Millionaire businessman Dick Smith has devastated Anthony Albanese’s government and demanded that Australia immediately introduce nuclear power.
The philanthropist told Daily Mail Australia the government risked ‘destroying the landscape’ and ‘destroying people’s homes’ with its push for more energy through dams and wind turbines.
His intervention comes after Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen previously admitted that to meet the government’s net-zero target, Australia would need to install 40 large wind turbines a month and 22,000 solar panels a day.
Meanwhile, Patricia McKenzie, the president of the country’s largest coal-fired power generator and CO2 emitter AGL, has warned it would need about 98 gigawatts of new capacity to accelerate the shutdown of its coal plants.
She said new capacity would be needed by 2030 to “keep the lights on,” which would put “unacceptable pressures on energy security and affordability.”
The country has only added about 2.2 GW of capacity in the past five years.
Mr Smith says nuclear power is the obvious answer to the crisis and says Australia needs a government to embrace it.
Dick Smith blasted Anthony Albanese’s government and demanded Australia immediately introduce nuclear power
“There is no alternative to nuclear energy,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I’m a big fan of renewables, but the longer we wait to switch to nuclear power, the more carbon we’ll have in the atmosphere.
“It will take 10 years to get the first nuclear power station up and running, so we can’t delay it, but I know this government will do that and it will cause problems.
‘It is too expensive to store energy from renewable sources. For water, we should have dams in our valleys, which would destroy them, and then dams at lower levels. You need a hundred dams all over the country.
‘For wind we destroy the landscape and the beautiful houses of people with wind turbines.
‘We also have to think about wind droughts. Even if we had turbines all over the country, droughts would be inevitable and with the weather as changeable as it is, it would be impossible to predict them.’
In addition to direct criticism of the government, he also lashed out at CSIRO, the government’s science agency.
“There are claims from the CSIRO that renewables plus storage are cheaper than coal,” he said.
“That’s just a complete lie. Storage costs would have to drop 40 times to make renewable energy cheaper to store than coal.
“The claims that renewable energy sources are cheaper are simply not true.”
Mr Smith did not back up his claims, which contrast sharply with a CSIRO report from earlier this year, which said solar and wind power are still the cheapest sources of new-build electricity.
Mr Smith says nuclear power is the obvious answer to the energy crisis and says Australia needs a government to embrace it (photo: a nuclear power station in Germany)
Daily Mail Australia has contacted CSIRO for comment.
Mr Smith also dismissed fears over nuclear safety, pointing out that 75% of France’s electricity comes from nuclear power.
Australia has only one nuclear reactor, at Lucas Heights in Sydney. The government-owned facility does not produce electricity, but instead mainly creates chemical elements used in medicine and scientific research.
‘There is a nuclear reactor in Sydney. In France, the attitude towards nuclear energy is completely different,’ said Dick.
“I know I’m fighting against the grain, but the younger generation is more accepting. My generation, which lived through the Cold War, is terrified of nuclear energy. But I talk to my grandchildren and they are more understanding.
The philanthropist told Daily Mail Australia the government risked ‘destroying the landscape’ and ‘destroying people’s homes’ by building turbines
Mr Smith said you would need ‘a hundred dams across the country’ to meet the amount of energy storage required to meet renewable energy targets
We need a government that accepts nuclear energy. Did we ever think we would have nuclear submarines? No, but we do and now we need to embrace nuclear power. We’ll have to get there one day.
“We have a serious climate problem and we need to make a serious decision about the solution.
‘Not switching to nuclear energy will lead to higher temperatures, ice will melt and water levels will rise.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make, but the whole world needs to embrace nuclear power before it’s too late.”
The rapid transition to net-zero emissions is now the ‘law of the land’ thanks to the ambitious climate change bill passed by the Albanian government in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
However, commentators are beginning to question whether we are headed for a wreck of renewables.
Labour’s shift to net zero by 2050 and a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 is now law (Photo: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Climate Change Secretary Chris Bowen)
“No one in authority has the courage and intellectual honesty to explain the magnitude of the power transition this country is being forced into by law and the dire consequences of its probable failure,” wrote Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff. in a column for The Australian.
Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen admitted that Australia will have to extract, move and produce ‘immense amounts of material, energy and equipment… to meet the government’s targets.
At an October forum featuring CEOs from the nation’s top electric companies, Jeff Dimery, CEO of Alinta, warned that power prices would rise 35 percent next year, pointing out that an $8 billion investment in renewables would be needed. to replace $1 billion in fossil energy. fuel capacity.
Frank Calabria, CEO of Origin Energy, said at the same forum that, based on current wholesale costs, electricity prices would rise sharply when new tariffs are set in July.
The government’s climate change law requires greenhouse gas emissions to fall by 43 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
“Coal will have to drop from supplying 60 percent plus of our energy needs to less than 10 percent within eight years. And renewable energy will need to rise from about 30 percent now to more than 80 percent,” Credlin wrote.
“In practice, that’s 17,000 miles of posts and wires with the trained craftsmen to erect it, and necessary access to farmland and real estate across the country.”