Mortal Enemy: New Energy Minister – Angus Taylor Spells Doom for Subsidised Wind & Solar

We’ll bury the wind and solar rent seekers right here, Scott.

 

The wind and solar industries are built on lies and fuelled by subsidies. Angus Taylor is alive to the former and focused on ending the latter.

Barely a month into the job, for some reason, the very mention of Angus Taylor sends renewable energy rent seekers into a state of apoplexy. One reason could be that STT dubbed him The Enforcer when he first hit the political stage back in September 2013?

A Rhodes scholar, with degrees in law and economics and a head for figures, Taylor has been given the unenviable task of unscrambling Australia’s energy egg.

A hodgepodge of State and Federal rules and regulations that have perverted the electricity market, coupled up with mandated Federal government subsidies to wind and large-scale solar (worth more than $3 billion a year) have left Australians paying among the highest power prices in the world (its wind power capital, South Australia suffers the highest, bar none).

Worse still, over the last decade $billions have been thrown at intermittent capacity, at the expense of the ‘fair dinkum stuff’. The resulting lack of reserve generation capacity threatens to send the entire Eastern Grid black this coming summer. A situation that Taylor appears keen to correct.

Here’s Taylor talking to Chris Kenny on SkyNews.

Labor’s augmented NEG will be an economic ‘wrecking ball’: Angus Taylor
Sky News
Chris Kenny and Angus Taylor
16 September 2018

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has criticised Labor’s plan to revive an augmented version of the Coalition’s National Energy Guarantee with a 45 per cent emissions reduction target. Mr Taylor has described the move as ‘virtue signalling’ using other people’s money. He says while Labor’s plan will shred the economy, the government’s plan retains the reliability portion of the guarantee with a focus on lowering prices.

 

Transcript

Chris Kenny:  Now, of course, we’ve talked before about the national energy guarantee policy and the need to scrap it altogether. That happened last week. Officially Cabinet and the Party got rid of the NEG, so the NEG is dead, but Labor now want to revive the NEG. The Labor Party like Malcolm Turnbull’s and the coalition’s old National Energy Guarantee.

Angus Taylor:  Well, it’s worse than that, Chris. They don’t just want to revive it. They want to revive it with a 45 percent emissions reduction target. This is virtue signalling with other people’s money. Because what happens when you have a target like that is you drive up the price of electricity. You drive out the base load reliable power, much of which is coal and gas to a lesser extent. And you make the whole system less reliable as well as far, far less affordable.

Now we’ve seen this in South Australia, Chris, where we have amongst the highest electricity prices in the world on the back of Labor’s target there of a 50 percent renewable energy requirement.

That has led as I say to amongst the highest electricity prices in the world, the highest in Australia. There are very few countries higher than South Australia. De-industrialization, loss of jobs, and of course households are really struggling in South Australia to make ends meet. So Bill Shorten wants to take that state government experiment and take it national. It will be a wrecking ball to our economy.

Chris Kenny:   I’ll come to those state government moves in just a moment. But of course Bill Shorten taking up the NEG and your strong response there, just underscores the point doesn’t it that this is the reason we ended up with a new prime minister. This is what did Malcolm Turnbull in, the National Energy Guarantee, coming up with an energy policy and a climate policy that Labor could agree to?

Angus Taylor:  Well, I think the important thing is we can cleanly focus unrelentingly on getting prices down, Chris. There’s no distractions here. Nothing will get in our way. We want lower prices while we keep the lights on and we won’t allow anything to get in our way. Bill Shorten has one big impediment and that his 45 percent emissions reduction target and of course he’s talking about the mechanism he’s going to use to get to that outcome.

Well, the outcome will be bad, that’s for sure, because we’ll end up with higher prices. Meanwhile, we’ll be focusing on taking action by ensuring there’s investment in new generation, backing investment in new generation. Making sure that the rip offs from the big energy companies stop and making sure that customers have a safety net, a fair price when they don’t have hours to spend on the phone negotiating.

Chris Kenny:   All right. Now the point is though that your prime minister and others are still saying they’re going to meet the Paris emissions reductions targets and Scott Morrison is saying that there’s no cost implications in meeting those targets for Australian electricity.

But we’ve seen over the past decade, massive intervention in the electricity centre, the renewable energy target. All sorts of solar and other subsidies. It’s those interventions that have driven up prices to where they are today, isn’t it?

Angus Taylor:  Well, that’s right Chris, and you know I’ve argued strongly against them, but that’s exactly why we shouldn’t be focusing on that now. We should move away from that focus to a focus on price, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Chris Kenny:   It’s the obsession with the emission reductions that’s led to the price increases, so how can you deliver price reductions is you’re still going to be committed as a government to these global emissions reductions targets?

Angus Taylor:   Chris, let me be very clear. I can’t be any clearer. We are not going to allow any distraction to get between us and reducing electricity prices. There’s two reasons for that. One is there’s been so much focus on emissions in the past. It’s time to focus on price and you made that point, and I absolutely agree with you.

The second is because of all of that, we’re going to reach the emissions, twenty six percent emissions reduction target anyway, so we don’t need to worry about it. Put it to the side, focus on price.

Bill Shorten can’t do that because he’s set himself a 45 percent emission reduction target. We’re going to just get back to basics, focus on the things that really matter to electricity customers, which is affordable base load electricity that can keep the lights on.

Chris Kenny:  Well, you mentioned what the states are doing. We’ve all seen what’s happened in South Australia where they’ve got close to 50 percent renewable energy now, the most expensive energy in the Western world and they’ve had a statewide blackout and all the rest of it.

Last week, the Victorian government, Daniel Andrews announced more state government subsidies to get six more wind farms up. He wants to get Victoria up to 45 percent renewable energy. If South Australia and Victoria are both around the 45, 50 percent renewables, what will that do to national electricity reliability and cost?

Angus Taylor:  Well, its worse than that, Chris, because Queensland is pursuing similarly high targets and if Labor get into government, God forbid, because we should all be worried about the implications of that. Then that will add to it again and the result will be very clear. We’ve seen it before, we’ve seen it in other markets and we’ve certainly seen it in South Australia. It will push out the base load power. The intermittent generation that’s been stuffed into the sector, into the national electricity market will have to be backed up and that’s extremely expensive. The networks will have to be rebuilt to absorb all of this new capacity, intermittent capacity coming in, and we’re all going to pay for it.

And that’s why I say this is virtue signalling with other people’s money. Daniel Andrews is standing up there saying he’s going to be virtuous as he defines it and you’ll all going to pay for it. He doesn’t have to pay for it. It’s not the government that pays for this. It’s all of us and the worse thing Chris, is it’s not just in our electricity bills, it’s the jobs you destroy. The industries that come out because they rely on low cost, the competitive electricity that this country has relied on for decades.

Daniel Andrews is determined as is Bill Shorten, as has been the past Labor governments in South Australia and the current Labor government in Queensland. They are determined to get electricity prices up and destroy those jobs.

Chris Kenny:  But Angus Taylor, you know that most of this pushing of renewables certainly in South Australia and in the other states has happened because of federal policy, because of a Coalition and Labor policy. They both backed the renewable energy target. And these new investments are being built under the renewable energy target too. What can Canberra do?

Angus Taylor:  Well that’s not quite right. Let me …

Chris Kenny:  Why don’t you scrap the renewable energy target where it is now? What else can you do to stop this?

Angus Taylor:  Yeah, let me be clear about this. These projects aren’t being driven by the federal renewable energy target. That projects we just talked about are being driven by state based targets. And the first and most important thing we can do is call them out, Chris. Call them out because the federal subsidies are disappearing in the coming years. The states, the Labor states, are determined to have their own. We need to call them out on the costs they’re creating for everybody.

When all of that extra wind power and large scale solar and even household solar needs to be backed up, backed up by either coal or gas or other generation that’s dispatchable, that you can call when you need it, then it costs all of us. It’s very expensive.

And the most important thing we can do is is tell the people of Victoria, tell the people of Queensland that if their governments are going to do this, they’re all going to pay for it. Not the government, they are going to pay for it.

Chris Kenny:  Now you got to do more than call it out. I mean we’ve seen just in the last week or so, both in Victoria and South Australia, state governments have announced new policies where they’re handing out money to householders to put in solar energy packages, to put in battery packages. The Liberal government now in South Australia, handing out to people money to have batteries installed in their houses, more taxpayers’ money.

Now, suppose this helps you a bit because it reduces the demand on the grid, but it still doesn’t give you the reliability of supply you need when those batteries are flat and it’s still taxpayers’ money being spent. I mean, how can Canberra actually get in there and do something to stop this?

Angus Taylor: Well, it’s pretty small bickies what the Victorian Government’s adding to try and make the whole system more reliable to be frank. There’s, Chris, there are enormous amounts of intermittent generation being added in Victoria and in other Labor states, Queensland, that are causing us problems.

But look, the one piece of the NEG that we are hanging onto that’s very important here is the reliability guarantee. And this is saying if you are going to put in this intermittent generation, then you have to pay for it. You have to make sure that the system can actually deliver. And it is the piece of the NEG that is critical to continue with. The NEG itself is gone, but we are hanging on to the reliability guarantee because that will force the states to ensure that they do provide this base load power, and if they don’t, they’re going to pay the price.
Sky News

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Terry Conn. says:

    Angus Taylor is caught between a rock and a hard place. – Kenny is correct, you can’t have the RET and REC and fix this diabolical situation. Victoria is already counting the money delivered by the LRET in respect to its targets and its 6 new renewable projects. Morrison’s support of the RET and REC leaves the entire mess in place. That said, there is no doubt Taylor will do his best and will not waiver from what he knows to be true – shame about the noose around his neck.

    • Michael Crawford says:

      Exactly. Until the REC tax on electricity consumers is removed, wind and solar parasite generators will continue to be built. NSW is being flooded with new solar farm proposals without the state government offering any special deals.

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