Aug 29, 2014

How the coal industry hoodwinked us all into higher electricity prices

The dirty coal industry has won a victory over renewables with the recommendations of the RET review panel to neuter the target. The losers will be consumers -- and the earth.

Next time a media company produces one of those “power” issues, a list of people who effectively run the country, perhaps it should think laterally and include a picture of a coal-fired power station. Any old one will do, but the bigger and the more polluting the better.

In Australia, the fossil fuel industry appears to hold absolute power. A decade ago it succeeded in stopping John Howard’s mandatory renewable energy target in its tracks, and it then helped kill Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the mining tax and Julia Gillard’s carbon price. Now, it has another victory, winning endorsement for a plan to bring the Renewable Energy Target to a halt for the same reason that the MRET was stopped a decade ago: it was way too successful.

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3 thoughts on “How the coal industry hoodwinked us all into higher electricity prices

  1. Mark Duffett

    “the market for large-scale renewable projects — either wind farms, solar farms or other —  will be dead for up to a decade”

    “mass grid defections could happen as early as 2018, and that centralised generation could be largely extinct in a decade”

    It seems exceedingly unlikely that both these statements can be true. Any chance that Parkinson might actually deploy some dispassionate critical analysis to tell us which, instead of relentless tendentiousness?

  2. Dogs breakfast

    A beautiful synopsis Giles.

    It costs the consumer bugger all, it deepens and broadens the market, it destroys much of the worst of rent-seeking by entrenched industries.

    And it costs the government nothing.

    I may well find myself working to get off the grid by 2018. I resent mightily my electricity bills, the electricity market, the huge social costs which will become more apparent and their undeniable ability to socialise the costs and privatise the profits.

    These are the most government dependent industries in Australia. Who else receives so much?

    I’ll stand side by side with you pissing into the wind as this government just bends us all over in front of the rich and powerful and old white male led industries. I’ll bring the raincoats.

    But as soon as I can get off the grid I’m going to give it a red hot go.

    Declaration, I am a not quite but well on my way to becoming an old white male.

  3. Brian Melbourne

    Hear hear, dogs breakfast. As others have said the government is not open for business unless it’s their backers in the coal industry. Stranded assets anyone?

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