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Graph of the Day: Tesla battery popular on both sides of politics

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Are the Federal Coalition and conservative commentators misreading the public view on battery storage, and particularly the “world’s biggest lithium-ion” battery storage array soon to be built by Tesla in South Australia?

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has been mocking it, saying it is about as useful as the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, or the Big Prawn in Ballina.

Energy minister Josh Frydenberg prompted a major riff on conservative commentators about its usefulness when he said it could only store 1 per cent of the state’s wind output.

(Er, may be that’s not what it is intended to do. Here’s an explainer if you are still in doubt).

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But if the conservatives are struggling with new technology, the public seems to be embracing it. Energy analyst Ketan Joshi published this graph above on his Twitter feed which shows that even 70 per cent of Liberal/National supporters think the battery is a good idea, or a very good idea.  

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  • Gary Rowbottom

    It’s a lot more useful than Scott Morrison.

  • Sunbuntu Ltd

    A lump of coal is more useful than SlowMo

    • Joe

      Yeah, saw the mock picture in Rupert’s Daily Telegraph here in Sydney. There he was…’The Scotty,..with The Big Prawn on his right side, The Big Banana on his left side, all that was missing…. The Big Lump of Coal…front and centre.

  • George Michaelson

    I asked the hypothetical question elsewhere about why Barnaby Joyce would be stupid enough to say publicly, he shat on farmers downstream of the big players, who banked water behind giant dams, at his behest. Surely it defies voter logic? Alas, while it does, the party actually doesn’t have to care: their majority is big enough they can commit these faux-pas every day without significant impact. So he basically said that anyone who can’t afford to bank water, or buy it at private rates off his mate Chris Corrigan or who wants water left for the environment can go f**k themselves? Sure. because they can.

    That there aren’t actually “more” jobs in coal or gas, isn’t important once you make people believe their might be. Nobody who thinks their future lies in mining and construction wants to be told to re-train into tourism or health, so telling them their investment in certification or civil engineering is worth as much as they hoped, is far simpler.

    Being honest about battery factories, they won’t employ as many people as robots. They need robotics to be viable, to be clean, to be fault-free, to be 24/7. So selling future battery making jobs, even selling futher lithium mining jobs, is a hard sell because anyone in this space is probably more ethical, and isn’t lying about future job prospects. low hundreds of people will work. We all benefit, but we’re not kidding ourselves the battery future has direct jobs packing the cells.

    Barnaby might want to look to his marginal seats and apologize, but the likelihood of a green led reaction in the LNP shires is pretty low. More likely is right leaning independents who might still have green thumbs, but it only takes one or two nutjobs who think wind turbines make cows abort, and you’re back behind the ball.

    • Mark Roest

      The jobs will come from converting gas or diesel guzzlers to battery electric, retrofitting houses with solar, batteries and chargers to power vehicles as well as the buildings, and redesigning everything for sustainability, and then making it to last, in just the right quantities. We can plan this from the grass roots up, rather than the top down, with a good information system, like the one at University of Technology Queensland.

    • solarguy

      Do you realize your comment was longer than the article. Bravo. They had to elect Barmy because Tony Windsor was too cleaver for the hicks in New England. They speak of common sense up there, but no sense is very common.

  • Cooma Doug

    The battery system for SA is actually a more effective security asset than a 200 mw hydro pump/generator.
    The reasons for this are many but not obvious to those looking in from outside the industry.
    As a bonus it can sit there doing nothing and paid according to market conditions. The fact it can instantly respond to various needs
    and provide those FCAS functions at zero cost, is a big advantage. Naturally they will need to function and provide energy and storage as required. But the availability has zero running cost.

    The battery systems in homes across the grid have the same effective and not so obvious advantages. When the market rules are in recognition of new technology rather than protection and assistance for old technology, products will emerge. Security solutions and cost reductions will happen.

  • Joe

    The 70% support just can’t be right. Those LNP supporters must have spent too much time out in the sun before the survey was conducted.