Here is a concluding extract from a piece of mine published yesterday in the Spectator
However, the demonisation of coal and threats by a future government to destroy the value of any new coal power station means a return to an autonomous market-based new investment regime is impossible. It may be that the Commonwealth is preparing to commission new non-intermittent power stations –- inevitably coal based — to shore up reliability. While providing a patch-up, this would complete the dismantling of a national electricity market and place us on the path to the high-cost electricity regime that prevailed prior to the market reforms under Hawke, Kennett and Howard.
A preferable outcome would be for the Canberra to guarantee that a future federal government would not adopt policies that expropriate any new investment (as governments already do with roads, ports and other long-lived infrastructure) and:
- Abolish the commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the subsidies, presently about $75 per MWh, it creates for wind and large-scale solar;
- Eliminate the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) under which electricity users in general are forced to provide a subsidy of $40 per MWh to roof-top photovoltaic installations.
- Cease all government subsidies through the budget including guarantees to bodies like the Clean Energy Regulator and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
In addition, state government should remove subsidies like the Queensland Solar Bonus scheme and preferential feed-in-tariffs for PV generated electricity.
With such policies, Australia would once again benefit from the cheap electricity that government market interventions have caused.
The whole piece is here
The issue also got an airing on the Bolt Report last night. Here is a clip.