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Unmasking the Snowy Hydro 2.0 Cost Blowout: A Cautionary Tale for the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

In the world of ambitious energy projects, it's not uncommon for initial estimates to undergo revisions. However, when cost projections soar from $2 billion to over $12 billion, it's not just a revision, it's a revelation of epic proportions. The Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project, once hailed as a $2 billion endeavor with a completion date of 2021, is now facing a whopping 500% cost blowout and uncertain timelines.

The Shocking Reality of Cost Escalation

Announced in 2017 by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project was touted as a visionary plan that would bolster Australia's energy infrastructure. Fast forward to the present, and the story has taken a stark turn. Recent reports from the ABC suggest that the project's cost has ballooned to nearly $12 billion, leaving many scratching their heads over what went wrong.

Listen to the ABC story by clicking play below.

But the Snowy Hydro 2.0's skyrocketing cost isn't just a matter of financial concern; it serves as a cautionary tale for other grand energy projects in the pipeline, including Queensland's Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Project.

Implications for the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Project

The Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Project, initially slated with a budget of $14 billion and a completion target of 2035, now faces renewed scrutiny in light of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 revelations. By applying a similar yardstick of cost escalation and timeline extension, the projected cost of the Pioneer-Burdekin venture could surge to a staggering $84 billion, and the completion could be pushed back to 2045.

It raises a compelling question: Are such colossal investments in pumped hydro truly in the best interest of our communities, environment, and finances?

Seeking More Responsible Alternatives

The astronomical cost overruns and time delays associated with the Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project serve as a stark reminder that even the most well-intentioned energy endeavors can spiral out of control. As stewards of our environment and resources, we must ask ourselves whether such financial gambles align with the greater good.

While we acknowledge the need for sustainable and innovative energy solutions, the persistent pattern of cost escalation and missed deadlines should compel us to explore more responsible alternatives. Can our time and financial resources be better utilised to pursue projects that are transparent, realistic, and aligned with the urgent environmental challenges we face?

Moving Forward with Clarity and Responsibility

The saga of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project serves as a powerful wake-up call for those invested in the future of energy. It urges us to take a step back, scrutinise projects with transparency, and demand accountability from those entrusted with shaping our energy landscape.

At Save Eungella, we remain committed to highlighting these critical concerns and advocating for responsible, sustainable choices that safeguard our environment, resources, and future generations. As we navigate the complex realm of energy initiatives, let us learn from the lessons of the past to ensure a brighter and more fiscally sound future.

It's time to rethink the path forward and ensure that our investments not only energise our nation but also empower our communities and preserve our invaluable natural heritage.



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