Sean Edwards – hits Number One on the STT Charts

Every now and again STT comes across people who shoot from relative obscurity and straight into the Pantheon of STT Greats.  Sean Edwards just popped a Press Release on his website that is so good that it takes him right to Number One on the STT Charts.

Wind Farms Should Not Receive Subsidies From Taxpayers

When are South Australians going to wake up that they are being taken for a costly ride by the wind farm industry?

We are paying more for our power because of the influence of the renewable energy proponents over the Federal/State Labor governments and the Greens.

Renewable energy certificates might have been a good idea to kick-start a fledgling industry, but I question whether they are necessary now.

The Energy Users Association report released on 21 March predicted that South Australia would have the most expensive electricity in the world after 1 July.

That is the date when the carbon tax will be introduced, along with rises in network charges and additional fees for renewable energy – and wind power is a factor in recent price rises.  SA now has an average electricity price of 28.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

Yet the Clean Energy Council claims that renewable energy, specifically wind is only responsible for 2% of consumer’s bills.

The Council as the renewables lobby group wants us to believe that wind can generate more than a quarter of electricity in SA, but that has nothing with power price hikes.

Excuses range from the upsurge in rooftop solar panels, the SA electricity network being big in area, extra network costs because of additional spending required on ageing poles and wires – do not camouflage the part played by renewable energy certificates.

Renewable energy should not be dependent on taxpayers forever to sustain the green hustler-merchant banker-electricity company promoters.

I have nothing against the appearance of wind turbines across the landscape, nor am I arguing on environmental, noise or health grounds.  These are issues that have largely been taken up the wider community.

At last count, there are 13 wind farms operating in SA – Bluff Range, North Brown Hill, Hallett Hill, Canunda, Cathedral Rocks, Lake Bonney, Mt Millar, Clements Gap, Snowtown, Starfish Hill, Barunga Range, Waterloo, and Wattle Point.

They’re attracted to this state, not because it is any more windy here than anywhere else, but South Australia has had the easiest planning laws to get around, so the wind farm promoters have homed in.

So, it was all very well for former Labor Premier Rann to boast about South Australia being the largest producer of wind energy (51%) in Australia.

But is it in the middle of the night when the wind blows the most but the demand for power is least? Is it consumed power or ‘potential’ power?

We should not forget that the turbines have to be switched off when the weather is either too hot or the breezes too great.

This form of renewable energy is a long way from being able to be a base-load supplier of power when it is needed most at peak demand.

These wind farms produced more than eight per cent of their rate output 80% of the time and more than 80% of their rate output just eight per cent of the time, according to AEMCO, the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Wind only contributed 60 megawatts during maximum demand in the summer of 2011, although at times during the week either side of that maximum demand, output reached 873 megawatts.

In other words, when the power is most required, you can’t depend on wind farms to supply it.

South Australia might have the highest installed capacity per capita of anywhere in the world, but late last year, there were indications that this proportion would start to decline.

On 8 April, Origin Energy announced that a proposed 40-turbine farm near Crystal Brook would not go ahead because it could not make a business case for it anymore.

Another reason for the decline would be the lack of transmission lines with spare capacity to take the energy generated from additional wind farms.

Those pushing for the expansion of the wind farm industry point to possible areas that could be developed – along the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas plus Kangaroo Island.

However these areas where there’s plenty of wind do not have much spare transmission capacity.

ElectraNet, the transmission network service provider stated in its annual report last year that  the capacity to export such energy was limited because of the restrictions of the interconnector, and this was already ‘particularly noticeable during period of light load and high wind conditions’.

In other words, the wind farms are generating excess power at times when there is reduced demand within this state and it can’t be sent elsewhere because of limited transmission capacity so it’s not being used.

What the proponents of the wind industry want now is for the government to fund the development of greater transmission capacity, both within SA plus a connector interstate to offload that unused ‘green’ power.

But in Britain on 14 April, the Climate Change Minister declared there would be no significant expansion of wind farms beyond those already in the pipeline….and thinking more carefully about the use of public subsidy.

However, one Asian investor is not deterred about investing in Australian wind farms. On 30 April a Thai energy company said it was planning to invest $572 million in new wind turbine plants.

Ratchaburi Electricity is moving to 80% acquisition of the Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund which operates Starfish Hill and two other farms in Victoria.

What has been driving the wind farm impetus here are the stimulus programs of both Federal and the South Australian Governments – the Federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the SA Renewable Energy Rebate Scheme.

The market is stalled at least for another year according to most industry insiders. Few if any new developments will be committed to while the price for certificates remains weak.

There is pressure for the RET to be wound back once a carbon price is introduced from 1 July when it will be $23 a tonne.

The carbon price will need to be more than $50/tonne and over five times what the unregulated world market in Europe is trading at right now.

The only guarantee is that the price of electricity will keep on increasing.

Household power prices have risen by more than 40% since 2007 and are projected to rise by a further 30% by 2013-14.

In South Australia, the average yearly household electricity bill has gone from $770 in the mid 1990’s to more than double to about $1,600.

The Upper House of State Parliament on 29 March agreed to a Liberal move for a multi-Party investigation into the social, health and economic impacts of the burgeoning wind power industry in South Australia.

While this move is welcome, it is also opportune to review whether the wind farm industry should continue to depend on taxpayer subsidies through renewable energy certificates – and the impact they are having on increasing power prices.

This is the time for all South Australians to put this matter at the forefront of the political agenda – lest we will slip further behind our fellow Australians in cost of living terms and business competitiveness.

And there are other reasons for being apprehensive. Alinta Energy in late April indicated it will temporarily close the Playford B Power Station and will only operate the Northern Power Station for six months of the year from July.  The Port Augusta power stations currently provide about 30% of the state’s electricity.

As my Liberal Parliamentary colleague the MHR for Grey Rowan Ramsey has stated – “If we get, as we will, days within winter when there is not strong wind blowing around or even reasonable wind blowing….there’s a very serious question now over whether or not the state’s grid can be [maintained].”
Senator Sean Edwards

STT says: “hats off, Sean”.  Welcome to the STT Team.


Sean Edwards – Liberal Senator (SA)

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Pity it’s only on his website and STT. It’s very doubtful our local state paper the one and only one being The Adelaide Advertiser will log onto his site, read it and report on it. TV news coverage is so ineffectual now the idea of hard hitting investigative journalism and reporting is dead.
    This story needs to be out there for people to read and discuss to ensure everyone has the opportunity to know what is going on.
    Those of us who have been awakened to the subject of wind energy and it’s fraudulent, dangerous and costly processes are already aware of what he is saying, we need it to be out there in the wider community and especially in the city and suburbs where most of the energy is used and where the cost will be felt by the most people.

  2. One Eyed Green (Ex) says:

    Well done Senator Edwards.

    Lets hope and trust your colleagues across all parties, State and Federal, have the good sense to heed and learn from the analysis and exposure of this national and international scam.

    The sooner this industry is held to account for its bogus claims and harm to rural neighbors and the environment the better.

    The Greens should hang their heads in shame for championing this amoral commerce.

  3. SA Liberal Senator Sean Edwards – Thank you!

    Our family’s power bill has more than doubled in the last couple of years, despite the fact that we have reduced our power consumption dramatically in response to the rising cost of electricity.

    We recently received a letter from The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Federal Labor Minister for Families and Community Services, informing us we will be receiving The Clean Energy Supplement – around $4 per week – to help us with the increase in our electricity costs. This will amount to us receiving $52 per billing period.
    Unfortunately our Electricity Bill has increased by around $500 per billing period even though we are consuming significantly less electricity.

    Thanks Jenny, it’s a big help! You guys really have your finger on the pulse of the impact of your policies on the lives of ordinary Australians – NOT!

  4. Good on you Senator Sean Edwards. More and more realists will come to the front with us and STT. As we gain more and more strength, we will get RID of these unhealthy and expensive pieces of crap.


  1. […] Kelly has taken the baton on that score and – along with Chris Back, Sean Edwards and a team of others – is ready to hammer the wind industry into behaving more like […]

  2. […] STT tips that this election will be Hanson-Young’s last – with her Senate spot being taken up by a Liberal – who will be rubbing shoulders with STT Champion – Sean Edwards who ain’t no fan of fans. […]

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