The Finkel Review into Australia’s future energy makeup was released on Friday June 9 2017. While greatly anticipated, it proved to be somewhat underwhelming to many interested parties. The report seemed designed to accommodate both political realities as well as technical challenges, and in the process, may have failed to inspire anyone.
Reading the Finkel Review, one is reminded of Einstein’s observation: Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere. At a time of extraordinary, disruptive and exponential change in the Energy Industry, one might have assumed that imagination was an essential element in articulating a vision for an energy future that is both environmentally responsible and appropriate for the 21st century. Many will disagree with this sentiment, but history has shown that disruptive change has not often been well managed by society. One only has to look at how Governments reacted to the introduction of motor vehicles as an example of decisions both blinkered and lacking vision.
The report still managed to provoke a typical reactionary response from the conservative right wing, whose blinkered obsession with coal as the only legitimate and acceptable source of energy, flies in the face of virtually everyone else in the industry, and the majority of Australians, if recent polls by the Lowy Institute and MyVote are anything to go by.
For those who would like to make up their own minds or at least be more deeply informed, here are the links to the Executive Summary and full report: http://www.environment.gov.au/energy/publications/electricity-market-final-report