Thursday, September 10, 2020

Labour on energy: Business as usual

Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to help push industrial electrification. Which is all stuff they're doing now - or in the case of the clean car standard, wanted to do but were thwarted by Winston. Its not bad as such - Labour has been on a pretty good trajectory on energy policy - but at the same time its just business as usual, which doesn't seem nearly enough. The world is literally burning down around us, and our government needs to show some fucking urgency.

So what's missing? Just look at the Green policy to see the gaps. Labour isn't interested in pushing mass solarisation (which is a no-brainer at current prices, and would help lower power prices for everyone), they won't set a deadline to phase out coal and gas industrial heat, and while they are saying smurfy, positive things about electric vehicles, they're not doing anything to actually drive uptake. Sure, they're not being actively harmful, they're not pushing coal or promising to burn dolphins for fuel or anything. But in the current circumstances, anything less than maximum effort is a betrayal of the future. This policy is not good enough. Labour needs to do better.