The absurdity of the oxymoronic “National Energy Guarantee” continues.
Minister Frydenberg is urging all the states to sign onto his carbon tax with its fairyland projections of declining electricity prices on the back of higher roof-top investments. (The Government and its advisers did not get the ACCC’s memo that this subsidy should, in line with developments in the UK and China, be eliminated). But the renewablesphile, fossil fuel-phobic state and territory ministers are dithering because they want to replace coal with renewables even faster than Turnbull thinks he can get away with. Such policies would, of course, only hasten us over the economic cliff.
And they are joined by others, including wind farmer Goldwind whose CEO says, “We are at a pivotal point and the structure without the substance of an emissions target which is going to really be meaningful is something I’m not sure will really move us forward.” This is the firm that claims it has sold its wind energy including the renewable entitlements for $60 per MWh (the market price without the subsidies is far in excess of that)! So much for the plinth on which the NEG stands that renewables are now or will soon be so cheap that no subsidy will emerge from the new regulatory regime!
The hypocrisy and self-serving goes well beyond this. Today we saw the release of wind farmer Infogen’s annual report. Reported revenue is $200 million this year. $120 million of this is subsidies and much of the rest boosted by subsidy-forced plant closures. Directors paid themselves $11.2 million in 2017.
And the Clean Energy Finance Corporation annual report out today illustrates the degree of wasteful malinvestments the taxpayer is shouldering in this nefarious body’s activities. In the 12 months to June 2018, new commitments were $2.3 billion ($1.1 billion in renewable energy). At 30 June 2018, total CEFC investment commitments since inception exceeded $6.6 billion. In five years of investing, CEFC commitments have now contributed to clean energy projects Australia-wide, with a total project value of $19 billion. Not only a waste of resources but negative value as the program is undermining the electricity that can be commercially supplied at one third that which renewables get.
Maybe we have to accept a Shorten administration to allow us the purgation of the fools and scoundrels that represent us politically. But the danger is that a Shorten administration with its greater skills at marching through the institutions will simply be a marker along the road to Venezuela, which in the 1970s, like Australia today, had a per capita GDP not far below that of the USA.
Post script: Not everyone agrees with this: apparently, talking to a Clean Energy Summit, Minister Frydenberg said, “And maybe here I’m speaking to some of my colleagues, but we are living in a carbon constrained world” @JoshFrydenberg #ACES2018“
PPS Josh Frydenberg has suggested that this “carbon constrained world” he describes is as a result of financiers’ social constraints. Perhaps so, but not in all cases as evidenced by the 1000 plus coal units underway around the world