Here’s a welcome change in conservative thinking. It’s from Mike Nahan, the West Australian (WA) Liberal Party Treasurer and Energy Minister and former head of the right wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). In a landmark speech, Nahan said his government was committed to facilitating a move to solar photovoltaic power as it:
- Would meet the daytime electricity needs of WA within the next decade
- Was cheap, and democratic [supported by the people]
- Was likely to account for all new generation capacity
- Would displace the state’s ageing coal generators
This is extraordinary. He had constantly ridiculed the prospects of renewable energy and solar in particular. Nahan’s comments are also in stark contrast to the findings a review commissioned by his own government last year, which bizarrely did not even consider solar as a future technology and even contemplated importing coal from Indonesia to solve future energy needs.
The WA centralised, fossil fuel system has relied on massive government subsidies now more than about $600 million a year, or more than $500 per household. Nahan admits that the subsidy is unsustainable and should be phased out within a few years, which will increase retail electricity process and so make rooftop solar and battery storage even more attractive.
The other massive government subsidy went into building fossil fuel plants to provide peak demand which have never been switched on.
Renew Economy: Giles Parkinson: 28 Aug 2015
Key Words: OzPolitics