Chinese Bitcoin miners are reopening the Hunter Valley coal power station called Redbank in NSW. They have a deal that gets around our gargantuan, mismanaged grid by buying coal power direct for 8c/kWh, while Australians in the same place pay 28c/kWh.
This is exactly the nightmare the head of the Australian Energy Management Organisation (AEMO) spoke of just last week — that “big players could abandon the grid”. That’s a degenerate spiral leaving a shrinking pool of suckers to pay for the inefficient, bird-killing, blackout prone, witchdoctor grid.
Bitcoin mining’s growing demand for cheap energy revived a shuttered coal mine, by Ashat Rathi, Quartz.
Consumers there pay, on average, $A0.28 ($0.22) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. But Hunter Energy, which owns Redbank, are offering the crypto miners electricity at a fraction of the cost. The “first-of-its-kind” deal, as the Age puts it, will see the crypto miners pay only A$0.08 per kWh in the day and A$0.05 per kWh at night. Hunter Energy told the Age that the price is feasible because the electricity produced at the coal power plant would go straight to the crypto miners, bypassing — and thus, presumably, avoiding the costs of using — the grid.
This tells everyone all they need to know about “cheap” renewables. Eight cents is the big-commercial retail rate of coal powered reliable electricity in Australia, and anything else is nuts. …
It’s not surprising that this comes from crypto industry first. It must be one of the most transportable high-electricity-need industries there is. …
Three messages here:
- The free market can solve Australian electricity price hell in a flash.
- Coal power is cheap, cheap, cheap, and even small coal plants are viable and valuable. (This one is only 150MW)
- Wind and solar are not competitive. Subsidized renewables are the major thing making our grid expensive.
We could run again as a nation using coal for our entire baseload — with some gas to power the peaks. The only thing stopping us is our desire to change the global climate.