Craig Kelly is…
- A Liberal Member of Parliament.
- A supporter of health damaging and environmentally destructive coal power.
- The only Federal MP with a nuclear reactor lodged in his seat.
- A man who resembles a big cuddly koala bear with a shaved face.
Recently he published a 419 word essay on his facebook page titled, “THE GREAT BATTERY CONJOB EXPOSED”.
I was very interested to see which particular battery “conjob” he had uncovered. Was he referring to:
- Battery installers who tell porkies to potential customers about what kind of savings they can receive from home battery systems? I happen to know that at least one of them is a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer.
- Does he mean the South Australian Home Battery Scheme? This is more a waste of resources than a con job as people aren’t being lied into buying batteries. But perhaps Craig Kelly thinks it’s like a con job because the subsidy may mislead many people into thinking they’ll be better off with a battery when they will actually only lose money.
- Perhaps he is referring to how the states seem to be conning themselves into thinking battery subsidies will lead to state based battery manufacturing? This is like politicians in the early 80s trying to kick start local video recorder production by giving people subsidies to buy VCRs.
- Or perhaps this is some bizarre battery related con job that resulted in the theft of a space between words? This would explain why Kelly has been forced to do without a gap between the words con & job and had to spell it as “CONJOB” in his title. Which I think would be a great name for a Carmen Sandiego villain.1
I was very curious to see just what con job or “conjob” involving batteries Craig Kelly was about to expose. Then I read the first sentence…
“To keep the subsidies flowing and the public hoodwinked, green-rent-seekers have peddled the delusion that the intermittency of solar/wind can be solved with ‘’big batteries’’.”
And I realized I just got on the crazy train to Stupidville. I felt like giving up there and then because I didn’t think I could write anything that would make Craig Kelly rush up to his mate, Tony Abbott, and say, “Tony! Ya gotta read dis! It’ll blow ya mind! It turns out that coal power is actually bad!”
But I suppose I have to try. Sometimes you’ve just got to kneel down and beat the crabs of stupidity with a stick.
If what I write helps just one person it will all be worthwhile. Especially if that one person is some kind of wizard who can give Craig Kelly a heart or a brain or the courage not to stand by his convictions.
A Values Check
I am of the opinion that Australia and other nations should shut down coal power stations as rapidly as possible because:
- Coal pollution has health effects that kill people and cause suffering.
- Carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal contribute to global warming, which also kills people and causes suffering.
- While not a major problem in Australia, pollution from coal power stations — especially ozone — reduces agricultural productivity, with crops such as wheat, pulses, and cotton being most vulnerable. This is a serious problem in China and a number of other countries.
The negative effects of coal use are real. You may not believe they exist but the universe doesn’t care. They will occur whether you believe in them or not. The evidence is strong. There is no good evidence breathing coal fumes is harmless. There is also no good evidence burning coal won’t affect climate. If you have a personal conviction that burning coal is harmless and think that outweighs the evidence, you are an idiot. The same way you are an idiot if you think your belief that smoking is harmless outweighs the evidence and give your children cigarettes.
While you won’t find any good evidence that burning coal is harmless, what you can find online are plenty of excuses to be an idiot. And to be clear I am using the word “idiot” in its modern sense. In the past it referred to someone who had difficulty thinking clearly. But in our modern, well educated world, it refers to someone who decides not to think.
Craig Kelly believes his personal conviction that the health and climate effects of burning coal are not dangerous outweighs the evidence it is harmful. In a furniture salesperson this might not be a large problem, but he is a Federal MP who makes and influences decisions that affect how much coal pollution our families will be exposed to and what quantity of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere. So on this topic he is not only an idiot, but a dangerous idiot, as he is in a position to get people killed. At the moment he is basically the Minister in charge of trolling people who give a shit about the future.
The Gist Of Craig Kelly’s Battery Conjob
I’m not going into every stupid thing Craig Kelly has written. It would only upset me. While my doctor has said I should try harder to become worked up and infuriated, that’s only because he’s trying to kill me. Also, I’d need 10,000 words to respond to his 419, which would take me all day. It’s an unfortunate fact that “stoopid” can be half way around the world by the time “occasionally checks wikipedia” has gotten its boots on. Instead I’ll summarize his main frothings with some bullet points and then go into more detail on why his position is as problematic as a meat tray raffle at a vegan restaurant.
- South Australia has a large battery.
- The battery was used during the heatwave on the 24th of January.
- Because the battery performed exactly as expected and didn’t somehow magically provide more energy than was possible it is an enormous failure along with renewable energy.
- This is despite the fact South Australia with no coal capacity didn’t suffer a blackout due to a lack of supply while Victoria suffered rolling blackouts due to 40% of its coal capacity being out of action when it was needed most.
If you want to learn about the Hornsdale Power Reserve, or the Tesla Big Battery as it is often called, you can read this article I wrote. It contains some actual information. If you want to learn more about Craig Kelly’s problems with information processing, then read on.
Craig Kelly Is Sad The Big Battery Isn’t Magical
Kelly had some very high expectations of the Hornsdale Power Reserve. He wrote:
“…at around 4.30pm ‘’the world’s biggest battery’’ started to dribble in 30MW to the grid.
The 30MW was less than 1% of South Australia’s total demand, and less than 0.1% of the National grid’s demand.
The world’s biggest battery continued to dribble out around 30MW until 7.30pm, then it ran flat, rendering it completely useless as peak demand hit at 7.30pm.”
“Over the afternoon, I estimate the ‘’world’s biggest battery’’ delivered only around 100 Mwh of electricity”
When new, the Hornsdale Power Reserve had 129 megawatt-hours of storage capacity with 10 megawatt-hours reserved for ancillary services. This means it would only be possible for Neoen — the company that owns it — to supply not a lot more than 100 megawatt-hours of stored electrical energy.
No one who wasn’t a complete loony expected the battery to supply more energy than it could actually provide. Can Craig Kelly name one person — who doesn’t talk to their own boogers — who expected the battery to supply more energy than the laws of physics allowed it to?
But Kelly appears think the lack of magical performance and the battery only working exactly as expected means it’s a horrible failure:
“The facts should be clear from the evidence that it’s a dangerous delusion that Australia can run the economy with solar/wind backed up by big batteries.”
He says it’s clear from the evidence but I don’t know what evidence he’s referring to because during the heatwave South Australia didn’t suffer any blackouts due to a lack of electricity supply, but Victoria did suffer rolling blackouts because 40% of that state’s coal capacity was out of action either due to breakdowns or because it was undergoing maintenance in the middle of record breaking temperatures.
If Craig Kelly thinks South Australia is a failure then he’d have to think Victoria is a smouldering hellhole of a disaster zone. Surely that’s the only logical conclusion.
Craig Kelly May Hate Private Enterprise
Kelly does not like South Australia’s Hornsdale Power Reserve or Big Battery and says it is…
“…a complete con job…”
But the Power Reserve is owned by the private company Neoen and they are making a good profit from it, so they’re not being conned. The State Government gets ancillary services provided at a lower cost than in the past, so they’re not being conned. And the citizens of South Australia have their electricity bills lowered by a small but real amount thanks to the battery, so they’re not being conned either. I think Craig Kelly may have conned himself on this one.
Or maybe he’s upset that a private company owns the battery and is making a profit from it instead of the state. If that’s the case I can’t wait to hear his plan to renationalize the electricity sector. It will be very entertaining to watch Comrade Kelly battle private ownership.
Craig Kelly Doesn’t Understand How The Grid Works
Kelly wrote that South Australia
“…needed spend several hundred million on emergency diesel generators to keep the lights on just before the state election…”
So it’s clear he meant the diesel generators I wrote about here. However, he wrote this about diesel generation during the heatwave:
“Meanwhile the emergency diesel generators (chewing through a reported 80,000 litres of diesel an hour) were doing the real work in SA, pumping out over 400MW at a time on demand – and they continued to so as demand peaked at 7.30pm, when the world’s largest battery had given up the ghost.”
Well that’s pretty damn magical how the “emergency diesel generators” supplied over 400 megawatts when they are only capable of supplying around 309 megawatts under optimal conditions and maybe 240 megawatts during a heatwave. I’m guessing Craig Kelly is the kind of idiot who complains about diesel generation being used without understanding that Australia was using diesel generation during periods of high demand long before there was a single solar panel or wind turbine in the country. In addition to the new capacity there’s another 273.5 megawatts of diesel generation in South Australia that’s been in use for a long time.
Diesel generators get switched on when the price of electricity is high and it always goes high during heatwaves. That’s the way markets work. The high price is what results in demand being met in our market based system. But this is something Craig Kelly doesn’t like as he complained:
“…prices in South Australia surged to $14,500 Mwh (they averaged around $40 Mwh before all these ‘cheap’ renewables flooded into the grid)…”
I guess Comrade Kelly may not like markets either. I am looking forward to his proposals for stronger price controls or the elimination of electricity markets entirely.
Kick The Bastards Out
Craig Kelly thinks he knows better than medical professionals, climatologists, economists, and the majority of Australians. He probably even thinks he knows better than me, which is clearly unpossible. Fortunately, this country has a solution for politicians who ignore evidence and put people at risk by doing so.
If Thunderdome happens to be booked, we can always vote them out. We’ll have an opportunity this year. And when you think about it, kicking them out is the kindest thing to do. Craig Kelly would clearly be far happier working for a mining company than the people of Australia. That is, if he can find a mining company that will have him. I have a feeling that when it comes to ex-Coalition politicians it will soon be a buyer’s market.
- I was watching Carmen Sandiego with a young lady the other day. A very young lady, in fact. After all, I’m young and she was 4 years younger than I am… ↩