Shed light on so­lar cost

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - PAUL DIL­LON,

I RE­CEIVED a pam­phlet from the Hon. Co­ralee O’Rourke MP the other day telling me how she will work mir­a­cles so we can all en­joy pros­per­ity and have a bet­ter place to live. Not once did she men­tion the deficit that hangs over ev­ery Queens­lan­der’s head like the sword of Damo­cles.

La­bor has al­ways been for the en­vi­ron­ment, so they say. En­cour­ag­ing house­hold­ers to take up so­lar energy for do­mes­tic use may be seen as a pos­i­tive move to sus­tain­abil­ity. How­ever, if a com­mer­cial en­ter­prise be­gins to suf­fer a loss of de­mand then it may raise its re­tail price or re­duce its cost of pro­duc­tion or sell off its in­fra­struc­ture. Of course, the busi­ness may fail and then go into liq­ui­da­tion and van­ish.

I never re­ally saw the ben­e­fit of so­lar power for the punter be­cause in the long run it’s coun­ter­pro­duc­tive to gov­ern­ment- owned and run public util­i­ties which are only there for the suck­ers. How­ever, there is a fun­da­ment prin­ci­ple of Aus­tralian pol­i­tics that goes like this, on the elec­tion of a La­bor gov­ern­ment it will give away the trea­sures of the coun­try for a song, for ex­am­ple: CBA shares at $ 10, free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, a floor price in the sale of wool and, of course, do­mes­tic so­lar energy and pink batts. All these free­bies even­tu­ally turn out to be a drain on the bud­get and ul­ti­mately need to be re­versed or abol­ished.

Er­gon and its mates were al- ready go­ing down the drain be­fore they were loaded up with gov­ern­ment fis­cal debt and to over­come this loss of de­mand through so­lar, they in­vented the term “re­duced up­take” which pre­vents your so­lar be­ing fed into the grid. It’s all ko- sher, sci­en­tif­i­cally jus­ti­fied. Re­duced de­mand can­not be off­set by dis­pos­ing of in­fra­struc­ture, it must be main­tained for the dead­beats who never took up so­lar, nor by re­duc­ing the cost of pro­duc­tion, be­cause public ser­vants must be kept at any cost.

The up­shot is that do­mes­tic so­lar energy is good in the­ory, like all La­bor ideas, but bad in prac­tice. As the sup­plier, a gov­ern­ment util­ity must stay online for the dead­beats and the public ser­vants. Green tech­nol­ogy can only work in a cap­i­tal­ist econ­omy. Added to this strain on Er­gon comes this ad­di­tional bur­den of the bud­get deficit.

In the real world Er­gon would file for bank­ruptcy. The gov­ern­ment won’t agree to that so it will stag­ger on like a banana re­pub­lic, reg­u­lar out­ages, re­duced take up of so­lar in­put, in­dus­trial dis­putes and ever higher prices for re­tail elec­tric­ity.

The knock­out blow will come when the filthy rich start buy­ing stor­age bat­ter­ies and dis­con­nect from the grid. Er­gon will then be­come a debt- rid­den char­ity for dead­beats who can’t af­ford so­lar and public ser­vants.

CELL- OUT: So­lar is good in the­ory but bad in prac­tice, says one reader.

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