Battery technology has already leapfrogged Project Marinus and Battery of the Nation rendering them economically unviable is the major conclusion of Dr Bruce Mountain of the Victorian Energy Policy Centre in his damning updated report released today by the Bob Brown Foundation.
"Our initial report released last year focussed mainly on the economics of Marinus Link and this update confirms that Marinus Link continues to have no prospect of competing against battery alternatives in Victoria," said Dr Bruce Mountain.
"This is the exact opposite of Premier Gutwein’s claims that ‘independent analysis has confirmed Project Marinus is economically viable and will place downward pressure on power prices.’ Premier Gutwein needs to release that advice immediately as the VEPC has produced the figures which demonstrate otherwise," Christine Milne AO of Bob Brown Foundation said.
"In the year that has passed since our report, the official projections of battery costs have come down, Marinus’ cost has gone up and pumped hydro cost estimates have gone up," Dr Mountain said.
"Not only that, the Victoria Big Battery (300 MW/450 MWh) was announced and construction will be completed soon. Another 300 MW/1400 MWh battery in Victoria has been announced for commissioning at Jeeralang by 2026. In addition to these, four more grid-scale batteries with an aggregate capacity of 1,150 MW/3500 MWh that are not yet under construction but are likely to proceed have been announced. Three of the five (80% of total capacity) are co-located with generation. We now feel able to conclude that if Hydro Tasmania develops pumped hydro capacity in Tasmania it is very likely that, like Snowy 2.0, it will not be economically viable," said Dr Mountain.
"No matter how hard Premier Gutwein tries to spin Project Marinus, it is uneconomic and will be a huge burden on taxpayers and will drive up energy prices if Tasmania persuades Prime Minister to come up with the $3.5 billion as part of the federal election campaign.’ Christine Milne said.
Project Marinus was included in the AEMO ISP on the assumption of having effectively ‘free’ excess renewable energy in Tasmania because Tasmania passed legislation for 200% renewable energy. AEMO might assume it is free and already built but we know that is not the case. Hydro Tasmania and Aurora are already accumulating debt to pay for this ‘free’ energy for the mainland.
Tasmanians also resent developers treating the environment, migratory species and Tasmanian devils as ‘free’ and able to be destroyed for renewable energy. Destroying biodiversity for energy not being a climate solution was a major conclusion of the recently ended COP26 in Glasgow.
There is such a thing as being too late. It is time for the Tasmanian Government to frame a futuristic vision for Tasmania using our renewable energy for the benefit of Tasmanians and stop chasing expensive duds like Project Marinus," Christine Milne concluded.