En­ergy apoca­lypse

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

Townsville TONY Ab­bott is right: the Renewable En­ergy Tar­get should be abol­ished.

The RET is the fun­da­men­tal rea­son power prices have more than dou­bled to be among the high­est in the world — in a coun­try awash with the coal that used to give us the cheap­est, most re­li­able power in the world — and all three south­east­ern main­land states face black­outs this sum­mer.

We are on the edge of an en­ergy apoca­lypse with a fu­ture 2020 RET tar­get of just 20 per cent, with more like only 6- 8 per cent of elec­tric­ity to­day ac­tu­ally from “real” re­new­ables ( wind and so­lar).

Be­cause they are still rel­a­tively new we haven’t yet had to foot much of a bill for re­pair and re­place­ment.

Think how much more ex­pen­sive and un­re­li­able power will get if Bill Shorten gets his hands on gov­ern­ment and lifts the RET to 50 per cent.

Those who un­der­stand ba­sic re­al­ity know the RET is a na­tional sui­cide note.

The re­new­ables true be­liev­ers should be re­laxed about the RET be­ing abol­ished. They are telling us wind and so­lar is cheaper than coal and get­ting ever cheaper. If that’s true, why do we need a RET?

Ex­cept it is com­plete and ut­ter garbage. You will have to abol­ish re­al­ity be­fore wind and so­lar be­come cheaper than coal- fired power.

The only way they are “cheaper” is im­pos­ing mas­sive un­jus­ti­fied costs on coal- fired power and giv­ing wind and so­lar mas­sive sub­si­dies. Even then, ex­cus­ing them from hav­ing to pro­vide their own power gen­er­a­tion back- up for when “the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine”.

The way re­new­ables are given pri­or­ity ac­cess to power distri­bu­tion turns baseload coal- fired gen­er­a­tion into de facto “peak­ing” plants for which they are un­suited.

Yes, the RET should be abol­ished. But the only way abo­li­tion of the RET would “work” to de­liver the cheaper and more re­li­able power we used to have is if it was done on a bi­par­ti­san ba­sis. The point of abo­li­tion is to en­cour­age the build­ing of new 21st- cen­tury coal- fired plants.

But no one will com­mit to the bil­lions re­quired as long as there was the prospect of a fu­ture La­bor- Green gov­ern­ment bring­ing back a manda­tory RET — with the guar­an­tee of ut­terly wreck­ing both the fi­nan­cial and op­er­a­tional as­pects of such a plant.

A sim­i­lar ba­sic re­al­ity also con­demns the sug­ges­tion of switch­ing to four- year fixed terms for Fed­eral Par­lia­ment. What crip­ples good gov­ern­ment is not the par­lia­men­tary term but the Se­nate — and in par­tic­u­lar La­bor’s re­fusal to sup­port pro- Aus­tralia pol­icy.

The only time in the last 30- plus years that sen­si­ble leg­is­la­tion has got through the Se­nate was when La­bor was propos­ing it in the 1980s and the Coali­tion op­po­si­tion sup­ported it, then when the Howard- Costello Coali­tion gov­ern­ment was able to “buy” the pre­cious cou­ple of votes in the Se­nate over ve­he­ment, un­re­lent­ing and ir­ra­tional La­bor op­po­si­tion.

You could give a gov­ern­ment 10year terms and it wouldn’t lead to good leg­is­la­tion given the feral Se­nate — made feral by La­bor cyn­i­cism and op­por­tunism. ra­tio­nal

POW­ERS THAT BE: The RET pol­icy is a na­tional sui­cide note.

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