Dec 19, 2013

Why Abbott has got it all wrong on green energy

Tony Abbott is hinting he'll wind back a program to support renewable energy because that energy is forcing up power prices. Read this, Tony; you've got your sums wrong.

In a press conference yesterday about improving prospects for manufacturing, Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a statement that appears ominous for the renewable energy industry:

“And the RET [Renewable Energy Target], well look again, we support sensible use of renewable energy and as you know it was the former Howard government which initially gave us the RET, and at the time it was important because we made very little if any use of renewable energy. We’ve got to accept though, that in the changed circumstances of today, the renewable energy target is causing pretty significant price pressure in the system and we ought to be … an affordable energy superpower … Let’s make the most of the comparative advantages we’ve got and cheap energy — affordable energy — ought to be one of our comparable advantages.”

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9 thoughts on “Why Abbott has got it all wrong on green energy

  1. tonyfunnywalker

    An interesting review and recent experiences in the German energy market is an example where renewables are obsoleting conventional generation. Renewable energy beyond the capital cost is free and efficient, The SA and Vic brown coal fired turbines about 30% efficient boilers are relics of the early 20th Century and have depreciated away years ago. Even the Royal Navy converted to oil prior to WW1 to provide a game changer battle effectiveness V the Germans. These assets would have been written down in the due diligence at the period of takeover. The attractiveness in SA case was the Rate of Return guaranteed by the Olsen Government and maintained by Wran. Electricity prices are a function of gold plating of the distribution system and State Government bonuses. Power usage is declining generally – the PR education campaign for more efficient use of power worked was effective in the both the domestic and commercial environment.
    Consumers were made aware of their carbon footprint and did something practical about it. Businesses are increasingly carbon neutral so this simplistic view by Abbott and Newman is baseless.
    In Spain renewable cheap power is being used as an incubator for new industries and new businesses and in a country where manufacturing is also at an ebb. A cheap energy renewable generating capacity in Northern Adelaide could attract the very industries needed to employ the Holden Workforce.
    But this is all wishful thinking of course.

  2. drmick

    The nsw government is still ensuring that all the blame for the extra %10 on our power bills is sheeted home to the former federal government by stating that fact on our power bills; strategically avoiding to also notify the bill payer that the other %95 of the 200% rise in the cost of power is courtesy of he state LNP government.

    Imaging how much cheaper our bills would be if they were not so greedy, not so insistent that we use their dirty power and not be so beholding to the power companies that helped them get into power federally. They did this a few years ago with the water supply during the drought. People stopped using water as instructed and alarmed a t the drop in usage, and there fore profit, the government put up the price of water.

  3. klewso

    If Toady’s mates and sponsors in the power industries can’t make a buck from it, why would he support it?

  4. Rubio Diego

    When it comes to Abbott and his appointments it is much more accurate to believe the exact opposite to what they are saying !

  5. Stephen

    For a national leader, Abbott’s loony remark about the “forest” of turbines at Lake George was beyond belief.

    Even before he was elected, the Commonwealth and states had already done their bit to help the coal-fired power companies, steeply reducing home solar-power rebates.

  6. Electric Lardyland

    A quick translation of Super Tony’s comments about being “an affordable energy superpower”, this surely means: we’re gonna mine coal like there’s no tomorrow.

  7. drmick

    Gee it would be nice if there was balance in the reporting. The wing nut windmill witch rides into town to unsettle the unbalanced, with offers of cash, and an explanation for their failure as a human. Bingo. the diagnosis of “anti wind power payoutitis” or “windus compensatorus removum or elesus” replaces a lets suck it and see attitude with a, “this disease could set me up for life” attitude and the idea dies on the dollar.

  8. Scott

    I’m surprised Abbott is not using the RET to negotiate to get rid of the carbon tax. Why not say to Greens and Labor, I will set the Renewable power percentage (or RPP) to 0 unless you get rid of the carbon tax. The RPP is the amount of an entities power purchases that must be covered by the LG Certificates. Currently it is at 9.15% but can be changed at the environmental ministers discretion, so no legislation required.
    I wonder what the greens and co would say? And the figures you are quoting are for 2020…that will be when the wholesale prices have dropped by potentially $5 a MWH. Currently it is no where near that much..most modeling is pointing at cents rather than dollars for the savings to wholesale prices as of 2013.

  9. MJPC

    One only needs to look to the Rocky Mountains Institute website to see that the age of coal and oil is coming to an end despite loyal foot soldiers like Abbott and Hunt and their energy industry mates holding on.
    What will be said by future generations when they see comments by the now PM that Australia will be an affordable energy superpower by selling coal to damage the earths inhabitability by increasing C02 emmissions; it’s just plain criminal neglect if not gross stupidity; Revolution Now!

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