Less than a year ago the largest Australian delegation to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate came from the mining and energy industries, arguing against the CO2 tax. The industries placed large advertisements in the newspapers, warning of the evils of a tax of this kind.
Today those same industries are urging the government to make a decision on the CO2 tax. They now say that a decision is urgently needed, as they are running out of money because investors are not interested in investing in an industry that is plagued by so much uncertainty.
This is a sad example of the short-sightedness of some of our so-called business leaders. Australia was so close to showing leadership here and industry could have played a key role in helping the government take that leap of leadership. They have now, belatedly, realised that their negative actions are backfiring.
The electricity industry is in desperate need of investments – both the generators and the distribution companies – but all investment remains on hold at the moment.
This also affects the rollout of smart grids. This type of investment needs a strategic plan, since it means a total transformation of the industry and the individual companies involved. Here, also, the CO2 tax plays a key role in where the industry needs to go next.
Yet despite this dire situation the Coalition continues to be in denial. It is talking about some good behaviour policies that will most likely go nowhere; in any case, the industry is not convinced that those policies will put an end to the uncertainty. The industry has indicated that if no decisions are made before 2013 some companies could be experiencing severe financial problems.
Another worrying element is that the emerging renewable industry is also suffering badly because of this lack of political leadership. Investments have dried up there also, and several companies have severely reduced their Australian presence, calling staff back to the USA and Europe. The damage in that sector may have already been done – in Australia the window of opportunity is closing for its own developments, as most of these activities will now take place elsewhere, and Australia will once more be relegated to importing these products.
No doubt the heavyweights in mining and energy will not be sitting on their hands. They will be knocking on the door of whoever comes to power, urging them to start working on a carbon tax.
- Australia – Energy Utilities Markets
- Australia – Smart Grid Market Overview
- Australia – Smart Grids – Analysis – The market in 2010
- Australia – Smart Grids – Climate Change and Photovoltaics
- Australia – Smart Grids – Major Players & Projects
- Australia – Smart Grids – Smart City-Smart Grid Project
- Australia – Smart Grids – Smart Meter
We invite your comments: 3 CommentsTagged in: Australia, smart cities, Smart Energy, Smart Grids, Smart Meters