Here’s why australia needs to keep subsidising renewables richard denniss opinion the guardian z gas ensenada


These days, the rightwing commentators who once asserted “climate change isn’t real” typically prefer to argue that measures to tackle climate change are gas 87 either ineffective, or too expensive. One of their favourite arguments is that if renewables are now cheaper than coal, then why should Australia subsidise renewables at all? It’s a good question, but there are plenty of good answers.

The first is that we need to keep subsidising renewables because we don’t have nearly enough of them and we are in a race gas density calculator against physics. The fact is, new build renewables with storage are now cheaper than new build coal, but that won’t cause existing coal-fired power stations to shut down, which is the only way to make emissions fall. Subsidies that encourage people to install solar and batteries on their homes however speed up the rate at which renewables squeeze the coal-fired power stations out of business.

Secondly, nearly all of the coal-fired power stations, and the transmission grids that they rely on, were built and subsidised by taxpayers. It wasn’t “market forces” that built the enormous network of coal-fired power stations and the electricity grids that electricity jeopardy game provide nearly all Australians with electricity, it was the public sector. And the decision to string hundreds of kilometres of wires to link small towns to the national grid wasn’t based on economics, but equity gas constant in kj. To suggest that all new investments in the electricity industry have to meet a criteria that the existing investments never did, provides an incredible advantage to the (recently privatised) electricity incumbents.

The purpose of the renewable energy target is to require the electricity industry to reduce the amount of pollution it generates. And while that electricity bill cost has benefits to producers of renewable energy, such benefits are not a subsidy. On the contrary, the biggest subsidy in the Australian Energy Market is the ability of coal-fired power stations to dispose of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere for zero dollars. The building industry must pay to have rubble disposed of, the chemical industry is no longer free to dispose of its waste into our rivers, and anyone with an old TV knows you have to pay someone to take it off your hands. But for reasons that have nothing to do with economics, we continue to subsidise an industry that causes more climate change gas jewelry than any other, via the provision of free waste disposal services.

Subsidies are great when you want to encourage the production of something; that’s why we have subsidies for vaccinations, schools and superannuation contributions. But subsidising something that people want less of makes neither economic nor political sense. Luckily, we will have electricity and magnetism worksheets 5th grade an election soon which, as always, provides voters with a clear opportunity to express for themselves what they want more of and what they want less of. That’s why elections matter.

Australia is one of the richest countries in the world and we live at the richest point in world history. There is no doubt 7 gas station that using taxpayers’ money to get “yellow things pushing dirt around” will create some jobs, but the more important question is, what kind of jobs? Should the “yellow things” be building new mines or new hospitals? Voters, through the politicians we elect, have enormous influence over the shape of our economy.