So far, Australians have mostly had a lucky break from the inherent consequences of “Net Zero”. Not from the power price rises indelibly correlated with increased reliance on wind and solar, of course. As even the Albanese government tacitly concedes, by way of its vote-buying cash rebate, household power bills in Australia have soared in direct tandem with the even partial adoption of “renewables”.

The other inevitable consequence of “renewables” is unreliability. This is where Australians have largely been lucky. So far.

Not completely, of course. The catastrophic, state-wide blackout of South Australia in 2017 is just the most obvious case. It’s also just the most obvious tip of the iceberg: South Australia has had an unprecedented number of significant blackouts since November 2015. Sydney and Melbourne, and major provincial cities, have likewise encountered a spike in blackouts and brownouts.

But — so far — the really dreaded prospect, of a complete collapse in a major grid during a summer heatwave, has been almost miraculously avoided.

For how long?

Electricity users face a heightened risk of blackouts during peak ­demand in NSW and Victoria this summer, with the energy market operator forced to bid for ­emergency supplies amid delays in new transmission lines and ­renewables projects.

No wonder the Albanese government is whispering about an early election. A winter of discontent is bad enough for the government, but a summer of rage will be their last straw.

One week after the budget handed $300 power bill rebates to every household, a new energy market update says reliability gaps have deteriorated in the two most populous states and will decline through the decade in South ­Australia.

It must be borne in mind, of course that the Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO, is a deep-green lapdog. Its bureaucracy has been steadily subsumed by the Climate Cult. Naturally, then, AEMO casts around for anything to blame other than the inescapable unreliability of “renewables”.

The Australian Energy Market Operator blamed the worsening outlook on a series of delays, including a year-long lag in delivering the EnergyConnect power cable between NSW and South Australia and a similar delay to the state’s Central West Orana transmission line.

Multiple hold-ups to battery, hydro-storage, wind and solar projects have all added to the tighter outlook while the shutdown of gas and diesel generation in South Australia will lead to a supply squeeze in Victoria.

Australia has vast reserves of natural gas, of course. But the green-left are almost as dementedly opposed to gas as to coal and oil.

So the yawning gap between the green dreams and the harsh reality grows ever wider — and Australia teeters ever-more precariously on the brink.

NSW faces a reliability gap of more than 1000 megawatts of power from 2025-26, which widens to more than 3000MW in 2032-33. The figures underscore the challenge for Australia of more than doubling its renewable capacity to achieve Labor’s target of 82 per cent by 2030 while keeping a lid on household bills at a time of cost-of-living stress.

The Australian

The unpalatable truth is that it can’t be done. Even if it were physically possible to bulldoze enough landscape to bury under acres of solar panels and whirling, bird-crunching wind turbines, the fact remains that the cost is astronomical. At a conservative estimate, in the trillions. That has to be paid for at the power meter.

If the power even stays on, that is.

It has to be borne in mind, too, that these soaring prices and plummeting reliability are only the beginning. Australia still remains heavily dominant on coal, with the demonised black stuff still supplying about 60% of electricity.

Add to that, that electricity generation is just a fraction of Australia’s energy consumption, and the idea that a green energy utopia is just around the corner is self-evidently ludicrous.

Guess we’ll just have to eat ze bugs raw, in the dark.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...