When it comes to energy policy Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley is talking populist rubbish, claimed correspondent Tim Hughes in The Courier Mail (10 June 2006, p.80).
Labor offering no real alternative: Beazley’s claim that all Australia needs is cheap renewable energy sounds attractive, but it is not an alternative policy. "The truth is that the two main alternative energy sources that the Opposition Leader talks about, wind and solar, are hopelessly uneconomic."
Wind farms require heavy subsidies: Mr Hughes said major superannuation funds, whose investments he manages, own interests in a significant number of wind farms. Each and every one of them would be totally unviable without very heavy subsidies.
Solar even worse: "Their average cost of production is over twice that from a base load coalfired power station. The situation for solar is even worse, with effective power costs well over twice those of wind," Mr Hughes said.
50 year-plus pay-off period: He continued: "The pay-off period for solar panels is around 50 years, and that is with a zero rate of return on investment. Not only is this a long period, but the panels only have a working life of 30 to 40 years."
And Howard no better than Beazley: The claim by the Federal Environment Minister that the Government was "massively incentivising" solar and wind was also utter rubbish, Mr Hughes added. "No one in their right mind would build a wind farm in Australia at the moment and it is all because of the Federal Government."
The Courier Mail, 10/6/2006, p. 80
Source: Erisk Net