From Jo Nova:
Stupid Nation: Australians crave cheap energy, yet think “low cost” renewables need support
It’s like an Easter Island moment for an advanced economy: somehow “cheap” energy can’t compete in a free market without government subsidy. A Nation of Serfs have forgotten what a free market is. Will cheap desirable stuff sell itself, or not?
The contradictions mount. Electricity and gas prices are hitting escape velocity:
The wholesale electricity spot prices was about $35 a megawatt hour during 2011, rose to $58 after the carbon tax was introduced and is now about $130 as gas prices push up energy generator costs.
Not surprisingly 70% of Australians want cheaper, more reliable electricity. Only one person in four would rather cut emissions than cut the bill. Yet the agitprop telling people that renewables are “cheap” has been so pervasive that fully 38% of Australians think the government should raise the renewable energy target, and 23% think it should stay the same. It follows that around 4 in 10 Australians apparently hold the bizarre idea that wind and solar are cheap and yet in need of government support, as if there are no investors willing to put money into supplying something that 100% of people want at a price cheaper than what they currently pay. So screwed is our national commentary that a large slab of the nation think a cheap and highly desired product can’t profit without complex schemes and assistance.
Message to Australia, if renewables were cheap they wouldn’t need a RET, LET or CET scheme. People would just buy them!
No wonder there is policy gridlock. The situation won’t be resolved until the propaganda bubble pops and the national debate advances to the point where people know how expensive renewables are. Find me one country in the world running on wind and solar that has cheap electricity and no interconnector supplying coal or nuclear powered electrons. Exactly.
The answer for the Liberal-conservatives is clear, unless they get the message out that renewables are a hideously expensive deadweight burning a hole in our wallets they can’t possibly win this debate. As long as the nation blindly drinks from the Kool-aid-Cauldron the Conservatives are on a hiding to nothing – locked into endless cycles of “uncertainty” and hip-pocket pain.
Welcome to the clean green future — pack the whole family under one electric blanket while boat loads of our cheap coal set sail for China.
A few weeks ago I received a pamphlet from the ACT government on energy-saving tips. For winter it featured a picture of a family all in overcoats and beanies, huddled under an electric blanket.
Welcome to your clean green future huddled under an electric blanket, and reverting to wood fires to keep the house warm.
The Finkel report aims to provide incentives for all energy sources that produce electricity with lower greenhouse gas emissions, but the suggested benchmark means a high-efficiency, low-emissions power plant with carbon capture and storage would not qualify. That is why plenty of people think this is a backdoor attempt to block coal and even gas with an effective “tax on coal”.
The crisis has arisen because of the over-reliance on wind and solar power. In South Australia, combined with the closure of two coal-fired power plants, one in SA and one in Victoria, it has destabilised the whole grid. Added to that is the shortage of gas and the lack of storage for renewables.
Meanwhile, despite the domestic opposition to coal, we send our coal to Japan and China to be used in high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired generators to produce cleaner and cheaper power where people don’t have to sit inside wearing beanies under an electric blanket.