Australia has spent $billions propping up wind weasels with cheap money (read unsecured loans which are, in effect, interest free) from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (see our post here); the benefit of the mandatory Renewable Energy Target, which forces retailers to purchase wind power on pain of a fine – aka the “shortfall charge” – currently $65 for every MW/h the retailer falls short of the mandated RET (see our post here); and, of course, the torrent of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) – a Federal Tax on all Australian electricity consumers – upon which the whole fan fiasco depends.
So far, more than $8 billion worth of REC tax has been added to Australian power consumers’ power bills.
Giant fans have destroyed once peaceable and productive communities – like Waterloo and Mt Bryan in South Australia; Cullerin and Lake George in NSW; Toora, Cape Bridgewater, Macarthur and Waubra in Victoria – Spanish fan scammers, Acciona have just logged noise complaint number 1,383 at Waubra.
Dozens of hard-working farming families are being driven nuts in their homes by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound all over the country – around 40 perfectly good homes have been abandoned, so far – including 11 at Waubra, 7 of which have been purchased by Acciona with the sale subject to draconian “gag” clauses (see our post here).
Sure, wind power “piety” has its price – colossal cost and a trail of human misery – but – we’re constantly told that “it’s all for the greater good”.
Ex-US Marine Barry Funfar was told to “suck it up and do something for [his] country” in response to his complaint about the fact that neighbouring fans at Falmouth have ruined his life (see our post here).
As one goon working for Suzlon REPower – telling Boorowa farmer and grazier, Sam McGuiness a while back about their plan to lob 100 or so giant fans right in Sam’s backyard – put it: “Sam, you’ll be taking one for the planet” (see our post here).
The ONLY justification for wind power is the wild and extravagant claims made about its ability to reduce CO2 emissions – so why don’t we take a look at the CO2 abatement scoreboard, courtesy of The Australian.
Billions in tax but only 0.3pc fall in carbon emissions
5 February 2014
GREENHOUSE gas emissions declined only marginally in the first 15 months of the carbon tax’s operation, new figures reveal.
National greenhouse accounts to be released today show carbon emissions fell just 0.3 per cent in the year to September 2013. This was despite the carbon tax raising $7 billion over the period.
The government will use the figures to back its call for the abolition of the carbon tax ahead of the return of parliament next week.
The Department of Environment figures, obtained by The Australian, show electricity emissions fell 5.5 per cent or about 11 million tonnes in the year to September.
Origin Energy managing director Grant King last year estimated the reduction at 13 million tonnes and said that, of this reduction, about 5 million tonnes was driven by reduced economic activity, 4 million tonnes by extra generation from the Snowy Hydro scheme and another 4 million tonnes by lower output at Energy Australia’s Yallourn brown coal plant because of flooding and industrial action.
Emissions for the year to September 2013 were estimated at 542.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to a fall of just 0.3 per cent compared with the previous year’s 543.9 million tonnes.
The year-to-September figures came after year-to-July figures showed a decline of just 0.1 per cent to 545.9 million tonnes from 546.2 million tonnes. “When we look at the first practical year … we can see very little evidence that the current carbon pricing scheme has caused reductions in emissions in the energy sector,” Mr King said in December.
The Environment Department said the lower electricity emissions were driven by lower demand and changes in the generation mix. The figures show that overall emissions of greenhouse gas are largely unchanged since 2010. While emissions from electricity generation fell, emissions from stationary energy such as on-site power generation from industrial plants rose 1.7 per cent, emissions from transport rose 2 per cent and so-called fugitive emissions from mining activities rose 8.3 per cent.
Emissions from waste at rubbish dumps fell 0.3 per cent.
The release of the figures comes ahead of the resumption of parliament next week, where the government will again increase pressure on Labor over its decision to block the repeal of the carbon tax. The Abbott government is in the process of developing its alternative Direct Action scheme, which is likely to initially target energy efficiency for commercial buildings, cutting fugitive emissions from coalmines and cleaning up dirty brown coal power stations.
Consultations on the shape of the emissions reduction fund – the $1.55bn centrepiece of the Direct Action Plan – are continuing.
Other measures being considered include allowing businesses to bid to improve refrigeration systems that can cut both emissions and energy use, reafforestation and improving soil carbon levels.
The government is committed to cutting Australia’s emissions 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.
Critics of Direct Action argue that the government’s scheme will be more expensive as it relies solely on domestic abatement whereas Labor’s scheme allowed the purchase of low-cost credits from international abatement schemes.
Okay, so let’s have a quick scoreboard recap to see whether the wick’s been worth the candle.
Grant King is the managing director of Origin Energy – Australia’s largest electricity retailer and one of our bigger generators – so you’d reckon that Grant might know a thing or two about Australia’s market for sparks.
Grant is also very keen to back large-scale hydro. Origin’s huge planned Purari run-of-the-river hydro project in Papua New Guinea has the potential to eclipse Australia’s Renewable Energy Target on its own – so he is clearly a fan of real (ie on-demand) renewables (see our post here).
In the piece above, Grant sets out his sums on CO2 abatement in the Australian electricity market over the year ending September 2013 – and here’s his tally.
Of a total CO2 emission reduction of 13 million tonnes achieved by electricity generators in that time:
- 5 million tonnes was driven by reduced economic activity;
- 4 million tonnes by extra generation from the Snowy Hydro scheme; and
- 4 million tonnes by lower output at Energy Australia’s Yallourn brown coal plant because of flooding and industrial action.
On our mathematic reckoning 5 + 4 + 4 = 13 – which means those 3 factors laid out by Grant exhaustively account for ALL of the CO2 abatement achieved in the electricity sector in the year to September 2013.
There is, of course, a tiny possibility that Australia’s largest electricity supplier got its sums wrong – and simply overlooked wind power’s contribution to CO2 abatement – but we doubt it.
So – for all the cost, all the suffering, all the community division – the grand contribution made to CO2 electricity emissions abatement by Australia’s enormous fleet of giant fans amounts to a big fat doughnut.
STT has said it before – and we will keep on saying it: wind power is the greatest economic and environmental fraud ever committed, because it can not – and will never – reduce CO2 emissions.
STT hears that the Head Boy is just about to announce a policy shift – based on the Coalition’s Direct Action policy – that will finally put the wind industry to proof.
IF – and it’s a mighty big IF – the wind industry can PROVE that it has – and does – in fact abate CO2 emissions – then, and only then, will it receive any further taxpayer and power consumer largesse.
For all the $billions these scammers have received – and for all the suffering and misery they’ve caused – we think proving their wild and entirely untested claims about CO2 abatement is the very least that they should be required to do. But on Grant King’s numbers – we highly doubt that’ll ever happen.