In a surprise move that angered the pro-coal forces in the Coalition government, the architect of the Turnbull energy plan just admitted the obvious - coal is cheaper than renewables and the market won’t build new coal power stations anymore.
Energy Security Board Chairwoman Kerry Schott - no friend to the renewables industry for her renewables constricting National Energy Guarantee program - said it was widely accepted that new coal plants could no longer compete with wind and solar, and they in fact face “an uncertain utilisation rate and return on capital”.
Translation: the market won’t touch expensive dirty coal in the face of the continued price drops and reliability of renewables.
Her comments sparked a predictably furious response from the Coalition’s pro-coal Monash Forum, including Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce, who called her analysis “bizarre” and “anti-coal”. The Monash Forum, who loudly tout the benefits of free-market capitalism, are pushing for taxpayer money to permanently subsidize coal, and continue to wage an all-out culture war against renewables.
At least the government’s energy czar is still swayable by the real facts.