The Australian electricity market has become a stinking swamp covered with a tangled net of treaties, laws, rules, obligations, prohibitions, targets, taxes and subsidies. The swamp conceals the rubble of demolished coal generators; another plant destined for destruction (Liddell) is gradually sinking in the green ooze. The swamp is slowly claiming paddocks of subsidised solar panels that, at best, only work for six hours per sunny day. The scene is uglified by spec-built regiments of ailing wind turbines that are often idle, but sometimes whirling madly. To distract the gullible media from this mess, big diesel generators charge a gigantic battery which pumps water uphill and then lets it run down again. A garbage dump of dead lithium batteries fills a nearby gully and the swamp is fenced by locked green gates.
The stagnant water is stirred on sunny days by luxury launches carrying academics-with-models, green media evangelists, climate alarmists, emissions inspectors and power regulators. Speculative sharks constantly patrol the swamp snapping up every smelly subsidy morsel scattered by politicians in posh yachts fishing for votes. Helicopters full of unelected UN officials hover overhead, creating choppy waves of uncertainty. A pleasant hill overlooking the swamp houses the air-conditioned offices of the power regulators. They have no windows to the world and few power engineers; they stare at screens, run models and press buttons. The way out of the energy swamp is to retrace the way we got in.