Daniel Wild Discussing IPA Net Zero Polling 3AW Mornings – 13 June 2024

Written by:
13 June 2024
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The Institute of Public Affairs’ Daniel Wild joined Tom Elliott on 3AW Mornings to discuss the IPA’s research into Net Zero.

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Below is a trancript of the interview.


Tom Elliott:

Now, do you care where your power comes from? The survey of just over 1000 people suggests that 57 per cent of us want our power to be affordable. Another 24 per cent want our power to be reliable. Only 19 per cent we’re concerned about meeting the federal government’s net-zero emissions target by 2050. Our next guest, Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs, Daniel Wild. Good morning.

Daniel Wild:

Good morning, Tom.

Tom Elliott:

So does this just say that really when we come home on a dark winter’s night, we just want to make sure that the lights come on when we want them to come on?

Daniel Wild:

Well, that’s exactly what it says, Tom, but that’s increasingly a questionable proposition for Victorians and Australians. As we’ve had these emissions mandates coming into effect, we’ve seen the rapid and very aggressive decommissioning of reliable power, namely coal-fired power. We’ve had stringent limitations put on gas, and so we’ve had a lot of wind and solar come onto the system. Now, they can play an important role. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of your listeners would have rooftop solar, which can be financially advantageous. But on a system-wide basis, energy supply that’s reliant upon the weather simply cannot get the job done in the same way that the base load power supplies can.

Tom Elliott:

Well, again, I always point to days like today in Melbourne. Melbourne today is dark, it is cold, it is not windy. So you really couldn’t rely too much upon solar cause you can’t see the sun. It’s one of those quite common winter’s day where the wind doesn’t blow much either, so really without coal-fired power, I’m not quite sure what we’d do.

Daniel Wild:

Well, look, that’s exactly right, and I think political leaders are starting to see the writing on the wall. We’ve seen Chris Minns, the New South Wales Labor leader say he’s going to keep the Eraring coal-fired power station open. Even the federal Labor government has said they need to get more gas on the system because renewables can’t get the job done. What we need, though, is further steps in that direction. I think Peter Dutton has shown important leadership in saying that federally, they’re not going to go ahead with a 2030 emissions reduction target. Look, the reality is that there’s just been too much, I think, ideology in our energy system where we’re pursuing these emissions targets without any real idea of how we’re going to get prices down or keep the lights on. More and more Australians are now beginning to question why are we running towards these targets when there’s no clear plan in place for how we’re going to keep our economy going?

Tom Elliott:

All right. Thank you for your time. Daniel Wild there from the Institute of Public Affairs. I’ve dug out my little power supply app. Right now, in Victoria as we speak, here’s where our power supply is coming from. Coal, 57 per cent, gas, 26 per cent, that adds up to 83 per cent. Hydro, some of which will come from the Snowy Mountains, some might be coming from Tasmania, 15 per cent. Wind, 1 per cent, solar, 1 per cent. Again, if you believe the government within 5 1/2 years or so, the wind and the solar will be far bigger, how on a day like today? 133 693, Mornings at 3AW.

This transcript from 3AW Mornings with Tom Elliott from 13 June 2024 has been edited for clarity.

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