Wind Industry Built on the Graves of 6,000 Australian Manufacturing Workers


Early victims of the mandatory RET.

As the RET Review Panel sharpens their axes, Members of the Coalition are making it known that the mandatory Renewable Energy Target simply has to go. Here’s what appeared on the front page of The Australian today.

‘Jobs risk’ in clean energy targets
The Australian
Adam Creighton
16 June 2014

THOUSANDS of jobs across Australia are at risk as Labor’s rising renewable energy target undermines economic growth and saps exports, fuelling Coalition backbench discontent with a policy Environment Minister Greg Hunt is widely seen to favour.

The RET, which has prompted electricity retailers to source a rising share of energy from high-cost wind farms, is forecast to lead to the loss of 4900 full-time jobs by 2020, and more than 6000 by 2030 as higher power prices ripple through the economy, undermining competitiveness and household budgets.

Only weeks before the government’s review of the RET is due to report on the policy’s efficiency and effectiveness, new modelling by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia, shows keeping the RET entails a $34 billion hit to Australia’s economy, including a near $3bn cut in exports by 2020.

“The current scheme is likely to impose a considerable cost to the Australian economy going forward,” the report concludes, noting the RET is abating carbon at an effective cost to the economy of $125 a tonne — or about five times more than the current carbon tax, which the Coalition plans to repeal from July.

“While the RET is in place, investment is directed to less efficient and higher cost renewable technologies — at the expense of more efficient and lower cost generators,” it adds.

It points out that the share of total electricity generation stemming from renewable sources is on track to rise to 27 per cent by 2020, which is far above the 20 per cent RET originally intended.

The study will galvanise the growing number of Coalition backbench MPs who want Mr Hunt, who is seen to be in favour of the status quo, to make significant changes to the RET after the review chaired by businessman Dick Warburton reports next month.

Introduced by the Howard government in 2001, Labor expanded the RET — which now makes up about 5 per cent or $70 a year in the typical household’s electricity bill — almost five-fold in 2010 in order to boost the amount of renewable energy that must be sourced to 41 terawatt hours by 2020.


Dean Smith: a West Australian who gets it.

Senator Dean Smith, chairman of the Coalition backbench energy committee, said the “great majority” of Liberals were in favour of significant change.

Craig Laundy

Craig Laundy: itching to scrap the RET.

Craig Laundy, Liberal member for Reid in Sydney’s west, said “the Liberal backbench is acutely aware of the impact of rising power bills as a result of the RET”.

“While we have to empathise with investors in the renewable sector, the impact on day to day power bills for ordinary families is not acceptable,” Mr Laundy said.

A spokesman for Mr Hunt, who has commissioned a study into the policy in keeping with promises made in opposition, said the minister was reserving his judgment until he read the RET review panel report.

With a large manufacturing base and an electricity grid powered mainly by brown coal, Victoria stands to lose 1400 jobs by 2020 (more than any other state) compared with 250 in South Australia, where up to a quarter of energy is supplied by wind, according to the study.

“Fixing the RET is just another step towards ending the age of entitlement — wind industry entitlement,” said Angus Taylor, a NSW regional Liberal member.

The Deloitte analysis anticipates an extra $10.3bn in investment in renewable energy if policies remain unchanged and electricity prices to remain well above where they would otherwise be until 2030. “The upward pressure on retail prices flows on to affect the rest of the economy, raising the cost of many day-to-day functions that depend on electricity,” the study said.

Burchell Wilson

Burchell Wilson: “wind industry built on
the graves of manufacturing workers”.

Burchell Wilson, chief economist at ACCI, said: “The renewables industry has been standing over the graves of Australian manufacturing concerns, crowing about the jobs the RET is creating in the wind industry.”

Matthew Warren, chief executive of the Energy Supply Association, which represents “clean” and “dirty” energy suppliers said: “The RET was designed to take up most new investment in a growing energy market, but instead the market has been shrinking aggressively, forcing renewable energy into an oversupplied market.”
The Australian

Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor is going harder than ever in his sworn quest to tear the wind industry apart piece by stinking piece. STT hears that Angus has been exhorting his colleagues to “man-up” and scrap the legislation in its entirety.

Faced with a few back-sliders, Angus is backing himself with Parliamentary advice that the recent wind industry tosh about scrapping the RET creating “sovereign risk” is just that (see our post here). And, ditto, concerning wind industry threats about being entitled to compensation from the Commonwealth for “losses” they will suffer when the RET is wound back or scrapped (see our post here).

Angus’s effort is being met with the approval of his colleagues, the vast majority of whom are now keener than ever to put the RET to the sword.

Expect to hear more from the Coalition and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the week rolls on and the Deloitte Access Economics report is published.

STT thinks it’s the beginning of the end.

Angus Taylor

Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor on a mission to
end the greatest fraud of all time.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Melissa says:

    STT could this one be included in the “STT’s Smörgåsbord: A Selection from the Archive”, if it isn’t already and under a sub title, Jobs. The Chief Economist at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commented above with the truth of the real impact of wind turbines on jobs in manufacturing.

    The real impact of turbines and wind energy production plants on jobs, is not in fact, more jobs created, the wind industry in truth, to paraphrase; actually dances on manufacturing graves resulting from the hedonism of RET subsidies, without which none of these energy plants would surely be commissioned.

    talk about….shooting oneself in the foot!


  1. […] One Australian study has forecast that the current mandatory RET will kill over 6,000 jobs (see our post here). […]

  2. […] more industrial outfits close their doors, killing off real jobs in the thousands (see our posts here and […]

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