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The Forum > Article Comments > What must we pay for our renewables protection policy? > Comments

What must we pay for our renewables protection policy? : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 13/6/2018

Australian politicians are 'doubling down' again on their energy costs gamble. When their gambling goes awry, punters, and, inevitably, the economy, will pay.

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I'm not sure I understand these tables. How can there be any fossil fuel costs at 100% RE? The Australian Energy Update says we used 257 Twh in 2017 not below 200 as per the regulator.

The uselessness of the RET can be approached from a different angle. Back in 2001 supporters said it would decarbonise the electricity system. Turnbull's 2015 emissions pledge required most of the cuts to come from the electricity sector. That sector lost about 12 Mt of emissions 2005-2017 much of which can be explained by the closure of Hazelwood early in 2017. Overall non-land use emissions increased in this period. Therefore the RET did not do what it said and is an expensive dud.

Apparently the RET of 33 Twh will remain in place after 2020 and subsidies will continue for a decade contrary to a recent statement by Frydenberg. There is supposed to be an electric car revolution happening by then which will see millions of EVs plugged in overnight. My guess is they'll want that power to be reliable which won't come from RE. We are daydreaming our way into a crisis.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 9:36:35 AM
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People who say that alternative energy is as cheap as coal have to put on the 'thick listí. If they are not thick, they certainly think that rest of us - the people paying to subsidise rent seekers - are. Of course, most of us are thick. We moan and groan to ourselves and other thickos on social media, but we never think to go to the source of the problem - the political class.

I still write to or email politicians. I never get a reply these days. Know why? Because 99.9% of Australian thickos never have a go at the people supposed to be representing them; so the few who do are written off as not typical. Most of the useless twits wouldn't bother to vote if they didn't have to, and when they do vote, they vote the way some bloody politician or party tells them to. It makes my blood boil to hear politicians say where THEY will direct THEIR preferences. They are YOUR preferences dummies. You don't deserve a vote, and you certainly deserve the rubbish political class we have.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 9:48:01 AM
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from the cheapest to the most expensive energy in the world all through pseudo science and ideology. Other nations think we are idiots and they are right. We will continue the path to pour millions into renewables and make coal less viable. What twits. And we have a 'conservative' Government who has swallowed the kool aid. How Trump looks so much better day by day.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:54:11 AM
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Hear, hear and well said ttbn.

Now you just have to know what comes next? Yes, you guessed it, thorium. And reliable, dispatchable, clean, safe, world's cheapest electricity! And it's also carbon-free into the bargain.

But beside the point, when what really matters to most folk, is what the drongos already referred to by the aforementioned poster are talking the talk then, you guessed it. TALKING THE TALK!

And trying to make self-serving personally beneficial tax cuts? Replace pragmatism in our price gouged, privatized energy policy!

Shorten will insist that renewables are cheaper than coal. but only if we're talking about illusionary clean coal? And agreed on Q+A that cooperatives and profit sharing are good worthwhile ideas.

Then filled the space with his brand of incomprehensible BS, by then suggesting the workers in these enterprises needed to be paid a fair day's pay.

He surely needs to realize that the folk who not only own and operate the enterprise are hardly going to pay themselves less than they need or more than their enterprise can afford! And said while accepting the current S.A. unemployment rate remains around a staggering 30%??

His policy of 50% renewable by 2030? Out there to garner green votes and his claim we will always have coal as part of our economy! Out there to shore up the blue-collar element!

Turnbull claims they're technology agnostic while leaving government created rules and regulations in place that effectively forbid or prohibit even in lab R+D into thorium as an energy source!?
Clearly, some folk will believe anything!
TBC Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 12:29:50 PM
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Regardless of cost you cannot put a price on this planet.
Our ONLY home.
Posted by ateday, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 1:09:12 PM
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Continued: We should crack on with nuclear power generation and as MSR thorium. To completely spend the unspent fuel, i.e., other folk's nuclear waste! Be paid annual billions for the service!

Now today, while this multi-billion dollar deal remains on the table?
Which will pay for dozens of new nuclear power plants, burning fuel someone else pays us to bury!

Only after we've extracted every remaining erg of (FREE TO US) energy from it! Some of which employed drought proofing Australia

Now read or write it any which way, but nothing is cheaper than free!

As for thermal coal? Why export it halfway around the world for a few cents per ton profit, then import costly fossil fuel as fully imported refined fuel? At an annual cost of around 26 Billion the last time I looked!

There's proven technology that cooks out the methane then passes that through a catalyst, once twice, three times? That separates out/progressively removes a few hydrogen atoms, leaving liquid fuels, methanol, jet fuel and a diesel substitute behind.

Only where you need to! As most combustion engines will run quite happily on compressed methane/CNG.

So, here it is, several brand new long-term industries, even as we transition the rest of the economy to energy dependent high tech!

If we but used the brains we were born with, we'd convert our power supply to nuclear alternatives then given the necessary cheap flame free heat/energy! Use up our current stocks/reserves of thermal coal to replace price gouged foreign fuel.

We can do it, we have a two and a half trillion dollar super fund, working for almost anyone else! When it could be employed right here and for us and ours!

Thirty-year, self-terminating bonds with a modest tax-free return. Say 3.5% as tax-free income and a further 3% as a self-terminating capital return. That has our super funds queuing to buy!

Coupled with employee-owned co-ops that provide the new extremely well-rewarded workforce. And only needing a proactive government actually ready, willing and able to genuinely put us and ours first!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 1:16:50 PM
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