By Peter Hunt
Malcolm Turnbull’s example of how the Snowy Mountain Pumped Hydro scheme expansion would make money for the government/s doesn’t stack up. He explained on the news how you can pay $40 per MWH to pump water uphill at night then by releasing it when demand is high, generate electricity, and sell it for $50 MWH thus making a $10 profit.
His example makes a fundamental school-boy error of not taking into account the 20% of energy lost in the process, unless he’s somehow discovered the secret of perpetual motion. If you pay $40 to pump water uphill then recover 80% of the embedded energy when it is subsequently released for sale at $50 MWH, you can at best break even at the operational level ($50 * 80% = $40) and would be making a big loss, taking into account capital costs.
Whilst he obviously plucked figures out of the air for his example you would think that a former bankster and supposed business genius would have a better grasp of the facts and basic arithmetic. It really does suggest policy ‘on the fly’ … with very little thought!