Glorious Renewables

Yet another ‘renewable’ energy project.

Yet again, it’s one of those laughable wave energy farms.

Yet again, we have a government itching to stuff the ”project’ full of subsidies.

Yet again, there’s a highly dubious tender process behind it.

And yet again, the whole thing is falling over in a pathetic heap:

Doubts were last night hanging over the viability of a troubled Albany wave power project backed with $15 million of taxpayers’ money [TMR: no, it’s $15.75 million. If you’re going to round, at least round to the nearest number. Seriously, did this journalist graduate from primary school?] after the company behind the proposal left it to the 11th hour to prove it could fund the work.

Carnegie Clean Energy was yesterday facing a deadline to show it could fund its $26 million share of the $53 million Albany wave energy plant in order to obtain the next instalment of a State Government grant. The company waited until moments before the cut-off to submit its paperwork, although it had not updated the stock exchange by the time The Weekend West went to print.

[TMR: un momento por favor… if Carnegie is supposed to put in $26 million and the government is supposed to put in $15.75 million, where is the other $11.25 million coming from? Anybody?]

Under an agreement with the Government, Carnegie is entitled to a $15.75 million grant provided it can meet its share of the project’s funding costs.

So far $2.65 million has been handed over by the State.

Last night’s developments were the latest in a saga stretching back to February, 2017, when Labor promised to help fund WA’s first commercial wave power project off Albany.

[TMR: something cannot possibly be ‘commercial’ if it’s subsidised by the government. $%^#]

Carnegie won the tender but has been mired in difficulty since, posting a $64 million loss last financial year [TMR: a renewable energy company entirely reliant on government subsidies having financial difficulties? Meditate on this, I must]

Who in their right mind could possibly think that this kind of power generation would be economically viable? Ever?

Some readers may not be familiar with wave energy farms. That’s ok, TMR can help… with pictures!

Shitty Wave Energy.png

PS1: Yes, that was ABC euphemistically using 11 words for its caption when various single-word descriptions would have worked far better.

PS2: here’s one that they tried in Illawarra:

As for this latest sick green joke, the intended cost of $53 million comes with the aim of meting out 20MW of shock and awe – or about $2.65 million per megawatt if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

By comparison, Tasmania’s Tamar Valley gas power plant, which Tasmania built but refuses to use, cost about $230 million to build and has a capacity of about 388MW. (Regular TMR readers will know why I picked this as a comparison). Again, for those who care about this sort of thing, that’s about $0.6 million per megawatt of capacity. Even South Australia, home of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, reckoned it could build a 250-megawatt gas power plant for about $360 million ($1.44 per megawatt).

Isn’t it funny how supermarkets are required to provide pricing per unit on their products, but governments aren’t required to do the same? Why is that?

The only potentially good news is that the whole project may end up falling over before it really gets underway.

We can only hope.

You might scoff at the fact that this particular boondoggle may ‘only’ amount to about $50 million. The problem is that this is merely the tip of the iceberg and governments all over the world are doing it – with our money.

When will these imbeciles learn? The answer, of course, is never – because they know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

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23 Responses to Glorious Renewables

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Wave energy would be an interesting engineering case study if any university dared to teach it.

    The sea can batter apart entire continents. Consequently you have to build a wave energy machine to be extremely tough – especially to weather storms and etc.

    But the value of the electricity they produce is too low to justify the cost of building them from materials that can take the pounding, while also resisting the powerful corrosivity of the oxygenated halide electrolyte known as seawater. So the proponents try to economize on the engineering to make the project economics work, and the critters predictably expire after a short time.

    In my decades of doing project evaluation one thing is constant: proponents always Believe. It then remains for brutal reality to come along and disabuse them of their belief, usually by means of bankruptcy.

  2. stackja

    The answer, of course, is never – because they know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

    Yes, they are doing it for OPM.

  3. ArthurB

    I have a friend (now retired) who used to work as an engineer when electricity generation was done by a government owned corporation. He told me that some years ago he was involved in a project, run by a private company, which was going to install a tidal power plant in a remote area of the State, which would use the high tides in the area to generate vast amounts of clean, renewable electricity. The project fell flat on its face, the company discovering that the problems were insuperable. Needless to say, the failure of the project, and the loss of millions of dollars in subsidies and grants, did not get any publicity in the local newspaper or on Their ABC. It is the same story with other projects, which are featured on TV and the press, with shots of politicians in hi-vis jackets and hard hats turning the sod to start the project.

    I think that any competent power engineer could tell you that these projects have no chance of success, or else the power they produce is hugely expensive. Obviously, the politicians aren’t bothered about costs, all they want is the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to reducing global warming. I used to think that the politicians were just stupid, but in the light of what you have written above, I think there is something more sinister behind it all.

  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    Arrest the company directors and the public servants and politicians involved , do a forensic examination of their assets and investments ,then put them to the question regarding the project . One or more will break on promise of lighter punishement and turn Queens Evidence then slot the lot of them and confiscste their family assets as proceeds of crime . You only have to screw a couple of dicey projects to stop the rort.
    I say family assets because these crims usually hide the loot in trusts etc .

  5. Bazinga

    The $11.25 million will be proven to exist once the state government gives it to them.

  6. Rafe Champion

    Wave power, geothermal, windmills with no connection to the grid, what could go wrong?

  7. stevem

    where is the other $11.25 million coming from?

    I would suggest it was probably made as an “investment” by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). This is exactly the kind of thing Julia Gillard set it up to do – all off the books because it was going to make a profit with sensible investments like this.

  8. Mark M

    In a twist of irony, they appear to be leaning to the left before they sink.

  9. Dr Faustus

    A little respect here, please:

    Carnegie is working to transform the global renewable energy market through its unsurpassed wave energy technology, CETO. Globally, Carnegie is an undisputed leader in wave energy technology, being the only company to have operated a grid-connected wave energy project over four seasons.

    “Of the eight leading wave companies four have gone bankrupt, one was folded by its owner, one has scaled back its activities drastically, one has had serious setbacks and one (Carnegie Clean Energy) has made considerable progress with its technology.”
    – Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2016

    Unsurpassed technology that has lasted an industry leading four [4] years.
    An absolute, transformational ball-tearer – operating in a white hot industry space. What could possibly go wrong?

  10. Ellen of Tasmania


    Dear Canadian liberals, leftists, B.C. social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Castro supporters, et al: We have stuck together for 150 years for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

    Our two ideological sides of Canada cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.


    Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. We will settle for less landmass if we get the right portion, which must include Alberta & Saskatchewan.

    That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy given the favouritism divide.

    Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

    – We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You can also keep the Carbon Tax.

    –You are welcome to the liberal judges, CUPE and UNIFOR.

    –Since you hate guns, and war, we’ll take our firearms, the police, and the military.

    –We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and the coal mines, and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.

    –You can keep Butts, Barbie, Shannon & Suzuki. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all four of them.

    –We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, the farmers, Wal-Mart and the TSE.

    –You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food vouchers, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.

    –We’ll keep the greedy CEO’s and rednecks.

    –You can have the peaceniks, the pipeline protesters, and anti-everything economically beneficial crowd.

    — When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide security.

    –We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

    –You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, peoplekind, political correctness and Mr. Dress Up. You can also have our share of the U.N. We will no longer be paying any part of that bill.

    –We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt, Tesla and Leaf you can find.

    –You can give everyone free and regulated everything healthcare?. if you can find any practicing doctors.

    –We’ll keep “God Save the Queen” and “The Old National Anthem words.”

    –I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine” or “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, with “Kum Ba Ya” or “We Are the World”.

    –We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

    –Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our language, the war memorials and the Queens picture.

    Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberals and socialists. And if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you might think about which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

    Sincerely, Anonymous Law Student

    P.S. Also, please only invite Leonard DiCaprio, Sean Penn, Martin & Charlie Sheen, Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, and Hanoi Jane Fonda to your portion of landmass.

    P.P.S. And you won’t have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

  11. teamv


    Funny how the left are a-okay with these things even though they are a significant threat to the aquatic environment.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle

    Teamv – Fish chowder, and me without a spoon!

  13. teamv

    Don’t forget infrasound and possible hydraulic leakage.

  14. Mark M

    Perhaps our CSIRO has an opinion …

    Data models for energy consumption

    New energy consumption data will underpin major investments in generation and distribution

    “The CSIRO has significantly bolstered the scope and ambition of its energy consumption data collection and analysis work with the launch on Thursday of a new research program being conducted in conjunction with the Australian Energy Market Operator.”

  15. Mark M

    Via twitter …
    Part 1:
    BAEconomics’ Dr Brian Fisher on his energy prices modelling: In these figures I have taken into account the Kyoto carryover that is projected to exist when coming to these projections.

    Part 2:
    BAEconomics Managing Director Dr Brian Fisher on his emissions modelling: A 45 per cent renewable target implies we will be moving more coal power out of the electricity sector than is currently projected to occur.

  16. Eyrie

    So the thing is basically a boat. Boats can and do sink.
    Of course they are expensive. Boat stands for Bring Out Another Thousand.

  17. Arky

    If you wanted go do wave power it might work with some geo- engineering.
    A canal with the wave energy directed into it, such that the machinery could be land- based, and protected from storms.
    Just anchoring some jerry- built thing offshore seems a bit stupid.

  18. Arky

    If you had an artificial spit with a gap in it or some such.

  19. Arky

    Probably be easier to build a nuclear plant though.

  20. Destroyer D69

    It does not have to work or be economically viable to get some taxpayers cash to play with , Just keep up a good appearance of meeting the approval guidelines and the cash will appear. NO DEMAND WILL BE MADE IF IT ALL FALLS OVER Then walk away and initiate the next Green fairy fart scheme. Hold out your hand and the cash flow will resume.

  21. RobK

    Wave power (as opposed to tidal power) is caused by wind and has all the disadvantages of wind power, only more so. Difficult access, harsh environment, very variable energy content. It has always been experimental and expensive. A folly.

  22. cohenite

    Again and again obscene waste of money and resources to solve man made global warming (AGW).

    Yet that fact of AGW is never disputed, in every political statement, media reporting and generally the idea that human emissions control the weather for the worse is never questioned. Never.

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