Brits finally rumble the size of the wind scam trough

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What?!? It’s not like I wrote the rules …

Wind farm subsidies generate £900m for Britain’s big six energy suppliers
Robert Mendick
The Telegraph
12 Oct 2013

The full extent of the subsidies for wind farms received by the “big six” energy companies can be disclosed today.

An analysis of the industry’s figures shows that Britain’s largest energy firms received almost £900 million last year through a consumer subsidy added to household bills.

The subsidy is worth £200 million more than the income from the electricity actually produced by Britain’s on and offshore wind farms. In total, the big six received more than £1.5 billion in revenues last year from wind farms they own.

The scale of the revenues will anger critics who claim subsidies for wind farms are excessive.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, the chief executive of SSE, blamed green energy levies, which include the wind farm subsidy, for already adding £110 to the average household fuel bill before the rise took effect.

SSE received £213 million in consumer subsidies from its fleet of on and offshore wind farms. Its total income from wind farms was in the region of £373 million.

With low running costs, the surplus made from operating its wind farms is calculated at £277 million.

The study carried out by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a think tank, coincided with SSE’s announcement of a rise in bills.

The subsidies were introduced by the Labour government to encourage investment in the wind industry, in part to meet strict European Union green energy targets.

Opponents complain that wind farms are expensive, blight the landscape and provide only intermittent electricity, meaning old style power stations will still be needed on days when the wind is insufficient.

Dr Lee Moroney, REF’s principal analyst, said: “Successive governments’ policies have provided generous, low-risk and long-term rewards at electricity consumers’ expense to incentivise the very rapid deployment of wind deemed necessary to meet EU targets”.

“The targets are misguided, the rewards are excessive and the ever-increasing burden on consumers is iniquitous. Surely, it is time common sense prevailed.”

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Under present rules, onshore wind farms receive about half their income through the consumer subsidy and half through selling the electricity they produce while offshore wind farms receive a subsidy twice the value of the electricity they generate.

REF says evidence of how generous the payments are is demonstrated by the discovery that one wind farm in Fairburn, near Inverness, owned by SSE, had underestimated the size of its subsidy for 16 months because of faulty meter readings.

REF says subsidies are so generous that the company did not notice when £2.5million was owed.

Energy companies deny profits from wind farms are excessive and insist the subsidy is necessary because start-up costs are so high.

London Array, off the south-east coast, is the biggest wind farm in the world and has 630 megawatts capacity – enough to power 500,000 homes – but cost £1.8 billion to build.

Dr Gordon Edge, the director of policy at RenewableUK, said: “It’s simply untrue, and not looking at the full picture, to state that because the running costs of wind generators are low, excessive profits are made.”

Dr Edge said the “very significant outlay” on building wind farms meant “it can take a long time before you actually start seeing any profit”.

He added: “It is ironic that our opponents attempt to turn one of the advantages of wind – its low marginal cost – into an attack.”
The Telegraph

STT loves it when wind weasels or their parasites start waffling about wind power being “free” or – as the Edge puts it: “low marginal cost”.

This wind weasel “chestnut” – as always – IGNORES the very real and INSANE cost of backing up a generation source delivered at crazy, random intervals with OCGTs and banks of diesel generators.

And – as always – it IGNORES the cost to power consumers of the enormous subsidy stream that flows to wind weasels – as if power punters faced with spiralling power bills will never notice.

Wind weasels and the subsidies that sustain them –  are just like heroin addicts and smack – both kinds of addicts are always ready to tell you they don’t really need it and can give it up any time they want – just so long as their next “hit” is just around the corner.  No-one believes the junky – and no-one believes the wind weasel, either.  Cut the massive subsidies and the great wind scam would be over in a heartbeat.

In Australia, the REC Tax on all power consumers has netted wind weasels around $8 billion, so far, and – if the current policy is retained – will scoop a further $52 billion over the life of the RET.

For a reminder on how the rort works Downunder check out this post.

Renewable energy policy has nothing to do with “saving the Planet” and everything to do with fleecing power consumers and tax payers.  Bring on the RET Review – and let’s put this scam to bed once and for all.

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What, you thought this was about the environment?

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. On the rocks says:

    The Human Toll

    We are all aware of the human suffering of those who have to live with turbines and the battles to stave off their ludicrous march across the country.

    Well thankfully the tide may be turning. With his renewable projects languishing the guru allegedly came home late last night and cranked up the pioneer hi fi. As he reclined into his favourite leather chair and peered into the emptiness of the dark wall paper, the vibrant tones of Demis Rousss and “My friend the wind” began to cascade into his inner sanctum.

    He began to weep uncontrollably – a shattered man.

  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The rush by these companies to get applications in and approved before the New Federal Government stops the rort is astounding. The Ceres application I agree is hugely flawed, but these companies think its OK and unfortunately it appears many people given the task of approving them agree with them.

    The companies want to do all the hard detailed work AFTER approval has been given, they want to decide on which turbines, the number of them and their exact location AFTER approval. They want to do detailed assessment of the environmental conditions AFTER.
    Who in their right mind would approve such poorly prepared and detailed applications?

    The only thing approvers have to consider is whether they meet the Development Plans, they don’t have to meet anything other than that, they don’t have to prove they are safe, able to meet the energy needs they state they will, that they won’t produce adverse impacts due to the noise they produce, they don’t even have to prove they’ll not damage the environment.

    It’s as if nothing has been learnt since the days of the Industrial Revolution. It’s as if its still OK to place industry where people live and farm, while the owners live in their town houses far from the effects of their industrial machinery.

    What other industry has such a low standard to meet, what other industry can get away with never having to be assessed for safety and suitability for stated purpose?

    All those facing the impact of these things – keep up the good work, keep up the pressure, keep your spirits up, and keep fighting.

  3. ‘On the rocks’ is absolutely spot on with his assessment of the Ceres Project.

    To try and get a project of this size off the ground, they needed full cooperation of the surrounding Community, so to treat them with absolute contempt, guaranteed the failure of the Ceres Project before it ever got off the ground.

    For a project of this size, I have never seen a more unprofessional submission presented to the DAC. After a torrent of complaints, they have tried to patch it up, but it still falls way short of the requirements for a project of this magnitude. There are still many unanswered questions.

    Everything from now on is a total waste of time, because all this mob are worried about, is trying to get approval, so they can flog it off and take the money and run. There is a fair chance they won’t be retiring on Yorke Peninsula. If a new Company was silly enough to buy the Ceres Project, there will be no obligation on them to observe the current agreements, they will be able to come in and do as they please.

    Any self respecting Company or potential Investors, would not touch the Ceres Project with a forty foot barge pole, it is a guaranteed disaster!

    TCW

  4. Australian Greens Senators tucking into wind industry slops?

    What on earth was Miss Piggy thinking!

  5. On the rocks says:

    Fatal flaws in Ceres project – there is no better way to invoke the wrath of a community than to treat its citizens as fools.

    The team behind the Ceres project has done just that with the local council, surrounding towns and communities upset and angered. I doubt whether there’s been a wind project in Australia more vocally opposed.

    On their web page they have posted their response to the overwhelming number of submissions against the project, as the hearings into the application approach next Thursday.
    Whilst suggesting they have volunteered the information it is nothing more than a futile attempt to make up for the public relations disaster that it is.

    We note if they get approval they want the time line for completion extended to 5 years suggesting 3 years would be a tight time frame.
    Might I be so cynical as to suggest this variance is nothing but a desperate attempt in buying time in an attempt to find investors.
    Early advice was that this project was way too big for a small market like Adelaide, far too expensive with the undersea cable being looked upon as unrealistic.

    With major project status and a state government struggling financially an initial tick of approval seemed likely, even though there’s a remote chance of it ever being built.

    However the word on the street is even that may not be forth coming as the powers that be realise the many flaws in the projects application and the overwhelming opposition to it.

    As for the Ceres team………never under estimate the opposition boys, you never saw what was coming did you!

  6. When there such enormous rivers if gold, of course the wind weasels will move to exploit the situation and milk us all. The Government policy is to blame – that is where the problem started and where it needs to finish. The unintended consequence of poorly conceived policy has caused so much suffering around the world – it has to stop! Bring on the RET review!

  7. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    Yeah – some of us are a bit slow!

  8. This does not include the hidden costs.

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