Ditch Wind And Solar Power Subsidies, Forget The CET : Abbott

Tony Abbott takes aim at wind and solar power

Not a fan of wind and solar power, but appears to like wave energy | via Facebook.

Ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s latest dummy spit on renewables is same-old, same-old – but it has turned up the coal-fired heat on the Turnbull Government.

Mr. Abbott has been a very busy backbencher over the last couple of days – first an interview on Sky News on Tuesday night where he trashed renewables, followed by an article he authored published on The Australian yesterday morning that also trashed renewables.

That was followed by a declaration on Facebook yesterday afternoon – again trashing renewables.

“There should be no subsidies for further unreliable wind and solar power,” he stated. “Let’s replace all renewable energy targets with a reliable energy target of 100 per cent so that the power is on all the time.”

.. and it hasn’t stopped there.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Mr. Abbott really, really doesn’t like renewables. Dismantling the success of wind and solar energy in Australia is unfinished business for him and he seems hell-bent on following through, regardless of any previous commitment to supporting unity in his party.

By “reliable energy target”, Mr. Abbott means more coal power, which also benefits from substantial subsidies.

He states the “Liberal and National backbench might need to save the government from itself” and as for the Finkel-recommended Clean Energy Target (CET), “it simply must be dropped”. That’s even though the CET appears to be at risk of becoming somewhat of a Coal Energy Target if the government has its way.

Mr. Abbott isn’t on his own. Among the other players, fellow backbencher and coal-supporter Craig “Renewable Energy Kills” Kelly hasn’t ruled out also crossing the floor on the CET according to an article published on The Guardian yesterday.

Mr. Kelly has also been posting on Facebook about a report claiming a Saudi billionaire is pocketing $300 million in subsidies in relation to the Moree Solar Farm. This report was proven to be incorrect; so much so the story has been called a “fabrication” by some.

It’s been said time and time again – one of the reasons why Australia is in the mess it’s in concerning energy is due to policy uncertainty. One of the primary architects of that uncertainty has been Tony Abbott; before, during and after his brief stint as PM.

RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson described Mr. Abbott’s article as a “horror-show of ignorance, bias, conservative ideology and political dogma”. You can read his analysis here.

Contact Your MP: CEC

Australians aren’t completely powerless while all this unfolds. The Clean Energy Council is calling for people power to apply pressure on MP’s.

” …the most crucial time to make a CET a reality is now. Bipartisan support for a CET is essential to drive new investment in electricity generation but the government continues to waver, ignoring the Chief Scientist’s warning,” said a communication from the Council yesterday.

The CEC says while it is busy behind the scenes lobbying, it needs the weight of numbers of Australians showing their support for the CET as Dr. Finkel intended it.

“If you have not already joined the campaign and emailed your MP, we need your help. You can use our handy tool to let your local MP know you want them to support a CET and protect Australia’s energy future.”

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. What concerns me is the dearth of verifiable facts in what Abbott is saying.

    One concern I have with coal generation is that building more coal generation capacity will result in the generation of a lot of power that nobody wants. This is because coal power stations can’t be ramped up and down to suit demand. That would result in generation of a lot of electricity that is not needed during the day. We are already at the point where rooftop solar generation is cheaper than coal-fired generation (even if we remove subsidies). If you then take Abbott’s approach and have the government invest in coal-fired generation you land up with taxpayer dollars paying for loads of electricity that nobody wants.
    Environmental concerns aside we are already at a juncture where solar generation is entrenched. That means we need more power sources which can generate power on short notice. Coal is not one of them.
    With respect to the arguments about subsidies, the subsidies which coal generators receive need to be quantified more explicitly, so that they are better understood by the public. What is also not quantified is the cost associated with the pollution from coal power (especially healthcare) – all of those costs are socialised via the healthcare system.

  2. Richard Kirby says

    My MP is Tony Abbott, sigh. I’ve sent the email anyway, he won’t read it but the subject line in his inbox might annoy him for a nanosecond. 😊

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