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Electricity privatisation linked to bushfires; Grattan report slammed by ETU

The Electrical Trades Union has slammed a recent report by the Grattan Institute as little more than an opportunistic call to sell-off Australia’s essential electricity assets to its corporate mates. ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks described the report as lacking integrity and avoiding the real cost drivers in Australia’s energy system. He also drew attention to the numerous fires started by electrical infrastructure faults. This is a matter that preoccupies us at candobetter.net as we see more and more bush cleared, wildlife lose habitat, and all the while most fires are started by humans and electrical faults. The Victorian Bushfire Commission has institutionalised this cruel absurdity.

Privatisation of Queensland Electricity Assets: A Preliminary Evaluation

The report by past Federal Treasurer Peter Costello of his supposedly independent investigation into Queensland State finances on behalf of the Queensland Government Commission of Audit recommended the full privatisation of Queensland Government's electricity generators. Only last year, the Queensland public, outraged at the asset fire sale embarked upon by former Premier Anna Bligh without any electoral mandate whatsoever from the 2009 state elections, savagely punished Labor at the ballot box leaving only 7 sitting Labor members in a house of 89.

That, less than a year after, the new Government of Campbell Newman has contrived an excuse to continue with policies, that have been so resoundingly repudiated by Queenslanders, provoked outrage. An example of the outrage felt is a new opinion poll taken by news.com, which shows that Qld privatisation [is] opposed by 85%: poll.

Professor John Quiggin of the University of Queensland responded on 6 March with a post on his web site. That post included a link to a pdf report which, by examining the disastrous history of privatisation across Australia in recent decades, comprehensively demolishes the case for any privatisation.

New Indian owners of Oz coal mine want West Australians to pay double for electricity or supply will divert to India

Six months ago an Indian energy corporation, Lanco Infratech, bought an Australian coalmine for $750 million dollars. Although, at the time, it agreed to lower-prices for customers, now it is telling the West Australian government that it will stop supplying electricity to West Australians by September unless Australian customers pay double. Six months ago Indian energy corporation, Lanco Infratech, bought an Australian coalminefor $750 million dollars. Although, at the time, it agreed to lower-prices for customers, now it is telling the West Australian government that it will stop supplying electricity to West Australians by September unless Australian customers pay double.

Solar panels in France and elsewhere: comparing techology uptake, prices, policies and subsidies

This story is based on a report on France2 television news about growth in public and private stock of photovoltaic panels in France, payments by Electricite de France (EDF)for contributions to the electricity grid, tax rebates available, income from providing electricity to the grid and prospect of funding retirement through this for farmers and others with roof and other space. The bottom part of the article contains comments about the situation of rebates etc in other countries. Readers are asked to add comments about their own experiences. We can build up an international policy data base here.

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