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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the more you emit, the more subsidies you get. « Previous | |Next »
November 2, 2011

We have a "climate denial machine": a network of organizations, many backed by energy interests, that work to create doubt about the science of human-caused global warming, opposition to the renewable energy industry on behalf of fossil fuel interests and green jobs, repelling the environmentalist movement and targeting academics.

A second obstacle that stands in the way of clean energy development that will emerge when the Senate passes the package of 19 "clean energy" bills next week is the opposition from a hostile Coalition that vows to roll them back when they regain power. The Victorian government has brought the local wind energy industry to a halt, and NSW has taken this action with solar.

Another obstacle is the fossil fuel subsidies such as the diesel fuel rebates and infrastructure subsidies to the coal mining industry. What is now coming into the foreground in NSW is the subsidies taking the form of supplying coal to the fossil fuel generators at a vastly lower price. The coal-fired power stations in NSW are unable to compete with other power sources unless their coal is supplied at around one quarter of the cost of export coal. So the state government gives a $4 billion subsidy to state’s coal fired power plants.

The inference?

One is that Australia cannot afford to consume its own fossil fuels at export prices. Another is that whilst the NSW government is cracking down on subsidies for renewable energy generation such as rooftop solar, it is ramping up the level of subsidies provided to its coal-fired power stations by ensuring the cheap supply of coal for the next few decades. The third inference is that the more you emit, the more subsidies you get.

Australia is hopelessly behind the rest of the developed world in key energy criteria – productivity, emissions, renewable power installation, demand management and energy efficiency. A major reason is the “regulatory capture” of energy policy by the fossil fuel energy industry in Australia.

The reality is that the energy industry --and the national electricity market--will have to grapple with how to cope with tyhe new technologies and regulatory changes designed to recognise the value of new energy sources, and the value of saving energy rather than simply trying to produce more of it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:55 PM | | Comments (4)


a hostile Coalition that vows to roll them [the 19 "clean energy" bills] back when they regain power.

The Coalition basically argues that a carbon price will have no environmental benefit, all the while having a plan to reduce Australian emissions by the same amount as the government, but at twice the cost of an ETS.

If the carbon price would not make a scrap of difference to global temperatures, then why do they have a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 5%?

The conclusion is that their own plans to reduce emissions would be just as futile as the Governments.

Or that their own plan is a leaf to disguise their denialism, which is their real de facto position.

"A major reason is the “regulatory capture” of energy policy by the fossil fuel energy industry in Australia."

The Coalition--and the Liberal governments in NSW and Victoria-- have been captured by fossil fuel interests. Hence their opposition to the renewable energy industry.

[not a comment on this thread]
I dont expect you'd remember me but we had some email exchange a couple of years ago when you asked if I'd be interested in helping you out with some of your online writing/blogging. I had to beg off at that stage as I was underneath the weight of infants and a Masters degree. However I have dropped in from time to time to read how it was going. Just wanted to say hello and to mention that your {} links on this page are broken!

Yes Good point Paul.

I suppose the 5% is just a generic type figure/promise/carrot like ; We will lower taxes, Provide better health care,Whatever they did we will do it better sort of thing.
Really just gives that side an arguing point. 5% of nothing is probably equal to nothing so it has cost them nothing to say it.