Climate Change, Power and Politics

  • Feb 11, 2019

Climate Change, Power and Politics

Things are Getting Hotter

Australia's national electricity grid has once again buckled under the pressure of a scorching hot summer. Consumers are furious not only about blackouts but rising power bills, too. For decades, politicians have promised solutions they failed to deliver.
Energy policy has made political careers... But it has also destroyed them.
Energy Policy Inaction Sparks Business Uncertainty ABC Background Briefing

Climate Change

In early 2019, Townsville's dam gates were fully opened to release the overcapacity storage of water as a rainfall record over a seven day period created a flood emergency.

Flooded Township

The floods followed Australia's hottest month on record, and came as dozens of bushfires raged across central Victoria, Western Australia, parts of Brisbane's south west and Tasmania.

(The New Daily. 3 February 2019)

The Bureau of Meteorology (10/01/19) confirmed that 2018 was the third warmest year on record, with the lowest rainfall since 2005 and nine of Australia's hottest years have occurred since 2005.

Australian Financial Review 12-13 January 2019

Bushire

Climate Change denialists are looking increasingly foolish and reckless with our common future.

Power

'A third of our emissions come from power generation. So, to fix emissions, you have to fix the energy industry.

Meanwhile, ageing coal-fired power stations creep towards the end of their lives, threatening the reliability of our power, and pushing up power bills.

And the planet just keeps getting hotter and hotter.'

Mario Christodoulou Gridlock - Background Briefing. ABC Radio National. 3 February 2019.

Prior to the Federal Election in 2007, Prime Minister John Howard made the following statements:

'Well I think we all accept and certainly I do that mankind has made a contribution to global warming. At the moment Kyoto doesn't effectively cover the United States and China, that's a bit like having an international world cup in cricket without Australia and India!'

John Howard 2007Prime Minister


Energy Policy Inaction Sparks Business Uncertainty ABC Background Briefing

Howard likened the most important and highly debated issue of our times to our non-participation in a cricket tournament.
He maintained that if other major Nations were not signing up to a world emissions agreement then why should Australia?

The answer might be as follows:

By signing onto the Kyoto protocol, Australia would be seen as an ethical and socially and environmentally responsible Nation. We could also move towards becoming one of the world leaders in controlling carbon emissions through the development of renewable energy technologies.

These actions would bring huge benefits in jobs and economic growth to Australia in new sustainable industries in addition to exporting our renewable technologies, skills and expertise. Ultimately this would also bring Australia's power costs down.

The push by Tony Abbott and News Ltd (backed by the Mining Council aka coal miners) was to convince the public that 'climate change' was a conspiracy or that the planet had always experienced climate change; so therefore, Nature was just going through its normal cycle. Abbott's factually unsupported suggestion that humans were not major contributors to climate change merely served to dumb down the climate change and energy debates.
If Abbott's warped logic is applied to bushfires, it would result in the following action (or inaction) - Nature has always caused bushfires, so unless we can prove that a bushfire in Australia is started accidentally or deliberately by humans, we should not put any resources into fighting these fires even if they potentially or actually cause the loss of lives, property and infrastructure. Bushfires that are started by lightening or natural causes should be left to burn themselves out as a part of a natural cycle.
A banal and dangerous attitude whether it is applied to bushfires or other climate change events!
Mr Abbott and [advisor] Ms Credlin, led the charge against climate change policy in opposition and in government, arguing that renewable energy was costly and caused the blackout in South Australia during a storm in 2016, and that Australia was such a small contributor to global climate change that our efforts to combat it would make no difference.
(Ben Potter. Existential Crisis. AFR 12-13 January 2019)

Politics

In politics there are lies, like 'the leader has my full support', and then there are great big fat lies, like 'the carbon tax will wipe out Whyalla'.

In election years, such as this one, the number of great big fat lies seems to increase dramatically. The lies aren't always easy to pick, usually because they're crafted around a grain of truth.

But when it comes to the Liberal and National parties, the easiest way to know if one of their politicians is not being completely honest is if they claim something is a new 'tax'.

[The LNP] has bought the line from former prime minister Tony Abbott that anything labelled a tax - even if it obviously isn't one - will pinch the voters' hip pocket nerve and turn them away from Labor.

We know this was Mr Abbott's strategy with the Gillard Government's 'carbon tax' because that's what his former chief of staff and political strategist, Peta Credlin, divulged in 2017.

Ms Credlin exposed the great lie of the 2013 election when she explained to her Sky News colleagues that, 'It wasn't a carbon tax, as you know. It was many other things in nomenclature terms.'

'We made it a fight about the hip pocket and not about the environment. That was brutal retail politics and it took Abbott about six months to cut through.'

'And when he cut through, Gillard was gone.'

(Paula Mathewson. The New Daily. February 2019)

Peta Credlin

The Abbott and Credlin anti-climate change campaign has put us years behind in lowering power prices owing to the lack of implementation of emissions trading schemes and the development of renewables. However, even Abbott, Credlin, billionaire coal miners and News Ltd can no longer stop the momentum towards renewable alternatives to coal-fired power stations.

Why Prices have Risen

A variety of different factors have contributed to price rises. Some of these include:

  • A lack of national energy policy beyond 2020. This means that business does not have the necessary certainty to invest in the new infrastructure needed to replace the old power plants which are retiring.
  • Rising network costs were a big factor in price rises from 2007-2014, but have since fallen.
  • Increased charges by energy retailers for winning and billing customers.
  • The export of gas reducing the amount of gas available for local companies, which makes it more expensive. In some cases this means Australian gas is cheaper to buy in Japan than it is back home.
  • The retirement of large old coal-fired power stations with not enough new power generation to replace them.
  • Game playing by power plant operators in the wholesale electricity market and not enough competition to help reduce prices.
  • Complicated consumer information which makes it hard for people to easily understand the options they have available and make smart choices to reduce their bills.

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/advocacy-initiatives/electricity-prices

Electricity Costs

While domestic power bills have risen substantially across Australia over the last decade, there is relief in sight with prices expected to fall by an average of 6.2 per cent over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years.

Simply put, we pay for four main things in our electricity bills - the generation of electricity, the poles and wires to get the electricity to homes and business, electricity company administration and marketing costs, and environmental costs.

Wholesale Power

The cost of actually generating energy - whether from renewable energy, coal or gas - is almost a quarter of the cost of the average bill. This is known as the wholesale electricity price.

The wholesale price of power has risen in recent years due to a couple of factors. First, the rising cost of producing power from gas and secondly, the closure of several old and inefficient coal power plants in South Australia and Victoria.

As not enough has been invested in new power generation over the last decade, increased strain is being felt across the entire electricity network. With less electricity supply in the market after the closure of the coal plants, this pushed prices higher.

Poles and Wires

Australia has one of the longest electricity networks in the world. The cost of the poles and wires that carry the electricity from power plants to our homes and businesses is passed through to us in our power bills.

Keeping our poles and wires well maintained and building new parts of the electricity network is not cheap. These costs can make up as much as half of our power bills.

Environmental costs

This is the smallest component of the average bill. It includes the cost of meeting the national Renewable Energy Target, as well as the ongoing costs of rooftop solar power support schemes. The cost varies from state to state. According to a 2017 inquiry into power prices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the cost of environment schemes makes up about 7 per cent of the average bill.

Administration and Marketing Costs

This part of our bill covers the cost of electricity companies maintaining customer databases and billing processes at electricity retail companies, as well as marketing to win new customers. The 2017 ACCC study revealed that electricity company marketing and administration costs accounted for about a quarter of the average residential electricity bill.

What Makes Up Your Energy Bill

Image: https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/advocacy-initiatives/electricity-prices

Reducing Electricity Costs

For now at least, it's up to consumers to make sure they're not being ripped off.
The first and most important thing to do is regularly compare energy plans in your area. That's because prices fluctuate constantly, contracts expire and new retailers enter the market regularly.
If you've never compared, or it has been over a year since you did, there's a very good chance that simply switching to cheaper energy could save you hundreds over the year.
There are hundreds of dollars between the most and least expensive plans on the market and with Electricity & Gas you can compare energy plans in minutes and get cheaper power today.
If you're looking to cut your power usage, the most important thing to do is get out of the house, especially if you work from home.
During the summer months, you're probably going to use a whole lot more power as you run the air-conditioning to stop you from sweating it out at home.
So schedule your weekly shopping for the hottest day of the week and spend the warmest hours inside some cool, air-conditioned shops, or work from the local library instead of working from home.
https://electricityandgas.com.au

Renewable Energy Scorecard

Opponents of the Renewable Energy Target often claim that the target is forcing up the price of power. However, analysis from energy market experts ROAM Consulting found that Australian households would pay over half a billion dollars more for power in 2020 without the Renewable Energy Target in place, and up to $1.4 billion more per year beyond that.

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/advocacy-initiatives/electricity-prices

Queensland is on target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Currently Queensland has the highest proportion of solar households in Australia.

Western Australia is the only State with no renewable energy target or net zero emissions target. See how the rest of Australia is scoring: Renewable Energy Scoreboard

Electricians - Brisbane, Gold Coast, South-East Queensland

Local qualified electricians can also assist you with a reduction in power costs; for example, by installing energy efficient LED lighting in your home and business premises.

Weiss Electrical Brisbane is a friendly, reliable and affordable Brisbane electrical company who can assist you with lowering electricity costs. They have been servicing residential, commercial and industrial customers for over 25 years.

JT Electrical services Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Jimboomba & Beaudesert and offer free advice on their website, 'Saving Energy Tips 101', including converting to a solar hot water system. Member # A0970834 of the Clean Energy Council.

Mining Jobs

According to census data, 49,997 people in Queensland work in the mining sector, about 2.3% of the state's workforce, or about one in 47 jobs.

However there are many indirect jobs for example Brisbane based company RLM distributing produces Mining Equipment and Mining Tools.

The Indian miner Adani has long claimed that the Carmichael coalmine will create 10,000 jobs, despite its experts telling a court the number was 1,464.

Coal for electricity generation the primary culprit for rising world emissions 2018.

Coal Emissions Rising 2018

China, India and the US accounted for 85% of the increase, with emissions declining in Japan and Mexico and in several European economies including Germany, France and the UK.
Anglea Macdonald-Smith Financial Review 27 March 2019.

Researched and compiled by Dr Steven Gration - 8 February 2019

Other Articles

Aug 12, 2019 What Communication Style Do You Use?
Aug 7, 2019 Telling your story
Jul 15, 2019 Business for Sale - Gold Coast
Jul 9, 2019 NDIS Support Coordination
Jun 18, 2019 Counselling De-Mystifying the Psycho in Therapy
Jun 7, 2019 Is that car oil leak serious?
Jun 6, 2019 How does NDIS pricing work?
May 14, 2019 INSPECTIONS Buildings, Pests and Electrical
Mar 15, 2019 Memorial Stationary
Mar 5, 2019 The Renewable Energy Race
Feb 14, 2019 PDF - Perfect Document Format
Jan 31, 2019 Built to Rent
Jan 14, 2019 Swimming Pool Dreaming
Jan 8, 2019 The Moving Story of Max & Co.
Dec 31, 2018 Finding your core
Oct 9, 2018 Anatomy of a local Google Search
Sep 19, 2018 A French Affair and Dangerous Liaisons
Sep 17, 2018 Break-even Analysis for Bookkeeping
Aug 23, 2018 Recycled Timber Architecture Features
Aug 9, 2018 The Un-natural Art of the Wheel
Aug 3, 2018 How much should you spend on a website?
Jul 24, 2018 A Brief History of Kimono and Obi
Jul 11, 2018 Southport Mechanic
Jul 11, 2018 What do we mean by home automation?
Jun 6, 2018 Seeing Red over Cola
Jun 4, 2018 TERMITES - PLAYING THE GAME
May 28, 2018 Why a Multi-Skilled SEO offers better value
May 11, 2018 How does the DREAM turn into a SCREAM?
May 7, 2018 The Alarming History of Geese, Dogs and Bells
Apr 5, 2018 Air Spider
Mar 13, 2018 Planting a hedge fence
Feb 9, 2018 Life Saving Tyre Accessories
Feb 6, 2018 The bakers oven stops
Dec 6, 2017 Relationship Counselling - the volatile couple
Nov 9, 2017 Don't kill the ants
Oct 25, 2017 Plumbing, the Ancient Art of Managing Water
Oct 11, 2017 The Secret Life of Micropiles
Sep 29, 2017 Foundation Underpinning
Sep 8, 2017 Termites the secretive pest
Sep 7, 2017 Sharing your Google Analytics
Sep 5, 2017 Website speed test claims put to the test
Aug 23, 2017 Custom Timber Dining Tables
Jun 23, 2017 Kitchen Renovation Alfresco BBQ
Jun 12, 2017 Hire a photo booth
May 10, 2017 My Site Dropped out of Google
Apr 20, 2017 Recycled Timber comes with a story
Apr 8, 2017 Light Up Your Home
Dec 12, 2016 Evolving eCommerce with SEO
Dec 5, 2016 Image Manager 4 Released
Oct 14, 2016 Classic Gold Coast
Sep 26, 2016 Techheads who can market
Sep 9, 2016 Issues with childhood photography
Aug 30, 2016 Never Make an Impulse Appliance Purchase
Aug 15, 2016 Using the potential of YouTube
Aug 2, 2016 How to add a review to Google Places
Jul 26, 2016 Servicing your air-conditioner
Jul 22, 2016 Eco-friendly Home Building
Jun 13, 2016 Timber Floors
May 13, 2016 Timber Furniture Gold Coast
Apr 13, 2016 Interactive Charts
Feb 18, 2016 Ideas for creating passive income
Jan 29, 2016 Better Childhood Photography
Dec 30, 2015 Gold Coast Real Estate
Nov 20, 2015 Feed-in Solar Tariffs Queensland
Nov 5, 2015 Kindergarten Photographers
Sep 23, 2015 Low Budget High Impact Web Videos
Sep 8, 2015 Pool Inspection Laws Queensland
Jul 23, 2015 Protection against power surges
Jul 13, 2015 Intelligent Security Systems
Jun 17, 2015 Advanced Security Cameras
Jan 15, 2015 Is your security provider licensed?
Jan 6, 2015 Inspired by Necessity
Dec 7, 2014 Social Media vs SEO for sales generation
Nov 1, 2014 Responsive Websites vs a Mobile version
Sep 8, 2014 Simplify Writing - Get that job
Apr 8, 2014 Cockroaches like BBQs too
Mar 27, 2014 Admin System Mark 3
Feb 12, 2014 HTML5 improving SEO and Social Interaction
Jan 17, 2014 TV Commercials with impact - on time
Dec 2, 2013 Negative SEO
Nov 29, 2013 A flexible e-mail system
Nov 13, 2013 Social Media Strategies for SEO
Oct 15, 2013 Web Video Production
Sep 26, 2013 Soft drinks can damage your teeth?
Aug 29, 2013 Haridresser Gold Coast
Aug 26, 2013 Jet Boat Ride Gold Coast
Aug 6, 2013 Dental Site Videos
Aug 3, 2013 Gold Coast Tradesman Directory
Jul 2, 2013 Creating audio for your site via your iPhone
Apr 23, 2013 Yellow Pages Google Partnership Unfair
Aug 17, 2012 Facebook Account Security
Jul 6, 2012 Gold Coast a great place to Study
Dec 22, 2011 New Real Estate System
Oct 17, 2011 Managing your domains a quick guide
Apr 4, 2011 Our Facebook Application
Feb 1, 2011 Video Marketing
Jan 5, 2011 Questions to ask your web developer
Dec 28, 2010 Surfboard for sale site launched
Dec 28, 2010 Health and Fitness sites
Dec 9, 2010 Why is my content management system so slow?
Nov 26, 2010 Google now includes local places results
Oct 31, 2010 Getting Listed on Google Places very important
Oct 19, 2010 Security Systems site launched
Sep 28, 2010 Google Personalized Searches
Sep 13, 2010 Web Marketing To Green or Not to Green? Beware!
Sep 9, 2010 Jet ski or Jet boat Gold Coast
Jul 19, 2010 Java Web Hosting
Jul 7, 2010 Assess your eCommerce opportunities
Jun 11, 2010 DIY SEO
May 26, 2010 Planning a website
Apr 22, 2010 Enhanced Email Marketing Tool for your website
Apr 12, 2010 Site Speed is important for Google
Mar 26, 2010 360 degree Panoramas + Google Maps

A Gold Coast SEO and Web Developer