From STOP THESE THINGS
Make electricity unreliable and unaffordable and you’ll soon turn your economy to ashes. Australia is on the brink of a major recession, and energy costs are front and centre.
Power prices will jump by 25 to 30% next month following the closure of yet another perfectly operable 2,000MW coal-fired power plant. Since the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target was ramped up by the Labor government in 2010, Australians have been hit with double-digit percentage increases in their power bills every year since.
Households are being hammered by rising interest rates and power bills that they simply cannot afford.
Then there are energy-hungry industries, like mineral processing, which are all but done for. Aluminium smelters will be the first to go, wiping out thousands of well-paid jobs in the bargain.
Peta Credlin taps into comments made recently by Peter Day, a director of one of Australia’s last remaining smelters. Day’s brutal analysis: Australia is well on the road to de-industrialisation, thanks to its idiotic energy policy.
‘We can have lower emissions or a first world economy – not both’
30 May 2023
Alumina Limited Director Peter Day had some sad home truths on what is Australia’s counterproductive energy policy, says Sky News host Peta Credlin.
Mr Day addressed his worries towards established industries that rely on coal and gas and also the government’s lack of acknowledgement towards the inefficient backup capacities of renewable energy.
“In plain language terms, the Alumina boss is telling us that we are on a rapid road to de-industrialisation,” Ms Credlin said.
“At some stage, we will have to wake up to the fact that we can have much lower emissions or a first world economy – but not both.”
Peta Credlin: It’s rare to find a business leader today talking about business and not virtue signalling on the voice or climate change or diversity and inclusion. But yesterday on issues impacting his business, the chairman of Alumina, one of our biggest manufacturing businesses that runs the Portland smelter in Victoria and an Alumina refinery in Western Australia, Peter Day, had some sad home truths on Australia’s energy policy.
The Alumina chairman pointed out that, and I quote, “The country’s now taking steps that will challenge,” I note that word challenge, “that will challenge many of its established industries that are dependent on coal or gas. Having power that’s available 24/7,” he said, “is a particular challenge. Transition plans in Australia,” he said, that is plans for the transition to renewables are, and I quote, “currently not addressing the issues of backup capacity adequately given battery technologies do not currently provide a viable long duration back-up solution.”
“For example,” he said, “the largest battery currently in Australia could power half the Portland smelter for a maximum of an hour. Further,” he said, “actions to reduce carbon emissions that threaten Australia’s value adding industries,” which he said, “are already in the world’s lowest emissions quartile are counterproductive.”
That’s right. Counterproductive. And he said we’ve just produce even more emissions in countries that aren’t as fastidious about emissions as we are here. Now, this is the chairman of a business that over the past five years has paid almost $3 billion in taxes and royalties and nearly 4 billion in wages, stating that without continued access to competitively priced fossil fuels, gas in this particular case, this value adding venture would cease. In other words, we would cease to be a country with heavy industry.
Day said, and I’ll quote him again, “Current plans for Australia’s energy transition threatened to create immense uncertainty, immense uncertainty on the availability and cost of future energy supply.” So in plain language terms, the Alumina boss is telling us that we’re on a rapid road to de-industrialization. Like the alarm of speculation about future weather events or hysteria about the Barrier Reef, his words are buried in the business section of just one newspaper.
As you know, I don’t oppose reducing emissions as reasonable enough, but not in ways that impose massive extra costs on consumers and ways that weaken us compared to places like China, which never put emissions reduction ahead of economic and military strength. At some stage, we’ll have to wake up to the fact that we can have much lower emissions or a first world economy, but not both. Let’s hope our leaders will soon wake up to these too and ensure that we don’t lose any more coal-fired power until there’s a reliable alternative in place and that we green light the new gas fields we need for ourselves, and of course, the allies that depend on Australia.
Aluminium smelter workers are all set to ‘transition’ to the dole queue.