Solar (especially if installed on every single building).
    2. Wind.
    3. Tidal.
    4. The only safe nuclear option is Thorium, and we have plenty of it.

    Two things you say I agree with:
    1. Absolutely no assistance should be given to Adani, in fact the insane project should be completely disallowed.
    2. Fracking should be banned forever.

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    June 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Renewables will never be an option unless reliable base load power is available first of all, gas alone cannot possibly supply all of those needs.

    Concentration on getting the base load component using coal and gas back to normal is essential then renewables can steadily be increased to a level of 40% over the next decade or two.

    There will be need for some development in new cleaner coal technology to establish a number of new power stations among the mainland states more urgently than we are led to believe at present!

    The sudden closure of Hazlewood in the La Trobe Valley and Northern power Station at Port Augusta as well as Playford all represent failure by those two Labor states to recogenise the foolishness and irresponsibility they have imposed on their populations, businesses and industry dependent on base load power.

    The entire episode of the recent events in South Australia are a lesson for the entire nation for transposing too rapidly into political ego inspired nonsense that has come at a crippling cost to SA as well as the NEM.

    For a start at least one major coal fired power station needs to build in either Victoria or South Australia, financed by the Federal Governemnt if necessary.

    The Turnbull government as a matter of urgency must include this promise as a part of our national security strategy to remain in a position to engage with heavy industry projects within our shores as China cannot be no longer seen as a reasonable and trustworthy trading partners.

    Under no circumstances should the Federal government be allowed to allow a $1b loan to billionare company Adani for a rail link from the Galilee basin to Bowen under any circumstances, in fact the coal deposits would be better left in the ground as for one day Australia will need the resource.

    All fracking on land should cease to protect ground water resources essential for human population survival.

    Pumped Hydro may be an option but remains as an untested source of energy.

    Australian leaders have to think for that is best for our population and not way off the mark souped up Green political ambitions as we do not live in a perfect world but reliable energy must be at our disposal to avoid nasty confrontations with State and Federal leaders while countries such as China would look foward to swoop upon us as a country run be a bunch of disillusioned fools.

    Reliable, economical and affordable base load power will initially to be sourced from coal as it must be remembered Australia has little alternative for never embracing nuclear energy.

  13. max

    June 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I find it very hard to get my head around Tasmania’s Electricity ideas. Why would we build wind farms with China? Obversely they would have a contract that would give them a good return. That good return should be ours, not some foreign country. The same goes for Bass Link. The way I see it our government, aided and abetted by Hydro are exploiting Tasmanian power uses and to what end. I think Eric would turn over in his grave.

  14. Chris Harries

    June 11, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Two issues. Phil mentioned at (#5) that state governments have been very tardy, even reluctant, in allowing or approving mooted new wind farm developments.

    That reluctance (and it was also true of the previous Labor administration) stems from a political belief that it is silly to allow competitors to take a slice of the market that is currently in captured by the state owned utilities. Former Premier Lara Giddings put that to us very bluntly, re the issue of feed-in tariffs. Why help competitors take away Hydro Tasmania’s market share?

    This political meme has led a number of environmental people to argue for privatisation of the Tasmanian utilities – though the majority don’t approve of going down that path. (Nor do I.)

    Secondly, this discussion paper invites a conversation about what power is needed for. Sometimes that central question seems to fall between the cracks.

    Building a second Basslink is a major billion dollar infrastructure project that sounds great on paper (as any huge infrastructure project does at face value) but what would be its purpose? If Tasmania does ever get into a situation of producing more power than it uses (we are a very long way from that now) then at least four issues come into play.

    1) How much surplus would we need to exceed what Basslink 1 can handle. That’s not an issue for at least ten years.
    2) Would it not be much more sensible to use that eventual power surplus to focus on transport electrification within Tasmania over time?
    3) If the current government’s ambitious population growth targets were hypothetically achieved, then power consumption within Tasmania would have to increase quite substantially and this makes the prospect of ever achieving a power surplus very unlikely.
    4) Basslink 2 conceptually fits the centralised national electricity market model, and the model is failing right now. If there is a modern trend it is towards a more distributed, rather than centralised, power system set-up.

    The upshot is that, like Basslink 1, Basslink 2 could be built only to find in hindsight that its intended purpose fell to pieces before it could do its thing.

    Every government loves the prospect of a big ticket project, for electoral advantage. But I think we need to all put Basslink 2 on the back burner for now so that a more rational discussion can be held.

  15. Chris

    June 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Wind farms are good, but who owns them?
    Who will own a second Basslink Cable?
    When will WE OWN the first?
    How many subsidised solar panels could be installed in one year in Tasmania and be big enough to save each owner power costs and pay back the subsidy over time?
    How much would the dam levels increase to become a more viable battery from such a policy?
    If Finkel is advocating Gas or coal increases he has lost his credibility.
    Listen to Malcolm the Roberts variety on AM today and the useless Sabra trying to interview!

  16. Luigi

    June 11, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Perhaps we could spend $1 billion on a BassLink2. Would that help any of us? Maybe.

    Or we could spend the same $1 billion on a railway line for Mr Adani. Would that help any of us? Definitely not.

  17. philll Parsons

    June 10, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    The measures have been suggested to the Lieberals before and are ignored. Years of negotiation were required before 0ne 0f 3 proposed new wind farms was accepted at a fair price.

    Whilst the technicians in the hydro system are proficient the managers still think it is their empire.

    When will Will act. Supporting private domestic solar PV is a no brainer. All the costs lie with the owner.

    Instead now the dickheads in charge want to charge solar owners for supplying the grid.

    One thing I question is the capacity of the cable to take one way traffic and there is no way we can avoid fossil fuel power coming in.

    Some clarity on the technology of the cable needs to be provided here along with whether a second cable is supported by this paper.

  18. john Hayward

    June 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    The greatest threat to Tasmania’s energy security are governments at both state and national levels who prioritise the vested interests who fund them above the public interest.

    The Tas Govt has posted its brains and integrity on its sleeve by unlocking its forests and other public assets for the benefit of its cronies.

    John Hayward

  19. Russell

    June 10, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Re #1
    What you can’t/won’t seem to get your head around is that Hazelwood’s shutdown has been in the pipeline for about 20 years because it is so inefficient and outdated.

    Electricity prices were going to soar if it hadn’t have been shut down because the Hazelwood dinosaur was running at a loss despite it being located at the coal mine which fed it. Talk about inefficiency!

    That’s as bad as Gunns and FT running continuous annual losses despite getting all their feedstock, equipment, roadworks and everything else at the taxpayer’s expense.

    Time to move into the 21st Century and beyond.

  20. John Hawkins

    June 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    When you sell public utilities to private enterprise they will run them into the ground and then hand them back to Government knowing they will have to fix them or be lynched.

    They will bleed the assets dry with no major investment.

    Think Tas Rail

    The Great Lake is virtually empty and I would expect the Poatina Power station to be running at under half capacity.

    Another crisis is on the way mark my words and Google Hydro Tasmania and Lake levels for confirmation that Climate Change – like our pollies – is crap.

  21. Robin Charles Halton

    June 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Its pretty obvious that Tasmania will be facing a power crisis this coming summer as our lakes levels continue to drop since the December 2016- January 2017 period unless there are significant rains between now and Xmas.

    An article in the Weekend Australian June 10-11
    THE NATION ENERGY REFORM looks closely at the Finkel recommendations.

    The leading statement alone is one that would trigger widespread panic for the electricity providers in SE Australia.

    It says “Victoria and South Australia are at risk of damaging blackouts this summer because of the closure of the Hazlewood brown coal power station.

    The Finkel report warns that if power companies do not respond to high prices by installing fresh capacity the reliability of the network could be compromised over the longer term.

    The Australian Energy Market Operator is taking steps to shore up supplies, banning any scheduled summer maintenance of generators and requiring any “mothballed” plants to be made available from October.

    But the Finkel report says the key problem is the lack of any new generating capacity that is capable of being dispatched rapidly, such as gas, hydro or coal.

    The past few years has seen the retirement of significant coal fired capacity from the NEM while there has been no corresponding reinvestment in any new dispatchable capacity it says.

    My personal opinion would correspond with exactly what Finkel is explaining.
    Mark my word, the closure of Hazlewood is the fatal blow to SE States including Tasmania, the ramifications will be felt as this coming summer especially for those who depend on using those fang dangled air conditioners!

    Forced reduction in capacity of worse still shutdown of smelters at Portland and Tamar Valley will be the ultimate failure by government not responding to the Hazlewood closure which should have been a staged event had government Federal/State taken over the plant from Engie for a period until new energy sources actually come on stream!

    Continuing electricity crisis is more likely than not!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top