No wonder our national electricity grid is in deep. Audrey Zibelman is the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The former New York based woman is a lawyer with an MBA who thinks we can change the weather with our power supply. She was appointed in March 2017. Thank Malcolm Turnbull. Apparently in 2016 she was a favourite for the future Team Hillary in the US.
Just to make her motivation clear. Her words last year:
The manager of our electricity market thinks wind and solar are actually competitive:
And the good thing is that technology has evolved so that we don’t have to worry about sacrificing economics for good environmental policy.
Notably, what she isn’t dreaming of is cheap electricity:
Her dream is of a grid dominated not by big power suppliers and their fossil-fuel generators, but rather a system of “distributed energy” that delivers better supply security by storing solar and wind power in batteries for later use. She wants a market that better rewards people with rooftop solar panels and other renewables; with incentives for more efficient power use in peak times; that harnesses idle energy, instead of building more large power stations for short periods of peak demand in hotter months.
You might think the Australian national grid should be providing electricity rather than being a tool to reward people for buying uneconomic equipment in the hope of stopping Antarctica from melting. Silly you.
Comes with no technical background but vested interests — she is the very model of a modern major elitist:
At university, she spent no years studying physics, chemistry or engineering.
- Doctor of Law (JD) [Hamline University School of Law]
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) [Penn State University]
- MBA [University of Minnesota]
But she did marry an electrical engineer:
Her husband, Phil Harris, is the chief executive officer of Tres Amigas, a New Mexico-based company that is seeking to raise more than $1 billion to connect the nation’s electric grids and allow for greater growth of clean energy.
Which raised other questions in 2015. Journalists asked about potential conflicts of interest with her then role as head of the NY Public Service Commission. After that she recused herself. …
She cofounded Viridity Energy which sold software to help people with batteries and panels minimize their electricity bills. How uneconomic are batteries? It would only take $60-90 billion to back up South Australia [for a few minutes] …
Listen to the postmodern expert-in-nothing:
Storage, price, efficiency, frequency stability? Wave a magic wand, other people who understand these things will definitely absolutely solve this and with other people’s money.
Zibelman also believes she is in the best place to solve them. “The issue is not so much the technology; technology is happening,” she said. “It’s the regulatory regimes and the market regimes that need to be adapted to the future power system.”
It’s all just a question of rules. If we change the system and don’t worry about how much it costs, anything can be solved. We just need to use the right language when we talk to baby electrons.