That is as reported by Simon Benson in The Australian:
- The Turnbull government is expected to take its revised energy policy to the Coalition partyroom early next month with a plan to make a significant investment in cleaner coal-fired power as a counterbalance to also adopting a clean energy target.
The Australian has learned that Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg are working on a compromise deal on coal that would allow them to quell internal resistance to a CET.
However, they are going to wait until next month in the expectation that the report from the Australian Energy Market Operator on the baseload requirements to replace generation lost from the planned closures of a number of coal plants over the next five to 15 years will give them extra cover.
Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy, who has long explained that ‘baseload’ is an antiquated concept, has posted on how ridiculous the concept is. Because of the expense and the risk that it will become a stranded asset, the government will likely have to pay for it out of taxpayer money.
Parkinson rightly identifies their fear that One Nation is polling over 20% in Queensland, so North Queensland is a likely target for a new coal plant. Certainly Queensland is important, because Labor only holds seven of the 30 seats. According to recent Galaxy polling reported in the Courier Mail, the LNP is ahead in federal TPP voting, but they are still looking at losing five seats.
I think Parkinson is wrong in saying One Nation is polling above 20%. The latest Galaxy poll on state voting puts them at 15%. I think it unlikely that they will do better in a federal election, and will only be running in a limited number of seats. Nevertheless they are a factor.
Much of the focus on reporting the Queensland poll has been the slide in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s approval rating which as Andrew Beaumont reports slumped eight points to 39%, and her disapproval rose nine points to 44%, for a net approval of -5, down 17 points, which was Palaszczuk’s first negative net approval. At least Beaumont reports that Opposition leader Tim Nicholls was up four points, leaving him still in negative territory at -14. Others like the ABC didn’t mention it.
Beaumont wonders whether Palaszczuk’s approval rating might improve, as well as Labor’s vote, if she dropped support for the Adani mine.
Good question. Meanwhile the morning’s AFR reports that EnergyAustralia, a major player in the nation’s electricity generation, distribution and retailing, had announced an 18% drop in first half profit. Cath Tanna, the Australian CEO has long called for more investment in renewable energy as coal is emphatically not the answer, she says.
She identified two issues. First, high gas prices, especially when demand was high and spot electricity prices went through the roof.
Secondly, she says, we need a policy framework to invest in new renewable energy to replace fossils.
Looking at you, Messrs Turnbull and Frydenberg. Stop blaming everyone else and get on with it.