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Out of touch
Decade of transition
Just one project...
Fair dinkum power
Victorian 2018 election
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The Morrison Coalition Government
Australia, August 2018 – ?

The Morrison Government is totally out of touch with what the Australian people want and with the reality of the twenty-first century; renewable energy is the future, coal is the past. The Morrison Government is shamelessly corrupt and in the pocket of the fossil fuel lobby.

I have argued elsewhere that a person in a position of power to knowingly lie to slow the adoption of renewable energy and support the fossil fuel industry is the greatest crime in the history of humanity – due to its extremely serious and harmful consequences, not only to future humans, but to all life on Earth. This may seem extreme but it is an easily supported argument. People guilty of that crime should be prosecuted and jailed. I've often wondered why this point is not raised more often.

We can only hope, for the sake of the world and all who come after us, that the pain inflicted by the Morrison Government will be over soon and sanity and some degree of ethical government will return.

This page was written 2018/10/10, modified 2019/01/06
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David K. Clarke) – ©
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Other Governments...
Abbott
Howard, mainly
Rudd
Turnbull


Ministers in the Morrison Government

 
Clements Gap Wind Farm
A wind farm
Energy Minister Taylor is particularly opposed to wind power having notoriously, and very stupidly, called it 'gobsmackingly inefficient'.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

ScoMo first came to prominence when he took a lump of coal into the Australian parliament and made a big point of telling people it was nothing to be afraid of.

Perhaps PM Morrison's biggest lie is in claiming that fossil fuels, coal in particular, are the key to lowering power prices. The fact that renewables are now cheaper than new-build coal fired power stations has been given a huge amount of publicity recently from many sources. Just one is the very recent (at the time of my writing this) article by Steven Long on the ABC Web site, 2018/01/03, "The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills". Mr Long wrote:

"The tipping point's been reached: renewable energy is now a cheaper source of power for Australia's future electricity needs than coal."
Mr Long quoted the Australian Energy Market Operator:
"The lowest cost replacement for this retiring capacity [Australia's fleet of ageing coal fired power stations] and energy will be a portfolio of resources, including solar (28 gigawatts), wind (10.5 GW) and storage (17 GW and 90 GWh), complemented by 500 megawatts of flexible gas plant and transmission investment."
PM Morrison also continues the pretence that coal has a strong future. In fact it is a dying industry.

Environment Minister Melissa Price

Melissa Price showed that she was effectively bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry following a report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change released on 2018/10/08.

Giles Parkinson wrote a piece for RenewEconomy the following day covering the Morrison Government's "breathtakingly stupid response to IPCC climate report" in which the 'Environment Minister' featured strongly.

It seems that Ms Price's credentials to call herself Environment Minister are as good, or bad, as those of Rupert Murdoch's man Graham Lloyd to call himself an Environment Reporter.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor

I will not write much about Mr Taylor on this page, I have another page dedicated to the man. I would think that he would have to be the most biased and dishonest Australian Energy Minister ever.

Chief of staff John Kunkel

Prime minister Scott Morisson's chief of staff is John Kunkel, the former deputy CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, one of the main coal lobbying groups.


Criminals

 
The people of Beijing are reminded of what a clear sky looks like
Beijing smog
Much of the smog is due to the burning of coal
Attribution "Feng Li/Getty Images"
In a world in which government ministers were held properly to account, PM Scott Morrison, Environment Minister Melissa Price and Energy Minister Angus Taylor would all be tried and convicted of a crime against humanity and against the biosphere. What crime can there be greater than for a person in a position of power to knowingly lie in order to support actions that will damage the planet for all future generations of humans and for all life on earth?

Their actions will not even have an economic advantage, there can be no doubt that renewable energy is cheaper than new-build coal. The only groups to win (and then only in the short term) if the Morrison Government slows renewables development and encourages coal will be the coal industry and their puppets in government. Australia and the world will suffer, economically and environmentally.

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The Morrison Government is out of touch with the Australian people, out of touch with reality, shamelessly dishonest and doing its best to stop Australia from grasping huge economic opportunities.

What do the Australian people want?

A Lowy Institute poll carried out on 1,200 Australian adults on 2018/06/20 showed that 84% of Australians wanted the government to "focus on renewables, even if this means we may need to invest more in infrastructure to make the system more reliable".
 

December 2018

The Morrison Government reached a new level of self-delusion. A press release from Energy Minister Angus Taylor foresaw "no further investment in large scale renewables, and no more significant emissions cuts – from 2022 all the way through to 2030", should it stay in power.

At the time of writing this note wind farms and utility-scale solar farms were being built at record rates and both wind and solar power were as cheap, or almost as cheap, as power from existing coal-fired power stations and substantially cheaper than new-build coal, and their cost was steadily falling. By 2022 renewables will be replacing old coal-fired power stations hand-over-hand purely for economic reasons.

The ABC reported NSW (Coalition government) Energy Minister Don Harwin saying after the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting of December 2018 "it's absolutely imperative that we end the Canberra climate wars, it's absolutely imperative that we get a sensible national approach which brings climate and energy policy together". The Queensland energy minister said that "we were completely blocked by Angus Taylor", "every state was in unison regarding climate change policy".

A poll of the people in Energy Minister Taylor's electorate showed that almost twice as many wanted to see Australia decrease its emissions faster, rather than slower.

Blind Freddy could see that there is no future in the coal industry and that Australia's energy future is in renewables but the Morrison Government is trying to deny this great opportunity to Australia.

Plainly the Australian people want renewable energy, not more coal power.
Plainly the Australian people want action on climate change.
Plainly the world's and Australia's future is with renewable energy not fossil fuels.

By the time of writing it was clear that renewable energy in the forms of wind and solar PV was cheaper than new-built coal-fired power. As decarbonisation becomes more urgent any coal-fired power station is likely to have a short life, further eroding its financial justification. No company is interested in building a coal-fired power station, it would simply be incapable of competing economically with renewables. The only way a new coal-fired power station will be built in Australia is with heavy subsidisation from the Australian tax-payers, and they plainly do not want it.

Has there ever been a federal government more out of touch with what the Australian people want, what is best for Australia and what the world needs?

I've written about who wants renewable energy? elsewhere on this site.



 
Nyngan solar farm
Solar farm
At the time of my visit, April 2017, I believe this was the biggest solar farm in Australia, at 102MW.

The potential for economic growth in the energy sector is with renewables, not fossil fuels

The world outside of the Australian government recognises that renewable energy is the future, fossil fuels are the past.

I've written below of just one renewable energy project that has huge economic potential that, if the Morrison Government had its way, would probably not go ahead. Fortunately, like so many other renewable energy developments, it seems likely to happen in spite of the best efforts of the federal government to halt progress.

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A decade of transition in the Australian electricity sector

 
Change in terawatt-hours generated in the National Electricity Market between 2008 and 2018.
Graph
Image credit: Simon Holmes à Court, The Guardian
The graph on the right records the change in Australia's energy mix in the decade from 2008 to 2018.

In spite of the best efforts of the recent coalition governments, from the Abbott Government starting in September 2013 to the MorrisonGov.html, doing all they can to support the coal industry and slow the growth of sustainable energy, renewables have made great inroads into power generation in Australia.

Quoting Simon Holmes à Court in the Guardian article that published the graph:

"Highly polluting brown coal use is down 36.6% and black coal (still dirty!) has fallen 9.4%, mostly replaced by wind and solar."
At the time of writing it was looking like the rate of renewable energy installation and coal power station retirement was only going to increase.

These governments have been nothing short of criminal in their opposition to action on climate change, but fortunately they have been notably ineffectual in their efforts to stop the transition to renewable energy.

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Just one project is sufficient to demonstrate the stupidity of the Morrison Government

The Morrison Government sees the future as being black; all about coal, fossil fuels generally, uncontrolled climate change, ocean acidification, air pollution, the loss of thousands of species and the Great Barrier Reef and great damage to the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit from us.

Others, such as British Billionaire Sanjeev Gupta (who is investing $1 billion in renewable energy in Australia), famous investor Warren Buffet (who has invested $1 billion in renewables) and Macquarie Bank (which has invested more than $20 billion in green energy globally) and who are backing the proposed $22 billion Asian Renewable Energy Hub can see that the future is green, sustainable and clean.

Peter Williams wrote a piece for the West Australian on 2018/10/08 about the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH). Its scale is truely breathtaking:

  • A total installed capacity of 11 GW+ (average electricity consumption for the whole of NSW on the national grid is about 8 GW);
  • More than 1400 wind turbines, more than 7.5 GW (more than ten times the size of the largest existing wind farm in Australia);
  • More than 3.5 GW of solar generation (more than ten times the size of the biggest solar farm currently in Australia).
The Morrison government, corrupted by the influence of the fossil fuel industry, would deny Australia projects such as this. The AREH Web site mentions that "the Governments of Indonesia, Singapore and Western Australia have been engaged", but significantly not the government of Australia.

Incredibly, Energy Minister Angus Taylor is on record as saying that wind turbines are "gobsmackingly inefficient". This is the depth to which the quality of our government has sunk!

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Fair dinkum power

Prime Minister Scot Morrison was talking to shock jock Alan Jones and said that he wanted 'dispatchable power'. Jones told the PM not to use that term because "people don't know what it means". In response to Jones, the PM said "real power, fair dinkum power". And from then on PM Morrison and his Energy Minister Angus Taylor have been using the 'fair dinkum power' catch phrase ad-nauseam. (See Media Watch, 2018/10/29.)

Has this clarified anything? I doubt it.

In any case, PM Morrison seems to be under the misunderstanding that coal power is dispatchable, of course it is not. Coal power is base load, that is, coal power is suited for providing electricity at a steady rate; dispatchable power is, as the name suggests, capable of being dispatched as required.

PM Morrison likes to make statements implying that coal-fired power stations are available all the time; ignoring the fact that they are typically unavailable about 15% of the time due to maintenance or breakdown.

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Victorian election of November 2018

The Labor Daniel Andrews Victorian Government faced an election on 2018/11/24. Most predictions were that the result would be close but would probably go to Labor.

What actually resulted was a Labor landslide; very unusually there was a huge 4.8% swing toward the Government; if there are big swings they are more often than not against a sitting government. The morning after the election it was looking like Labor would get 55 seats in the 88-seat Lower House.

No one was in any doubt that federal politics had a big influence on the Victorian result; the policies of the Morrison Government had a lot to do with this devastation of the Victorian Liberal/National coalition.

What do the Australian people want?

 
Peterborough Solar Farm
Peterborough Solar Farm
Photo taken with my drone, 2018/05/12
A Lowy Institute poll carried out on 1,200 Australian adults on 2018/06/20 showed that 84% of Australians wanted the government to "focus on renewables, even if this means we may need to invest more in infrastructure to make the system more reliable".

A poll of the people in the Morrison Government's Energy Minister Angus Taylor's electorate showed that almost twice as many wanted to see Australia decrease its emissions faster, rather than slower.

A poll carried out by a local newspaper concerning a proposed energy park (wind, solar, storage) near my house indicated 83% support for the project.

Blind Freddy could see that there is no future in the coal industry and that Australia's energy future is in renewables but PM Morrison and Minister Taylor is trying to deny this great opportunity to Australia.

Plainly the Australian people want renewable energy, not more coal power.
Plainly the Australian people want action on climate change.
Plainly Mr Taylor is out of touch with what the people in his electorate want.
Plainly the world's and Australia's future is with renewable energy not fossil fuels.

Has there ever been a federal government more out of touch with what the Australian people want, what is best for Australia and what the world needs?

I've written about how I see Australia's energy future and who wants renewable energy elsewhere on this site.


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Related pages

On this site...

Angus Taylor; a gobsmackingly dishonest Environment Minister

Australia's energy future

End of coal: why the coal industry has a very limited future.

Ethics: a subject that many in the Morrison government would do well to learn about.

A green or a black future

Greenhouse/climate change: the greatest threat currently facing mankind.

Killer coal: how the burning of coal kills millions of people world-wide each year.

Selfishness or altruism?: self or all?

South Australia's success in changing toward renewable energy

Stop These Things; a very dishonest anti-wind power Web site admired by, and contributed to by, Mr Taylor

Who wants renewable energy?

Why accept climate science

Why support wind power

Wind power lies; Mr Taylor features strongly

Wind power opposition: almost universally dishonest.

External links...

Several links are scattered through the text above and many are provided in the other pages on my site.

RenewEconomy, Lip service and lies: Coalition’s response to the IPCC report; written by Joshua S Hill, 2018/10/12.

RenewEconomy, the Morrison Government's "breathtakingly stupid response to IPCC climate report", by Giles Parkinson, 2018/10/09.

Xihhua is one of many news organisations that have reported on British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta's statement that he can show that renewable are cheaper than coal for electricity generation.

The Conversation factcheck, 2017/08/14, concluded that while power from existing coal-fired power stations is cheaper than new-built wind power, "as things stand today – wind power would be cheaper than coal as a new-build source of electricity." Prices for wind and particularly solar PV power continue to fall.

The Conversation reported that "Big firms voice lack of faith in ‘cumbersome’ and ‘impractical’ Emissions Reduction Fund", while Environment Minister Melissa Price wanted to continue with it.






Index

Criminals
A decade of transition in the Australian electricity sector
Energy Minister Angus Taylor
Environment Minister Melissa Price
Fair dinkum power
Ministers in the Morrison Government
Just one project shows the stupidity of the Morrison Government
Out of touch
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Related pages
Victorian election of November 2018


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