Aug 29, 2014

The strange silence of the business community on the gutting of the RET

The business community is oddly silent as the government goes about killing investment and jobs as part of its ideological hatred of renewable energy.

Australian businesses, and their economists, talk a load of rubbish sometimes. Other times, it’s their silence that is especially contemptible.

Today our old friend Innes Willox of the Australian Industry Group will, The Australian Financial Review tells us, deliver yet another speech about the need for industrial relations reform. Seriously, someone needs to reboot the Willoxbot’s system — he keeps saying the same thing over and over like his programming is stuck in an eternal loop and all he can utter is “low productivity… high wages… IR reform… urgent need.”

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19 thoughts on “The strange silence of the business community on the gutting of the RET

  1. The Pedanticist

    And of course, the Big 4 banks will nod sagely over the axing of the RET. And why wouldn’t they? After all their boards are stacked with current or former board members or employees of the likes of Woodside, Gresham Partners, Calibre Global, BHP Billiton, Caltex, Royal Dutch Shell, Leighton Holdings, Orica, Mobil, Santos….

    Interestingly, not a single board member has ties to a company whose core business is in renewable energy. Fancy that!

  2. Tamas Calderwood

    So you guys are against car industry subsidies and other types of corporate welfare, but when it comes to renewables – well! – energy consumers should subsidise a favoured industry to the tune of billions and billions and billions of dollars?

    I know, I know – it’s about saving the planet, right? The planet that hasn’t warmed for 17 years…

  3. nullifidian

    If the direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industries were removed, even ignoring the threat to the planet, then the costs of coal powered electricity would double or triple. There then would be no doubt that renewable energy offers cheaper power. And, typically, Tamas recycles the same old porky about the planet not warming.

  4. The Pedanticist

    OK Tama, let’s have a level playing field and cut out the all the fossil fuel industry subsidies (only $10 billion a year). As for your other contention – I’m sick of arguing science with the ignorant, gullible and corrupt.

  5. Chris Hartwell

    Prove it Calderwood.

  6. Mark Duffett

    “one of the few high-tech industries that Australia has a huge comparative advantage in, in areas like solar power” is a strange statement. Australia certainly has an advantage compared to others in using solar power, but there’s nothing high-tech about installing it. All the ‘high tech’ currently involved in solar is mainly in the manufacturing, which is done in China and, decreasingly, Germany, irrespective of the Australian market.

  7. Luke Hellboy

    Let me try and explain algebra to a labrador… there is a difference between compensating declining, rent-seeking industries and their majority foreign shareholders (the coal industry and it’s power generators, the car industry) and investing in projects that have short and long term benefits to the Australian public (renewable energies where there is a global economic and environmental demand as well as a science/engineering/construction ability to become a world leader in Australia and a need for employment in these sectors or medical research for the same reasons.) If the archaic corporations in globally declining industries weren’t receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate ‘entitlements’from the tax payers pocket then the idea of not supporting RET might have some merit, given we’d have a more level playing field. But we don’t and it doesn’t.
    And on your 15 year fetish… temperatures have been recorded since the late 18th century and with geological and ice core samples, the temperature sample can extend over hundreds of thousands of years. The earth is heating, just not uniformly, with the oceans absorbing most of the heat energy at the moment. It sure to pay it back with interest. Given the miniscule time frame that you keep harping on about, any recent ‘cooling’ is statistically insignificant, even compared with the last century of accelerated warming.

    I appreciate people with different perspectives to challenge my ideas and philosophies but people with no perspective offer little value. A broken clock is right twice a day and even the hand can come up something reasonable on the rare occasion. Looking forward to the day you can add something of value Tamas. If the Oz wasn’t bleeding money, you’d be a shoe in for a new columnist or editor

  8. C Jones

    There will be a case for removing subsidies to the renewable energy sector as time goes by – the technology is maturing and costs are falling. But until the existing generators who dominate the electricity market wind down, there will be no hope. Sure, a level playing field is desirable, but it’s hardly level when the incumbents refuse to budge.
    I’d say a trimming of the most successful elements of the RET could be acceptable, while those sectors that are still floundering (emerging tech, vehicle storage to grid etc) can maintain their access to support.
    It doesn’t have to be all or none you know.

  9. Tamas Calderwood

    What are these fossil fuel subsidies guys???? Name them!

    And EVRYONE is talking about the warming pause these days. The Economist, SMH, ABC… everyone.

    In any case, my position is no subsidies for any industry. None.

  10. Mark M

    Tamas – burning coal to boil water to turn a turbine to produce power kilometres away from where it is needed is just plain stupid, even if it is cheap. It is only cheap because the cost of pollution is not factored in to the process. We can do much better. Don’t forget that the coal power stations were paid for by the tax payer.

    Do you really believe that warming has stopped, even with all the evidence to the contrary. We know where the heat is going. It has to go somewhere or don’t you “believe” in the greenhouse effect.

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