Chris ‘Blackouts’ Bowen and CSIRO CEO Prof. Doug Hilton


Is it a mere coincidence that the recent CSIRO GenCost draft climate report exactly coincides with the Albanese government’s narrative on global warming as espoused by the increasingly hysterical Climate Change & Energy Minister, Chris ‘Blackouts’ Bowen?

The 2023-24 draft report has found that nuclear small modular reactors (SMRs) emerged as the highest-cost technology and that this conclusion is largely based on new data from “the most advanced SMR project in the US”. 

It also stated that variable renewables like solar and wind were still found to have the lowest cost range of any new-build technology.    

Bowen’s commentary on the CSIRO GenCost report included the statement, “The latest GenCost report reiterates what we already know – renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy in Australia now and in 2030, even when accounting for storage and transmission costs”.

This is disputed by many climate experts all round the world who point out that not all costs have been included in the modelling conducted by CSIRO and other government-funded entities, which by another sheer coincidence also often mirror their governments’ climate narratives.

For example, there appears to be no recognition of the costs of regular maintenance (often 6-monthly) and repairs to the massive amount of new infrastructure.

Equally overlooked are the likely costs of potential blackouts and the increasing cost of critical minerals and rare earth minerals required for renewables

Then there is the cost of compensating farmers and other landholders impacted by fires caused by lightning strikes on transmission towers and wind turbines.

These fires are often difficult to extinguish due to the smoke near or under transmission lines creating electrical arcs or flashovers. Flashovers are potentially life threatening to someone standing nearby. Fire crews are generally not allowed in the near vicinity.

Flashovers can also interrupt power supply, damage substations, increase the number and intensity of bushfires with a resultant increase in property damage and lives lost.

Then there is the cost of replacing wind turbines and solar panels every 15 years plus the enormous cost of disposal of old equipment and infrastructure.

Accumulating waste in the USA from old wind turbine blades, solar panels, EV batteries etc. increasingly clog landfill sites. The same will happen here – in vast quantities – if we continue down this insane ‘renewables’ path.

None of the above huge costs is incurred with nuclear technology. Moreover, nuclear reactors have a lifespan of 60-80 years and are emissions-free.

Also, the modelling utilised by CSIRO for nuclear is based on cherry-picked examples.

As Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has pointed out, “The CSIRO GenCost report contains no useful information on the cost of nuclear technologies because it does not estimate the cost of existing nuclear technologies.

“The CSIRO only looks at small modular reactors which are still in the development phase. It ignores established nuclear technologies like pressurised water reactors. These run in many countries with much cheaper electricity costs.

The GenCost report is a flawed document that should not be used to guide energy investment decisions”, he said.

Meanwhile, Ed Husic, Labor Minister for Industry & Science said that, “Cheaper renewable energy means more clean-green jobs for Australians”.

This is deliberate disinformation given the following estimates of how many permanent/operational jobs will likely be created once construction is completed:

Kaban Wind Farm (Qld): 5

Clarke Creek Windfarm (Qld): 20-25

Western Downs Green Power Hub (Qld): 7-10

Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro (Qld): 30   

Numurkah Solar Farm (Vic): 5-6

Golden Plains Wind Farm (Vic): 70

Rye Park Wind Farm (NSW): 10

New England Solar Farm (NSW): up to 15

Clearly, there will no jobs bonanza – a fact that unions should carefully consider.

The Liberal-National Party’s Shadow Climate Change Minister, Ted O’Brien, said that Australia’s energy policies should be driven by “economics and engineering”.

He believes we need to have, “a balanced mix of technologies” and that “must include zero-emissions nuclear energy.”

Apart from all the above, the most significant downside to renewable energy is the fact that it makes us far more reliant on Communist Chinese technology and supplies.

If we continue as we are, we may well find ourselves at least partially under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because without total control of our energy supply, we will be incapable of effectively managing our economy.

That, of course, is exactly what the CCP is trying to achieve.

CSIRO will release the final report in mid-2024. Hopefully their recently appointed CEO, Professor Doug Hilton AO, will ensure that all true costs are included.

Thanks again to cartoonist Johannes Leak