Australia couldn’t be more perfect for solar power, and the Australian government couldn’t be more stupid about trying to avoid that fact. The continent is practically a panel waiting for someone to install the final coating.
It’s covered in settlements and businesses which need energy and love the idea of it falling from the sky at all times. Unfortunately Prime Minister Tony Abbot has spent the last couple of years repealing the carbon tax, destroying solar-power agencies, and otherwise ignoring the sun so hard he’s half a step from carrying a coal-burning brazier around all day while insisting that the heavens are dark and frozen.
The most recent and obvious sign of this crusade against the sky itself are the Queensland energy charges. A new energy policy is disconnecting people’s energy bills from how much energy they use. You might notice this totally undoes the whole point of having a bill, and comes dangerously close to undoing the basic tenets of capitalism.
The new bills reduce the cost of electricity used, but add a big, fat fee which has to be paid no matter what. The power providers are numerically admitting, “That whole actually providing goods and services thing wasn’t working for us, so we’ve just got the government to make you pay us anyway.”
The new power policy is designed to control where energy comes from, which is insane. Electricity isn’t meat; we don’t care about the source. We don’t need a darker, gamier electricity to supply our coffee roasters, nor do we wish to source brighter electrons to energise our plasma television screens.
The company’s new ‘service fee’ is designed to make sure people pay more money even when they’ve got solar panels on their own roof. They’ve inflated some business bills by over a thousand per cent, and they seriously think this won’t lead to hordes descending on them with burning torches. Either that, or they feel confident that ‘large groups of people burning things they don’t need to’ will make them more money because that’s their entire business strategy already.
This charge is designed to prevent the installation of new equipment, increased efficiency, or anything else which might change the status quo, which you might recognise as ‘the entire history of human progress’.
This isn’t just a shakedown of solar power, it’s shaking the concept until all the bits break and then those fragments are vibrated to dust.
It’s nothing less than a financial attack on the future, to keep people burning the past, until everything is gone and we’re left alone in the present with nothing left in any direction – a geographically possible outcome with the environmental damage we’re doing right now.