I won’t grow up, I won’t grow up

Peter-Pan-disney-200177_490_430

The wind weasel is a lot like Peter Pan – the eternal child, who will fight, kick and scream to avoid the stark reality of adulthood.

How often have we heard the yarn about wind power needing a fat pile of subsidies for just that little bit longer to help it “mature”?  And how, if the subsidies are cut off just now, we will snuff out a brilliant, clean, green renewable energy future?

The Brits have just about had enough of wind weasel temper tantrums – and are all set to kick these howling brats out of the crèche.

brat

Oi! I wasn’t anywhere near finished gorging on a fat pile of taxpayers’ cash.

Here’s The Independent reporting on a monumental dummy spit by UK’s wind weasels as they’re told to grow up and stand on their own 2 feet.

George Osborne makes waves with cut to onshore windfarm subsidies
The Independent
6 December 2013

The Chancellor’s intervention has provoked dismay within the renewables industry which warned energy prices would rise as a result.
Numbers of new onshore windfarms are to be scaled back after George Osborne put the brakes on subsidies for the giant turbines strongly opposed by many MPs.

The Chancellor’s intervention provoked dismay within the renewables industry which warned energy prices would rise as a result, but was welcomed by countryside campaigners. Sources close to Mr Osborne said “protecting our natural environment” was an important factor in his decision.

The Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that state support for onshore wind and for solar energy was being reduced “slightly” in favour of offshore wind turbines.

But he denied the Coalition had bowed to the strength of opposition to windfarms among Conservative backbenchers, who argue they are unsightly and inefficient.

“We have looked in detail at how much it costs to do offshore windfarms and onshore windfarms and big solar schemes and we are reducing slightly the subsidy we are providing to onshore wind and to these big solar schemes,” Mr Alexander told BBC Radio.

The development of onshore windfarms has been a major source of tension between the Coalition parties. The Liberal Democrats argue that land-based turbines, which are far cheaper to develop than those at sea, are crucial for Britain to hit its targets for renewable energy use.

But senior Tories have spoken out against them and their hostility is understood to be shared by Mr Osborne. The UK Independence Party has also said it would scrap subsidies for windfarms.

But Gordon MacDougall, the chief operating officer of the renewable energy company RES, said investment confidence would suffer because of the announcement.

“It will cut the deployment of onshore wind, the lowest cost renewable energy technology in the UK’s energy mix.

“By undermining onshore wind before it reaches maturity and substituting it with more expensive low-carbon energy, the cost to the consumer will increase,” he said.

Sarah Johnson, the head of renewables at the National Skills Academy for Power, said: “It is disappointing to see the Government’s lack of commitment for onshore wind, which is an established technology with a track history that investors can rely on.”

But Shaun Spiers, the chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “Any slow-down in the rate of growth of on-shore wind is good news. People are fed up with having such things forced on them.”

Greenpeace’s policy director, Doug Parr, said: “Cuts to onshore wind and solar support schemes show how quickly the cost of clean energy technologies are falling. Onshore wind farms will power our homes and factories more cheaply than new nuclear stations, and the same is expected of solar.”
The Independent

The quotes in that little piece read like something from the “Watermelon Weekly”. You know the kind of paper that reports on what it’s like to be “Green” on the outside and Soviet “Red” in the middle.

Greenpeace are apparently taking their economics advice from Wang Wang and Funi – Adelaide’s fun loving pandas who were enlisted by the WWF to work out just why South Australia has the highest retail power prices in the world.

True it is that wind power generated with fans located offshore is more expensive to deliver (occasionally) than when the fans are lobbed in somebody’s backyard.  But that is simply to compare the “completely insane” with the merely “insane” costs of an intermittent power source – which is delivered at crazy, random intervals – and requires an equal amount of fossil fuel generating capacity to be available at all times as back-up when fans take their daily sabbatical.

It may come as a surprise to Martians like Doug Parr but firms do not set up fleets of OCGTs and diesel generators for the “love of the game” – funnily enough, we think it just might be the profit motive at work.

Doug Parr can be excused for being simply deluded.  However, underlying the howls from the likes of Greenpeace, the National Skills Academy for Power and wind weasel, RES is a kind of malign, but clearly rational, self-interest.

Once you’ve jumped on a gravy train it’s very hard to get off.

The twaddle about wind power reaching “maturity” has been peddled for over 30 years.  When will it be mature?  When the wind starts blowing 24 x 7?  When turbines last for 50 years instead of 8? When?

Of course, the wind weasels and their parasites are quite happy to leach from us while we all wait for their beloved fans to “grow up”.

Wind power has been wet nursed with subsidies from the beginning and requires babysitters like fast start-up peaking power plants – eg, Open Cycle Gas Turbines and diesel generators just to keep the lights on.

Now we just love the candour from Sarah Johnson (head of renewables at the National Skills Academy for Power) when she says that onshore wind: “is an established technology with a track history that investors can rely on.”

Thanks Sarah, that couldn’t be clearer.

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

There’s nothing worse than a scam you just can’t rely on.

So there you have it.

This scam has got nothing to do with providing a power generation source that consumers (ie businesses and families) can rely on – it’s all about promoting a system that “investors can rely on”.

What about a cheap, clean, power generation source that everyone can rely on?

Now that would be a good idea!

snowy hydro

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Bon, not sure if you refer to Melbourne or SA Trams, but we used to live near the SA one until fairly recently. As to gaining the ‘ear’ and usurping influence on politicians, it makes no different where you live because many politicians are only listening to the money making so called investment projects being peddled by the bureaucrats, industry heavyweights and pretend scientists.

    The problem rural Australia has is that too many city and suburban dwellers are completely ignorant of the implications of what these things are doing to the environment and rural Australian’s lives.

    Many would rather stick their heads in the sand while others will be so ‘up themselves’ and so sure they are more intelligent than country yokels, that they will believe anything that has the ‘green’ tag. There lives are so devoid of a ‘life’ they have to invent a reason to be heard.

    Fortunately though the word is now being heard more and more by city and suburban dwellers, it doesn’t matter the reason why they are waking up and taking notice, whether it’s because of the rise in the cost of energy or if they are worried about their fellow citizens living in rural areas, just as long as they start to stand up make a noise, participate in the discussion and be counted.

  2. There is one thing for sure, we don’t have to many smart pollies in this country. When you have a look around, the greens and labor are not worth feeding and there are a few in the consertive side of goverment need to be thrown over board as well, like our little man macca in Toowoomba.

    The wind weasels and greentards are only after money, not getting rid of C02, of which they are not getting rid of any.

    You can fool some of the people all the time, not all the people all the time. Wind weasels and greentards your gig is up, get out and go to hell.

  3. Paul Miskelly says:

    While we’re looking at the need to grow up, to accept responsibilities, etc., I’d like to pick up on [a related] theme: that of the former Labor government allowing the kiddies in to take over the candy store, with a little story that illustrates the consequences.

    You would think that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), which reports to the COAG via the ACCC, would be concerned to be seen to be addressing its responsibilities to the electricity consumer: the AER’s job is to ensure that the eastern Australian electricity grid provides a secure, stable, reliable, and affordable electricity supply to its customers. After all, such provision is one of the cornerstones of our civilisation. Well, in a presentation at the recent 2013 Australian Wind Energy Conference, a Craig Oakeshott, Director Markets, Australian Energy Regulator, might give stopthesethings some pause, that is, pause as in beggaring belief.

    You can find a copy of the presentation here. I won’t bore readers with the detail, but what is clear is that, in his clearly unconditional support for more wind farms, (Slide 10), Mr Oakeshott accepts the fact that wind cannot be anything but intermittent (Slide 12). That in itself one would have thought is a hopeful sign that the Regulator is going to address its responsibilities to the consumer. But, then, Mr Oakeshott’s solution to that problem is little short of awe-inspiring. See Slide 28. It’s quite simple really: “Don’t generate to meet demand[,] make demand match generation”.

    It is so gobsmackingly simple: when wind output dives to almost nothing across the grid, as we all know that it does at least 100 times each year, just use “smart metering” to turn everything off until the wind returns. Now, I realise that as a marketing guru, well acquainted with solutions to supply-demand issues, Mr Oakeshott may quite reasonably believe that this is a perfectly acceptable solution. Perhaps we should not expect that Mr Oakeshott would be familiar with the intricacies of grid management. After all, that requires rigorous electrical engineering training and experience. What Mr Oakeshott may not understand, and perhaps should not be expected to understand is the potential for utter chaos such a measure may very likely cause, but, yes, it would seem that the Director, Markets, AER, is deadly serious. It seems that the requirement to supply the inelastic demand represented by essential services such as hospitals, street lighting, traffic lights, railway signals and electric trains, the commercial refrigeration that preserves our food supplies, to name but a tiny few, doesn’t figure in Mr Oakeshott’s thinking.

    Perhaps the stopthesethings team might like to inform Minister Ian MacFarlane that this sort of fairies-at-the-bottom-of-his-garden is coming from his very own AER, and that maybe it might be time that he put the adults, (ie, the engineers experienced in grid control), back in charge, and soon? Please team, just gently go absolutely ballistic.

    • Jackie Rovenksy says:

      With respect to IWT’s nothing surprises me with respect to antics of bureaucrat’s industry heavyweights and pretend scientists who have the ear of Politicians. They have no interest in anything other than trying to keep their influence intact.
      They pour out such drivel attempting to sound knowledgeable it makes me want to cry.
      The problem is I’m also crying for those who suffer the results of such avaricious approaches to the concept of Duty of Care.
      Unless our Politicians understand what these people are doing and avoid becoming infested with these nonsensical conceited orations we are all doomed to exist as inconsequential unimportant objects which are nothing more than an irritant to be brushed aside by self-interested money hungry leeches, who have no desire to do anything for the good and future of the world, and have nothing other than their own survival in mind.
      It’s time our Government took charge and listened to the voice of the people who voted for them, those who believed they were as good as their word. It’s time they stopped pussy-footing around and if nothing else called a moratorium on the installation of any more IWT’s whether approved or not, until they have the numbers in the Senate to change whatever Acts or regulations are needed to bring this industry under control. Then begin to fund in a more efficient manner other forms of energy production and energy saving measures that will bring about the results needed to secure the environmental future for all.

  4. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The age of consent ie adulthood here in Aus is 18 years, so they should now be looking after themselves and paying taxes on what they earn. I know, their tax bill would be nil because they earn nothing – just take.
    I wonder how much of the power blackouts in UK and Europe last Friday were due to storm damaged infrastructure and how much was due to turbines being turned off due to the storms?

    • Paul your comments about the “cloud cuckoo land” mindset at the AER are truly alarming, but to those who have watched government energy policy in Australia “evolve” over recent years they don’t come as a surprise. I don’t know what Minister Ian MacFarlane has at the bottom of his garden, but it’s becoming increasingly clear he has a very sympathetic ear when it comes to the expectations of the rent seekers running the wind and coal seam gas industries. So I don’t hold out too much hope of a return to rational energy policies any time soon.
      Here in Australia we tend to slavishly follow the Green suicidal tendencies of the UK, where long suffering electricty customers were scaulded a couple of years ago by National Grid CEO Steve Holliday, who told them that families would have to get used to using power only when it was is available, rather than constantly:

      “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030.” he told the BBC “We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It’s going to be much smarter than that.”
      “We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”

      But Rome wasn’t built in a day – the battle continues. Thanks Paul for your efforts in exposing the desparate need to bring the adults back to fix the shambolic state of our national energy policy.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Wind power demonstrated, yet again, that it is truly an “infant” industry.  However, as STT’s already observed it’s one infant that will never grow up. […]

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