Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
This year will see wind and solar breakthrough 55GW each, but storage and smart homes will be mainly sizzle rather than steak. Fossil fuel prices will remain under pressure, hurting coal but also electric vehicle sales. Meanwhile solar costs will reach such low levels that maybe even Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley will have to admit they got it wrong.
Falling oil prices offer a window for countries to implement carbon taxes, which are probably superior to cap and trade schemes. And one way to circumvent the politics might be to tie a tax's implementation to a low oil price.
When its carbon price fell to record lows last year, Europe's emissions trading scheme became more of a compliance formality than investment driver. But a planned re-calibration should see it driving decarbonisation again soon.
A deal between the government and crossbench senators to cut the large-scale RET to 32,500GWh may actually work out better for the renewable energy industry than waiting out for a deal involving Labor. It offers greater upside and less risk of no deal at all.