ANOTHER QUOTE OF NOTE: From Whitehaven Coal boss Paul Flynn, who is riding high on astronomical coal prices, and worried our emissions reduction targets are out of step with the reality of delivery.
“Wind and solar don’t provide reliable power. It is the definition of all care and no responsibility in the energy sector. You take my power when I have it, but I bear no responsibility for not having it when I don’t have it. How are you going to incentivise baseload power to stay around and be ready to fill the gaps when intermittent sources of energy can’t meet the bill?
“We are in a transition. This is not a switch you flick. It will take time. And my belief is the time required is longer than people say. I do believe our aspirations are out of step with our practical delivery.
“There is a tricky balance the government has to manage here and we have a lot of sympathy for the complexity of the matter. And, more generally, this discussion in energy is typified by simplistic thinking rather than recognition of the complexity of it.
“It is a challenge to keep the economy going, to meet your trading partners needs and manage our total emissions [down] as a country.
“I think everyone wants to move to a lower-carbon future, but the complexity of this is glossed over by 95 per cent of people who participate in the conversation – and that includes governments of all stripes.
“It is not just keeping the lights on, it is providing the energy to make the solar panels and other materials necessary to produce the renewable energy infrastructure you desire.
“You can’t magically make reliable energy out of renewables, and high prices isn’t going to change that. More renewables isn’t going to change that.
“High prices no doubt provide an incentive, as markets do, for alternate forms of substitution, but that doesn’t make the sun shine 24 hours a day and it doesn’t make the wind blow 24 hours a day, regardless of how high oil, gas and coal prices are.”