Feb 6, 2012

Parkinson: no easy choices, but strong case for energy action

A new report from the Grattan Institute has underlined the failure of current policies to push Australia down the path of a clean energy future Giles Parkinson, editor of RenewEconomy, reports.

A new report from the Grattan Institute has underlined the failure of current policies to push Australia quick enough down the path of a clean energy future, saying the government needs to do more to help unleash market forces, change the regulatory environment that protects incumbent systems from the advances of new technologies, and to reduce existing subsidies to fossil fuels. Or else face a much more expensive transformation.

The report also assesses the prospects of seven technologies that could, individually or in part, deliver on Australia’s target to of reducing emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 — wind, solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, carbon capture and storage, nuclear, biomass — as well as storage options and issues surrounding the grid. The latter is critically important to be able to link wind and solar resources to areas of energy consumption, but the report questions if Australia yet has the skills to achieve this.

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6 thoughts on “Parkinson: no easy choices, but strong case for energy action

  1. Wallace Scott

    What about encouraging consumer to save energy. Billing should have three tier pricing. Cheap for first quota of energy which is considered economical usage, above that will be normal price for average usage, then above average usage there is a high surcharge.

    When I was living on my own in Melbourne my quaterly bill was around $180 dollars. When I hear about people complaining how their bills are $600 or $800 I don’t understand why they use so much.

  2. Coaltopia

    Yes, all this posturing around needing CCS to keep the price down is surely the death-throes of a coalpromized, boondoggled, pipe-dream brigade.

    And in terms of: “the government won’t be setting any emissions caps with environmental integrity any time soon”… nor will they be looking to limit or levy new thermal coal mines.

    Geothermal really is the question mark.

  3. Mark Duffett

    “That’s not the view, however, of the EU…”

    And the EU is such a paragon of good governance, isn’t it.

    Parkinson offers no rationale whatever for taking Wood’s view as ‘unnecessarily pessimistic’, when the IEA’s “high renewable scenario” is by definition extremely optimistic.

  4. AR

    I run a couple of stereos 15hrs pd, fridge 24hrs, TV 3-4, several lights and, in this bizarre unSummer a leccy blanket 3-4hr pd and my bill is $100 per quarter. What am I doing wrong?
    If I could get someone to wire me up for 12 or 24V I’d go off grid entirely.

  5. Flower

    Well yes but the Grattan Institute may be speaking with forked tongue since Beyond Zero Emissions digs a little deeper and interprets the article somewhat differently:

    “The Institute’s fascination with fossil gas (coal seam gas, shale gas and conventional gas) is consistent with the position of Tony Wood’s (Grattan Institute, Program Director Energy) former employer Origin Energy which is set for windfall profits if it can achieve its aims to develop massive Coal Seam Gas resources across the eastern seaboard. It is also consistent with Grattan Institute’s principal sponsor BHP Billiton who have huge interests in Shale gas in the US and conventional oil and gas reserves in Australia.”

    Nuclear? Water guzzling dirty, uranium digger BHP, polluting with impunity? One law for them and a different one for the rest of South Australia (and beyond?) Thanks but no thank you!


    And why has the taxpayer funded “independent” EPAs (first established in 1971) failed abominably in its duty to protect the environment (and human health) by not regulating and enforcing limits on air pollution, which just happens to be their mandate. To add insult to injury, written into the EPA preambles are:

    1) The Precautionary Principle
    2) The Principle of Intergenerational Equity
    3) The Principle of the Conservation of Biological Diversity and Ecological Integrity
    4) The Principle of Waste Minimisation

    We’re being had every which way by Quarry Australia and its sycophantic rock apes strutting our halls of parliament.

  6. Clive Morton

    Harry M, Hasn’t anyone heard of ethanol? Cane ethanol is a yearly renewable resourse and is already on sale at some BP bowsers, but very few.

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