It seems that you can ask the Coalition government pretty much any question – about plunging polls, Donald Trump, Cory Bernardi or even the weather – and the answer will always be the same: “We’re focused on electricity prices.”
Great. But what exactly is the Coalition doing about them? On the evidence to date, not a whole lot, apart from blaming renewables for soaring wholesale electricity costs and promoting something called “clean coal,” despite all the evidence pointing to the fact that coal generation is not very clean, and not cheap. They are chasing the wrong target. Australia has experienced some extraordinarily high wholesale electricity prices this summer, and most of these price surges have come in states with little large-scale wind or solar.
It is the activities of the fossil fuel generators that are to blame. This is about competition, or the lack of it, and the fossil fuel generators have been going to extraordinary lengths to get rid of competition.