Turnbull’s new approach to electricity: smoke and mirrors

Turnbull’s new approach to electricity: smoke and mirrors, by Alan Moran.

The idiocy of Turnbull’s handling of electricity policy now, once again, looks likely to cost him the leadership of his party. Faced with termination, he is seeking to extricate himself while pretending to reform the policy that has revealed his incompetence. His new proposals at modifying the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) are bromides that leave intact his destructive objectives for the electricity supply industry.

Turnbull’s automatic default position is to override the market and substitute his own perceived wisdom. Ten years ago, on a joint ticket with the ALP to close down fossil fuel electricity production and replace it with wind, he lost the leadership to Tony Abbott.

He has long considered “modern” wind and solar to be superior to the geriatric coal power stations that gave Australia the cheapest electricity in the world. Among his missions is to effect the replacement of those dinosaurs. He will not be swayed by arguments that the alternatives are dearer and less reliable and will remain so. And no amount of evidence will dissuade him that global emission reductions are either unnecessary or unachievable. …

The fact is that Turnbull cannot be trusted to carry out the changes he is hinting at when they undermine his basic philosophy. He will torture words and devise seemingly ameliorative policy platforms. But these will simply be superficial actions to dampen criticism while he continues towards his objectives.