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).
According to promoters of uranium mining stocks we can soon expect a huge boom in nuclear power because there's so many power projects 'planned' to be built. Based on that logic you might be surprised to learn what it means for solar and wind power.
Origin Energy says it now has greater confidence to invest in wind and large-scale solar with prices at a 'level required for new wind projects'. While AGL continues to say its wallet is shut unless gov't moves to address overcapacity by shutting down existing coal plant.
The Abbott Government has achieved a significant cut to the Renewable Energy Target yet a clause in the federal legislation prevents state schemes similar to the federal RET. One workaround options stands out for climate-concerned state energy ministers.
Making native forest wood waste eligible under the RET is unlikely to make a material difference to solar and wind projects by itself. But anti-RET senators Leyonhjelm and Day could use it for ends that extend beyond just wood waste.
‘A ridiculous waste of taxpayers money’ is probably a good description of the iron ore inquiry being pushed by Twiggy Forrest, but it’s an even better description of the countless inquiries the wind industry has been subjected to. Comic relief is the only cure for the Aussie epidemic of 'wind farm inquiry' sickness.
The big power retailers have fought tooth and nail to have the Renewable Energy Target wound back. But with money now clearly on the table and changing circumstances devaluing other options, who knows – they might even live up to the rhetoric in their advertisements and save the RET from a still sword-brandishing minister.
The Andrews government has again called for repeal of federal legislation precluding states from introducing renewable energy targets. While it puts welcome focus on the issue, there's a lot more Spring Street could do to fight climate change.