The same old subsidies to renewables: only the name has changed

The NEG is dead but all its developers remain in place, thrashing around as they seek out a new moniker for the policy of penalising and rendering uneconomic the coal based generation that not so long ago gave Australia the world’s cheapest electricity.

Politicians always sound authoritative and their ruminations on climate change and energy are no exceptions.  But, almost  universally, they are responding to their own self-interest as dictated by focus groups.

Six prime ministerial changes in eleven years and the collapse of low cost electricity has been the outcome of Australia’s  political leaders’ attempts to marry economics with the green energy goals.  We may not have seen the end of this. But the Trump victory and the his determination to restore cheap energy will eventually force changes beyond America’s shores.

Sadly, the costs already incurred and those still to be incurred can never be retrieved.  See the piece at Quadrant.

post script.  The AFR this morning claims that renewables in the EU are thriving without receiving subsidies. Did someone forgot to tell the author (and the hapless Fin Rev editor) about the EU version of the Carbon tax now with the equivalent of some $60 per MWh or about 50 per cent higher than the Australian market price before the slow burning renewable subsidy poison hit in 2015?

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24 Responses to The same old subsidies to renewables: only the name has changed

  1. RobK

    But the Trump victory and the his determination to restore cheap energy will eventually force changes beyond America’s shores.

    I wish I shared your conviction in that statement.

  2. struth

    Some shores maybe.
    Australia has made sure it shackles itself throughout its history.
    The left are too strong here.

  3. Roger

    But the Trump victory and the his determination to restore cheap energy will eventually force changes beyond America’s shores.

    There’s a lot of stupidity in our political class to be worked through first, by which time Trump may be gone.

  4. Report: Electric, Gas, and Water Rates Falling Due to Trump Tax Cuts

    A new report finds that electric, gas, and water rates have fallen across the country due to the tax cuts put in place by President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/06/08/report-electric-gas-and-water-rates-falling-due-to-trump-tax-cuts/

  5. destroyer D69

    I cannot believe that the NEG is dead untill I see its rotting carcass on display complete with a stake through its heart. Remember the “There will be no carbon tax” lies.

  6. Mark M

    It’s all over, now … or tomorrow … or in 2 years … or something …

    UN António Guterres, Sept 10 2018:
    Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment.
    If we do not change course by 2020, we could miss our chance to avoid the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change.
    http://www.un.org/climatechange/

    At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025
    https://theconversation.com/at-its-current-rate-australia-is-on-track-for-50-renewable-electricity-in-2025-102903

  7. It’s all over, now … or tomorrow … or in 2 years … or something …

    Every year now for at least the last 20 years we’ve missed that all important climate change tipping point that would have averted disaster. No doubt we’ll have another 50-100 years of tipping points to miss.

  8. Bill Thompson

    I think Stephen Conroy was one of the most reasonable Labor pollies in the last 20 years, so when I saw him on Sky with Bolta last night, I went around to see if I could chat with him about climate change policy …

    https://youtu.be/DE-lcjgmN54

  9. Terry

    the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change.

    Include:
    * Unnecessarily high energy prices;
    * Unnecessarily unreliable energy (if you can afford any at all);
    * A wholesale reduction of the wealth of the nation, impeding its ability to adapt and deal with any actual climate change (good, bad or indifferent) that might confront us in the future;
    * Having to listen to unabashed morons presuming to lecture on concepts well beyond their capacity for reason; and
    * The massive opportunity costs of being distracted by this total non-problem.

    Until the electoral process that delivers these idiots into office is corrected, we are doomed to suffer more of the same and probably worse.

    Solving the energy crisis will not solve the cause of it and will just leave us further exposed to the next scam that takes its place.

  10. RobK

    Good effort Bill. Easy to watch.

  11. Tim Neilson

    I think Stephen Conroy was one of the most reasonable Labor pollies in the last 20 years,

    The nuclear milkman? Not saying you’re necessarily wrong Bill, but if you’re right that is a tragic indictment of the system of government in this nation.

  12. H B Bear

    The nuclear milkman? Not saying you’re necessarily wrong Bill…

    I’ll say it then. Conroy was never anything more than a jumped up Victorian numbers man for the Liars. His NBN will ultimately cost the country tens of billions of dollars. Another ex-pat Pom bringing his grievances of 1960’s Britain to Australia at our expense.

  13. Tel

    I think Stephen Conroy was one of the most reasonable Labor pollies in the last 20 years …

    If you can forgive him for using the words “final solution” in Parliament with respect to FTTP technology (Tuesday, 26 August 2014). Strangely no media freakout at the time, not sure if you can blame that particular hypocritical outburst on Conroy.

  14. Sadly, the costs already incurred and those still to be incurred can never be retrieved.

    Yes, the tragedy of this is that, even if we dumped the RET and all subsidies tomorrow the spivs and thieves who have made themselves VERY wealthy from this will never see justice. The biggest transfer (theft) of money in history from the people to the elites has taken place through the GW scam and like the GFC not one single banker, pollie or public servant will be stripped of their (our) unearned (looted) wealth and locked up.

  15. Pyrmonter

    The NEG is dead, so we’re stuck with the even worse RET. With such systematic triumphs of policy development, we’ll be re-imposing trade quotas shortly.

    Meanwhile, the EU ETS (a bad design, but a better and more market-focussed approach than our extremes of anti-capitalism and coalphilia have managed to adopt) has seen the price of carbon average somewhere below $10 for the past two years. Hardly burdensome:

    https://www.theice.com/products/197/EUA-Futures/data?marketId=5115277&span=3

  16. Hardly burdensome

    Any unnecessary, especially pointless, cost is a burden.

  17. Colonel Crispin Berka, Kings' Fusiliers Corps.

    No problem. We’ll just get Chinese steel foundries to agree to only deliver steel to their customers when the wind is blowing across the iron mines in Australia.

    https://i.imgur.com/ZrIeFt8.jpg

    (Another day, another auto-moderation, which only gets lifted after everyone has stopped commenting on the thread so that I am effectively shadow-banned on CatallaxyFiles without explanation.)

  18. Pyrmonter

    We live in the times of populism. Like it or not, most of the population think ‘something should be done’ about CO2 output reduction. Taking that as given, the least expensive things should be done. This constant cavilling with doing anything vacates the policy high-ground to the very spivs, cronies and fantasists who deliver nonsense like the RET, and against sensible, market mechanism-driven policy measures.

    Oh, and in passing, the ‘but it doesn’t matter’ crowd – the ones who accept there is AGW, but claim we make a minor contribution to it, really should ponder whether the 20th rioter or 20th market manipulator is guilty, because, after all, ‘everyone else is doing it’

  19. Tim Neilson

    Like it or not, most of the population think ‘something should be done’ about CO2 output reduction. Taking that as given, ….
    against sensible, market mechanism-driven policy measures.

    Contradiction alert!

  20. Tim Neilson

    the ones who accept there is AGW, but claim we make a minor contribution to it, really should ponder whether the 20th rioter or 20th market manipulator is guilty, because, after all, ‘everyone else is doing it’

    Bad analogy.
    The 20th rioter refraining from breaking windows wouldn’t cause lots of poor people to die from heat or eat poverty.

  21. Pyrmonter

    @ Tim Neilson

    As neither Rudd nor Gillard nor the successive coalition governments ‘rolled back’ the ‘compensation’ awarded to pensioners when Gillard introduced her ETS, those pensioners are still better off. Meanwhile, Middle Australia continues to be taxed heavily on its labour income, and to pay for perverse policy mechanisms like the RET (albeit, roughly 1/5th of the cumulative increase in power prices over the past decade, the rest being accounted for by union-promoted gold-plating of infrastructure and the development of a cosy retail cartel). With policy successes like this, the Argentine road beckons …

  22. Terry

    “the ones who accept there is AGW, but claim we make a minor contribution to it”

    Why is that not a valid position?

    Like saying a person’s body heat will increase the temperature of a room slightly. You might even need to open a window or turn on some air-conditioning to accommodate the variation.

    However, claiming the room will burst into flames as a result? That might be a slightly hysterical overreaction.

  23. JohnA

    This seems like the most suitable place to post this.

    From this evening’s headlines from the Australian:


    ‘Capital of renewable energy’ by SAMANTHA HUTCHINSON

    Daniel Andrews’ government has unveiled a plan to build six new wind and solar farms powering up to 650,000 homes.

    Up to…

    But there are almost 2.3 million households in Victoria Census 2011.

    And how many homes will this massive “investment” really, actually power when they want it?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  24. Snoopy

    Daniel Andrews’ government has unveiled a plan to build six new wind and solar farms powering up to 650,000 homes.

    Good news. We can disconnect them from the East coast grid.

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