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How to vote for renewable energy in Saturday’s election

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Source: Flickr. Takver

Renewable energy and climate change have been barely more than peripheral issues in an extended election campaign that has almost entirely focused on the economy, budget numbers and “national security.”

Quite how such issues manage to ignore renewable energy and climate change as central components probably tells us more about the inability of mainstream media to extend their coverage beyond political punditry and their dog-with-a-bone obsession with numbers, deficits and forecasts.

That might be fascinating for an abacus, but it’s not much use to anyone else, particularly with most economic models and budget assumptions redundant from basically the moment they are published.

Meanwhile, fear reigns – fear of refugees and immigrants, fear of deficits, fear over national security, and fear of rising prices, even though a trebling of wholesale electricity prices has barely registered a mention. A campaign centred around a new three-word slogan, “jobs and growth” has ignored the one industry that is most likely to provide both.

So, if renewable energy and climate change are important issues, who to vote for? On the positive side of the ledger, there is actually a reasonably wide voice – depending on whether you want to make a statement, support those who might be able to wield influence in the Senate or a hung House of Representatives, or support those who could conceivably take power.

The only agreement, at least among environmental NGOs and renewable energy lobby groups, is who not to vote for, and that honour goes to the Coalition parties, the Liberals and the Nationals, who appear most likely to retain government.

how to vote solar

This is how the Australian Solar Council is advising its supporters, giving a “yes” recommendation to all but the Coalition, while Environment Victoria takes a similar step with a smaller selection below.

environment victoria how to vote

And here below this is how the Australian Conservation Foundation scored the major parties and the leading alternatives, including the Greens, the Xenophon Party and the Lazarus party. The Coalition rate last, and the Xenophon Party just scrapes into positive territory, with its support for solar offset by its antipathy to wind energy.

poll acf

The demotion of the Coalition is hardly surprising given their lack of support to renewable energy over the last three years. Efforts to dismantle the renewable energy target were thwarted, but investment came to a stop as the parties negotiated a cut in the target to 33,000GWh to 41,000GWh.

Since then, the Coalition has also announced plans to strip the Australian Renewable Energy Agency of its remaining $1.3 billion of legislated funding. And while it has retained the Clean Energy Finance Corp (although it is yet to withdraw de-funding legislation), it has taken to using its funds for its election pork-barrelling campaign.

The Coalition also has no renewables target beyond 2020, and still has no climate policy to reach its modest targets of a 26-28 per cent reduction target by 2030. Voters who hoped of more from Malcolm Turnbull see a politician trapped by the powerful far right of his party, and forced to defend policies he once ridiculed.

And it’s not just a federal phenomenon. Coalition ruled NSW is rated as the worst place to invest in renewables, the Coalition government in the Northern Territory is saying ridiculous things about solar, and the Coalition opposition parties are railing against progressive renewable energy policies in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

So, who to vote for, and what are their credentials? Here is a brief overview.

There is actually a party called The Renewable Energy Party. It has no seats in the Senate now and is unlikely to, although in the Senate, and with a double dissolution, who ever knows. It is fielding 18 candidates, including in all states apart from South Australia, and in eight lower house seats in Victoria, Tasmania, and Anthony Albanese’s seat of Grayndler in NSW, a result they may be able to influence.

The Renewable Energy Party targets 100 per cent renewables for electricity by 2030, and for 40 per cent of transport needs by 2035. It wants to put pressure on the major parties to redirect the $23 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies paid annually to oil, gas and coal companies to renewable energy enterprises.

“We aim to support research into and the development of renewable energy,  micro/community/smart electricity grids, public transport including a super fast train line,  non-fossil ­fuel powered public and private transport, and energy efficient technology.”

The Greens have the most comprehensive and ambitious renewable energy targets and policies of any party likely to hold, or share, power in the new parliament.

The Greens aim for 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and an 80 per cent cut in emissions, and they will retain ARENA. They have also announced plans for improving access to solar for homeowners, renters and business, including a scheme to put solar on all public housing and $2.9 billion to support the installation of battery storage in one million homes and businesses.

They have also released packages for solar for schools, schemes to support the uptake of electric vehicles, for community energy, and a rewrite of the National Electricity Market rules, which are considered a hindrance to the rapid uptake of renewable energy.

They also, unlike the major parties, have a plan to transition the communities affected by the closure of coal generators, allocating around $250 million to help with the phase out of coal power stations. “The world has embraced clean energy,” the party declares on its home page. “It is time (for Australia) to catch up.”

The Australian Labor Party has announced a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, although it has not outlined exactly how it would get there – it has hinted at reverse auctions, a policy pioneered by the ACT government in its push to 100 per cent renewable energy and adopted by the Labor state governments in Queensland and Victoria who also have ambitious targets.

Labor supports the retention of the CEFC, and its proposed 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 at least meets what the Climate Change Authority agrees is the minimum needed to meet the Paris agreements. Labor is also proposing a return of emissions trading, but in a different form, with a separate scheme for the energy industry and which may resemble modified version of Direct Action, known as baseline and credit.

On Tuesday, it announced $300 million over three years for a transition fund to help emissions intensive industries modernise and switch to clean energy.

One question mark remains over Labor’s attitude to ARENA. It says that it will keep $300 million of funds for large-scale solar towers and community energy, but will strip the remaining $1 billion. What will it do if the Coalition is returned – support its bid to strip ARENA of remaining funding?

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT). Nick Xenophon and his party colleagues could be pivotal in the new parliament, and may well hold the balance of power in The Senate, and in the lower house (along with The Greens). They are certainly more likely to support a minority Coalition government if it turns out that way.

Xenophon himself is a known politician, generally supportive of ambitious climate policies, and solar PV and solar thermal in particular, but with an apparent blind spot on wind energy, where he has sided with fringe politicians like John Madigan in pushing for more investigations into the “health” impact of wind farms.

The party describes itself as “politics done differently” and pledges to be in the centre, between Labor and the Coalition. Like Labor, it also supports a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, advocates for emissions trading (baseline and credit), and a gas reservation policy.

But there is concern that Xenophon, who recently repeated his anti-wind position at a public forum in Adelaide, could side with conservatives and push for yet another wind review and create uncertainty in an industry that is desperate for clarity to end the capital strike by investors.



Finally, there are still a few independents who might be worth a vote, depending on your local circumstances.

They include Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, both trying to return to the lower house at the expense of sitting Nationals, Cathy McGowan in Indi seeking to hold off the Liberals’ Sophie Mirabella, and in the Senate, Glenn Lazarus, Ricky Muir and even the Palmer United Party have played key roles in stopping the Coalition from killing off ARENA and other key policies.

Andrew Thaler in the NSW seat of Eden-Monaro is another to look out for. The self-described “solar PV mogul” and his wife own XYZ Solar, which lays claim to the largest private collection of photovoltaic panels in Australia – including 8500 in the Snowy Mountains, 6800 panels at the Hunter Valley’s Singleton Solar Farm, which they bought from the NSW government-owned Ausgrid in 2014, and 1600 solar panels on the Superdome at Olympic Park in Homebush.

Thaler, who has also worked in the coal-fired and hydro generation industries in NSW, told RenewEconomy he has recently agreed to purchase the Queanbeyan Solar farm from Essential Energy and relocate it to Nimmitabel as part of a CSIRO virtual-net-metering trial, this time connecting across two networks. essential to Ausgrid.

Some independents and minor parties not to vote for, at least in regards to renewable energy, including Jacqui (let’s have nuclear) Lambie, Bob Day’s Family First, and David Leyonhjelm’s Liberal Democrats. And for those with more than one policy issue on their mind, the Australian Sex Party says it also supports renewable energy.  

  • Charles

    The Pirate Party and the Science Party also support renewable energy!

  • Chris Fraser

    Go the Science Party … and make the bastards heed the advice of real scientists.

  • Andrew Thaler

    I don’t think anybody can beat the SolarPV Mogul for Renewable Energy support… and who is the Solar PV Mogul you may ask..?

    Me.

    Little old me. The bloke who also ran in the 2013 Federal election in #EdenMonaro and in the NSW 2015 state Election in the Upper House (where I came 15th out of 391 candidates by the way)

    I’m standing in Eden Monaro again this time.. the bellwhether electorate. Sad that I was so easily forgotten, again, by Giles. Aren’t I making enough noise.. or does the Australian Solar Council hate me that much (still)?

    • Davey H

      I hope you get elected Andrew. It’ll be hilarious.

      • Andrew Thaler

        yep. it would 🙂

    • neroden

      You got mentioned (maybe Giles edited the article!). Look at the second-to-last and third-to-last paragraphs!

  • Andrew Thaler

    Thank you Giles 🙂

  • Rob G

    It’d time to remove this backward government. I’m hoping Australians prove more aware than UK voters.

    • solarguy

      Sadly, they won’t. I hope I’m proved wrong, I would love to be wrong!

    • MaxG

      No! Same breed. Same brains :))
      We have too much wilful ignorance in the western plutocracies.

  • Pedro

    I am the WA senate candidate for the Renewable Energy Party. And after listening and talking with thousands of people, the overwhelming response is for stronger action on Climate change and getting a credible Renewable Energy policy is place. I even have 2 volunteers that admit they will vote LNP in the lower house and Renewable Energy Party in the senate as they are so disgusted with LNP climate change policy. The role of the Renewable Energy Party as I see it is to put Climate change and RE front and center of the political debate and work with any party who takes these issues seriously.

  • Ben Courtice

    Socialist Alliance has called for 100% renewable energy since the 2007 election. It is sad to see these election scorecards perennially leave it off.
    See: http://socialist-alliance.org/policy/environment-climate-change/climate-change-charter

  • Andrew Lang

    Giles it is disappointing that in this article you mention only wind, solar and storage, and omit the renewable that provides over 50% of Australia’s renewable energy (i.e., more than all the others combined).
    It is also indicative of this too-common media bias that the Greens get rated so highly, in that they can be given points for a nominated target of 90% renewable energy by 2030 – when what they are really saying is 90% renewable electricity by 2030 (when electricity is only about 25% of our energy requirement and when the Greens preferred power production is by wind and solar PV needs maybe 80% of this capacity to be backed up by online gas and black coal geenrators for this to be possible).

    So in this coming federal election, for people to rely on only biassed information is going to result in a problematic outcome with long-term consequences – like the debacle of the recent Brexit vote, where the ‘Leave’ voters were uninformed and ill-informed and made a decison based on prejudice, half-truths and untruths. Here we need and deserve better.

    • Carl Raymond S

      And the omitted renewable is?

      • Andrew Lang

        You should not have to ask (and only need to due to bias in the media). Obviously it is bioenergy – the largest energy source (over 35%) of Swedens final energy, the largest renewable energy source for Germany, Denmark, and for the EU, and for the world overall, and for Australia. Biomass is to provide at least half of the energy for Denmark’s target for 100% RE by by 2050, and also for Austria similarly. Somehow this information does not get provided by the RE media in Australia.

        • Andrew, Thank you for this enlightenment. Although I think the majority of vocal supporters of Renewable Energy in Australia have little understanding of bioenergy. Maybe the bioenergy group need s to be more vocal.

        • Analitik

          What about hydro?

          • Andrew Lang

            Hydro and wind overall produce more renewable electricity with biomass third – both worldwide, here and in the EU. But overall of final energy bioenergy is nearly 14% of the 18% from RE sources, with hydro about 3% and wind/solar/geothermal about 1%. This data is from the IEA, REN21 and other sources.

    • Mark Diesendorf

      Andrew mentioned that “electricity is only about 25% of our energy requirement”. However, most scenarios for 80-100% renewable energy envisage a much greater role for electricity in heating and transport. The principal gaps are for air transport and long-distance road transport, where bioenergy can play an important role, provided of course that it’s sourced and produced in ecologically sustainable ways.

      • Andrew Lang

        Mark there is a article by Graham Lloyd in the Australian today about the issues of development of these far higher levels of renewable electricity (and the evidence of ignorance within policy development).
        He does make one gross error in not stating that biomass is the source of most of the renewable final energy worldwide (14% of the 18% contribution).
        But even for countries like Denmark with its 100% renewable energy target by 2050, 50% of this is from biomass (something no journalist or other commentator to my knowledge has ever mentioned). Similarly for Austria with its target of 100% electricity and space heating from renewables by 2030, where 50% is from biomass.

        • Geoff

          I would not be too quick to promote biomass as you are still ‘burning’ fuel for the production of electricity. One key concern is land clearing, for say sugar cane where the loss of forested land from clearing is far more damaging to the environment than growing a few crops for the purpose of fuel. Have you got scholarly evidence to back up your promotion? And I don’t mean from The Australian or the Telegraph either…

          • Andrew Lang

            Your comment on ‘burning’ fuel for production of electricity indicates you are mixing with idealogues and so getting dogmas and not accurate facts (and why the apostrophes around ‘burning’?).
            Scholarly evidence? It is everywhere and you could start by looking at the website for the International Energy Agency. Or the Swedish Energy Agency or Danish Energy Agency or whatever it is in Germany and Austria (each of these has English versions naturally). Plenty of peer-reviewed studies also in the publications of Elsevier and Springer, among others.
            Denmark is not getting its biomass from ‘clearing’ forests to produce its electricity, heat and transport biofuels – it is from urban waste streams, straw, manures and food processing residues, plus some from plantation forestry thinnings and harvest residues.
            Similarly Germany where bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source and generates the most jobs. Brazil’s main sugar cane production areas are 2500 km to the south of the Brazilian rainforest ecosystem, usually on degraded pasture land (cleared maybe 100 years ago).

        • Mark Diesendorf

          Andrew, you should really distinguish between traditional bioenergy (as used in e.g. India and Bangladesh) and modern bioenergy (e.g. as used in Denmark for district heating and a small fraction of electricity generation).

          • Andrew Lang

            Ir’s a valid point and most of the biomass presently used is for direct heat (usualy cooking or small industry) and often not in an efficient or sustainable manner. So up to half of the world’s population cook their daily food using biomass. But the alternative is to use bottled gas, coal dust briquettes (as in Vietnam), kerosene or other fossil fuels.

            However two things are occuring. One is that all government and UN agencies and NGOs are working to lift this efficiency – including in the critical area of charcoal production. And to move to using unutilised forms of biomass, such as manures to produce biogas for daily cooking and lighting.
            And the other is that countries in the OECD are demonstating that ‘modern’ bioenergy is key to achieving their renewable energy objectives (except in Australia of course where this development has been effectively blocked by blinkered ideology, much to our cost but to the delight of the nuclear lobby).
            India, Bangladesh and other south and SE Asian countries are also rapidly developing ‘modern’ biomass-fuelled systems for industry heat, and combined heat and power (usually in industry). These are usually utilising organic industry wastes such as bagasse, straw or manures.
            Biomass in Denmark (including in municipal waste) was producing significantly more energy than wind – larger cities were getting up to 20% of electricity and 30% of heating from their waste-to-energy plants, and in the case of Copenhagen also from straw and wood pellet fired plants.

      • solarguy

        Yeah Mark, I pretty well much agree with that statement.

    • John Saint-Smith

      I’m more than a little annoyed that you can claim ‘biofuels’ as part of our renewable energy spectrum without deigning to isolate those biofuels which compete with food, and those which involve more fossil fuel energy consumption in their manufacture than is yielded in their final product.
      Of course biofuels are important, but so is the ecology of their production. Please don’t insult Giles intelligence, or mine.

      • Andrew Lang

        John, yours is a slightly odd and ego-centric response. Nowhere have I mentioned ‘biofuels’, nor do I make any reference to Giles’ intelligence, but just wish this newsletter was less skewed to promotion of intermittent low-value forms of renewable electricity. In fact I am working in the area of advanced biofuels (and other energy forms) produced from sustainably sourced agricultural, municipal and forestry residues. Australia lags way behind in development in this area, ranking near last among OECD countries. This is a problem.

  • john

    Neither of the major parties are going to state they are for a high usage of RE.
    Why?
    Because they will be derided by the the Murdoch Press plus the other shock jock, both of who pander to the lower percentile lowest intelligent person in society.
    Now this is important because they are the people, who actually decide an election because they constitute that 8 percent of the electorate, who are referred to as the swinging voter.
    So am i saying major decisions are made by the swinging voter your bet i am.
    Am i slightly cynical about the outcome of elections and policy within this context?
    Of course i am.
    Why do you think each party has lots of people working on how to present their policy to appeal to that minute number of people who will get them across the line?

    Note perhaps not all who read or listen to the above mentioned constitute the lowest 8 percent, however the message is taken by the few in society, who are easily persuaded.

    Perhaps for a sobering look at what happens when the message causes a pitiful result just look at the UK example to do with Britex.

    • solarguy

      I think its more than 8% that are swing voters. You only have to look at the swings to the Libs 3yrs ago. And yes they are morons!

      • john

        Actually it only takes few percentage points to change government I had better go look at the pendulum to check the exact number but i honestly think the percentage is low not above 10%
        Will amend and correct if wrong.
        OK quote from the swing to change Government.

        Assuming a theoretical uniform swing, for the Labor opposition to get to 76 seats and majority government would require Labor with 50.5 percent of the two-party vote from a 4.0-point two-party swing or greater, while for the incumbent Coalition to lose majority government would require the Coalition with 50.2 percent of the two-party vote from a 3.3-point two-party swing or greater.

        So in fact the percentage is way below 8%, but I was referring to the lowest percentile of voters who are easily persuaded by shock jocks and disinformation sources.

        • solarguy

          Yeah, but from 20 seats down on the deal? Look it all depends doesn’t it. The thing is John, is that we have a lot of people in Australia that don’t give a rats arse most of the time who’s in government, their apathetic, unengaged. If something resonates in their heads, they’ll follow it like bloody sheep.

          Fear is a great motivator, and like unthinking morons they’ll vote for who scares em most. The LNP on boats BS are good for that.

          Look at the percentage over all, in any election. Count them up in swings from seat to seat. You will see this Saturday night what I mean.

        • Barri Mundee

          The (uniform) swing need to unseat the Coalition is about 4% if I recall.

          • john

            Exactly from the quote ” a 4.0-point two-party swing”
            Actually it would appear that the liberals will hang on with a reduced majority and no clear result in the Senate.
            It is possible that in the joint sitting the legislation that was used as the trigger for the double disillusion of parliament will be passed.
            As to the wash up after the count is settled, which is going to take quiet a while due to the changed voting requirements, I predict a lot of donkey votes and in-formals, it will be interesting to see if both leaders hang on to their jobs.

  • Tony Goodfellow

    I’d add John Madigan’s manufacturing and farming party in the NOT to vote category. https://thegoodfellow.net/2016/06/17/senator-john-madigans-views-on-climate-change-heretical-like-galileo-or-science-denial/

  • I have put together a collection of over 40 issue scorecards that includes several comparing the parties on climate, environment, public transport, biosecurity and many other issues. Find them here: http://nofibs.com.au/2016-election-scorecards-for-ausvotes-to-help-you-decide-curated-by-takvera/#environment

  • PS, lead photo I think is one of mine Creative Commons Share-alike licensed, but attribution required 🙂
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/takver/15307778625/

  • Tom

    Also the Science Party!

  • Chris Marshalk

    I’ve already Voted. I’ve put those scum bags “LNP” Last & the GREENS No.1

  • Suburbable

    We must remember that the coalition have taken the knuves and boots to other important areas as well. Heslth, education, human rights have also taken hits from these evil buggers. Anyone who votes for them should be ashamed of themselves.

    • solarguy

      WTF is a knuve?

      • Suburbable

        It doesn’t take much to work out its a spelling mistake. To spell it out for you, the word is ‘knives’.

  • Sam0077

    Being that I dont believe the climate is changing other than the daffs are starting up so Spring is on its way here in Tassie. Where we are no longer able to grow tomatoes outside due to colder, and getting colder over last decade or so . Our electricity always was ‘green’ but didn’t stop the Labor Gov ruling to put RET on our Hydro. Or state Labor selling off our water reserves to cover their 12 yrs of waste and mismanagement of state’s monies as usual – Labor never can run a government term without waste and debt. Stable government today is imperative in face of Europe disintegrating, not just over Britex, but immigration. And of course renewable simply cant cover base load either and we need cheap coal to compete. I am just installing an $18K system ready for storage which is what will also make others go solar. Prices will hike until this AGW scam is put to bed

    • solarguy

      Out of the 7 surpluses this country has had, Labor was responsible for 6.

  • James Moylan

    “The Renewable Energy Party targets 100 per cent renewables for
    electricity by 2030, and for 40 per cent of transport needs by 2035. It
    wants to put pressure on the major parties to redirect the $23 billion
    in taxpayer-funded subsidies paid annually to oil, gas and coal
    companies to renewable energy enterprises.”

    It’s not much to ask that we might leave a clean planet and a functional modern society and economy for our children – we can have all these things without fossil fuels.

    The fastest production car on earth to 60 and 100 miles an hour is an electric vehicle.
    It is already cheaper to build a solar plant in mainland US than it is to build a coal fired one.
    Nuclear reactors are being closed down and solar phased in.
    If we retain a fossil fuel focussed economy then where will we be in ten years?
    Vote with regard to mother earth.
    JiMM

    • solarguy

      I’m with the bear man!

  • neroden

    The Motoring Enthusiasts and Palmer United are better than the Libs and Nats?!? Seriously?

    Wow, the COALition is terrible.

  • MaxG

    I do not watch TV nor do I read the main outlets; hence, I am oblivious to all the pollie BS… my point though is: I voted 2 weeks ago 🙂 … all this is a bit late.

    • solarguy

      Hope when you voted Green, then you voted Labor 2nd preference, and put Liar and numb nuts party last, yeah?

  • Barri Mundee

    I know this is comment is only tangentially related to Giles’ post but he did mention the dreaded government deficit.

    The lie or if to be more charitable, the wilful ignorance that is being constantly pushed and reinforced, is that the Australian government relies mainly on taxes in order to spend- with a bit of deficit spending thrown in. But not too much of the latter as then we risk going broke or the grandchildren will have to bear the burden of the debt. Sheesh!

    Let’s immunise ourselves from the false analogy: that the Australian government’s capacity to spend is similar to us as private individuals. The Australian government spends money into existence and does not need our taxes as a source of funds. Some taxes are needed though- to control spending of others so that spending by both us, business and government’s spending does not exceed the limit of real on the grounds labour, materials and so on for sale.

    This means that rather than the budget deficit the real discipline should be inflation. But it seems politicians prefer to perpetuate the myths to avoid having to really allocate our vast resources where they will have maximum public benefit, whilst also being mindful that at some point capacity constraints will be encountered, and this will show up as undesirable inflation.

    We are nowhere near this point. Since when has inflation been a problem lately?

  • Andy Lemann

    Firstly, thank you for providing some level of clarity to the very confusing subject of Renewable Energy Targets. However, the following are three HIGHLY incorrect statements copied directly from your article.

    “The Greens aim for 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030”
    This is incorrect. Their policy is actually for 90% renewable electricity (although they do, at least, plan to direct more energy use for things like transportation away from fossil-fuels and onto the electricity grid).

    “The Australian Labor Party has announced a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030”
    Also incorrect. The Labor Party policy is for 50% renewable electricity by 2030.

    “the ACT government in its push to 100 per cent renewable energy”
    Actually the ACT government’s policy is for 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

    Accurate information is hard to find but, by most reports, electricity only accounts for 15-25% of Australia’s energy. So it is a GROSS inaccuracy to use the term “Renewable Energy” when you mean “Renewable Electricity”. Almost all of the so-called Renewable Energy Targets are actually Renewable Electricity Targets. At best a 100% Renewable Electricity Target only equates to a 25% Renewable Energy Target. This is a HUGE discrepancy and one that must be pointed-out and corrected.

    Keep up the good work but please do it better.

    • David Osmond

      Hi Andy, you make a good point. But just to add to your comment about the Green’s plan, ground transport makes up another ~29% of Australia’s energy. So if the Green’s plan involves electrifying most of the ground transport, then that gets electricity close to 50% of energy. Although that’s not quite right either, as if we electrify transport, and power it from renewables as the Greens plan to do, then that will involve a ~4-fold improvement in efficiency, so instead of transport making up 29% of energy, it will reduce to about 8%.

      • Andy Lemann

        Thanks David, that plan will also involve a MASSIVE increase in demand on the electricity grid and will also require that we move quickly to a smart grid so that we can balance renewable energy supplies, energy storage and load levels. In NSW we’re about to switch 146,000 users from gross metering to net metering. What a PERFECT opportunity to install smart meters on all of those homes! But no, the plan is to replace all the dumb gross meters with dumb net meters. What a waste!