From Brisbane, Australia, May 16th 2023
Australia has enshrined in law its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
In a group discussion today, these points were mentioned in our U3A discussion group, not in any order.
State centralised power stations from 1980 to 2010 met electricity demand with reliable low cost supplies.
Growth in peak demand was met by installation of gas turbine generators.
Natural gas supplies are limited.
Solar panels and wind energy cost more than base load fossil fuel energy.
Domestic solar panels relieved peak supply.
Solar panel farms have been built but are unable to meet 24 hour base load supply.
Batteries and pumped storage are expensive.
Shutting down of base load fossil fuel energy has increased the cost of electricity to consumers.
Restriction of coal production has reduced coal taxes, the mainstay of the Australian economy.
Increased payment for electricity takes a larger proportion of workers’ earnings than from middle and upper classes.
Cost of other products is also increased by rising electricity and petrol prices.
Effect of the energy transition is being borne predominantly by workers as a fall in their standard of living.
The energy transition is having a socially retrograde effect, penalising the have-nots.
The benefits of the transition are expected to be improving climates worldwide, which might result in better living conditions for some peoples.
Is the Australian government behaving responsibly?
My novel Animal Farm 2 is a sequel to Orwell’s totalitarian satire with the farm animals learning about climate change and electricity supply. Reviews: martinknox.com