Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s fossil fuel energy was kept artificially cheap

In a sense, even solar power rebates and incentives are really still just fossil fuel subsidies. It’s a puzzling situation and akin to a snake eating its own tail. The solar subsidies exist in part to combat the effects of fossil fuel subsidies that keep those polluting fuels artificially cheap. It’s a curious and confusing form of fossil fuel double dipping.

The Cheap Energy Era That Wasn’t, Renewable Energy News, 25 Nov 10 “…….An issue often overlooked is the real reason why solar power needs to be subsidised at all. All the effort and resources that have gone into propping up polluting fossil fuel industries for decades have been at the expense of clean, renewable energy technologies that have been kept on the outer………..
Skyrocketing electricity prices have been a “short, sharp shock” for a variety of reasons and solar is only a bit player.

In March this year, Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson said State and Territory Governments have at times endeavoured to hold back necessary price increases and those decisions are now “coming home to roost.”

This paying of the piper had nothing to do with solar power, but an urgent need to invest at least $100 billion in electricity infrastructure over the next decade; just to meet growing demand and replace ageing infrastructure. Distributed electricity generation, such as can be achieved through rooftop solar power systems, can help decrease these costs.

Just as Australia’s massive tobacco tax is used by the government to help reduce smoking, the unwelcome increases in electricity prices will help us to kick another filthy habit – coal.

It will encourage energy efficiency and also make clean and renewable energy sources comparatively cheaper.
In a sense, even solar power rebates and incentives are really still just fossil fuel subsidies. It’s a puzzling situation and akin to a snake eating its own tail. The solar subsidies exist in part to combat the effects of fossil fuel subsidies that keep those polluting fuels artificially cheap. It’s a curious and confusing form of fossil fuel double dipping.

The renewable energy subsidies help to stimulate uptake of solar power and in the process drive down prices so that solar and other forms of renewable energy can become dominant in our energy mix to battle the problems that fossil fuels are causing. Whichever way you look at it, the problems all seem to come back to fossil fuel

While the most logical option might seem to be to just phase out electricity related fossil fuel subsidies in all forms as that may then make unsubsidised solar power still competitive and provide benefits including lower taxes and a healthier environment, that’s unlikely to happen.

Thankfully, solar grid parity is rapidly approaching regardless – unless of course the clean energy revolution is somehow derailed……The Cheap Energy Era That Wasn’t : Renewable Energy News :

November 24, 2010 - Posted by | energy, General News, solar | , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: