In the last week we’ve had reports on the future of the electricity system from the ACCC, AEMO and ESB. These acronymic bodies all share in the responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in today. Their reports are not only inconsistent with each other in critical respects, but internally incoherent.
The one thing they have in common is that they all assume that Australia should do nothing more about climate change. In this, they are reflecting the Trumpist views of our government, restated more elegantly by its vapid frontman, Malcolm Turnbull.
The idea that these denialist policies could somehow represent a solution to the dispute over energy policy in Australia is bizarre. When and if the Trumpists are defeated, we will need a radical increase in ambition. A carbon price should be part of this, but the policy disasters of the last five years mean that much more drastic action will be needed.
The only benefit of the last week’s output is to remind us that the entire alphabet soup of bodies running our failing energy season needs to be tipped down the drain and replaced with a publicly owned grid, and a radical transformation of electricity generation, phasing out coal as rapidly as possible.