Australia on their renewable-energy mandates: We’re kinda’ over it

posted at 6:41 pm on February 17, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

It was out with the Labor Party and in with the Liberal Party in the Australian elections last September (translation: the government switched over from six years of progressive dominance to their version of conservatism). Part of Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s campaign platform was cutting government spending and taking a more reality-based stance on the country’s green commitments (including a deeply unpopular carbon tax), and he immediately started to make good on both of those promises by getting rid of the country’s Climate Commission and freezing renewables funding (not to mention his new government’s suggestion as to where the United Nations could stick their latest attempt to rope developed countries into a mutual impoverishment pact “global climate treaty”). Now, the government is moving forward on reevaluating the economic wisdom of their mandatory renewable energy target (RET), much to the chagrin of both Australian and global greens. Via Reuters:

The target to ensure Australia generates 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2020 has been a boon to the nation’s wind and solar producers, but has been blamed by the conservative Coalition government for increasing power prices.

“In particular, the review will consider the contribution of the RET in reducing emissions, its impact on electricity prices and energy markets, as well as its costs and benefits for the renewable energy sector, the manufacturing sector and Australian households,” Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said in a statement. …

Macfarlane said the outcome of the review was not set, though Environment Minister Greg Hunt last month proposed to delay the implementation of the target by five years. …

Green groups in Australia saw the appointment of Dick Warburton, a former Reserve Bank board member who has expressed doubt that carbon emissions cause climate change, as a clear sign that the government’s intention is to weaken or remove the target.

Which is probably a pretty good idea. The greens doth protest that weakening the target will ease investment in renewables and result in the country using more coal for electricity generation — but funnily enough, Germany’s very similar mandated energy targets of the past few years have in fact directly resulted in the country turning to coal for power generation, and a colossal waste of taxpayer money and loss of business competitiveness besides.

Click to watch the news report from ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not the American one):

 photo Screenshot2014-02-17at60322PM_zps3a7d9a2f.png

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: John Howard introduced the Renewable Energy Target, then Labor upped it. The current goal’s to have 20 per cent of Australian power sourced from renewables by 2020. But that could be adjusted downwards following a review into the RET, whose terms of reference were released today.

GREG HUNT, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: We are a government that is unashamedly doing our best to take pressure off manufacturing and households through anything which can lower electricity prices.

TOM IGGULDEN: Heading the review is former Reserve Bank board member Dick Warburton, a leading climate sceptic who’s argued the effects of climate change have been overstated.

The Government says renewable energy has a role to play in Australia’s energy future, but the review will focus on the economics of green energy.


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OK…I like the idea of reducing the green energy boondoggle, but just LOVE the idea of politicians who keep their promises!

philosoph0123 on February 17, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Disclaimer: ‘Liberal’ Down Under does not mean what it mean here.

Their ‘liberal’ party is their version of Rethuglican.

Lanceman on February 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The Government says renewable energy has a role to play in Australia’s energy future, but the review will focus on the economics of green energy.

Then green energy’s in trouble…

JohnGalt23 on February 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Don’t worry, we’ll double-down on green energy to take up the slack. Screw the birds and the doubling of energy costs! Forward!

/s

xNavigator on February 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM

The Emperor has no clothes and he has no global warming. He’s standing there … how shall I put it .. in his shorts … and he is shivering something just awful.

The colder it gets the more hysterical the High Priests and Money Changers of Global Warming will become.

VorDaj on February 17, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Disclaimer: ‘Liberal’ Down Under does not mean what it mean here.
Lanceman on February 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

For a second there I thought you were talking about Clinton.

Hillary, not Bill.

pain train on February 17, 2014 at 7:08 PM

AGW alarmism is a cult, plain and simple. It has all the hallmarks of a cult:

* A class of priests/prophets, often living in opposition to their own teachings (Dem politicians, eco-organizations, Hollywood).
* It has divine texts (IPCC reports).
* It has original sin (the Industrial Revolution and the advent of carbon-based energy).
* It has an apocalyptic end-time warning (melting ice caps, rising seas, drought, snow, ANY WEATHER AT ALL!).
* It has indulgences available for purchase (carbon taxes, carbon offsets, green energy subsidies).
* It has a heavenly reward (green energy leading to a utopian environment on earth).

It is a cult with a clear hierarchy and a desire to control. Its proponents must be opposed. They will not stop of their own accord. No cult ever does.

xNavigator on February 17, 2014 at 7:11 PM

There was one of those sound bites on Hannity’s intro, with John Kerry saying (paraphrase) “Barak and I will not convene a meeting of The Flat Earth Society on Global Warming…”

I wanted to send my fist right through his board-like face….what arrogance, what idiocy!!!

Lucky I was alone in the car…..

Fathom on February 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM

The Government says renewable energy has a role to play in Australia’s energy future, but the review will focus on the economics of green energy.

Then green energy’s in trouble…

JohnGalt23 on February 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

All “Green” energy sources should be in trouble if they can’t compete without cronyism or welfare. If it’s not economically viable it should fail. I’m all for alternatives if the price per Kwatt/Hr decreases without subsidies and the provider makes a profit.

P. Logan on February 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Well one way to meet their carbon target is to have all the ‘greens’ register. They can’t own cars or use any transport that derives it’s energy from fossil fuels. They can’t own anything produced by fossil fuels.

Practice what you preach. Oh, and have a nice day.

GarandFan on February 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

You’re absolutely right and socialism is a cult also. They certainly have the guilt thing down.

Wow sensible people in charge of a government. I hope it spreads.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Mark Steyn had a piece the other day about other of the english speaking countries…we’re in much worse shape fiscally.

and our dumb as s*** population, you know the dumb as f*** people who don’t know that the earth goes around the sun…those people…will vote the socialists in every time…and get a check..while the rest of us have to pay double for our electric because of AGW…or because of pollution..or simply because I say so…and we’ll have to pay for the poor dears’ bills too…because they are too stupid to have a job, and besides they are poets you know.

and don’t count on any RINO to help out…they are under the tables counting their money

r keller on February 17, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Will the Australian Party of “their version of conservatism” also reverse the sweeping firearms restrictions, from a few years ago ?

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:31 PM

I don’t have a problem with researching and encouraging alternative energies but to spend pots of money trying to promote those energies at the expense of things we already have that work is insane.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Well one way to meet their carbon target is to have all the ‘greens’ register. They can’t own cars or use any transport that derives it’s energy from fossil fuels. They can’t own anything produced by fossil fuels.

Practice what you preach. Oh, and have a nice day.

GarandFan on February 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

.
Damn . . . . . that’s a GOOD idea … for right here !

(almost forgot) . . . and politicians NOT “immune”.

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:34 PM

They’ve wasted enough wealth and opportunity?

Murphy9 on February 17, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I don’t have a problem with researching and encouraging alternative energies but to spend pots of money trying to promote those energies at the expense of things we already have that work is insane.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 7:34 PM

.
That sounds suspiciously ‘capitalist’ to me, ‘lady.
.
Are you, or have you ever been … a CONSERVATIVE ? !

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Lanceman on February 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The Liberal Party of Australia is a party formed on the basis of a “classical liberal” ideology. Some might read “Libertarian” into that. However this supposedly classically liberal government is quite left of that ideal, but still much more open market than the Socialist based Labor ideology of the past 6 years.

I wish our government well.

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:31 PM

As this was this party that brought in the gun controls back in 1998 then I doubt it. The only civilians who have guns now are the criminals. Who apart from Americans, could see that coming…

aussie_dave on February 17, 2014 at 8:10 PM

If an industry requires government subsidies to exist, maybe it shouldn’t.

lorien1973 on February 17, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Australia on their renewable-energy mandates: We’re kinda’ over it

Damn good thing since it doesn’t exist except in the minds of liberals.

Oldnuke on February 17, 2014 at 8:29 PM

That sounds suspiciously ‘capitalist’ to me, ‘lady.
.
Are you, or have you ever been … a CONSERVATIVE ? !

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Shhh. I was trying to keep it secret.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 8:45 PM

and don’t count on any RINO to help out…they are under the tables counting their money

r keller on February 17, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Wonderful image.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

So, they have a Maddow lookalike reporting the news, but do they have a Keith Olbermann one? Oh, wait they had a Olbermann lookalike for Prime Minister.

schmuck281 on February 17, 2014 at 10:00 PM

It occurs to me that for Greens and Environmentalists, that renewable energy program has been a case of something that allows them to privatize the gains (to their psyche) and socialize the costs. They assume the gains are worth it (to them), largely because the cost of implementation in facilities constructed and energy costs increases is spread out over the entire population.

If they actually had to bear the cost of gathering the capital, creating the facilities and infrastructure and then (minus government’s ability to give them a monopoly or subsidies) convince users (who have other concerns) that the higher energy costs were all worthwhile, they would fail. They are so certain of that fact that they don’t even try — they want someone else to do all that grunt work and commit their own capital. So there’s no cost to them!

They may decry economics, but they can’t get around it.

Russ808 on February 18, 2014 at 3:30 AM

GarandFan on February 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Great idea. I’m stealing that and intend to promote it at every opportunity.

It is a tough subject but it what might be considered The Unforgivable Science: T H E R M O D Y N A M I C S
Applied properly it will illustrate if any conceptual ENERGY CYCLE makes ANY ECONOMICAL SENSE.

Whatever it is there is the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH:
If you cannot MINE IT, then you have to GROW IT.

Missilengr on February 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

There was one of those sound bites on Hannity’s intro, with John Kerry saying (paraphrase) “Barak and I will not convene a meeting of The Flat Earth Society on Global Warming…”
Fathom on February 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM

But I thought he was going to the next Global Climate Treaty meeting? Oh that’s right, he’s just not convening it…

ReggieA on February 19, 2014 at 3:38 PM