Government Action and inaction

Government action and inaction

Why are they not acting?

Governments are giving mixed messages because they are being drawn both by the need for reform, and the need to balance the budget by doing business as usual. 

Departments of climate change and energy efficiency etc are doing their very best to reduce climate change through reduction of CO2 .

However, state governments own coal fired power stations and receive royalties from coal mining. The electricity industry is a huge investment and carries huge debt. Politicians are faced with the responsibility of balancing the budget, so they are torn between business as usual, or rocking the boat.

The independent pricing tribunals such as IPART are supposedly independent, but the board members are appointed and paid by the government. To date they appear to be singing the power companies' tune.  Ref

The coal industry is well entrenched behind the scenes in government committees etc. Their lobbying power is very strong.

Political donations play a large part of the problem. It is hard to see why they are not seen as corruption.

So sit down, and hold on tight, it's going to be a rocky ride.

For example:


Power in​dustry vs rooftop PV - Photovoltaics

The Queensland government, through IPART, wants to bring in a gross feed-in-tariff for PV at 8 - 12c/kWh. This would mean:

1) it would be uneconomic to install PV which produces electricity at 15c/kWh.

2) Or people will create two circuits, one with the PV running the air con, pool pump, heat pump, sewage aeration, etc. And the other circuit for business as usual.

3) Or people will put in more PV, battery storage and go off grid.

Following are only notes - I'll get to this ASAP - John Davis  


Subsides for clean energy

report by DBL Investors’ Nancy Pfund and Yale University graduate student Ben Healey, which looked into the historical role of U.S. federal energy subsidies, found that annual federal support for oil, gas, and nuclear has averaged 22 times the amount of subsidies available to renewables.



President Obama's speech: Click here



30 September 2011

The Australian Government has today invited expressions of interest (EOI) from eligible generators seeking to participate in the Contract for Closure Program.

The Contract for Closure Program is part of the Government's Clean Energy Future package and aims to support the closure of around 2,000 megawatts of highly emissions-intensive electricity generation capacity by 2020. Under the scheme, eligible generators can seek payment from the Government as part of a competitive tender process to retire their operations by an agreed date.

This will be a voluntary process.

Transformation in Australia 's energy sector hinges on an orderly transition over time to cleaner supplies of energy.

This program is designed to facilitate investment in new lower-emissions electricity generation capacity by providing certainty to future investors about the timing of closure of existing generators and, in turn, help them to plan ahead with confidence.

The Contract for Closure Program, together with the other elements of the Energy Security Fund, will minimise the risks to energy security that could arise from an unplanned exit of electricity generation from the market.

It is the Governments intention that any Contract for Closure will ensure appropriate arrangements are put in place by relevant generators to preserve workers entitlements.

The Australian Government is also providing structural assistance to support regional communities if they are strongly affected by the introduction of a carbon price. $200 million will be available specifically to help support workers and communities in the transition ahead. That figure is on top of a much larger sum to help Australians more generally adjust to carbon pricing.

The Government has set aside a capped amount in the Contingency Reserve that is intended to be made available post 30 June 2016. As this is a competitive process, the funds available to generators under Contract for Closure have not been made public in order to preserve the Government's negotiating position and get the best value for money.

Expressions of interest are due by 21 October 2011. Material submitted to the Government will be assessed for compliance, and direct negotiations with eligible parties who submit a compliant EOI will follow.

The Government intends to enter into any Contracts for Closure by 30 June 2012. These contracts will set out the agreed date by which capacity will be closed. The Government's preferred closure timeframe is from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2020.

Eligible generators are those with emissions intensity greater than 1.2 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per megawatt hour of electricity on an as generated basis. The Contract for Closure Program is being led by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and the invitation for expressions of interest and associated documents can be found

Media contact:Fiona Scott ( Ferguson ) 0457 542 330, Mark Davis (Combet) 0400 295 560


A report from the Baker Center for Public Policy in USA gives an analysis comparing incentives for solar, with historical incentives for fossil fuels.

Incentives for solar have been small compared to fossil fuels.

Don Henry, the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said the diesel fuel rebate to mining companies amounted to $182 per taxpayer

Liberal party's plan to capture and store carbon in the soil make no sense.


 New York State has adopted an ambitious goal of obtaining 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. The renewable category includes wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, landfill biogas and other sources..  

The bad news

The state governments own the coal fired power stations and receive royalties from coal mining. So they are doing everything they can to protect their assets and revenues.

In Queensland the new Campbell Newman government has wiped out nearly all renewable gains More ..

The are also trying to bring in gross metering at 8-12 c/KWh. This would wipe out all rooftop solar. More


ACIL consultant