The head of the misnamed Coalition backbench environment committee, Craig Kelly, has been all over the media with ever more strident calls to stop all subsidies to renewable energy.
His argument, which has been adopted by that jellyfish Frydenberg, is that, if renewables are cheaper then they don’t need subsidies.
On June 25, Mr Kelly gave a childishly sarcastic speech in parliament regarding AGL’s statement that coal cannot compete with renewables in the future.
This is wonderful news, because what that means, if coal truly “cannot compete with renewables”, is that we can simply finish the renewable energy target today.
We do not need it.
If renewables are truly cheaper, why do we need to continue subsidise them?
We can cut all the subsidies back to zero.
We can finish all the subsidised feed-in tariffs.
We can abandon any thought of carbon taxes in the future because of this wonderful news.
The Finkel report, because of this announcement by AGL, is now completely redundant, because renewables, according to AGL, are cheaper than coal, and coal cannot compete.
If we do a reverse auction’ to get more power in the grid to address the shortages that we are likely to have in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria this summer, AGL should be all in favour of that, because that reverse auction would be won by renewables with storage. Haleluya
It is also great news for Australia’s international competitiveness, because we see around the world they are still building something like 1,000 coal-fired power stations. (Idiots !) These nations are making investments that are wasting billions and billions of their capital. This will put Australia at a great competitive advantage.
On the Paris Agreement, we can go back to “Paris” being known as the city of love.
Craig Kelly gets his advice from the Minerals Council of Australia and the IPA. Despite being the chairman of the ‘environment’ committee, he makes no mention ever of climate change or pollution. In fact, in July this year, he linked recent electricity price increases to subsidies for renewables that he said would cause deaths this winter. What Mr. Kelly didn’t mention were the subsidies the coal sector enjoys, the skyrocketing price of gas, or the well-established fact that coal kills.
In 2015, the International Monetary Fund released a paper projecting that, during that year, the world would subsidise energy consumption – mostly coal, gas and petroleum – by an astonishing $6.6 trillion.
In Australia, the IMF projected we would subsidise coal, petroleum and gas consumption by $41 billion in 2015, almost two per cent of our gross domestic product, with the consequences of global warming and air pollution representing about $25 billion of that figure.
This amounts to a per capita subsidy of almost $1600.
In September last year, the Bloomberg Editorial Board said fossil fuel subsidies were the dumbest policy they could find in the world, saying that the “ridiculous” outlays would be economically wasteful even if they didn’t also harm the environment.
“They fuel corruption, discourage efficient use of energy and promote needlessly capital-intensive industries,” the Bloomberg team wrote. “They sustain unviable fossil-fuel producers, hold back innovation, and encourage countries to build uneconomic pipelines and coal-fired power plants.
“Last and most important, if governments are to have any hope of meeting their ambitious climate targets, they need to stop paying people to use and produce fossil fuels.”
When 40 countries signed a communique committing to promote the phase out of inefficient government subsidies for the use of coal, gas and oil in Paris in 2015, Turnbull had to ring the NZ Prime Minister at the last minute to admit, because of opposition from the deniers in his party, Australia could not support the intiative.
These are the same dinosaurs who are screaming blue murder about renewables displacing their beloved coal.
Mr Kelly was an ok footballer and a not-so-successful businessman (who questionably avoided bankruptcy proceedings), but as a politician, he has proven to be an ignorant mouthpiece for vested interests. The fact that the PM and Energy Minister are now echoing his hollow words is frightening.