I have great concerns about the current reliance on renewable energy over coal. Impacts on climate aside (because that is an entirely different conversation), the long-term view is one I can't disagree with - fully sustainable energy sources are the end goal.
However, without wanting to sound like my granddad and that I am resistant to change (I'm not), I am just concerned that the rollout is the NBN equivalent but with far more serious impacts as lives are actually at stake in an energy discussion.
Having worked in IT, most implementations I worked on involved building the new platform and then slowly turning off the buttons (decommissioning) on the old platforms ie. there was a period of co-existence.
However, renewables, as great as they seem, are unreliable for various reasons: solar is reliable only 6 months of the year, wind energy requires the wind to blow and in a certain direction, and hydro requires a perfect location. But most importantly, the battery technology to store any renewable energy generated reliably, is simply not quite there yet (albeit improving). Elon's battery only powers the entire state of South Australia for 5 minutes. At $100m cost, perhaps not the cheapest option.
Closing Hazelwood early was a big mistake IMHO as it wiped out the baseload. Yes, it was an ageing plant, but still fully functional. Now we are left with supply issues in the short- to medium-term. It is the equivalent of closing 25% of all petrol stations in favour of electric vehicle supply before actually building the electric supply stations - it actually impacts everyone on both sides of the fence.
I appreciate that it's a tricky situation for the retailers like AGL as it's exciting (and good business sense) to be at the frontier of renewables, which clearly is the future. But there is a natural fallout on the other side, which is that not being able to meet demand will obviously annoy many customers. Coal has become like fat - public enemy number one. However, the truth is that we have enough coal to keep us going for up to 80 years. So we have more than enough time to transition to renewables, which absolutely has to happen. Just not tomorrow.
As you can see, I've tried to not point fingers at politicians, corporates, green crusaders and anyone else, and tried to avoid emotive language. The point of this thread/discussion is to address genuine concerns and to see if my thoughts are valid, and if so, what we can do about it. I'm interested to hear your thoughts!