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The Forum > Article Comments > Carbon - the more you emit the greater the subsidy! > Comments

Carbon - the more you emit the greater the subsidy! : Comments

By Ged McCarthy, published 25/11/2010

Can Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott save solar from being a policy basket case?

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Itís a sign of the times that a self-confessed solar installer and head of the Solar Energy Industry Association can unblushingly spruik for higher solar subsidies and feed-in tariffs without feeling any need to explain why I and most of my fellow citizens should pay the electricity bills of a few. Solar PV power costs five to ten times current power prices. Solar is clearly not the answer to the huge problem we face in cutting emissions to battle climate change. But Australians are obsessed with solar energy. That single fact is the greatest barrier to progress in Australiaís energy and climate change politics. This article does not help.
Posted by Tombee, Thursday, 25 November 2010 7:17:21 AM
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The basic question to ask regarding solar energy (including photovoltaics-PVs), is what is the purpose of subsidies? Clearly, the present subsidies in Australia have stimulated domestic demand, but will it amount to anything significant or useful?

Present PV installations globally amount to about 25GW- about 0.5% of global electricity generating capacity of 5000GW, of which Australia's total is about 50GW (1%). Total PV installations in Australia amount to about 150MW- about 0.3% of total generating capacity and about 1% of 2009 global PV production of about 12GW and about one-third of the annual production of the tenth largest PV manufacturer (Gintech of China). Australia's local PV production is insignificant.

At projected rates of production, PVs will reach grid parity prices at a cumulative production of about 100GW. This will happen some time in the next 10 years.

Despite much woolly thinking to left and right, subsidies in themselves don't reduce costs or save energy- they merely displace them from a small number of visible end-users to a large number of taxpayers and tariff-payers.

Australia is indeed a small-time player now. The main benefit of these subsidies in Australia is to contribute infinitesimally to global demand and thereby help drive down prices.

While Australians will ultimately benefit from these price reductions, we are deluded if we think that we are stimulating a local industry. China, Germany, Japan and the USA already have that sewn up.
Posted by Jedimaster, Thursday, 25 November 2010 7:47:12 AM
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Yes Jeddi master, & if you stretch the ears of your pet pig, every morning, for enough years, he might fly.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 25 November 2010 8:57:28 AM
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If I understand the original MRET scheme properly, it was primarily designed to reduce GHG emissions from electricity generation. Why did we limit it to Renewable Energy technologies like solar, wind, wave, hydro, geothermal etc? Was this the action of a Government who thought this was the only way to reduce electricity GHG emissions?

Most of the rest of the world seems to see it differently. They all recognise that RE has a place but not the whole shebang! Sure the Greens in Germany like solar rather than nuclear but that doesn't make it the best option. The Chinese and Koreans build solar and wind as well but they know where the real GHG mitigation (plus energy security) is going to come from - and it's not from RE, unless you want to send the country broke.

I see in the Oz yesterday a call for a game-change to the MRET to include nuclear and let it compete on an even playing field with RE. How could the solar industry object to that? If nuclear really does prove too expensive or too difficult then they have nothing to worry about do they?
Posted by Martin N, Thursday, 25 November 2010 9:06:59 AM
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im sick of those selling us a crow..calling it a cow
lets watch what occured in spain..who went green big-time
now they have fully bankrupted their economy..their green jobs are revealed to be fluff and spin..

now they are at the mercy of tha bankers...wanting to trade in carbon credits...[look at ireland...who did EVERYTHING by the book...and are still in the same boat

im sick..of paying double for power..
only to subsidise those HEAVEY users..with their green subsidised solar-cells...[costing near a grand a panel]..

subglad the fedin tarif has fallen
now lets end subssubsidised by the like as me..[using under one dollar a day of power]...subsidising..SOON TO BE..OB_sol_ETE..solar teqnology..

sitting there..on the roofs of those..who realised their one off payment..of a thousand[or less]...could bring THEIR* COSTS..to near nuthing...while we subsidise ALL THEIR ABUSES

we still give them overnight power..from the coal stations[we ...not them are paying for...[here is a clue...lets call a spade a spade]

you apply for the subsidy
you loose off peak..SERVICE..we are paying for

its about time polititions woke up
having a daytime solution...while making the rest of us pay all the cost..of the time in the darkness*..[off-peak...lol]

subsidising the rich..is highlighted by the fact..investers have cottoned onto the grand scam...we now have solar farms,..[NEEDING EXTRA COSTS..TO HOOK THESE FOOLS ONTO THE GRID]..

the infastructure is ALLREADY AT*.. MY door...
i could out produce most of the farms..DIRECT into THE EGSISTING GRID..and save the extra infastructure costs for these investers getting in on the scam...

its time the green scam was fully revealed
if only investers didnt influence the media

bah treason with a capital t
who serves the adgenda of those getting rich
and soon the BIG NEW TAX..for yet more moneyed elete to trade with

bah humbug...user pays...if you dont pay by day
then pay for what you use..at night

THE REAL COST..of the infastructure..YOUR STILL HOOKED INTO..!
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 25 November 2010 9:12:19 AM
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"While Australians will ultimately benefit from these price reductions, we are deluded if we think that we are stimulating a local industry. China, Germany, Japan and the USA already have that sewn up."

Are those the "green Jobs" we hear will replace the jobs of people who are retrenched from mines and power stations?

Why is no one questioning the idiot politicians who babble about jobs in the "new green, renewable, sustainable" industries.

So as we steadily shut down industry, the reality is those who lose their jobs, will not go to new industries, they go to the scrap heap, unless they can get employment elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Greens insist this is an example to the rest of the world. (of the size of egos down here, I presume.)

As Janet says, the Greens are a Banana Party, (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything)
Posted by Amicus, Thursday, 25 November 2010 9:14:40 AM
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