Australia has loaded over $15 billion a year of costs onto the electricity consumers and taxpayers to subsidise renewables.
This has done nothing to advance renewables to the competitiveness long forecast for them. Indeed, every new demonstration of the failure of wind and solar brings fresh policy proposals for their further subsidies. Added to the conversion, at a cost of $10 billion, of Snowy and Tas Hydro, into renewable energy power stabilisers, we now have new “Renewable Energy Zones” with wasteful spending on transmission to permit profitable operations of poor quality, low energy density. We have already opened another avenue of wasteful spending to eliminate coal by chasing the chimera of hydrogen power.
Ministers have demonstrated an utter inability to understand the effects of such actions on competitive unsubsidised businesses and lack awareness about the effects distortions bring to the economy at large.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor, as a backbencher campaigned against renewable subsidies. He now wants to keep those on small scale roof-tops – now attracting more subsidies than the large scale facilities – despite even such interventionist agencies like the ACCC beiong unable to see a case for them As a minister, he has become is more concerned that his department propagates the government’s success in presiding over lower emissions than in cutting subsidies.
Very few politicians understand the issues and those in the Coalition: Craig Kelly and Matt Canavan, are sidelined.
The ALP and Turnbull had no compunction against stacking their advisory agencies with green activists. But even the non-Turnbull Liberals persist in appointing starry-eyed green zealots as advisers to key positions like Treasury, where the top three officials are veteren climate change warriors. The fact that such trained economists are available is a lamentable commentary on the shift of economics profession. Once a discipline that focussed on the need ot minimise the role of political interference, it has been one that trains people to use the levers through which such interference can be exercised.
Staggering on with present policies, aggravated by the COVID political measures, means the slow-motion economic train wreck caused by energy policies will, at best, continue. More likely we will see our economic fortunes rapidly deteriorate with announcements of closures of energy intensive businesses, which are among our most productive.
It is very difficult for a nation to devise policies that destroy its economy but Australia is succeeding.