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Canavan compares Tesla Big Battery to Kim Kardashian

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Australian resources minister Matt Canavan took his fossil-fuel-loving, clean-energy-technology-disparaging show on the road last week, to attend CERAWeek in Houston, Texas.

Canavan said the main message he delivered at the event, which is billed as “the world’s most prestigious annual gathering offering insight into the energy future,” was that Australia is “open for business.” Although not any sort of business…

“Investments in gas, coal and other resources have meant jobs and small business opportunities for decades in regional Australia. We want to see the next wave of investment and new jobs,” he Tweeted.

But according to reports from the conference, Canavan added a big old p.s. to that message: that the Australian government isn’t down with new-fangled clean energy technology.

Not surprisingly, the comment drew much criticism on social media, with many expressing frustration – and, frankly, embarrassment – that a senior government minister representing Australia would so openly flag his ignorance on such an important technology, and do so on an international stage.

Others tried to see the funny side:

As we have reported, the Tesla Big Battery, known on the NEM as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, has been going from strength to strength since it was officially “switched on” in December, demonstrating its broad range of key energy market capabilities.

These include, but are not limited to: coming to the rescue when coal units trip; loosening the stranglehold of the gas cartel in the South Australian market; showing its speed and versatility and challenging energy market rule-makers; and making money for its owners.

We emailed Senator Canavan’s office to ask if the CERAWeek comments really reflected his view of the Big Battery, and whether he was aware of the above capabilities it had been demonstrating.

For the record, here is the response we received from his office:

Here is the full quote (it was slightly misheard) and context. Minister Canavan was talking about the need for reliable power that overcomes intermittency, and in particular was asked about the battery installed in South Australia. 

“It’s the world’s biggest battery I’m told. I think it can supply power for about five percent of the state that it’s in – South Australia, it’s a relatively small state – for about an hour.

“It’s not really a solution for the stability problems of South Australia. You hear less about the fact that they imported a huge fleet of diesel generators over summer to back up the power system because they had that black out the year before. It’s this ironical situation – they’ve got 40 per cent renewables and they’re importing diesel generators – the dirtiest, most expensive form of power – to back up the wind turbines.

“You’ll excuse me for a bit of rhetorical flourish – I’m a politician. I sometimes think this big battery is the Kim Kardashian of the energy world – it’s famous for being famous. 

 “It really doesn’t deliver very much.”

We need to take issues with some of those comments, apart from the obvious lament that he appears to be an energy technology troglodyte.

As this article explains, the diesel plants brought in by the South Australia government are not only  ‘cleaner’ than any coal plant in australia they are cleaner than every coal power station in the world, including his favoured HELE coal plants.

And when they are not switched on – which they haven’t been all summer, apart from maintenance – they don’t burn fuel or money.

Meanwhile, back on home soil, the other minister for coal, Nationals MP George Christensen, was busy fending off another cleantech bogey-man, by declaring the Queensland government’s electric vehicle super highway of fast charging stations from the Gold Coast to Cairns an expensive failure.

How does he know it is a failure? Because he did his research and hung around at the Bowen charging station for “most of (Tuesday) morning,” reports the Mackay Daily Mercury, and not a single person used it!

“$3 million spent across Queensland and I am sure every single station is going to be like this all day. No one there… what a waste of money,” he said.

Presumably he has never sat at a suburban bus stop, used a country road, or visited a public toilet.  

Pocket
  • john

    Where is that other genuine genius with extensive knowledge of anything to do with Renewable s or in fact anything that is early 1900’s technology, the said Mr Kelly.
    It must paint the country internationally as a bit of a joke when these kind of statements are made.
    However the minister must have felt at home in Texas except for the fact Texas does have a lot of wind energy.

  • George Michaelson

    If the “very little” it delivers is able to re-set pricing so significantly, then its remarkably good value for money.

    If the “very little” it delivers in FCAS prevents cascading failure, Then its the very little fuse between you and a bad hair day.

    From little things, big things grow.

  • Joe

    One could also make the case that Italiano Matteo Coalavan is the Kim K of Aussie politik…he is famous for being a ‘double agent’ and blaming his Mama. Matteo also talks a lot of nonsense which reflects his lack of knowing the details. The dude is an embarrassment and should resign.

  • Tim Forcey

    Are you saying EV charging stations are the public toilets of the transport world…………. (smiley face)

    • Joe

      The Christo needs to plug the EV charger up his cracker to jolt some commonsense into himself. And this guy is an MP…there are no words.

  • DevMac

    No one visited the charging station while George Christensen was there because George Christensen was there.

    • john

      He must be looking at the great site for his pet the HELE.
      The charge points must have raised his blood pressure.

    • Chris Fraser

      If I was driving a Model S and saw that I think I would pass ….
      It would be like waving a green rag at a bull …

    • Tony Swift

      Gold

  • Jon

    Will our politicians ever learn that it’s better to shut your mouth and be thought an idiot than open it and not leave any doubt???

    It’s embarasing to think they are meant to be our representatives…

  • Nick Kemp

    Seems the LNP is a brain free zone. I’m certainly embarrassed. The only thing making this lot look slightly better than the most dumb bunch of idiots in the world is Donald trump

    • Alex Hromas

      Not sure on that one Nick

      • Nick Kemp

        It’s close I’ll admit – I give trump top position mainly because of his funny color

  • Cooma Doug

    The change taking place in the atmosphere and the disruption to the normal air flow, may bring some severe cold snaps this winter, as took place in the north this Autumn.
    It is not rediculous to predict snow in Mt Isa QLD next Autumn.
    Can we have a contest to predict what Canavan would say if that happens?
    I read that the disruption to normal air flow may be more severe in the south because of the greater ratio of water to land surface area and increasing energy stored in the ocean.

  • Mags

    Such a tragedy for Australia that we have these ignorant men in government. If only we could elect people with some brains and ethics????

    • Grpfast

      Does he reflect his electorate? If so we should all be concerned for our education system in these areas as they obviously can’t read or hear.

      • Mags

        Yes indeed!

  • Chris Fraser

    We know what he really means. The Matt in the Hatt has a thing for Kardashians. Why else did we pay for him to fly business class to the USA ?

  • Ken Dyer

    Canavan clearly wants to prove he is the stupidist man alive, ever since his mum made him an Italian
    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/02/this-has-to-be-the-stupidest-man-alive/

  • Ian

    Matt Canavan is exactly right. It was the foreign investment in mining construction that brought about the mining boom since the Kyoto Protocol. It’s not actually the act of mining coal or extracting gas that caused a boom but the construction of the said assets. How much of the profit from these minerals extraction actually stays or even reaches the shores of Australia?

  • Robert Westinghouse

    One can only deduce from Canavan’s comments, that he is out of his depth and should refrain from making comments on topics he is unfamiliar with.

    • MaxG

      Na… the more these clowns expose themselves the better.

  • Alex Hromas

    The similarity only works at a superficial level the Tesla battery is elegant, unadorned, low maintenance and makes a lot of money for its owners. Kim Kardashian

  • Alex Hromas

    is elegant, highly adorned, high maintenance and makes a lot of money. Not that may similarities

  • Grpfast

    Malcolm needs to get out of there. He’s leader of a bunch of ignorant idiots.

  • John Saint-Smith

    We have a moral obligation to do all in our power to save Australian from these morons!

  • Brunel

    When I saw the headline I thought he was comparing it to Kim Kardashian’s big …

    Both provide cushioning!

    • Ren Stimpy

      One is installed at Jamestown North and the other at Kanye West.

  • MaxG

    I never heard anything about Canavan; but heard about Kim Kardashian… I reckon the looks better too. 🙂
    That’s the good thing about not watching TV, I can easily the crap people are whining about :))

  • larry w

    Canavan should shutup and wait to see if his staffers baby looks like him.