Australian news, and some related international items

New South Wales govt promotes coal, cuts back on renewables

“The more [greenhouse gases] you emit, the more subsidies you get.”……..

Canary in the NSW coal mine  Business Spectator Giles ParkinsonPublished , 2 Nov 2010 Even as the NSW government is cracking down on subsidies for renewable energy generation such as rooftop solar, it is ramping up the level of subsidies provided to its coal-fired power stations by ensuring the cheap supply of coal for the next few decades……
its decision to retain ownership of the Cobbora coal project in order to guarantee long-term fuel supplies at well below market price has sounded alarm bells, and could translate to a subsidy that is worth more than $1 billion a year – or even as much as $3 billion.

Professor Ross Garnaut said in a speech in Canberra last week that the move could undermine the impact of a carbon price.

“Media reports that New South Wales is considering allocation of coal to electricity generators, on the condition that the coal is not sold on the open market, are of note and concern,” Garnaut said.

“The implicit subsidy to coal-based generation within these arrangements could work against a carbon price, and be much larger than the highest carbon price that has been suggested in the Australian policy discussion.”….

The government will not reveal the price it will guarantee to the power stations, but even at $45 a tonne it represents a potential $300 million annual saving for the generators over the price proposed by Whitehaven, and some $1.5 billion a year below export price levels.

These are numbers that dwarf the subsidies offered renewable energy developers. As one CEO lamented this week: “The more you emit, the more subsidies you get.”……..

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Canary in the NSW coal mine | Giles Parkinson | Commentary | Business Spectator

November 3, 2010 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, New South Wales, solar, wind | , , , , , , ,

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