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

Liberals: energy policy « Previous | |Next »
July 27, 2012

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Liberal Party's energy policy is designed to protect the fossil fuel (coal and gas) industry.

Their main line of attack is that wind or solar are not able to supply much more than their current 3 per cent because they couldn’t provide baseload power, are expensive and unreliable. The tactic is to delay or slow the deployment of renewables, and to keep them locked into pilot studies, research and development and niche markets. Behind this sits the next line of defence: a campaign against the idea of anthropogenic climate change, wind farms and solar PV.

The tactic here is sow doubt in the public mind about the credibility of the scientific warnings and the need to respond. For instance, they argue that solar PV has taken off only because of the poorly designed political quick fixes with tariffs imposed by populist Labo) state governments. These are unsustainable schemes that were shifting enormous costs on households that do not have solar.

If the less ideological defenders do not reject the principal conclusions of climate science, then they work to water down the implications, and to boost “sensible” and cautious economic solutions that would allow the continued exploitation of fossil fuels. This would ensure ongoing economic growth, prosperity and jobs.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:28 PM | | Comments (6)


The myth of baseload power demand via:



A 3rd site with a bonus diagram

Lots lots more available if you Google.

Should I notify the COALition to let them know they are wrong?

Here's a rundown on renewable power projections made around the year 2000, and comments on how pessimistic they were:

But the reason for the wrongness was, apparently, policy. If Govts. hadn't moved to subsidise renewables, those pessimistic predictions might have been right:

It's mostly about the US, but maybe indicates that a Govt. with a negative attitude to renewables would have a really bad impact.

There are several reasons for moving to renewables, including reduced pollution (of several sorts), conservation of limited fossil deposits and of course reduced greenhouse warming.

In arguing for renewables I hope greenies don't forget the first two, partly because I think people are getting tired of threat messages about greenhouse, but also because they're real reasons which are in danger of being forgotten.

The 544MW Northern power station near Port Augusta in South Australia has closed down. Alinta Energy's otherbrown coal generator, the 250MW Playford power station, also in Port Augusta, has been shut since late February – ironically a victim of low wholesale power prices caused by reduced demand and the impact of renewables, which accounted for nearly one third of South Australia’s generation in the first six months of the year.

Together, the two power stations accounted for 30 per cent of the state’s electricity supply – and half of the state’s emissions – although Playford has not run at full capacity for years. This year, wind has overtaken coal in the amount of energy produced in the state.

The closure of Playford should be permanent because of the carbon price since this antiquated facility, built in 1963 – is one of the most polluting in the country, and relies on brown coal from a diminishing resource at the Leigh Creek mine several hundred kilometres away.

At the Clean Energy Week conference in Sydney NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher told the audience that NSW is a coal state.
Key federal Coalition figures – both past and present – told an audience of several hundred wind and solar types that their wind and solar machines were not up to job of powering a modern economy such as Australia.

The opponents of reliance on renewables in the Coalition and Big Business have for the most part they are determined to persuade us that reducing emissions is unnecessary and pointless at best and at worst is a policy goal to actively oppose.

There is no room for nuclear to replace fossil fuels in the current position of the Coalition.

Given the decline in manufacturing, and the peaking of the minerals boom, it is curious that the Liberal Party should be so off-hand about the development of a $20 billion industry, which they would chop in half if they had their way.