Greg Hunt (“Dumb”) & Ian Macfarlane (“Dumber”) Out to Send ALL Australians Into Power Price Penury

dumb 3

So, Ian tell me again how ensuring our mates at Infigen & Co get to collect $50 billion from power consumers, under the LRET, lowers power prices??

Ian “Macca” Macfarlane and his youthful ward, Greg Hunt are the flies in the Coalition’s political ointment, when it comes to engineering anything like a sensible policy on energy. Both Macfarlane’s and Hunt’s offices are filled with wind industry plants and stooges, like Vesta’s Ken McAlpine’s best mate, Patrick Gibbons; and both Macca and Hunt are working flat-out at the minute trying to salvage the wreckage of the (completely unsustainable) Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

Macca’s been off trying to cut a deal with Labor in an effort to help his mates over at the near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown) stay afloat.

Meanwhile, Macca’s side-kick, Greg Hunt has been trying woo the cross-bench Senators, as part of the same last-ditch, salvage and rescue mission – last week jetting down to Hobart to try and convince newly independent Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie about the “wonders” of wind power.

Greg Hunt and Jacqui Lambie to meet as RET talks ramp up
The Australian
Rosie Lewis
11 December 2014

ENVIRONMENT Minister Greg Hunt will meet rogue senator Jacqui Lambie in Hobart today as he begins courting the crossbench over the renewable energy target.

Mr Hunt is ramping up talks with the crossbench senators while Labor refuses to re-engage in negotiations. The opposition acknowledges the scheme needs bipartisan support, but has said it will not negotiate unless the government shifts on its “cut of 40 per cent to the RET”.

Senator Lambie, who will drive from Burnie to Hobart to meet Mr Hunt, said she was “encouraged” by a letter from the minister yesterday.

In the letter, obtained by The Australian, Mr Hunt says he appreciates “the pressures faced by businesses around the country, including in Tasmania” and looks “forward to constructive discussions with the opposition”.

A spokeswoman for Mr Hunt said he was travelling to Tasmania “for a range of meetings relating to his portfolio”. The government was “hopeful” Labor would return to the table and was “willing to hear the suggestions and proposals from the crossbench and will negotiate with the crossbench should Labor refuse to re-engage”.

Senator Lambie urged the government and opposition to restart RET talks, saying renewable energy providers “deserve some certainty”.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm, meanwhile, said he was “confident” at least six of the crossbench senators supported his controversial plan to bring existing hydro into the target. Senator Leyonhjelm, who met with Mr Hunt last week, said the minister was also “interested”. The Australian could only confirm Family First senator Bob Day and independent senator John Madigan as supportive.
The Australian

STT hears that Jacqui – who loves hydro power – detests wind farms – so we would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, as Hunt and Gibbons ran their pitch about the pressing “need” to help their mates at Vestas carpet Australia in its subsidy chewing, fire-breathing monsters.

Meanwhile, it’s the ordinary power punter that will end up footing the MASSIVE bill, if Macfarlane and Hunt succeed in their team effort to keep the LRET – and their mates’ investments – alive.

Subsidy costs to soar for big wind and solar projects
The Australian
Annabel Hepworth
12 December 2014

THE costs of the scheme for subsidising large-scale renewable projects such as wind and solar farms are set to rise about 21 per cent a year, a new report by the nation’s energy tsar finds.

But the review by the Australian Energy Market Commission finds that, overall, power bills are mostly flat or falling over the next two years — particularly after the axing of the carbon price and as costs of the poles and wires ease.

The costs of meeting the mandatory large-scale Renewable Energy Target will rise 21 per cent a year over the three years to 2016-17.

However, the costs of the small-scale scheme for technologies such as rooftop solar panels is falling by 10 per cent a year over this time.

All told, the costs of the RET will rise by an average 4.6 per cent a year, though the RET only makes up between 4 and 5 per cent of the average household bill.

The report is likely to add to calls for Labor to go back to the table for talks on the RET.

The costs of state-based solar feed-in tariff schemes — which pay households to feed power back into the grid — are also adding to prices.

Nevertheless, the costs of the poles and wires — which had been a major driver of price hikes — are moderating because of new rules aimed at ensuring people don’t pay more than is necessary to maintain and upgrade the network.

The report also suggests the RET has contributed to Australia’s glut of electricity generation, which has kept wholesale prices down.

“This effect is unlikely to be sustained, as depressed wholesale prices will continue to force unprofitable generators to exit the market and the reduction in supply will eventually put upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. As this occurs, the costs of the RET will become more apparent through consumers’ retail bills.”

Groups such as the Clean Energy Council have argued that the extra energy from renewables has pushed down wholesale prices.
The Australian

Annabel Hepworth – who appears to have fallen for wind industry spin-kings, the Clean Energy Council’s perpetual (and pointlessly nauseating) line about wind power lowering wholesale powers – might ask herself (or anyone else still connected to the grid) when was the last time she (or they) were ever sent a bill for the wholesale price of the electricity consumed?

The CEC mantra that – under the LRET – “wind power has pushed down the wholesale price of electricity”  – leading to reductions in retail prices – is a complete red herring, straight from chapter 1 of the wind industry’s play book.

Maybe Annabel Hepworth’s power supply arrangements are different from the rest of us? But, in the main, households and businesses couldn’t care less what the wholesale price of electricity is; they get served with power bills from retail providers which, funnily enough, set out to recover the retail price.

And there is absolutely no argument that Australian retail power prices have gone through the roof in the last 5 years.

CPI and electricityRetail prices are being driven North by the mandatory LRET and wind power in a number of ways (which we’ve covered numerous times – see our post here) – none of which you’ll ever hear a peep about from the wind industry, or its parasites and spruikers, like the CEC.

Top of the (wind industry’s well-hidden) list is the price fixed under Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) struck between wind power generators and retailers. That price guarantees a return to the generator of between $90 to $120 per MWh for every MW delivered to the grid. In a recent company report, AGL (in its capacity as a wind power retailer) complains about the fact that it is bound to pay $112 per MWh under PPAs with wind power generators: these PPAs run for at least 15 years and many run for 25 years.

Wind power generators can and do (happily) dispatch power to the grid at prices approaching zero – when the wind is blowing and wind power output is high; at night-time, when demand is low, wind power generators will even pay the grid manager to take their power (ie the dispatch price becomes negative)(see our post here). However, the retailer still pays the wind power generator the same guaranteed price under their PPA – irrespective of the dispatch price: in AGL’s case, $112 per MWh.

PPA prices are 3-4 times the cost that retailers pay to conventional generators; retailers can purchase coal-fired power from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley for around $25 per MWh – and the dispatch price ranges from $30-$40, on average.

Underlying the PPA is the value of the RECs that are issued to power generators and handed to retailers as part of the deal.

The issue and transfer of RECs under the LRET sets up the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the Commonwealth. However, it’s not one that power consumers are going to thank their political betters for. That transfer – which comes at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable; struggling businesses; and cash-strapped families – is effected by the issue, sale and surrender of RECs. As Origin Energy chief executive Grant King correctly puts it:

“[T]he subsidy is the REC, and the REC certificate is acquitted at the retail level and is included in the retail price of electricity”.

It’s power consumers that get lumped with the “retail price of electricity” and, therefore, the cost of the REC Subsidy paid to wind power outfits. The REC Tax/Subsidy has already added $9 billion to Australian power bills, so far.

Between 2014 and 2031, the mandatory LRET requires power consumers to pay the cost of issuing 603.1 million RECs to wind power generators. With the REC price likely to be at least $65 (by 2017) – and tipped to exceed $90 – the wealth transfer from power consumers to the wind industry will be somewhere between $40 billion and $60 billion, over the next 17 years (see our posts here and here).

The wind industry and its parasites routinely trot out make believe figures on the “average” cost of the RET to households (and journos like Annabel Hepworth happily parrot them) – their rubbery figures rely on the historical impact of the RET – but it’s what to come – as the LRET target rockets to 41,000 GWh over the next 5 years – that really matters (see our post here).

But why just rely on the legislation and arithmetic to work out where Australian power prices are headed, thanks to the LRET and ludicrously expensive, intermittent and unreliable wind power?

In the TV cooking shows, in order to cut to the culinary punch, there’s that moment when the chef whips out a finished version of the dish (seconds after putting one just like it in the oven) turns to camera, and says: “here’s one we prepared earlier”.

So why not whip out Australia’s wind power capital, South Australia, as the pre-cooked example, to show the audience just what to expect when the whole country is covered in giant fans – and every other state has its economic goose cooked too?

SA power bills almost $400 higher than eastern states
The Advertiser
David Nankervis
25 November 2014

SA householders pay almost $400 a year more for their electricity bills than those in the eastern states for the same amount of power use.

SOUTH Australian householders pay almost $400 a year more for their annual electricity bills than their eastern states’ counterparts, a new report shows.

The Australian Energy Regulator’s annual report, released today, showed the average SA household bill grew by $53 to $2388 last financial year.

Almost 57,000 householders owed more than $30 million in unpaid energy bills, while 45,000 customers were forced onto instalment payments plans to reduce their debt.

Complaints against energy retailers soared 48 per cent last financial year.

Regulator board member Jim Cox said this state had “an above average number of customers on payment plans with a high level of debt.”

He said 10 per cent of energy customers has complained to their energy retailers, “mainly about billing or customer service”.

The annual report also found:

ABOUT 39,000 residential customers (5.2 per cent) had an electricity bill debt with their retailer, at an average $667;

24,000 (3.2 per cent) electricity customers were using payment plans with their retailer to repay debt;

8600 (1.2 per cent) received assistance under retailer hardship programs to repay their debt — a 32 per cent increase over the previous year;

17,000 residential gas customers (4.2 per cent) had a gas bill debt with their retailer, worth an average $287; and

9000 (2.3 per cent) gas customers were on payment plans. A further 2,800 (0.7 per cent) received assistance under hardship programs.

The Advertiser

The current all-stops efforts by Hunt and Macfarlane to protect the LRET and, therefore, their mates in the wind industry – if left unchecked – will only help to spread the misery and social chaos of South Australia’s wind powered economic disaster to the rest of the Country.

And that’s fair enough – why should those outside SA get to enjoy (relatively) “cheap power”; or even get to have power at all?

In SA, thanks to its ludicrous efforts to “rely” on wind power, thousands are simply no longer able to afford the highest power prices in the world: some 50,000 homes (from a population of around 1.6 million) do without power these days; with the numbers being chopped from the grid rising exponentially (see our post here).

Why shouldn’t every Australian get a crash course in how to light their homes with candles; on the effective use of Eskies (coolers) to keep their perishables; and on how to cook on wood stoves and keep warm using barbeques?

depression cooking on iron stove

Hunt & Macfarlane determined to help their wind
industry mates take us ALL back to the future.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Respect for Science says:

    I wouldn’t be against them (large wind turbines) if they actually worked. —James Lovelock, U.K.

    Time for Milne and the Windcheaters to take notice of the science, and of Green elder James Lovelock.

  2. Time for a Federal ICAC- the criminals who are Windscamming cut across party divides and should no longer be a protected species.

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Recently I saw a program which was looking at the underworld of Scotland, and it had a segment on a Hydro Power plant built into a mountain back in the 1950’s. There was a great explanation of how it works, how it can return the water used back up to the lake whence it came to be used again, and how it can be boosted up to cover for shortfalls in energy production by other forms in a matter of 2 minutes, which is far faster than any other source including coal and gas.
    Unfortunately in this country we are limited to where such Hydro can be utilised. In SA we have no-where to store water – if it falls regularly in enough quantity to be useful, whereas Tasmania does not have that problem so their Hydro is extremely useful not only for Tasmania but to supplement the mainlands energy needs. That it’s not included in the RET calculation is truly shocking and should be addressed asap.
    And investigations into the possibility of Hydro being created elsewhere to help supplement energy needs in places such as SA is needed, we have the scientists and no doubt the technical ability to achieve this all it needs is investment in the research.

  4. Martin Hayles, Curramulka says:

    What I am watching on Sky television tonight in relation to the atrocity that we have witnessed occur in Martin Place brings a feeling of hopelessness at a legal system that generally appears to back the man/person/ people who commit the atrocity through clever, articulate wrangling of the legal system.

    I believe that any thinking, half-knowledgeable person would agree.

    Speaking of the aforementioned, I found it indicative of the far-left politics of the Greens and their useful parasites, the Labor party, that green communist Lee Rhiannon was quoted as seeing the need to consider that the psychopath may need some Halal food because “It’s a stressful period for them too”

    It remains my thought that these people have no empathy for the people who are affected traumatically by Industrial Windmills, for nothing more than their hatred of our “Western democratic way of life” and a general self-hatred which they never have the courage or conviction to leave.

    The others, more deplorable, because we know they have no other agenda than to make an easy buck by whatever means are necessary.
    These include the likes of Terry Kallis and John McFarlane and the turbine hosts of the Ceres Project on my beloved Yorke Peninsula.

    They include parasites such as ultra-lightweight Ketan Joshi (Infigen) and Mike Barnard (IBM) who has just been shamed by his employer by publicly shutting down his blog.

    Then there is Miles (I am so ‘cool’ under pressure) George, man, I love your style.

    We have Alicia Webb, Russel Marsh and Kane Thornton. Your collective future CV’s will deliberately have no mention of your connections to this abortion of a fraud.

    Then their is the el supremo of the green’s useful idiots, Simon Chapman.

    Do you really believe that you will not be held to account in the future?

    If so, live happily in your delusion, as the Karma bus is on the way.

    Tim Flannery? You are definitely in serious trouble. Hard to point to a more pretentious clown in Australian history or public life. Australian of the year? Yeah, right.

    Anyhow, to the great people of STT, keep up the fight, we’ve got them on the ropes and they know it. To the mighty Queenslander, Bruce “the Great” Gooderham, keep at ’em; but remember we are winning and be sure to have a quiet one to see in the New Year.

    To all, my kind regards and get merry when you can.


  5. Terry Conn says:

    MacFarlane and Hunt have always been the Achilles heel in the coalition so far as wind power is concerned. If the RET stays in at current levels or lower it still doesn’t mean wind power should be included. The legislation lists renewable energy technologies that qualify for RECS. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide a definition of what is ‘renewable energy’. If the RET is to stay then we must convince Parliament to include a definition that, for example, requires empirical proof that it produces baseload power and reduces GHG emissions in the context of the national grid. The new Senate enquiry needs to include an outcome that deals with these issues as well as health and socio economic. The point being that even if MacFarlane and Hunt get their way there is still every reason that the fraud of wind power should be dealt with and it should be axed from any further part as an acceptable ‘renewable energy’ source regardless of any ‘target’. No doubt Jacqui Lambie gets this having grown up in an area where a ‘real ‘ renewable energy source is used (hydro) but is unfairly discriminated against because ‘greentards’ think damming water is ‘bad’.

    My co written submission to the RET enquiry lists in detail all those ‘reality’ based studies that demonstrate world wide the absolute nonsense that wind power will ever reduce consumers electricity costs. Any claims to the contrary are just pure fantasy – the proof is in the pudding and that’s the message. If a wind farm propagandist can just find one real life example of power prices falling where there are wind farms then let’s see it!

  6. Keith Staff says:

    Maybe we should all remind the new Senators and cross bench members of what retired MP Alby Schultz said in his address to Parliament in February 2013. He described the RET as “the biggest government-sponsored fraud in the history of our country”. Are you listening dumb and dumber!?

  7. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    So we can expect the price of power to go down now pressure to install/maintain poles and wires has eased – tell that to those living in SA. We are again having our power prices raised for just that – poles, wires and maintenance requirements.
    It’s been a regular cry in this state for many, many years. I just wonder when we will see our prices go down because the backlog of such needs has significantly reduced. Or is it not going to because more is needed to cater to the installation of massive wind energy projects that need to connect to the grid.
    Also, I am curious as to why they never mention that those homes/families with roof top solar put power into the grid and yes they take it out, but many take out less than they put in, with the excess being sold on to other customers, so why are they not recognised as energy producers instead of parasites?
    Yes the State Government gave a subsidy to have it installed, but that was to encourage people to install it to help spread the load of energy production and help meet the renewable target. Much like Wind energy companies but on a much tinier scale. Could they be considered parasites because the more roof top solar customers there are the fewer there are requiring energy produced by the large scale producers such as wind companies?
    Isn’t there a need for the community to do their bit and not just by forking out more and more to ensure the wind energy companies can suck us dry.

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