Alan Moran: Scrap the RET and let Australian business compete again

alan moran

Alan Moran: scrap the RET and save our industry.


Stop renewable subsidies to allow lower electricity prices and competitive industry
Catallaxy Files
Alan Moran
24 April 2014

The RET Review brought the usual howls of anguish from the rent seekers concerned that regulatory measures will cease and that they will need to sell their wind and solar products on the open market. That means they would need to persuade people to pay three times the price they are already paying.

Support for the rent seekers is coming strong from the usual green left anti-capitalists, including THEIR ABC.

This piece on the Drum explains the issues then goes full pelt in support of the continuation of the rort. It includes a clip by Sarah Ferguson who, along with her husband Tony Jones and the dozens of other far leftists, is a major shareholder in the tax financed propaganda agency. In the clip the ACCI’s Burchell Wilson stoutly defends the consumer’s right to avoid exploitation by the politically correct.

The RET scheme with the feed-in tariffs for roof-top solar already adds 7 per cent to the cost of electricity to households, a cost that will more than double on present policies. By 2020 the scheme, if unchanged, will add over 40 per cent to the wholesale cost of electricity and largely negate the benefits from the demise of the carbon tax (should that occur). It is little wonder that major energy intensive industries are departing Australia – our prices have risen to be among the highest in the world from among the lowest less than a decade ago.

The RET review does not have the usual clutch of green left or docile functionaries that have previously characterised such reviews. Led by a highly successful businessman, Dick Warburton, there is no likelihood of a repeat of the previous pattern of reviews that ramped up the scheme. In the past we had:

  • Howard announcing a scheme in 2001 which would subsidise an innocuous “two per cent of additional energy”; that was trebled to 9,500 GWh by a hand-picked team established to interpret this.
  • A proposal in 2003 by the hapless Grant Tambling for an increase to 20,000 GWh, which John Howard, having come to his senses, rejected.
  • And as a “compromise”, Rudd and Turnbull agreeing to the present 20 per cent of electricity to be provided by subsidised exotics, mainly wind, defined as 45,000 GWh by 2020.

The rent seekers know the game is up and there is no prospect of an economy-busting increase in their feed. They know they cannot even expect Gillard’s Climate Change Authority placepeople’s solution of retaining the scheme as is and are falling back on one that which would reduce it to comprise the currently expected 20 per cent of electricity.

The presently expected 20 per cent by 2020 shaves off at least a quarter of the existing RET’s 45,000 GWh because regulatory and tax boosts have caused energy demand to drop.

Alternative approaches would range from cancelling the scheme’s subsidies for any new proposals to doing something akin to the Spanish Government’s approach and ceasing to pay any subsidies, even on windmills in the ground.

The review is to report later this year and is taking submissions until May 15.
Alan Moran

Alan mentions “the usual howls of anguish from rent seekers” that followed the announcement of the RET review. Well, after the meeting held by the panel last week in Sydney – where the panel spelled out the review’s real mission (determining the cost impacts of renewable energy in the electricity sector) – those “howls” have become a blood-curdling banshee scream (see our post here).

But we can’t fathom why? You see, the greentard bloggers have been telling us for years now that wind power is “free” and already competitive with conventional power generation sources – it’s a “line” they still run, but now it’s about to be tested.

If they’re right – then the wind industry won’t miss the mandatory Renewable Energy Target at all.

The wind industry simply won’t need the RET to force retailers to take wind power ahead of conventional power under the threat of being hit with a $65 fine (the “shortfall charge“) for every MW they fall short of the mandated target.

And they should have no trouble at all finding retail customers willing to pay 3-4 times the cost of conventional power, delivered at crazy, random intervals – and also willing to find some alternative for the 70% of the time they’ll be freezing (or boiling) and sitting in the dark – wood stoves and candles, say?

And they’ll have no need for a further $50 plus billion worth of Renewable Energy Certificates that – under the current target – will be issued to wind power generators and added to power consumers’ bills between now and 2031.

But, from the hysterical hectoring now coming from the Clean Energy Council, the wind industry and its other parasites about saving the RET, we think actions belie words. Or, as the Americans put it: “money talks and bullshit walks”.


Wind industry spin: you can fill your boots with it.

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:

    I have a memory that here in SA some years ago a power company was offering clean/renewable energy to customers willing to pay a premium price for it. Customers could either stay with the existing energy source and pay less or pay a little more for energy from ‘clean/renewable’ sources.
    At the time there were few turbines in SA and solar was not in the ‘frame’ for individuals. Where was this company going to get its ‘clean/renewable’ power from? How were they going to ensure people were not paying a premium for energy from ‘unclean coal and gas’, were they going to install a separate power distribution network for those who signed up for this ‘clean/renewable’ energy?
    Of course they couldn’t promise a completely ‘clean/renewable’ power supply for those suckered into paying the premium because they were never going to install a completely separate distribution network, but what they were doing was conducting a ‘smoke and mirrors’ campaign to raise money to push the wind industry on, by making it appear people were behind it.
    All the while prices kept increasing for everyone, and still those poor misguided souls were not paying to use only ‘clean/renewable’ energy but have been and we all continuing to pay for a hybrid consisting of a very tiny weeny bit of so called ‘clean/renewable’ from the wind with the rest being the greatest percentage made up of energy which is more accessible and a reliable supply.
    I’m not sure if this rouse is still operating, but do wonder how many of those people who paid the premium price for something they were not getting were aware of what was happening. Was this power company collecting money under false pretences?
    This is yet another lie to go on the pile – soon we will be able to reach the stars on a ladder of lies from this industry.
    The cry from this ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ industry is just another rouse to try and get more money out of the Government (us), to support their money making scheming, the lies started at the inception of this industry and they continue unabated – until our money stops flowing into their coffers.

  2. Well done. Here in the UK we have the FIT (Feed In Tariff) which sounds like the Oz RET. Our UK Government talks with forked tongue about renewables and the massive subsidies that go to the often already rich ( like PM Cameron’s father in law who earns £1,000 per day from having turbines on his vast country estate) and to hedge funds who know a quick profit when they see it.
    Cameron’s promise to stop more on shore turbines if he wins the 2015 national election outright is another politician promise. He has many seats to lose in the rural areas which are the Tory core vote. But a Cameron promise is not one that is often fulfilled.


  1. […] Moran is alive to the scale and scope of the wind power fraud (see our posts here and here and here). But we think his calculator must have flat batteries in order to explain his observation in the […]

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