By Daily Bell Staff
Trust in public power companies misplaced … Former Labor minister Patrick Conlon urges carbon price to fix electricity system … A SENIOR Labor figure is urging a carbon price on electricity to lower household bills by kickstarting investment in new-generation power plants. – The Advertiser
Australian politicians have been obsessed with taxing carbon ever since the tax was briefly imposed and then repealed in mid-2104 by former prime minister Tony Abbott.
In fact, the Australian Labor Party wants up to half of the nation’s electricity to come from “renewables” by 2030. Former Labor state energy minister Patrick Conlon obviously endorses this position.
Conlon writes in Oz’s The Advertiser newspaper that, “Australian electricity consumers are at the mercy of big, old, dirty and cheap coal-fired power plants and failure to impose a carbon price is thwarting new investment.”
Conlon obviously has faith in government bureaucrats. Apparently, taxation is not even applied for purposes of raising revenue, but only to create better economic outcomes. Politicians in charge of taxation carefully determine where a given tax is needed and then apply them as a kind of medical tool with a surgeon’s skill.
“Reliance on old, under-maintained coal burners flirts with disaster. If a couple of big units break down during a hot, high-demand summer, price hikes will obliterate any benefit of cheap coal,” writes Mr Conlon, energy minister from 2002 to 2011.
… Mr Conlon urges setting a carbon price on electricity to encourage “new-generation” investment, allow high-efficiency plants like Pelican Point to operate and drive down long-term generation costs.
According to the article, Conlon is sure the state’s “reliance on wind power, in particular, is not to blame for high electricity prices.”
He is doubtless responding to a call by Liberal Party Sen. Chris Back to ban new wind farms because having so many turbines already in place was increasing energy costs and the potential for serious blackouts.
South Australia is suffering from a power crisis because it has shuttered so many coal plants in favor of wind. Back wants a cost-benefit analysis done on the wind industry around the country.
Here’s a quote from The Australian, which recently wrote about him:
“There should be no further subsidies paid for an intermittent and unreliable power source that can be seen as a proven failure. There are solutions to our climate challenges but wind power is not one of them.”
The article entitled, “ Australia Considers Banning Wind Power Because It’s Causing Blackouts,” makes many damning points about wind power.
Household electricity prices in Australia have risen by more than 40 percent between 2007 and 2012, the same period when the government offered lucrative wind subsidies.
Power prices in Australian states with a lot of wind power are almost double the rates in other states. Australia’s reliance on wind power risks damaging the country’s power grid because the amount of electricity generated by a wind turbine is very intermittent and doesn’t coincide with the times of day when power is most needed.
Exactly the same arguments can be made regarding solar power. The entire solar and wind industry is surely based on extravagant government subsidies, not just in Australia but around the world. China has recently declared a moratorium on more wind power in some regions. The energy is neither predictable nor efficiently stored.
The same problems occurred in the 1970s, the last decade when these sorts of solutions were obsessively pursued.
We’ve pointed out many times that the real reason governments are anxious to migrate to such “environmentally sound energy” likely has to do with control.
It is relatively easy to dig up coal, or even in some cases oil, and use it. But solar and wind are not so easy to capture and not so reliable. The idea is to build vast power plants and then work on eradicating more personal forms of power.
Conclusion: As usual, the ongoing effort is to strip people of the ability to survive without the massive resources of the state. And as usual, such programs are a gigantic waste of money and boondoggles as well.