Adding to our climate change woes, Garnauteconomics is back

Now that they have assured themselves of a Biden victory, the forces profiting from Australian deindustrialisation – the woke and subsidy seekers – are rampant.  The AFR has long benefitted from its renewable energy clients.  Today it featured Garnauteconomics in urging we impose further burdens on the economy by intensifying the assault on modern energy.

Net zero emissions is the modern clarion call.  Oblivious to this requiring a carbon tax of $190 per MWh tax according to the IEA estimate or $650 per MWh estimated in a NZ government analysis, Garnaut urges us to push ahead with new impositions, saying the

big risk to Australia is that it will be left isolated from its developed country trading partners and strategic allies by its historical reluctance to deal with the threat from climate change. Achieving zero net emissions not only in the US but in the world is an important Biden foreign policy goal.

As the editorial in today’s Australian rather apologetic points out, Australia already goes much further in interposing renewable requirements between the energy customer and low cost supplies.  We already spend $13 billion a year in direct taxes and their regulatory equivalence in order to kill off the economy that has delivered our present living standards.   Adding new taxes to achieve net zero emissions would increase wholesale electricity prices fourfold (on the IEA estimated tax cost) or 10 fold (based on that of NZ the analyses).

Garnaut’s eponymous report a dozen years ago promoted the dire results of global warming (which we should have been experiencing now) and kookie ways of avoiding it, like replacing sheep and cattle with kangaroos. He also projected that “without mitigation, the best estimate for the Murray-Darling Basin (p.258)is that by mid-century it would lose half of its annual irrigated agricultural output” – the system has seen no reduction in precipitation or water supply.

He can however be credited in realising that the measures he proposed would mean a doubling and trebling of electricity prices (Fig 20.14), something about which most alarmists and subsidy-seekers are in denial. His estimates a dozen years ago of the costs and tax equivalent rates needed to get to what we now call net zero emissions were however considerably underestimated by him arbitrarily setting a breakthrough in technology to solve the problem. The prime author of the Garnaut report, Steven Kennedy, now heads the Commonwealth Treasury so we are assured of policy continuity!

The Garnaut report saw a relatively frictionless transition to the low carbon economy with few costs involved.  It is now clear this was hopelessly optimistic.  Using the data compiled by Mike O’Ceirin, replacing coal and gas by wind and batteries would be unfeasible – in theory, simply to keep the lights on, on the basis of replacing the NSW Bayswater plant of 2765 MW requires:

  • 2,700 3 MW turbines at a cost of $32 billion over 50 years.
  • 250 GW hours of battery storage at $210 billion, costing, based on Hornsdale’s capacity of 192 megawatt hours at a cost of $161 million.

This would infer a nationwide cost of replacing Australia’s 40,000 MW of coal and gas at $2792 billion ($193B*(40,000/2765)) which is considerably above the nation’s GDP. It would also need tens of billions in new transmission expenditure, while also leaving us decidedly poorer because electricity prices alone would by at least treble those of today and the nation’s industrial base would have been pummelled by the energy cost imposition governments would have imposed on us.

The Biden victory and Australian domestic control of the issue reverting to State Governments that are even greater renewable Pollyannas than the Commonwealth means many more backward steps in energy prices and industrial recovery.

 

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17 Responses to Adding to our climate change woes, Garnauteconomics is back

  1. Botswana O'Hooligan

    Whitlam’s man on China, persona non gratia in PNG after helping their economy fail faster, and that really does boggle the mind, director of Lihir gold (Lihir Island PNG) that had a pollution slick thousands of miles long.

  2. a happy little debunker

    We should be eating more Kangaroo!

  3. Karabar

    A far greater risk than “climate change” is invasion of the Unicorn body-snatchers, or the more antipodean threat of the naked angry Bunyips.
    When will people finally understand that they are being gaslighted left, right and centre? Why do people bother to listen to psychotic cases such as Garnaut and Flannery?

  4. davefromweewaa

    I urge everyone to use the term “planet savers ” when referring to both the gullibles and the cynicals involved with promoting this scam.
    Make it such a widely used term of derision that it can’t be ignored!

  5. stackja

    Karabar – ABC and teachers have fooled many gullible people.

  6. IRFM

    Brilliant businessman – when Chairman of Lihir Gold he took a profitable Tier 2 company and converted into an unprofitable Tier 4 company. Lihir was snaffled up by Newcrest – it’s a Melbourne thing.

  7. Lee

    Achieving zero net emissions not only in the US but in the world is an important Biden foreign policy goal.

    So frigging what?
    If Biden (assuming he becomes president) says “jump!”, are we going to ask “how high?”

  8. Art Vandelay

    The Garnaut Report was easily the most dishonest government report I’ve ever read (which is saying something).

    The Rudd government rewarded the public servants that worked on it for telling them what they wanted to hear.

    The prime author of the Garnaut report, Steven Kennedy, now heads the Commonwealth Treasury so we are assured of policy continuity!

    And then the Liberal Party further rewarded them. This again demonstrates that the Liberals aren’t on our side. They’re on the side of higher taxes and bigger government.

  9. RobK

    on the basis of replacing the NSW Bayswater plant of 2765 MW:
    (***?)3 MW turbines at a cost of $32 billion over 50 years.

    Think there’s a bit missing here.

    It is the formula to reach the national aggregate based on Bayswater costs; so it is ((32+161)*(40000/2765))

  10. win

    This is a either a deliberate strategy to bring Australia that once had the worlds third highest standard of living to the standards of our out back indigenous brethren with the socio economic problems that every caring Australian seeks to improve ,or that Garnaut Flannery and converts are actually very stupid people. What is it vindictive tyrants or moronic imbeciles with closed minds.

  11. win

    Moderator please check out previous comment.

  12. Roger

    If Biden (assuming he becomes president) says “jump!”, are we going to ask “how high?”

    Once the tariffs start to bite, yes.

  13. H B Bear

    Brilliant businessman – when Chairman of Lihir Gold he took a profitable Tier 2 company and converted into an unprofitable Tier 4 company. Lihir was snaffled up by Newcrest – it’s a Melbourne thing.

    When these egg-heads appear get straight on to you broker and sell at any price. See also Fred Hilmer at Fauxfacts.

  14. Bruce of Newcastle

    the measures he proposed would mean a doubling and trebling of electricity prices

    It’s already more expensive to charge up a Tesla than it is to put petrol into an ordinary car. So if electricity prices double or treble the chances of Aussie car drivers buying EVs is nil. Electric trucks would be eyewateringly expensive to run. Has Garnaut thought of that? Or does he want Australia to literally grind to a halt through lack of affordable transport?

  15. Rayvic

    “Electric trucks would be eyewateringly expensive to run. Has Garnaut thought of that? Or does he want Australia to literally grind to a halt through lack of affordable transport?”

    Garnaut does not appear to have given much thought to the effects of implementation of his recommended policy.

  16. Squirrel

    Thanks to our taxpayer-funded national broadcaster – which hates nationalism but absolutely loves the fantasy of Straya as a “renewables superpower” – the ideas of Garnaut et.al. have never gone away.

    The ABC will always be there to cast doubt on climate policies and related technologies which they don’t approve of but never, ever, will you hear a word from them about the glaringly obvious problems with and limitations of current “renewables” technologies – as long as a nation commits to a suitably crazy emissions reductions target, the means to achieve that will, apparently, miraculously come forth.

  17. cohenite

    This would infer a nationwide cost of replacing Australia’s 40,000 MW of coal and gas at $2792 billion ($193B*(40,000/2765))

    Alan if you have a look at Peter Lang’s analysis of BZE’s plan to replace all of Australia’s fossil fuels with W&S the high end cost is over $4 trillion (Table 9). Peter did his analysis back in 2010 so that $4 trillion would be much more now:

    https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/08/12/zca2020-critique/

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