Picking Energy Winners In Australia – Latest Poll Results

The Turnbull Government claims it’s not picking winners when it comes to energy, but Australian voters have – and a winner is renewables.

While the dust is still settling (or perhaps getting more stirred up) after the Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) announcement on Tuesday, the views of Australians just prior indicated continuing very strong support for renewable energy.

The latest Essential Report, published the day the NEG hit the fan, is based on a poll of 1,000 Australians between the 12th and 15th of October.

Regarding the now-dumped Clean Energy Target recommendation, 65% approved of the Federal Government setting one and just 15% disapproved; while 20% didn’t have an opinion.

74% approved of the Federal Government continuing to provide incentives for renewable energy development and only 10% disapproved. A result some may find surprising was that among LNP voters specifically, three-quarters approved of ongoing incentives.

61% believed the Federal Government was not doing enough to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy for households and businesses in Australia. While still the majority, that figure has dropped since a February poll (71%). Only 15% of those surveyed felt the Federal Government is doing enough in this respect. It will be interesting to see the response to the same question after the brave new world of the National Energy Guarantee kicks in. That’s assuming the Government can get all states on board for the NEG; which is looking unlikely at this point in time.

It would be remiss not to mention the responses to a question about Tony Abbott, given he appears to still be playing a pivotal role when it comes to shaping energy policy in Australia – which over recent years has become a little like trying to shape soup.

While 42% of respondents said Mr. Abbott should resign from Parliament, he still enjoys a significant level of support. 16% said he should remain on the backbench, 14% believe he should be given a ministry and 9% said he should challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership.

Mr. Turnbull’s ongoing leadership is continuing to look somewhat tenuous – on a two-party preferred basis, the LNP is sitting on 48% and Labor, 52%. On a related note, 62% of those surveyed approved of the Labor Party’s commitment to a renewable energy target of 50% by 2030, and 18% disapproved.

Under the NEG and according to the Energy Security Board, Australia will reach 28-36% renewables (including hydro and solar PV) by 2030; with “intermittent” renewables comprising around 18-24% and “dispatchable” resources accounting for the balance.

The full Essential Report can be viewed here.

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.


  1. Michael, I’ll stick my neck over the parapet and confess to being one of those 75% of Liberal supporters who back a CET and ongoing support for renewables. It is disappointing that elements within the party seem unable to grasp that they are by far the cheapest source of electricity within Australia now.

    Yes, dealing with the problem of intermittency increases costs. However the number of options available to deal with the problem, from pumped hydro and batteries through the UNSW proposal to produce hydrogen using excess power and “store” it in the east coast gas network, through demand management initiatives, gives ample room to address it without causing a spike in costs. We’re talking about incremental change here. If the government were to offer a modicum of direction, individuals and companies would happily take care of the rest!

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