In 2009, Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader told Australia, ‘I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.’ In 2010, he said to ‘effectively combat climate change’ the nation ‘must move to a situation where all or almost all of our energy comes from zero or very near zero emissions sources’.
In 2016, this same man, now Prime Minister, sat in silence this week in the House of Representatives while his Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister inanely brandished a hunk of coal in the chamber declaring how wonderful it was.
In 2016, the same man, now Prime Minister, tells us—against the protests of scientists, businesses, economists and even Australian energy companies themselves—that Australia’s future relies on new taxpayer funded coal fired power generators.
Australians have watched this capitulation in horror, the reality is that Australia’s future is renewable. The path to cheaper power for Australia and the Australian economy, the path to the future, lies in renewable energy.
It is 2017, Australia is a First World country and, under the Turnbull government, the national electricity system cannot get cheap, clean power to people’s homes when they need it to keep their fans and their air conditioners on. It may come as news to the Liberals and the Nationals, but there is actually a lot of sun that shines in Australia.
Australia could do enormously well with solar power and with wind, except this government just wants to attack them. During a heat wave, solar plants actually do quite well.
While renewable energy has been attacked since the South Australian blackout, the truth is the day after the blackout ,in a conference call between the Prime Minister’s office, the energy minister’s office and environment and energy officials was told: ‘Australian energy market operators’ advice was that the generation mix, that is, renewable or fossil fuel, was not to blame for yesterday’s event. It was the loss of 1,000 megawatts power in such a short space of time as transmission lines fell over.