Australia has a gold plated electricity grid - value equal to USA despite our size
2017-07-24 06:50:09

Opinion: Around 1860 the enormous British investment in steam rail transport directly damaged the development of any competing transport systems. The result was a brief golden era for British rail, followed by a continuous decline of industrial output until Britain today manufactures very little. The British automotive industry was never a serious competitor and today it is largely foreign owned. The same is likely to happen with Australian grid infrastructure - the golden era of a gold-plated grid will come to an end, with nothing local to replace it. There will be a transition to new technology which will be foreign-owned and controlled. It really isn't good to hand over the control of key national infrastructure to foreign businessmen, leaving the only Australian role as marketing and billing for this infrastructure. Sure its good news for SA to buy the world's largest battery, but why couldn't this work be done in Australia? The answer is because the money that could have made it happen went instead into the gold-plated grid. The grid was designed for coal-fired power stations. Giant batteries, and giant solar and wind power generation pose problems that have not yet been properly solved for this type of grid. As the power generation technology evolves, a large part of the investment in the grid will have to be written off because it isn't compatible with the inevitable future. Some laws can be broken, but the laws of physics can't. Dennis Levy, 24/07/17

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