Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s transition to clean energy gets a boost with Victorian Labor’s whopping victory

Labor’s smashing win in Victoria a huge tonic for Australia’s clean energy transition, REneweconomy, Giles Parkinson

The big win by the Andrews Labor government over the Coalition opposition was branded as a triumph of rational policy making over the politics of fear: and this applies as much to climate and energy as it did to security and immigration.

Victorians were presented with a simple choice when it came to energy: wind, solar and storage and a long-term plan for their grid integration, versus an ad-hoc and reactionary appeal to last century’s fossil fuel technologies. It was renewables vs coal…….

For Australia as a whole, it means that the transition to a renewables dominated grid is now unstoppable. Tasmania is already near 100 per cent renewables, South Australia is moving towards the same share even under a Coalition government, and both Victoria and Queensland have 50 per cent renewable energy targets in place for 2030.

……..Labor’s Mark Butler observes that the Liberals have gone to an election twice in the last 12 months attacking renewable energy policies and promising to build new coal-fired power stations – and lost. (Not to mention the various by-elections in Wentworth and Wagga Wagga where the Liberals lost long-standing seats from climate and renewable-focused independents).

But don’t expect a change from the Coalition anytime soon. In the Murdoch press there was barely a mention of the climate and renewable energy policies in the coverage of the Victorian election.

…….to moderate their policies, the Coalition would have to sweep away their entire leadership team.

Prime minister Scott Morrison is forever tarnished by his coal-waving antics in federal parliament; energy minister Angus Taylor by his long and intense campaign against renewables; environment minister Melissa Price by her incompetence; deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg by his scare campaigns against “intermittents”; and the Nationals leadership because they have no clue.

Federal Labor’s policies are based around a 50 per cent renewable energy target and a 45 per cent emissions reduction target.

The former should be reached in a canter, simply because of what is locked in by the states. Like South Australia, it may find its targets overtaken by events. But it should be – it plans another $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corp and $5 billion for an “Energy Modernisation Fund”, along with a focus on battery storage.

It’s a more difficult challenge to meet the economy-wide emissions targets. Butler is promising to add more details in coming weeks, but it seems certain that it will take up the new industry call for carbon pricing and offer sector-specific schemes. Across industry, however, there will be a shift to clean technologies, not just in electricity, but also in heat, transport and manufacturing techniques.


November 26, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: