Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Liberal Coalition supporters want quicker shift to renewable energy

Coalition supporters back quicker shift to renewable energy, The Age, Adam Morton 10 Apr 17, (excellent graphs) The wisdom of a campaign by the Turnbull government emphasising the risks of moving too rapidly to renewable energy has been thrown into question by polling that suggests a majority of its supporters don’t agree.  Left-leaning think-tank the Australia Institute surveyed 1420 voters on whether the country was moving too slowly or too quickly in embracing renewable sources wind and solar.

It found two-thirds of voters – and 55 per cent of those who identified as Coalition voters – believed the shift was too slow. Only 9 per cent – and 17 per cent of Coalition supporters – said it was happening too fast.

Forty-five per cent believed electricity prices would go up if the national renewable energy target of about 23.5 per cent by 2020 was abolished. Only 19 per cent thought bills would go down.

Again, Coalition supporters were broadly in step with the majority: 41 per cent said ending the target – a step floated by former prime minister Tony Abbott, among others – would actually push up prices; 23 per cent believed they would come down.

On cost, voters appeared to reject claims that renewable energy was the cause of the significant power bill increases. The support for clean energy is consistent with a Fairfax/Ipsos Poll a fortnight ago that found a third of voters believed the country should continue to use coal-fired power, and 61 per cent said it was time to turn to other sources.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said clean options were becoming increasingly economically and politically attractive as the price of renewable energy and battery storage came down.

“The war on renewables looks like the political version of the Somme. Furious attacks have not made any ground on the popularity of renewable energy,” he said.

The Australia Institute poll did not test whether views on clean energy would change how people voted.

It found a narrow majority of voters (52 per cent) backed an increase of the renewable energy target, while only 9 per cent wanted it cut.

A clearer majority (73 per cent) supported the introduction of a higher target for 2030.

More than three-quarters of voters (77 per cent) supported state renewable energy targets to drive further investment. Neither question considered what more ambitious policies would cost. (See data tables at the end of this story.- [on original] )……


April 10, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics

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