Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Leading Australian Politicians and economists are piling in against renewable political favouritism, comparing renewables to the Bernie Madoff and Enron scandals. The following from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott;
Tony Abbott calls for climate pushback as CET goes cold
8:55AM October 10, 2017
Tony Abbott has doubled down on his scepticism of climate change science, reigniting a decade-old debate in a major speech in London after the Turnbull government moved yesterday to rule out proceeding with a clean energy target proposed by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.
The former prime minister has labelled the likely backdown on a CET a “belated” gesture and warned that the Coalition is courting a “political death wish” if it fails to put cost of living and protection of jobs ahead of reducing emissions.
In a speech delivered early today that will further test the political fault lines over energy policy in the Coalition party room, Mr Abbott resurrected his 2009 declaration that the so-called settled science on climate change was “absolute crap” and claimed that any effort Australia made to reduce emissions would be futile in a global context.
In his most controversial speech on climate change since the 2009 speech to a country Victorian gathering, Mr Abbott told London’s centre-right Global Warming Policy Forum that climate-change policies had done more harm than climate change itself, suggesting global warming was “probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm”.
“Belatedly, the government is now suggesting that there might not be a new CET after all,” Mr Abbott said. “There must not be — and the government still needs to deal with what’s yet to come under the existing target.
“At last year’s election, the government chose not to campaign on power prices even though Labor was promising a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target, requiring a $50 billion overbuild of wind farms, and a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, requiring a new carbon tax.
“After a net gain of 25 seats at the previous two elections, when we had campaigned on power prices, we had a net loss of 14 when we didn’t. And subsequent events have made the politics of power once more the central battleground between and within the two main parties.”
This comes on top of a MSM story a few days ago by noted economist Judith Sloan, comparing renewables to the Bernie Madoff and Enron scandals;
Taxpayer support for renewable energy simply cannot be justified
12:00AM October 7, 2017
Move over, Ponzi; forget Bernie Madoff; ignore Enron; and dismiss collateralised debt obligations associated with subprime mortgages. Without a doubt, the biggest scam perpetrated against taxpayers and consumers is renewable energy.
And if you think this scam is just an Australian phenomenon, think again. With very few exceptions, governments all over the world have fallen into the trap of paying renewable energy scammers on the basis that it is necessary, at least politically, to be seen to be doing something about climate change.
But let’s take the Australian figures as an example of the vast sums of moneys being redistributed from ordinary consumers and taxpayers to the renewable energy rent-seekers. It is estimated that more than $2 billion a year is handed over to renewable energy operators by virtue of the operation of the renewable energy target and the associated renewable energy certificates.
But this is just the start. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency shovels out hundreds of millions of dollars annually to subsidise renewable energy companies, many of which are overseas-owned. Then there is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which was given $10bn in equity by the Gillard Labor government to lend or grant money to renewable energy companies. Evidently the long-suffering taxpayer might receive a return on this “investment”, but I wouldn’t suggest you hold your breath.
Consider what has happened in Germany. In a fit of panicked madness, Chancellor Angela Merkel decided the country’s nuclear power plants should be shut down, to be replaced with renewable energy. The plan is that by 2050, between 80 per cent and 95 per cent of electricity will be generated by renewables. The target for 2030 is 50 per cent — the same as our Labor Party’s target for Australia.
The last nuclear power plant is due to close in 2022 but Energiewende, the name of the plan to transition electricity generation, has hit serious hurdles, not least the extraordinary cost of the investment in renewables, now totalling about €650bn ($980bn).
And here’s another strange feature: renewable energy producers in Germany are paid more than €1bn a year not to produce because the stability of the system can be imperilled if there is too much renewable energy at certain times. It’s so European to pay an outfit not to do something — just think farmers.
Then there is the issue of intermittency that plagues renewable energy around the world, including in Germany. Late last year, the wind simply didn’t blow for several days and a thick fog surrounded many parts of the country. The output from renewables fell to just 4 per cent of total demand. Battery back-up is of little use in this scenario.
As the Australian government contemplates where to go next in terms of energy policy, the best approach involves acknowledging that enough is enough when it comes to subsidising renewable energy. The sector has been showered with favours, including volumetric guarantees courtesy of the RET. It is time it stood on its own two feet without any preferential treatment or financial assistance.
Lets not forget the announcement a few days ago by the Australian Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, that renewables would not “require” subsidies in the future.
It remains to be seen how much of this rising opposition to renewables will be translated into action, but with skyrocketing power prices being blamed for a damaging slump in consumer spending, and with record levels of Aussie household debt, something has to give.
Thanks to wild claims by renewables advocates of falling costs, renewable mandates and subsidies are a soft target, out of a shrinking field of increasingly desperate political options to restore the ailing Australian economy.