Wednesday, September 02, 2020

This is how you do green stimulus

While James Shaw is wasting public money on private schools in the name of "creating jobs", the Australia state of Victoria is showing us how it should be done:

Clean energy projects will receive a Victorian government funding boost in the hope of driving the state's battered economy out of the coronavirus downturn and avoiding a slump in wind and solar investment.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio is preparing to brief 300 investors on Wednesday about the launch of a formal process to test interest in building 600 megawatts of renewable energy capacity statewide, which she said would drive down prices and create new jobs at a critical time.

It comes amid calls around the world for "green recoveries" – economic rescue packages targeting investments in clean energy that would tackle global warming as well as stimulate growth. Under the Victorian program, the government would award contracts to buy power from project developers at a fixed price, giving them the revenue certainty to secure debt and proceed with projects in a volatile market.

This isn't just creating jobs - its building something of lasting benefit which makes life better for everyone (rather than a handful of foreign rich kids). We should be doing the same. And that's the case even with the departure of Tiwai Point - because electrification of transport and industry means we're going to need more electricity in the long term, and the quicker we can drive dirty thermal generation out of the market, the better.