Macquarie Bank CEO: ‘My kids convinced me to take action on climate change’

Macquarie Bank has gone woke and it has nothing to do with saving the planet.

In an interview with The Australian, Macquarie CEO Shemara Wikramanayake – the woman who rakes in a humble $44,000 in wages every day – says she has been inspired to act on climate change by her kids.

“We are accountable to that younger generation, but the thing is they can, at this point in their lives, only help us with awareness and asking us to get on and act,” Wikramanayake said.

“What our generation has to do is not carry on saying, ‘Oh there’s a problem’ … we have to get on with the solution. We need to not do this precipitously and cause disruption and blow the whole thing up, so it’s our responsibility to be the adults.”

Really, Shemara?

Are you sure your support for the “green revolution” isn’t a response to your financial modelling that predicts that if/when a Labor-Greens-GetUp federal government get elected, extortionate financial returns will be available to you (via taxpayer subsidies) for investing in inefficient, costly, Chinese-made renewable energy sources?

It’s a good deal for you, isn’t it?

Zero investment risk to you. Any or all losses will be worn by the struggling taxpayer. Even better, any bad publicity generated by the investment will be downplayed by saying “forgive us, we were just doing it for the kids”.

How stupid do you people think the Australian people are?

Judging by the “green” projects she wants to back, its clear she reckons we’re VERY stupid, indeed.

According to The Australian, Shemara’s Macquarie Group has a “1000-megawatt offshore wind farm in the Gippsland Basin” in the pipeline.

In response, ADVANCE has a few questions:

  1. Why should you be backing offshore wind farms when according to Professor David MacKay – the former chief scientific adviser to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change – calculated that a single shale gas pad covering five acre would produce as much energy as 87 giant wind turbines, covering 5.6 square miles and visible up to 20 miles away.
  2. Why aren’t you backing nuclear power if the nuclear plant at Boselli, The Netherlands, occupies about 0.16 square kilometres of land and produces 3.46 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year? Compare this with The Netherlands’ Gemini Offshore Wind Farm that occupies 68 square kilometres and produces 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours. The nuclear plant produces 570 times more power per unit area than the wind farm – and 370 times more than the solar park Sunport Delfzijl.
  3. Does the fact that each wind turbine in Australia generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer subsidies every year have anything to do with your decision to back offshore wind farms, Shemara?
  4. Does Macquarie recognise that wind turbines are expensive to build? It costs $2000 per KW to build a new wind turbine, while it only costs $1000 to build a new natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant.
  5. Has Macquarie taken inspiration from Hepburn wind farm in Victoria on how to make money at the expense of taxpayers? According to the company’s 2021 annual report, it made a total revenue of $1,595,706. Only $293,815 in revenue (18 per cent) came from actual electricity sales. The rest came from the sale of renewable energy certificates that are now called “LGCs” ($241,739), a large government grant ($1,010,264) and “other revenue” of $49,888. Overall, the company made a tidy $354,546 profit after tax even though it only produced $293,815 in electricity. What a joke!

Next Shemara plans to replace the Kwinana oil refinery with a “major green hydrogen project”. Shemara, please answer the following questions:

  1. Do you think it is responsible to support the closure of Kwinana oil refinery even though it’s the biggest in Australia and provides about 70 per cent of WA’s fuel requirements?
  2. How do you plan on compressing the hydrogen you produce by 700 times atmospheric pressure and lowering its temperature to minus 253 degrees Celsius for it to be safe to transport?
  3. How will you get the water needed for electrolysis given one tonne of hydrogen requires nine tonnes of clean, fresh water (or 20 tonnes of water if taken out of a river)?
  4. How will you ensure hydrogen doesn’t leak out of pipelines, creating extreme danger for consumers and workers?
  5. Why do you think throwing money at this technology will yield results given US President George W. Bush committed $US1.7 billion to research into hydrogen almost two decades ago to no avail?

Finally, Shemara is thinking of backing a 150-megawatt big battery to be built at the site of the former Hazelwood coal plant.

  1. Shemara, Hazelwood power station had a capacity of 1,600 megawatts – over ten times larger than your proposed battery. How will this reduce power prices and increase grid stability?
  2. Given South Australia’s Tesla battery can power the state for 150 seconds and Victoria’s battery burned for longer than it produced energy, are you confident that this is a wise use of your bank’s capital?
  3. Have you considered the immense environmental impact of installing large batteries given their manufacturing process requires the mining of incredible amounts of cobalt, copper and rare earth metals in the third world as well as energy-intensive processing and refining in northern China?

We are really looking forward to your responses.

Warm regards,

ADVANCE and our 180,000+ supporters.