Joe Hockey keen to scrap Infigen’s “utterly offensive” Lake George Wind Farm

joe hockey 2

Treasurer, Joe Hockey tries to measure the wind industry’s wild claims about reducing CO2 emissions in the electricity generation sector.

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In our last post we covered the Alan Jone’s interview with Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey that’s sent the wind industry and its parasites into a tailspin.

Apart from the fact that Joe detests the very sight of these things, the Treasurer made it abundantly clear that when the Coalition talks about ending the “age of entitlement” it includes the fat pile of subsidies in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates being gouged from unwilling (or, rather, unknowing) Australian power consumers – and set to be delivered to wind power generators for another 17 years.

The mandatory RET/REC scheme started operation in 2001. RECs are issued to wind power generators from the moment a turbine starts delivering power to the grid – and will (under the current legislation) continue to be issued until 2031. So, there are giant fans that went up in 2001 that have the potential to collect RECs every year for 30 years – 1 for every MW delivered to the grid: 30 years is clearly “ages” of “entitlement”.

STT is hard pressed to think of any “infant” industry subsidy (and that’s what it was pitched as) that’s paid at precisely the same rate for more than a generation. That’s probably why we call the mandatory RET the most ludicrous energy policy ever devised. It is inherently unsustainable – and any policy that’s unsustainable is doomed to fail.

Anyway, back to the reaction to Joe’s comments. The Fairfax press have gone ballistic – resorting to the standard tactic of calling Joe a “climate change denier”. Once upon a time, it used to be called “global warming” but the inconvenient fact that the World’s thermometers haven’t budged for 17 years has seen that label drop off the radar.

Although, the grand prize for abusing the English language has to go to shadow Climate Change Minister, Labor’s Mark Butler – who, in the Weekend Australian was quoted as saying that Joe Hockey: “had joined the ranks of the Coalition’s caucus of climate deniers”.

Now, clearly, that’s a far more serious charge than simply questioning the true cause(s) of “climate change” – whatever that is. However, we’re pretty sure that Joe Hockey – and all other members of the Coalition will grudgingly concede that there is such a thing as the “climate”.

The continued efforts of Labor and the hard-green-left to paint giant fans as the only “solution” to “global warming” or “climate change” (call it what you will) are, of course, infantile nonsense.

We’ll return to this theme in a moment. But, first, here is an uncharacteristically objective piece from the ABC covering Joe Hockey’s full frontal assault on the wind industry.

Joe Hockey says wind turbines ‘utterly offensive’, flags budget cuts to clean energy schemes
ABC Online
Latika Bourke
2 May 2014

Government sources have moved to reassure the energy sector that they have no plans to close down the Clean Energy Regulator, despite Treasurer Joe Hockey saying it is in the Government’s sights.

Mr Hockey made the comment while launching an attack on wind farms, saying he finds the giant turbines “utterly offensive” but is powerless to close down those operating outside Canberra.

Speaking to Macquarie Radio, Mr Hockey was being asked about whether the Government would target clean energy programs in its quest for massive spending cuts.

“Well, they say get rid of the clean energy regulator, and we are,” he said.

He then mounted an attack on wind farms, specifically the wind turbines operating outside the national capital.

“If I can be a little indulgent please, I drive to Canberra to go to Parliament, I drive myself and I must say I find those wind turbines around Lake George to be utterly offensive,” he said.

“I think they’re just a blight on the landscape.”

Infigen Energy, which owns the turbines, says the farm is capable of producing 189 megawatts of wind power, which is used to supply Sydney’s desalination plant.

It falls in the electorate of Hume, which is represented by the Liberal MP Angus Taylor.

He has told the ABC he does not support wind farms either but for different reasons.

“The economics don’t work. Right now wind requires massive subsidies over and above other means of reducing carbon emissions,” he told the ABC.

“This is not about their appearance; this about their cost and we all pay.”

Asked if he would cut Government subsidies to wind farms, in line with the Government’s stance on corporate welfare, Mr Hockey said he could not stop the Bungendore wind turbines from spinning.

“We can’t knock those ones off because they’re into locked-in schemes and there is a certain contractual obligation I’m told associated with those things,” he said.

But Mr Hockey hinted new climate and green energy schemes could be on the chopping block come budget night.

“You will see in the budget that we have addressed the massive duplication that you have just talked about and the vast number of agencies that are involved doing the same thing,” he said.

“We are addressing that in the budget, [and] we are considering that very carefully.”

But a Government source has told the ABC that the Clean Energy Regulator [CER] will not be one of them.

The CER will oversee and enforce the Coalition’s Direct Action policy.

The Government is abolishing other climate change programs and schemes, including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Climate Commission.
ABC Online

Nice work there from Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor – precisely what you’d expect from a Rhodes Scholar with a love of hard numbers and a hatred of “corporate welfare” that matches his hatred of giant fans.

But we can’t let this comment from our favourite whipping boys, Infigen go unnoticed:

Infigen Energy, which owns the turbines, says the farm is capable of producing 189 megawatts of wind power, which is used to supply Sydney’s desalination plant.

The wind farms which Joe Hockey finds so “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape” – and being referred to by Infigen in the extract above – are “Capital” and “Woodlawn” on the shores of Lake George, north of Canberra. So let’s have a quick look at their last Report Card to see what they’re really “capable of”.

REPORT CARD: CAPITAL & WOODLAWN

Dear Mr and Mrs Infigen,

Please find below our assessment of your children’s performance for Term 1. As Capital and Woodlawn have worked jointly, we have assessed their performance jointly.

ASSESSMENT – GRADE:

We have included several pieces of their recently submitted assessable work. This work was drawn from work set over the last month to date: April/May 2014; as submitted to the AEMO and collated ready for assessment by http://windfarmperformance.info/.

Capital’s performance is shown by the red line; Woodlawn’s performance is shown by the purple line; and their combined performance is shown by the grey line. If you have any trouble reading their work, click on the graph – it will pop up in a new window, use your magnifier to enlarge it and all will become clear.

Capital 8.4.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENT: When power was needed most in the middle of the day, Capital and Woodlawn showed no interest in their set task, instead annoying grid managers with a couple of spurts of less than 20 MW of their combined capacity of 188 MW.

Captital 9.4.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENT: Again, Capital and Woodlawn appear to have no interest in applying themselves. A momentary spurt of 30 MW – which is no more than 16% of what they claim to be capable of – is totally unsatisfactory. And by choosing to work late at night or in the early hours of the morning, yet again, they are simply disrupting others trying to enjoy their homes and sleep.

Capital 16.4.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENT: A marginally better effort, but at 1am, as they know, there is no demand for their output and all they are doing is sending the dispatch price towards zero and engaging in “predatory pricing” – punishing the diligent students (coal, gas and hydro) who are always prepared to work around the clock.

Capital 17.4.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENT: As per above. Two brief and tiny spurts of 8 MW is simply nuisance value for grid managers, forced by the RET to take those insignificant efforts ahead of base-load power; they have been repeatedly warned about destabilizing the grid by this kind of behaviour.

Captial 19.4.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENTS: Sporadic efforts like this make a mockery of the claims made by Capital and Woodlawn to be serious substitutes for coal, gas and hydro power. They have been asked to provide a report explaining where the power came from on this occasion – and the hundreds of other occasions – when they failed to apply themselves: they are yet to provide any sensible explanation.

Captital 1.5.14

GRADE: Fail.

COMMENT: Capital and Woodlawn continue to frustrate with their poor attitude to carrying out set tasks. Two fleeting spurts of less than 8 MW is totally unsatisfactory. They have been spoken to many times about their failure to perform even the simplest tasks required of them. This pitiful effort takes to 6 the number of times in less than 24 days when Capital and Woodlawn have completely failed in their set tasks.

ATTITUDE & BEHAVIOUR:

Capital and Woodlawn are on their final warning concerning their poor attitude and unsettling behaviours. They have been repeatedly warned about telling lies, half-truths and spreading misinformation about their performance; and their relationships with other students leaves much to be desired.

Despite repeated warnings, Woodlawn keeps claiming that it “powers” 32,000 homes and saves over 138,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year (here is a note seized in class). It is evident from Woodlawn’s continued and repeated failure to perform (as summarised above) that these wild claims are nothing but complete fiction.

As Woodlawn well knows, its persistent failure to deliver any meaningful power to those homes – hundreds of times each year – has threatened to leave their owners freezing (or boiling) in the dark.

Woodlawn is also well aware that while it was slacking off, the power it failed to deliver was all made up by “spinning reserve” from base-load coal-plant, gas-steam or CCGTs and highly inefficient Open Cycle Gas Turbines – which spew out 3-4 times the CO2 per unit of power generated, compared to a modern coal-fired plant. These simple and unassailable facts mean that its claims about reducing CO2 emissions are patent nonsense. We sent these notes home last month about spinning reserve and OCGTs.

Capital has performed no better.

Capital continues to claim that it “powers” the Sydney Desalination Plant (this was found scrawled on the blackboard).

As Capital well knows it fails to “power” so much as a kettle for hours and days on end, hundreds of times each year – the abysmal examples above make that plain.

And, despite repeated warnings about lying, Capital is acutely aware that its claims about “powering” the Sydney Desalination Plant are doubly wrong.

First, because any power Capital has bothered to produce is dispatched into the same Eastern Grid – along with power from every other generation plant connected to that grid: an electron produced by a coal-fired plant and Capital is indistinguishable. Any power generated by Capital is simply lost in the system and, therefore, its claim to be the exclusive provider of “power” to the Sydney Desalination Plant is simply nonsense.

And second, because the Sydney Desalination Plant has not produced a single drop of desalinated water since July 2012 it, therefore, has had no need for Capital’s power for almost 2 years (another helpful student sent us this report on the mothballed Desal plant – see the section headed “Operation”).

All of which raises the question of what Capital is “powering” when it finds itself bothered to apply itself to its assigned task?

Capital and Woodlawn have also demonstrated a range of unsettling and anti-social behaviours. They continue to falsely claim that the noise they generate is no louder than listening to a refrigerator 500m away (for an example of what they really sound like – when they’re working – click here).

Because of their erratic work habits – generating most of their power at night-time when there is simply no demand for it – they continue to disturb and annoy other students trying to sleep and enjoy their homes. This behaviour, in particular, demonstrates a lack of empathy and emotional intelligence (for just one example of the impact Capital and Woodlawn’s thoughtless behaviour is having on others – click here).

In an effort to correct their behaviour in this regard, we recommend that both Capital and Woodlawn attend the counselling sessions that the school has previously offered to them.

Capital and Woodlawn have also been repeatedly warned about stealing people’s lunch money. Their excuse that it is not really “money” because they’re only taking Renewable Energy Certificates is unsatisfactory.

Whenever challenged, they continue to lie about the cost of the power they do (on rare occasions) manage to produce by pointing to the dispatch price – which is totally irrelevant to power consumers, who – thanks to under-performers like Capital and Woodlawn – now pay among the highest retail power prices in the world (see page 11).

And they refuse to mention at all the rates paid under their Power Purchase Agreements with retailers – which are 3-4 times higher than the diligent and consistent students, coal, gas and hydro. Capital and Woodlawn also ignore the cost of coal/gas thermal generators maintaining spinning reserve (wasting mountains of coal and gas every year) and the cost of running insanely expensive OCGTs – both needed to keep the power flowing to customers when Capital and Woodlawn continually fail to deliver – costs which are all ultimately added to power consumers’ bills, crippling energy intensive businesses and harming poor and vulnerable families.

Capital and Woodlawn continue to disappoint with their erratic performance; their continued lies, half-truths and misinformation about their performance; and the callous way that they treat their neighbours trying to sleep at night time. We find their repeated promises to perform better next time hollow and tiresome.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT:

FAIL.

LAKE GEORGE HIGH SCHOOL

Principal: A. Power-Consumer

May 2014.

report-card

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Stand against wind says:

    Fantastic summary, STT. Joe Hockey has become our new favorite politician up here in qld – especially if he manages to stop the folly of the proposed Mount Emerald Wind Farm on our beautiful Atherton Tablelands. The developers have lodged their final reports with the government and are racing to get approval before the executioner’s axe swings down on the RET. Stop These Things, Joe Hockey!

  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Let’s hope these under-performing ‘students’ are not graduated but EXPELLED as they are such poor performers and are bringing down the reputation of the institution.

    Thank you STT for an amusing way to explain such a monstrously unjust situation.

    There are ways of stopping these underperforming nightmares, but it will take guts for any Government to hold them to their contractual agreements and withdraw funds until they consistently meet those reported, promoted and approved arrangements.

    It would also take the same commitment by a Government to seek reimbursement of misdirected funds.

    It will also be courageous to call them to account and be told to shut down all turbines where people are reporting ‘nuisance/annoyance’, until they can bring their instruments of torture under control to a point they don’t create unnecessary damage to adjoining properties and their inhabitants as well as the environment.

  3. Concerned parent says:

    The behaviour of these kids is criminal. The sooner they are expelled from school the better!

  4. Ivan Chan says:

    “We can’t knock those ones off because they’re into locked-in schemes and there is a certain contractual obligation I’m told associated with those things,” he said.

    “But a Government source has told the ABC that the Clean Energy Regulator [CER] will not be one of them.

    The CER will oversee and enforce the Coalition’s Direct Action policy.”
    *********************************************************************
    Could this be proof that we have puppet leaders in Government? They are told to say what is acceptable to their ‘masters’. The CER is a pro-wind lobby group. What hope lies there?

    A responsible forthright honest government would put an immediate end to all IWT developments in all of Australia and start to take down every single one in operation. And start the trials for every person involved in this disgraceful IWT network.

  5. STT, once again and as one of your most ardent admirers describes you in such glowing terms, that abusive, insulting and childish anti-wind power Net site Stop These Things, you have excelled yourself.

    You have shown that the wind industry is a complete folly and I think ‘F’ is way too high a score. South Australia’s power prices are about to rise yet again, and there has been a negligible reduction in Co2 anywhere in the world where wind turbines are, which was the excuse for having them in the first place.

    Let’s just hope Joe pulls the financial plug completely, on this idiocy.

    Oh, by the way, I could think of a few other letters to score your most ardent admirer with.

    CW.

  6. Excellent article STT…….obviously a school teacher in your past life!! It’s shameful the way that these 2 ‘students’ continue to have their behaviour encouraged through the money they receive. Anyone with common sense knows that if you switch off that which encourages bad behaviour, there’s a chance that things will improve!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] to an end, which includes the stream of subsidies directed at wind power outfits (see our posts here and […]

  2. […] and fails in its principal claim of reducing CO2 emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and […]

  3. […] Lies, treachery and deceit – is all in a day’s work for wind farm developers. But it’s almost sad how – in their effort to garner “support” – they’ve been reduced to the usual line about “powering 150,000 homes”. We’ve dealt with that whopper more than once (see our posts here and here). […]

  4. […] Joe Hockey keen to scrap Infigen’s “utterly offensive” Lake George Wind Farm […]

  5. […] the Snowy Hydro Scheme, is that the former are lucky to deliver any power at all, on any given day (see our post here); whereas, the latter delivers truly clean, cheap, reliable power – at any time, of any day […]

  6. […] Variants of this myth pop up as: “the Woodlawn [insert name] wind farm will “power” 32,000 homes [or simply insert any made-up figure you like]” (see our post here). […]

  7. […] The Treasurer, Joe Hockey sent the wind industry and its parasites into a tailspin after his recent interview with Alan Jones – when he branded wind turbines “a blight on the landscape” and “utterly offensive”. However, it’s what he went on to say about the “age of entitlement” that has wind power investors quaking in their boots (see our posts here and here). […]

  8. […] The Treasurer, Joe Hockey entered the fray last week – during an interview with Alan Jones – when he branded wind turbines “a blight on the landscape” and “utterly offensive”. However, it’s what he went on to say about the “age of entitlement” that should have wind power investors quaking in their boots (see our posts here and here). […]

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