- Blaming renewables is cheap politics
This is the face of Liberal climate policy: don't mention climate change, pass the coal around (like Treasurer Scott Morrison did last week in Federal Parliament) while south east Australia was in the midst of a massive record breaking heatwave driven by such activities such as coal emissions.
The Liberals emphasise energy security and electricity prices without explaining that renewables will actually reduce prices over the medium to long term, as well as creating thousands of new jobs, and a far more healthier environment with less pollution.
The attack comes as Representatives of Australian communities, including civil society, households, workers, investors, business energy users and energy suppliers today challenged all political leaders to stop partisan antics and work together to reform Australia’s energy systems and markets to deliver the reliable, affordable and clean energy that is critical to wellbeing, employment and prosperity. See Statement
Yes, the energy regulation system needs to be overhauled to manage a more diversified and decentralised energy generation and transmission system. Energy security is important, but so to is the transition to 100 per cent renewables to preserve a safe climate for ourselves and our children.
The media release war over VRET
Libs ideological attack on affordable renewable energy will lead to power price risesFEBRUARY 13, 2017
Environment group Friends of the Earth reject Matthew Guy Opposition's threat to cut the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, saying the Liberals ideological attack on affordable renewable energy will lead to power price rises.
“Matthew Guy's ideological opposition to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target is a threat to jobs, investment and affordable renewable energy,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.
“The move puts ideology ahead of commonsense, risking thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in investment in wind and solar for Victoria.”
“This ideological attack on affordable renewable energy threatens power price rises. Wind and solar are the most economical forms of new generation. If Matthew Guy wants the Victorian Liberals to be the party for higher power prices, it will be highly unpopular with the community” added Simons.
While the Turnbull government struggles to come up with a national plan on climate and energy, the Andrews Government is leading with Victorian Renewable Energy Targets of 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2025. This will create up to 10,000 jobs and attract $2.5 billion in investment across the state.
“How can Shadow Minister for Renewables David Southwick continue to hold his title while opposing investment in wind and solar? All parties should be capable of supporting renewable energy” added Simons.
“Polling confirms a majority of Coalition voters support renewable energy. The VRET is a significant element of Victoria's response to climate change. By threatening to cut the VRET without offering a credible plan of their own, the Coalition is sending a clear message it opposes action on climate change. This will not be received well by Victorians, including Coalition voters. It is reckless and irresponsible for a major party to ignore climate change.
Liberals Plan To Kill Jobs And Increase Power PricesMinister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change
13 February 2017
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s plan to scrap Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) will put thousands of jobs at risk – while significantly increasing power prices and pollution.
VRET is providing investment certainty that will drive $9 billion in investment in renewables and large-scale energy storage – creating 11,000 new jobs, cutting the cost of power for Victorians and enhancing grid resilience.
The vast majority of these jobs will be in regional Victoria. We’ve already seen $450 million invested in a 240MW wind farm in Ararat – a project which will create 165 jobs in the region.
The Andrews Labor Government has also supported a further $220 million investment into two new wind farms which will begin construction this year, bringing hundreds more jobs into regional Victoria, and invested $5 million towards the deployment of grid enhancing utility storage.
Mr Guy’s announcement comes on the same day that industry and environmentalists called on state and federal governments to get on with the job of ensuring a reliable, affordable and clean energy supply for all Australians.
The Labor Government remains ready to work with state and federal counterparts on a cohesive strategy moving forward, but there are challenges which we must face.
Reports today indicate Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg deliberately misled the Australian people on the cause of the South Australian blackout in September 2016 – ignoring advice from their own experts that the blackout was caused by unprecedented storm damage to the network, and renewables were not to blame.
Experts agree that greater investment in renewable energy will lower prices, create jobs and significantly reduce emissions – making it hard to understand the Liberal and National push to move away from renewables and go ‘all in’ on ultra-supercritical coal.
Recent analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that supercritical coal is the most expensive form of new supply, is inflexible and highly emissions intensive.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Matthew Guy’s plan will kill thousands of jobs, increase electricity prices and send emissions soaring. He’s just shown every Victorian he’s Malcolm’s Guy, no matter how many jobs it costs.”
“Malcolm Turnbull can’t keep using renewables as a scapegoat – over the weekend NSW, one of the most coal dependent states in the world, came very close to a blackout.”
“No matter how hard Malcolm Turnbull pushes, industry is saying that new coal-fired power stations won’t be built. Business groups have slammed the proposal because it’s bad for business and bad for the environment.”
Guy: Liberal Nationals will scrap Victorian Renewable Energy TargetMonday 13 February 2017
Liberal Nationals will scrap Victorian Renewable Energy Target
In the past 10 years, Victorian electricity prices have increased 117%.
As of 1 January 2017, Victorian household electricity prices have risen by around 10%, while small businesses are facing a 7.9 to 16.6% increase.
Victoria has historically been a net exporter of electricity. Once Hazelwood cease generation in March 2017, Victoria will be required to buy electricity from New South Wales and Tasmania.
In 2015-16, through exports, Victoria provided:
14% of South Australia’s operational consumption.
6% of New South Wales’ operational consumption.
6% of Tasmania’s operational consumption.
The 1,600 MW Hazelwood Power Station accounts for about:
14% of total firm capacity in Victoria,
12% of the combined firm capacity across Victoria and South Australia, and
4% of the total firm capacity installed in the NEM.
“After Hazelwood Power Station retires in March 2017, expected firm capacity reserves in Victoria are projected to reduce to -145MW in summer 2017-18 at times of peak demand. Imports from New South Wales or Tasmania will be required to meet demand under these conditions.
Given that temperature conditions in Victoria and South Australia tend to be correlated, it is unlikely that supply from South Australia could be relied upon to support Victoria during high demand periods.” – AEMO
Quotes attributable to State Liberal Leader Matthew Guy
“Daniel Andrews has set Victoria on the path to an energy security crisis.
“Unless we act, Victoria is bound to have regular South Australian-style blackouts because of Daniel Andrews.
“A Liberal Nationals Government I lead will scrap this unrealistic target so Victorians don’t have repeated black-outs and higher electricity prices.”
Blocked by Guy
- Unfortunately, I can't include any tweets from Matthew Guy as he blocked me. Part of his voter engagement is making people join the #blockedbyGuy club. Check it out
- This modified meme gives you some idea what Matthew Guy is tweeting:
- Don't forget, a good majority of Victorians support a strong VRET, including a majority of Liberal voters.
Background articles on energy transition crisis