Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh is one of the few people who somehow manage to make former Premier, the late Joh Bjelke Petersen look like an intellectual. She seems to come up with a continuous stream of nonsensical and ideologically driven projects and legislation to the point where, when she is not actively engaged in spending every cent she can loot from us, she is doing something to stop us earning more.
The latest is the now collapsed ZeroGen project. ZeroGen was intended to place the state at the forefront of the unproven carbon capture and burial technology. Not content with the slow pace of the industry owing to investors tending to hold the conservative attitude of only investing in economically feasible enterprises, she was going to show the way, with our dollars.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the project has now been abandoned after the spending of $150 million. Probably one of the worst aspects to the entire bungle was that the government was advised about $40 million ago to ditch the whole thing. In addition to around $100 million of state funds, there are close to $50 million of federal funds wasted.
Bligh insists that the money has not been wasted and that she will be spending a lot more in the future.
Governments in this country have a habit of throwing money at anything that gets the green description. There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of producing power with lower emissions. The problem is that the state in trying to force the issue is pushing money into unproven and uneconomic concepts that have a long way to go before they can be feasible.
If they want zero emissions power, the simplest way to go is to remove the purely ideological objections to nuclear power generation in this country. Windmills, solar panels, and clean coal are not economically viable at present. Sure, the first two can generate a certain amount of very expensive electricity, but there is the problem of uncertainty of supply and the need for base load generation anyway.
The quickest, cheapest, and greenest solution to any perceived need to cut emissions is nuclear power. By allowing it future needs will be met by means other than coal, and would provide breathing space for viable alternatives to arise and prove themselves at their own pace.