Via the Sydney Morning Herald: The transition from fossil fuel-based power to renewables is inevitable if Australia is to meet its Paris commitments on emissions reductions.
It’s irresponsible and can also be immoral for a government to play short-term policies around this issue as the Howard-Abbot-Turnbull governments have done, attacking the renewables industry and the ALP/Greens for seeking to facilitate and accelerate this energy transition.
It is irresponsible to blame for example, renewables for the South Australia blackout where extreme weather destroyed SA’s transmission system, while many experts know that it didn’t matter how the power was generated. These politicians also scored points when the closure of the Hazelwood brown coal-fired power station was announced.
Renewables do have issues relating to capacity and the intermittency of supply, but these issues are being addressed quickly as technology is enhanced and developed for cost-effective heat and battery storage.
Now the question is this… How long will it take, how many extreme weather events, how many coal plant closures before the government takes full notice and develops a longer-term energy policy as well as a transition policy?
It is important to provide long-term policy to ensure the government’s 3 objectives – energy security, low energy costs and low emissions.
The federal and state governments need to redefine and reconstruct as a matter of urgency the so-called national electricity/energy market, starting with a blank sheet of paper. The existing NEM was built around an old-fashioned British system that did not consider possibilities like effective storage, distribution and an accelerated renewable transition.
More importantly, a government that promises innovation can lead the inevitable technology revolution that is fundamental to the transition by leading the change in attitudes and confidence, streamlining the required planning, educating the electorate process, encouraging and funding training and facilitating finance from seed capital assistance by way of full project finance.
Featured Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture