Shocked. Shocked! Snowy 2.0 turns $10bn black hole

This is Coalition politics at its worst. Paralysed by climate troglodytes, a desperate Malcolm Turnbull pulled the Snowy card and now we’ll all pay:

Five years ago on Tuesday, then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced, with great fanfare, the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project: “The Turnbull Government will start work on an electricity game-changer … This plan will increase the generation of the Snowy Hydro scheme by 50 per cent, adding 2000 megawatts of renewable energy to the National Electricity Market (NEM).”

Senate Estimates papers confirm the announcement was cobbled together in less than two weeks after the concept was floated by Snowy Hydro.

The nation-building vision was for a big battery to be added to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. It was to be completed in four years (that is, by last year) at a cost of $2 billion without any taxpayer subsidy, bring down electricity prices, generate renewable energy and incur minimal environmental impact on Kosciuszko National Park.

Inspiring stuff. But not one of these grand claims has turned out to be true. Worse, Australian taxpayers and NSW electricity consumers will be up for billions of dollars in subsidies and increased electricity costs, all while Kosciuszko is trashed. Let’s have a quick recap.

Snowy Hydro now expects completion in 10 years, not four, by 2026. Some experts consider even this extended timeframe to be optimistic. Construction of the tunnels is running at least six months behind the latest schedule and the transmission connection is unlikely to be built by 2026 anyway. The all-up cost has increased at least five-fold, to $10 billion-plus, as energy experts warned the Prime Minister and the then NSW premier in 2020.

Of course we all knew it then:

Houses and Holes
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        • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

          No, it’s an HR education session – on how not to be that one ‘Negative Nell’ in the room always holding back everyone else’s ambitions by pointing out why something shouldn’t be done or why something won’t work. 😉

          Hate chose chúnts.

    • strange economicsMEMBER

      The transmission link costs, probably 2 billion wasn’t even included in the initial estimates, or contracted to Snowy Hydro.
      They could have put a solar panel on every roof in Australia and a Tesla in the garage for this.

      If it takes more than a coaster on a plane after a few champers to spend billions, then its not going to happen.

      • Exactly a solar panel on every roof. My childhood is under the Snowy Mountains Scheme, lauded by corporate management courses to engineers. It drowned the Blowering Valley a jewel in the crown for aspirational wealthy landowners. in Aus early days. There is no equal in Aus for The Mighty Tumut River nor for the beauty, nor the areas of 6 metre deep black loam river flats where my grandfather and uncle grew maize, sackhene, and millet. The hundreds of acres of his farm was surrounded by blue mountains. The heart break continued to the end as it filled covering homes from the 1850s on and finally animals drowning. The locals went out with whatever they could to rescue wildlife from the rising water. The Snowy Mountains Authority did zero.
        We were told the electricity was needed for aluminium smelting and there woukd no longer be blackouts when it went in.Follow the money. Tumut River carried rainbow and brown trout, native fish, had beaches of yellow sand! Beaches of round pebbles, upstream beach of larger rounded, up to big rounded golden boulders all the same size. It was wide with good current, ripples, eddies, deeps, and pure clean cold water. I hoped Aus would replace eventually and destroy the dam and free the land but no hope now. It forgotten history, only hear if anything of the imported men and those who died building it.

        • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

          Apart from being uneconomic,
          the Snowy 2 is environmentally sensitive area, and also land clearance for power lines.
          The govt could pay 10000 to each of the 4 million houses in Australia for a solar panel and battery on each roof with distributed power for less.

  1. Plus – this thing has stalled a significant amount of private investment because no one wants their project destroyed by this white elephant.

    This debacle is 2nd only to the NBN fuck up. Turnbull strikes again!

  2. Hollowmen did it before, magnificent comedy series.

    “The Federal government is committed to spending $150 billion over the next ten years towards {{insert policy here}}”

  3. Well, at least we ‘might’ get something to show for our $10b vs nothing but lining the pockets of the likes of Gerry Harvey for $40b of our tax payer dollars… if there was any honour left in politics this Liberal/National government would resign in shame.

    • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

      This, is why I’m confused. Isn’t all they did serve the needs of the people who got them elected?

      Want something else, vote Labor.

  4. David WilsonMEMBER

    This is an absolute bloody disgrace making Turnbull,s wet dreams about renewables as the greatest wank and public rip off that Australians have ever seen…. and yet we don’t have the guts to go nuclear.
    Mind you labor,s NDIS is similarly shambolic .
    As a long suffering taxpayer I wonder how long we can keep funding our political wish lists from the greens, labor and unfortunately the LNP with the looming threat of rising interest on borrowings and more promises of useless renewables knowing that our friends in Europe are all now suffering massive energy cost increases all at the alter of promises of prosperity and lower energy costs by our Canberra wa-kers.
    God help us.

    • annualize_this

      This is just bad policy, something that never passed a cost benefit analysis. Renewables advocates were not in favour of this proposal.
      While you’re thinking up new renewables trashing comments, take a look at the wholesale price of electricity in the past year for QLD & compare it to SA. SA averaged 64% wind & solar, the highest % for a gigawatt scale grid anywhere in the world.

      • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

        Yeah, but SA (compared to Qld) gets an extra hour of sun for half the year, so that’s not a fair comparison. Ditto NSW.

        PS: (More) seriously, it’s Qld, not QLD. Not TAS either (more) obviously.

        • If only there was a national electricity market, with interconnectors between the states. Then SA’s power could be exported to Queensland.