Pollie Watch: Angus Taylor is wrong on the RET, wind energy

Posted on August 22, 2013 by

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Liberal candidate for the seat of Hume, Angus Taylor, has emerged as a staunch critic of wind energy and the national Renewable Energy Target. Taylor’s most recent attack on wind energy and the RET since his appearance at the lacklustre ‘wind power fraud’ rally was a letter published by the Goulburn Times.  

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Angus Taylor has a secret admirer: the anonymous anti-wind farm hate site, Stop These Things.

Taking issue with Mr Taylor’s exaggerations on the matter, sheep farmer and prospective wind farmer from Crookwell, Charlie Prell, and I joined forces to pen the following response:

Re: ‘The exorbitant costs of the RECs‘, Angus Taylor, Aug 10

Angus Taylor has already been chastened by his Coalition colleagues over his anti-Renewable Energy Target stance, and it’s clear why.  Some in his party must be seriously wondering whether Mr Taylor is the candidate for Hume or the candidate for hyperbole.

Mr Taylor’s claim that the cost of the Renewable Energy Target is “exorbitant” and is the principle cause of increased electricity bills is a gross exaggeration. Data from the Australian Energy Market Commission (PDF) shows the RET accounts for less than two percent of the average household electricity bill – or a mere $35 from a $2000 bill.

Transmission, distribution, and wholesale electricity prices are the largest contributors to power bills. If Mr Taylor was serious about reducing power bills, these would be his targets, not wind farms.

If Mr Taylor takes up the challenge as a champion for cheaper electricity, he’d find an unlikely ally in the wind industry. Energy analysts agree wind farms are causing South Australia’s wholesale electricity prices to drop. This trend resulted in the SA Essential Services Commission directing energy companies to cut retail prices cut by 8.1 percent. The move will lower the average power bill by $160 a year.

So, what are Australians getting for their $35 investment in renewable energy? Cheaper bills, less pollution, and action on climate change. Who could vote against this position?