Angus Taylor: ACT Wind Power Plan Corporate Welfare on steroids

Angus Taylor

Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor on the front foot over ACT fan plan.


True to form, Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor has gone on the front foot over the Power Purchase Agreement signed between Infigen and the ACT. Since then, it appears Thai wind scammers, RATCH have piled in on the deal too.

When the deal was announced a few weeks back Angus came out swinging and hasn’t stopped since (see our post here).

Angus has been joined by Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor, Geoff Kettle and State and Federal Liberals and Nationals, including Family and Community Services Minister and Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward; Primary Industries Minister and Member for Burrinjuck, Katrina Hodgkinson; and, Member for Monaro, John Barilaro – who are all intent on killing the plan.

Here’s what Angus had to say in a press release:

1 April 2014

Federal and NSW MPs have called on the ACT Government to find a cheaper way than wind to reach its 90% renewable energy target.

Meeting earlier today at one of Canberra’s scenic lookouts, the MPs were keen to point to numerous locations within the ACT where wind farms could be built.

Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said opposition to the ACT plan was growing. “Gathered here are MPs from surrounding NSW – from Goulburn, Monaro, Burrinjuck. The mayor of Goulburn is with us – and we want the people of Canberra to understand what the ACT Government is doing to them.

“By investing in wind farms, all located across the border in NSW, it’s not only treating NSW like a junkyard, it’s a case of corporate welfare on steroids for the wind industry. If we’ve learnt anything over recent years, it’s that we need to find low cost ways of reducing carbon emissions. When you boil this down, it’s one giant corporate welfare scheme. The households and businesses of Canberra will be the ones to pay,” Mr Taylor said.

He said by setting an aggressive renewable energy target, the ACT was effectively overpaying the wind industry for its role in reducing emissions.

“Wind is an extremely expensive option – at least double other domestic alternatives and as much as 20 times the cost of offshore credits. Conventional power costs $30 – $40 per megawatt hour, whereas wind power costs $90 -$120 per megawatt hour. Someone has to foot that bill and it will be the poor old ACT taxpayer.

“The other point I want to make is the division that wind farms create. If the ACT Government wants 90 percent of all energy coming from renewables, let them build turbines on the hills of Canberra.”

Costs behind the ACT’s Renewable Energy Target

The 90% target (by 2020) is way out of line with other countries and jurisdictions:
• Australia is targeting 20% by 2020 – no targets beyond 2020
• Most other developed countries that have adopted RE targets are focused on 20% by 2020 (e.g. Europe)
• Many countries are now scaling back their targets (e.g. EU)
Wind power is at least three times more expensive than conventional power to produce:
• Conventional power costs $30-40 per MWh (assuming spot prices), wind power costs $90-120 per MWh (assuming spot prices)
o The ACT government is assuming costs of around $105/ MWh for 2014
• Solar is substantially more expensive – as much as 10 times conventional power
• The renewable industries arguments about power costs are often flawed because
o They include a carbon cost in their assumptions
o They compare wind with long term contracts (requiring lower prices) alongside conventional power using spot contracts (requiring higher prices)
o They focus on operating costs, not total costs (which include capital costs)
The ACT renewable energy target is an extreme case of corporate welfare:
• Wind is an extremely expensive way to reduce carbon emissions – at least double other domestic alternatives and as much as 20 times the cost of offshore credits
• By setting an aggressive renewable energy target we OVERPAY the wind industry for the role it plays in reducing emissions
• The subsidy received by the wind industry under this scheme will be equivalent to over $600k per turbine – around two thirds of likely company revenues
Additional back up and transmission costs will also be added to bills:
• Wind capacity only works at around 30% of its full capacity, because the wind is intermittent
• The ACT will need to source conventional capacity from NSW to ‘fill the gap’
• This requires back up capacity and additional transmission capacity to redirect electricity to the ACT with minimal lead times
• Once renewables make up more than around 30% of the total supply, the costs of managing the grid escalate rapidly.
Angus Taylor (Member for Hume)

The ACT fan plan is aimed at sourcing 90% of its power from “renewables” – which seems just a little bizarre given that the ACT sources almost all of its power from the Snowy Hydro scheme, already.

The Canberra media have sucked it up – parroting Infigen’s spurious claims about “powering” 80,000 homes in Canberra. Sure, fans will deliver spurts of power over a few hours – usually at night-time when the lights and giant flatscreen TVs are turned off.

In reality – just like everywhere else – wind power will be delivered at crazy, random intervals such that those 80,000 homes – if left to rely upon wind power alone – will see their owners sitting freezing or in the dark at least 70% of the time – except they’ll never know which 70% of the time that might be. Positively Stone Age stuff (see our posts here and here and here and here).

Then, of course, there is the INSANE cost of wind power when it is actually delivered. The ACT is staying schtum on the price set in its PPA with Infigen, but – for Infigen to breakeven – the guaranteed minimum price per MW/h has to be at least $90 – and may well be closer to $120. At those rates the ACT will be paying 3-4 times the cost of conventional power.

The cost of this lunacy will, of course, be born by power punters in Canberra – a point well made by Angus Taylor in this great little piece from The Australian.

Renewable energy proposal for Canberra offers a capital example of the green Left’s hot air
The Australian
Angela Shanahan
5 April 2014

Federal Liberal member for Hume Angus Taylor has calculated that under Corbell’s initiative, power bills in the ACT are likely to triple, rendering the territory an economic basket case.

There is an area of Canberra called Fyshwick that politicians never bother to visit unless they are searching for a hardware bargain or, like a newsworthy ex-politician, in the market for hard-core, not hardware.

Canberra has a thriving sex industry, discreetly crammed between the bleak building supplies and cheap furniture outlets. It doesn’t bother most Canberrans. It is confined and there has been only one prosecution for sex slavery in Canberra.

That has not stopped two Liberal ACT assembly members from embarking on a study tour to Europe and South Korea to search out better ways for women to exit the industry, much to the ire of ratepayers. It is not that the ratepayers don’t care; they are fed up with the ideological obsessions of assembly politicians.

On one side is the left-green obsession of saving the planet; on the other a variety of moral ­causes. Neither set of ideologies has anything to do with governing a small city.

To pursue causes from saving prostitutes to studying euthanasia, Canberra’s MLAs have, on top of $125,000 base salary, a $24,000 travel allowance that includes spouse travel. So infrequent are assembly sitting days, averaging about three days in a month, that Canberrans are likelier to meet their local member in Portland, Oregon, recently visited by Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr, or in London, on a parliamentary advisory tour, than in Canberra’s Civic centre.

Yet the capital has a notoriously high cost of living and the highest rates and taxes of any jurisdiction in Australia. There has been a decline in general services, particularly in the new suburbs of Gungahlin, and the city is undergoing a radical change in the planning that made it the world’s model capital, with urban infill and high-density Stalinist apartment dwellings replacing its much admired green inner suburbs. The ACT government budget is dependent on flogging land.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Environment Minister Simon Corbell are far green-left, but Corbell’s latest green scheme may be the final straw for ACT residents. Corbell has formulated a bizarrely expensive plan to deliver a 90 per cent renewable energy target by contracting wind farms outside the territory. He claims ACT power bills will rise to a maximum of $4 extra a week per household and wind is the cheapest technology to deliver power, costing 8c or 9c a kilowatt hour, and these projects will bring permanent jobs to Goulburn and Collector. Corbell has pre-empted the auction process by saying the bid from the owner of Collector Wind Farm will be accepted.

However, federal Liberal member for Hume Angus Taylor has calculated that under Corbell’s initiative, power bills in the ACT are likely to triple, rendering the territory an economic basket case. “Standard electricity price at the moment is $30 a megawatt hour,” he says, “but according to my calculations, the cost of wind on an equivalent basis is over $90, triple. So this will have a big impact on household electricity bills. Furthermore, it is not really renewable. Most electricity is still from the grid because the wind doesn’t blow all the time. If Corbell is saying the ACT will not be paying more than $4 extra a week he must be playing a trick somewhere. I have challenged him to produce his modelling. But I have not heard boo.”

This scheme will hit ACT businesses, which will not be able to absorb the steep rises in electricity prices. There will be a multiplier effect as key service providers such as supermarkets, petrol stations and retail outlets pass on costs. Businesses will relocate to Queanbeyan and first-home buyers and lower income groups will suffer, a blatant example of the Labor Party betraying its constituency to get elitist green votes.

However, the demographics of Canberra are changing and its constituency is not what was.

Taylor has 8000 constituents a day going to work in Canberra, which was the fastest growing city in Australia, but a huge amount of development has transferred to NSW because ACT planning is not reliable and the cost of living too high. Although Corbell has wrapped up his proposal in a lot of vague wishful thinking about employment in surrounding areas, wind farms are an expensive fly-in, fly-out industry. Cost of installation is $6 million a turbine and $100,000 to service. Added to that cost is their unreliability, which means having backup. In the end, 70-80 people are left employed and anyone who doesn’t want to be near the turbines will move.

In short, the ACT will pay a lot more for energy, with the dirty work being done in NSW. Wind turbines are technological and economic white elephants. Even Germany and Denmark are going back to coal-fired power. Renewable targets are about delivering corporate welfare to the suppliers, not carbon emission strategies.

And those high-minded MLAs out to get rid of the sex industry should be wary of too much success. If Taylor’s predictions are right, one day politicians who drive from the airport to Parliament House may get a surprise. The sex industry may be the one viable business left in Canberra.
The Australian

Seems somehow fitting for an article discussing the economics of wind power to throw in a take on the future of prostitution in Canberra.

Canberra politics is clearly being driven by a hard Green-Left agenda bereft of any understanding of energy market economics, let alone the true and hidden costs of wind power.

Another point of tremendous RISK for ACT power punters is the impact of the RET review on the long-run price for Renewable Energy Certificates. A substantial cut to the mandatory RET – which is clearly on the cards – will see demand for RECs plummet – with their price to follow.

The value of the REC is incorporated in the PPA – under which the certificate is issued to the generator and passed to the retailer, who then cashes it in. The retailer ends up paying the difference between the fixed PPA price and the amount recovered on the REC trade. The lower the REC price, the more the retailer pays out of its own pocket.

STT hears, though, that this deal – going well beyond bizarre – has the ACT opting out of the Federal RET/REC scheme altogether. If that’s right it means the ACT will not receive a REC under its PPA – which in turn means the power punters in Canberra will end up paying the full cost of the trade – ie a minimum of between $90-120 per MW/h.

But, of course, the ACT government is unlikely to reveal the price set by its PPA, let alone to explain the intricacies of the trade to power punters.

In the meantime, a bunch of very angry Coalition MPs – headed up by Angus Taylor – look set to shine an unwelcome spotlight on a very ordinary deal for ACT power consumers and their NSW constituents – who will end up suffering all the costs, all the impacts and all the grief – all in the name of Green-Left grandstanding and, as Angus puts it: “corporate welfare on steroids”.


Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle; Family and Community Services Minister and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward; Primary Industries Minister and Member for Burrinjuck Katrina Hodgkinson; Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor; and, Member for Monaro, John Barilaro on the warpath.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    How the ACT Government can even consider an arrangement such as this is beyond me. Surely it is their duty to ensure that investors get a return on the investment? How will they achieve this other than by putting more taxes, levies surcharges or whatever on the energy bills of their citizens? The money they’ll be paying the Wind Industry will be shoved off shore to shore up these companies which have massive financial problems.

    It seems the ACT Government needs to be investigated to find out how come they have been so stupefied by the wind industry, because it’s likely the industry did the smooching to persuade acceptance of such an arrangement would be accepted as being good for the Territory. Or were they so bewildered by the spin of the roulette wheel like blades and they became hooked on an illusion of power?

  2. Martin Hayles says:

    Interesting STT.

    Yes the momentum builds, but there is such a level of self interest in regards the potential financial windfall gains by people in the wind industry and the hosts. Not to mention the hangers on, the members of supposed higher learning and perhaps the most disgraceful, the medical profession.

    The AMA have disgraced themselves to such an extent that when they once, historically, where intertwined with alchemists and religious fanatics they burned, mostly women, at the stake.

    How can people with inquiring minds and those that have sworn their being to the Hippocratic oath, not at the very least seek out those who have openly spoken of their woeful experiences?

    Why do the experts in Psychology and Sociology not seek out the thoughts and experiences of people within communities that have had to live with turbines, let alone those like myself, who have had to live with social disharmony and divide, such as has not been seen before, before a sod of soil has been turned?

    Professor Simon Chapman (for a Professor he is) and others have not been convinced by Sarah Laurie or anyone else that turbines are a health hazard when in too close a proximity to some individuals.

    I have traveled and spoken to these people and and have no doubt of their good intent of speaking of their travails.
    Why has Prof Chapman not done so? The only obvious conclusion is that he has been corrupted in some way or other. I am not suggesting he is corrupt by nature. Perhaps he is simply naive, easily led or maybe just dumb, but he should not hold the positions of power and influence that he does.

    Locally, I am frustrated by our local state member, in regards the Ceres project (electorate of Goyder), in that because it has been given the ‘tick of approval’, there is nothing he can do.


    Steven Griffiths should put it on the record through Hansard, that there is something inherently wrong with a system where the planning minister Rau signs off and gives approval to Ceres only a few days before the government goes into caretaker mode, and then knowingly, understands that Ceres has not met 54 conditions of approval, 5 approvals major, needing further official minister sanction.

    How does that work? Ceres has had at least 3 years to meet approval, but still cannot achieve this, but the minister still gives conditional approval.

    Why not approve this abomination from the Initial application?
    This a total corruption of process and lacks any moral, ethical consideration.

    Another point. How is Ceres given major/ crown development status, leaving us with no legal right of reply?
    This is in no way a project of critical infrastructure. How can it be? It’s a totally unreliable source of power generation.

    Once again the hands are thrown up, ‘there’s nothing we can do’.


    The New South Wales government have just recently reinstated the right of the people to legally challenge approvals, therefore this can happen in S.A. Fight for us.
    Make the challenge and continue to make it.

    In a supposed democracy, where my taxes, your constituents taxes are being used to subsidize wind mills, why do I not have an ability to legally challenge this?

    Then, there is the point that we are or should be aware of;
    This so socially destructive.

    If we do not have genuine attempt of social cohesion, and I am well aware this concept is fraught with human frailty, we have nothing other than a greater chance of anarchy.
    It is just a short step away.


  1. […] under the mandatory RET – puts it: “this is corporate welfare on steroids” (see our posts here and here). STT thinks Angus is the master of understatement. In Australia’s history, there […]

  2. […] As Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor put it, the mandatory RET is nothing more than “corporate welfare on steroids” (see our post here). […]

  3. […] The vast majority of Coalition members are in favour of scrapping the mandatory RET in its entirety. And barely a day passes without another of their number (publicly) expressing their view that the policy is nothing more than “corporate welfare on steroids”. […]

  4. […] – more like a “splinter”. The vast majority see the mandatory RET for what it is: “corporate welfare on steroids” which – given the Coalition’s unpopular budgetary attack on the “age of entitlement” […]

  5. […] From the noises coming from within the Coalition, AGL will get precisely what it wants when it comes to scrapping the mandatory RET. However, with the Coalition in its very first budget signalling an end to the “age of entitlement”, AGL’s plea for its existing investments to be “protected” is likely to fall on deaf ears. And so it should: this is – as Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor described it – “corporate welfare on steroids” (see our post here). […]

  6. […] Joe went on to say that the Coalition’s attack on the “age of entitlement” will be directed at “business as much as it applies to each of us.” If ever there was a beneficiary of the “age of entitlement” it was the wind industry and the rort created in its favour by the mandatory RET/REC scheme – quite rightly described by Liberal MP, Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor as: “corporate welfare on steroids” (see our post here). […]

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