Essay by Eric Worrall
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has resurrected the state electrical energy fee, to develop renewable alternatives and facilitate a phaseout of coal by 2035.
‘Shocked’: Andrews nationalises electrical energy
Angela Macdonald-Smith, Patrick Durkin and Colin PackhamOct 20, 2022 – 11.12am
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ plan to “convey again” the government-owned State Electrical energy Fee to reverse the decades-long privatisation of Australia’s vitality market will chill personal funding and harm extraordinary traders and staff, the CEOs of Woodside Vitality, Alinta Vitality and Australian Vitality Council warn.
The state Labor authorities mentioned it might spend $1 billion to develop its personal renewable vitality belongings, because it introduced robust new emissions targets which might be prone to finish coal energy era within the state by 2035 – sooner than anticipated. The state would make investments instantly to regulate renewable vitality tasks, together with wind and photo voltaic, with a spotlight anticipated to be on its formidable offshore wind targets.
The premier mentioned that the revived State Electrical energy Fee (SEC) would “think about all choices” together with turning into a state-run vitality retailer and would have a controlling stake in new vitality tasks “with the stability of funding invested by means of like-minded firms corresponding to business tremendous funds who’re centered on an equitable future for Victorians”.
The brand new targets had been welcomed by environmentalists and unions however Jeff Dimery, CEO of Alinta Vitality which owns the Loy Yang B coal energy station in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley, which was scheduled to shut in 2047, mentioned the transfer would drive the early retirement of its coal energy station and price jobs, leaving his staff “shocked”.
Learn extra (paywalled): https://www.afr.com/firms/vitality/victoria-to-bring-back-state-ownership-of-energy-20221020-p5brci
Dan Andrews is the premier who infamously ordered police to open hearth on unarmed protestors in 2021 throughout a Covid lockdown protest.
The renewable vitality goal is absurd – Victoria is windy however doesn’t see loads of solar. The wind isn’t that dependable – Victoria commonly enjoys intervals of days and even weeks with little or no wind, always of the yr.
So the query is, why did Dan Andrews really feel he needed to intervene with direct state funding? Is that this only a political stunt, to appease unions? Or is he having bother attracting the extent of personal funding he desires?
On the floor renewable funding seems to be good – round $860 million spent final monetary yr in Victoria. However that’s nowhere close to sufficient to attain Victoria’s formidable renewable targets.
Dan Andrews is going through election on twenty sixth November, so this might simply be a stunt, a ploy to agency up help from union staff who miss the outdated days, when state authorities vitality enterprises run by managers appointed by union supported politicians granted straightforward pay rises to public sector staff.
Or it may imply one thing else. On this interval of rising rates of interest, and a probable imminent recession, individuals get much more cautious of placing cash into new enterprise ventures. And renewable vitality tariffs usually are not resistant to authorities tinkering when governments run wanting cash, as Spanish traders found in 2010. Victorians have already had a style of arbitrary authorities tariff tinkering, with a big minimize to rooftop photo voltaic feedin tariffs again in July.
I suppose time will inform.
Correction (EW): h/t Excessive Treason – The election is twenty sixth November, not 2nd November.