Ross Garnaut has written of Australia becoming the world's energy source.
Currently, we have trouble supplying 25 million people. It reminds me of Canberra's talk about us becoming the "food bowl of Asia" or spending millions to get one vote to host the FIFA World Cup.
Neville Wran, a NSW premier who really did get things done, said in a 1991 speech, "if talk could be aligned to efficiency, Australia would lead the world in efficiency".
Currently, our energy policies just look silly. Different committees, ministers, and commentators all have different solutions while we teeter on the edge of major blackouts.
Back in 1975, I was naive enough to be a member of the Liberal party. I attended the annual convention with 900-odd others at Sydney's Hilton Hotel and moved that Australia turn to nuclear energy. The motion was carried overwhelmingly as we had so much uranium - which we were exporting.
I note that Barnaby Joyce has chosen it as his answer to the energy problem. Perhaps in another 50 years we may see a start.
Sydney Morning Herald journalist, Chris Uhlmann did an excellent article on the mess we now have. The blogs in response were mostly outrage at someone being negative toward "the glorious march to renewables".
Germany has spent more than $743 billion boosting wind and solar to account for more than 45 per cent of power generation since 2000, but has had to keep 89pc of its fossil fuel-fired capacity to deal with the problems caused by calm, dark days. It now has the dearest retail power in Europe as it tries to move to renewables, and depends on imported gas.
The International Energy Agency has calculated that fossil fuels will still provide 66pc of global energy use by 2050 (it is currently 79pc).
Last month I heard an expert on the ABC say that Australia's wind paths are not the variable pattern that our widely spaced wind farms are being built for.
A professor of energy at the University of NSW told me this 20 years ago and said that no wind farm north of Melbourne would ever be profitable without government subsidy.
I have listened in anger to so many saying that wind energy has no costs. It has been said so often that it is generally believed. It must have backup as it is only profitable when the wind blows.
Now we have the absurd announcements of hugely expensive new transmission lines to collect the power from these scattered wind farms.
Local county council employees were pointing this out to me 20 years ago. They are the men who go out during the night in gales with snow and ice to restore power.
It makes me think of musician Glen Campbell's song Wichita Lineman and his concern at possible snow while they're "still on the line". It is time they were listened to.
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