Wind Power Fraud Finally Exposed: Senator John Madigan Details LRET’s Astronomical 45 Billion Dollar Cost to Power Consumers

May You Live in Interesting Times

When the Chinese make the suggestion “may you live in interesting times” they don’t mean you well – it’s more of a veiled warning about the perils of what’s lurking over the horizon – and some even characterise it as a curse.

Well, it seems that the wind industry is living in VERY interesting times. Its parasites and spruikers are locked in a permanent state of apoplexy; and its few political patsies within the Coalition, like young Gregory Hunt are fighting a bitter rearguard action in an effort to appease their benefactors.

We don’t normally reference The Guardian – a fully endorsed member of the wind industry’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ – but we can’t help pulling this slab from one of Lenore Taylor’s woeful missives:

Greg Hunt continues to claim he has achieved “certainty for the renewable energy sector” with a revised renewable energy target while the prime minister admits the whole point of of the review (headed by self-professed climate sceptic Dick Warburton) was to reduce the number of “ugly … noisy” wind farms as far as the Senate would allow, and that he’d really like to cut them further.

As the well-funded, virulently anti-wind website “Stop These Things” boasted this week, possibly quite accurately, the prime minister’s words could actually achieve what he was unable to get through the Senate.

The site (its authors don’t name themselves and went to some lengths to register their domain name anonymously on Christmas Day 2012 through Arizona-based domainnamesbyproxyit) says that from its perspective, “the more attention the better. You see, the wind industry’s ability to roll out the 2,500 giant fans [it means turbines] needed to satisfy the latest [RET] … depends upon commercial lending institutions [i.e. banks].

“With all the sound, fury and bloodletting taking place in the media on a daily basis, no banker in touch with their earthly senses is going to lend so much as a penny to a wind power outfit to build any new wind farms from here on. The insurmountable obstacle to that event can be summed up in a single word: RISK.”

And if the prime minister’s public declaration that he’d really like to reduce “these things” even further wasn’t enough to kill the industry, a group of anti-wind senators are doing their best to impose enough red tape and regulation and RISK to finish off the job. As revealed in a letter leaked to Guardian Australia this week, Hunt has already agreed to establish a new “wind commissioner” and a new scientific committee to investigate, again, claims that turbines harm human health. With the vote on the RET not scheduled until Monday, the senators are using the weekend to try to win even more anti-wind concessions.

Now, at the risk of being accused of a little schadenfreude, there’s something particularly pleasing about seeing STT’s analysis being paraded by the hard-‘green’-left’s favourite mouthpiece – somehow it just seems to read better! The whole story appears here:

Australia’s PM – Tony Abbott – Out to STOP THESE THINGS

Although pleased with our part in her runaway paranoia, we have to pick Lenore on her language; she’s a journo, after all. The guff about STT (or any other repository of common sense, for that matter) being “anti-wind” is … well … just plain silly.

The wind: perfect for recreational pursuits.
Just don’t plan your fun day out too far ahead.


STT loves a summer breeze just as much as the next family sweating on the beach – we’re partial to a ‘winter-stormy’ when jumping into the surf for a little ‘board action’ – and we’re pretty fond of the howl of wind, mixed with heavy rain drumming on an iron roof in June.

No, it’s the nonsense that is wind power that’s the target for STT – for obvious reasons:

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 1 – the South Australian Wind Farm Fiasco

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 2 – The Whole Eastern Grid Debacle

South Australia – Australia’s ‘Wind Power Capital’ – Pays the Highest Power Prices in the World and Wonders Why it’s an Economic Basket Case

While the loony left keep jumping up and down about whether or not there are adverse health effects caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound, the real political issue is an economic one.

In efforts to appease his masters, young Greg Hunt has taken to talking about the “beauty” of these things, but, for some strange reason, he’s yet to spell out in any terms (let alone in clear and simple ones) the price of that “beauty”.

Although he has piped up with the fact that the LRET contains an effective “massive $93 per tonne carbon tax”:

Out to Save their Wind Industry Mates, Macfarlane & Hunt Lock-in $46 billion LRET Retail Power Tax

Got that “warm, fuzzy feeling”, Greg?
Now tell power punters what it’s going to cost them.


Well, in an effort to assist Greg understand just how much Australian power consumers will have to pay be to provide him – and his fellow travellers from the lunatic-left – with that warm inner glow of seeing the country carpeted in a further 2,500 bat-chomping, bird slicing, blade-chucking, pyrotechnic, sonic-torture devices – Victorian Senator – and STT Champion, John Madigan stumped up with this cracking speech in the Senate last Wednesday.

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015
Senate Hansard
Second Reading
Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Senator MADIGAN (Victoria) (12:16): Today I am going to lift the lid on the economics of the RET scheme, while speaking on the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015. I am going to give you the inside story on the money trail of the wind industry. This is the story that neither side in this place, nor the Greens with their wind industry fundamentalism, want you to hear.

The subsidy for renewable electricity, legislated in the REE Act 2000, is paid for by electricity consumers in their power bill. There is government modelling that discusses the effect of renewable energy on the wholesale price of electricity.

The industry claims that the RET scheme reduces the wholesale price of electricity, which it does as it creates an oversupply of the market. The modelling is based on this effect. This effect is irrelevant, as the subsidy is paid by the consumer in the retail price of electricity. This price is agreed by the generator and the retailer in their power purchase agreement, PPA.

The industry claims that PPAs are commercial-in-confidence and so the myth of renewable energy lowering electricity prices is allowed to continue. In reality, the PPAs are setting the retail price of electricity generated by wind turbines at three times the price of fossil-fuel generators.

In one example of a PPA, the electricity retailer was buying wind energy at $32 above the wholesale market price, resulting in a payment of $40 million per year more than it would otherwise have to pay for electricity.

This amount is added onto consumers’ bills, with a further retailer’s margin typically between seven and 10 per cent. This increase in the retail price of electricity could be as high as 200 to 300 per cent. According to then Senator Boswell, during a Senate estimate hearing of 27 May 2010, Grant King, of Origin Energy, a very big player in this sector, said:

Aspects of RECs, such as the need to build thousands of megawatts of gas power to back up wind at a cost of billions, and expenditure on connecting wind farms to the grid will be a major factor in power price increases over the next decade.

He then said:

It could be two to three hundred per cent.

When you study the states of Australia that have had dramatic increases in their household power bills in recent years you will find a direct correlation to the number of wind turbines that have been connected to the grid in those states. You will find the same correlation in European countries.

No-one in this great house will talk about the economic effect of this amending legislation. I am one of the few senators who are in a position to do so. The coalition government find themselves in a conundrum.

They have buckled under pressure from the wind industry to negotiate a deal with the ALP on the reduction of the target. Some say that this reduction will see up to 2½ thousand new wind turbines, built across prime agricultural land in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia. That is more than twice the number of turbines that we already have operating.

This amending legislation is designed to give the financial sector some investment certainty, which the industry has been so desperate to provide. But at what risk? The financial risk is very significant.

While some debt financiers will be sensible enough to recognise the regulatory risk involved in going forward with technology, the safety of which has been questioned in a pilot study commissioned by Pacific Hydro, I fear our Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not be one of them. The CEFC was designed by the Labor government to increase investment in renewable technologies, to the tune of $10 billion.

The coalition government therefore finds itself in an unsustainable position where it is supporting the continuation of an outdated scheme that will inevitably collapse. In 2000 the Howard government, unquestioningly, introduced the REE Act, which was concocted by some of the greatest financial magicians in our history. This financial rort was then supported throughout the Gillard government years and was strengthened by the establishment of the CEFC, ARENA and billion-dollar-deals with Chinese wind turbine manufacturers.

The amendment will now follow one of two paths: option 1 is that it will not be supported by my Senate colleagues, in which case the target will stay at 41,000 gigawatt hours, which will activate the $65 shortfall penalty charge in 2017. This, coupled with the REC price, will leave consumers with an effective $93 carbon tax, paid for by consumers in their household electricity bills.

The electorate of Australia have already voted down a $28 carbon tax, so the threat is clear: the coalition government may lose the next election based on this amendment under the directive of the Minister for the Environment.

Or option 2: the amendment will be supported by the majority of senators and will pass, thereby setting a new target of 33,000 gigawatt hours—a level which will see the construction of up to 2½ thousand new wind turbines, which will create such havoc in our electorates and rural environments that there will be widespread community outrage.

To satisfy a new 33,000 gigawatt-hour target, 495 million RECs will have to be surrendered by electricity retailers. This will lead to a shortfall of 240 million RECs, as only 16,000 gigawatt-hours will be available annually, and only 256 million RECs will be available to satisfy the LRET’s remaining 495 million megawatt-hour target, set under this politically deceitful amendment.

When the shortfall charge is triggered and the REC price goes up to $93, the total cost is added to power consumers’ bills and will top $46 billion.

A wind turbine operates, on average, only 27 per cent of the time—when the wind blows. There are 8,760 hours in a calendar year. Therefore, at 27 per cent, a three-megawatt turbine will generate $659,985 in subsidies per year. If you use the industries’ claimed 35 per cent capacity factor, each turbine will generate $855,414 each year. That subsidy is paid annually until 2031. Each three-megawatt turbine can generate a total of $13.5 million over the remaining life of the LRET scheme.

The RET subsidy, including small-scale solar, has already added $9 billion to Australian power bills. At the end of the day, retailers will have to recover the total cost of the RECs issued, and the shortfall charge, from Australian power consumers.

No matter if this amendment is supported or not, each and every Australian household will pay a $93 carbon-tax-equivalent in their power bills, increasing bills by up to possibly 300 per cent. It is, without question, obvious that the imposition of what is a $45 billion retail electricity subsidy is going to have an adverse economic consequence for industry, small business and households alike.

In my home state 34,000 homes were disconnected from the electricity grid because they could no longer afford to pay their power bills. The imposition of the coalition’s electricity tax will naturally lead to tens of thousands more families attempting to live without power.

The situation is mirrored in other states. Electricity has gone from being a basic necessity to a luxury good for many hard-pressed Australian families.

While certain members of the coalition government claim that the RET scheme is family and business friendly, perpetuating the wind industry line that it carries with it no significant cost to power consumers, the efforts to exempt energy-intensive trade-exposed industries reveals that argument to be a lie. This is deceitful.

If there is no cost to power consumers from the RET scheme, then why the need to exempt energy-intensive industries such as aluminium smelters? It is simply policy hypocrisy.

At some point this parliament will act to properly control the operation of wind farms by placing conditions on access to subsidies. The potential for that kind of regulation is a detrimental point of risk for bankers and investors.
Hansard, 17 June 2015

John Madigan
John Madigan: attacks the insane cost of the LRET. With 34,000 of his fellow Victorians living without power, he says “enough is enough”.

20 thoughts on “Wind Power Fraud Finally Exposed: Senator John Madigan Details LRET’s Astronomical 45 Billion Dollar Cost to Power Consumers

  1. Is no-one in the Department of Environment prepared to come onto this blog site and counter Senator Madigan’s speech? If not Silence is Consent and RET-based legislation ought be rescinded

  2. Thank you SEN Madigan. Thank you kind Sir for all of your efforts. Others would do well to watch and learn.

    A healthier planet should mean healthier people too. One should not be sought at the expense of the other. This is exactly what is happening in the case of the wind industry.

    Enough is enough!

  3. The Wind Scam can no longer hide.

    What is truly astounding is that Greens, like the underwhelming Riccy di Nasty, are trying to smear people who are raising valid questions about the signficant and serious adverse health and economic impacts. His smear includes international Greens and GAIA founder James Lovelock, who has declared he would support wind turbines ” if they worked” !

    But di Nasty trying to cover up the truth is no surprise given the brown paper bags of money the Greens have received ‘under the table’ from Big Wind.

  4. Congratulations STT, you have hit the ‘big time’!

    The Senators on the Senate Inquiry into Wind Turbines, bar one, should be congratulated on what they have done for those of us fighting the wind industry.

    Everyone should email them with words of encouragement.

    Can you imagine the crap they would be getting bombarded with from the wind industry and the green lunatics? You only have to look at their social media sites, to see them bouncing off the walls.

    I nearly threw a brick through my monitor, while watching this stupid woman this morning.

    Keep up the good work STT, you are definitely making a difference.


  5. Senator Madigan and the other Senators (bar one) on the Inquiry Panel have opened Aladdin’s Cave for all to see the treasures this industry has thieved from us, the people of this country. The people of this country are the ones with a right to benefit NOT the ones who should bow to an industry which ‘strips and pillages’ our right to an ESSENTIAL service at an affordable price.

    A new dawn is approaching as the bleak dark brought on by this industry and its acolytes has been exposed for the grubby, dangerous and greed industry it is.

    And hopefully a wakening Parliament will accept its responsibility and see this industry brought under control and their money trough laid bare.

    The provision of this ESSENTIAL SERVICE, which underpins our society by providing electricity which is intricately entwined into every aspect of our lives, will once again be accessible and affordable to all, and this country can begin to once again prosper.

  6. A profound, succinct description and analysis of a policy that has it terribly wrong and has allowed and encouraged the worst of capitalist, corporate sociopaths.

    Many will wonder at some time in the future how this came to be, but we need not wait for the future to explore what was, as all is apparent now.

    Charlatans beware, as we know who you are.

    You have your chance now, if you have the courage, but I doubt you would be in the position you are now if you understood what is meant by courage.

  7. Job well done, STT! You know you’re getting to them when they call you out in the print! Since their attempt to discredit you will just bring more people to your site – where they can read about the realities surrounding the great world-wide wind SCAM, perhaps you should send the Guardian a thank you note for notifying more of the public about your good site!

  8. What is the Federal Government going to do with the households that cannot pay their power bills? Are they going to give them small power plants with fuel so that they can obtain the necessities of life, or are they going to let them live a hard life until they die of hunger and cold etc? I hope not.

  9. Well done STT, you are providing an essential community service helping educate Lenore Taylor, ABC, Fairfax and assorted journalists in the thrall of the Wind Fraud. (The simple fella from Crystal Brook is beyond help unfortunately)

    If Lenore is really on the money and paying attention she will reprint Madigan’s revealing analysis. But lest we forget, the Guardian are Green alarmist fundamentalists, so there are limits to their economic literacy and attention span for facts that do not accord with their ideology.

    Congratulations to Senator Madigan for truly lifting the lid on this scam that the Guardian and ABC refuse to report on.

    To put it all into context, the Ridley article ” The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science” is highly recommended reading.

  10. I am looking for information about what approximate percentage of a South Australian electricity bill could be attributed to the cost of wind turbines and solar power.
    I am a member of a facebook forum, ‘Australian Government – a Forum for your Say’, and recently engaged in a lengthy debate about the costs etc of windfarms.
    I posted STT in a comment and was promptly replied with an ‘STT debunked’ website.
    I imagine that your inclusion to that group would allow for a greater spread of STT information.
    Regards, William Martin

    1. William, we don’t have precise figures for SA, but if you are interested you can probably reverse engineer the numbers by working from the LRET subsidy costs. Starting by using SA’s installed wind power capacity of 1,477MW, a CF of around 30% gives 8760 hours x 0.30 = 2,628 hours x 1,477MW = 3,881,556 MWh. With RECs at $93, and with a REC for each MWh dispatched, gives 3,881,556 RECs x $93 = $360,984,708. That’s the figure that gets added on top of retail power bills in SA, as the cost of the REC is recovered by retailers under their PPAs with wind power outfits.

      And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, directly attributable to wind power, then there’s the cost of running fast start up peakers, like OCGTs and diesel generators used to cover total daily collapses in output. Keep digging around on this site and we expect you’ll be able to debunk those claiming to ‘debunk STT’ with ease.

  11. I have only one question,
    How many wind turbines has the Australian government signed up to purchase from China under the new so called ” free trade deal ” ?

  12. Excellent work senator Madigan and so very, very true. I don’t know why anyone would pay Lenore Taylor for her outstanding ignorance.

    As for STT, I couldn’t care less who it is or from where it came, because I applaud its undeniable accuracy and excellent scholarship in its analysis of all to do with wind farms.

  13. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    In my home state 34,000 homes were disconnected from the electricity grid because they could no longer afford to pay their power bills. The imposition of the coalition’s electricity tax will naturally lead to tens of thousands more families attempting to live without power.

    1. That is absolutely criminal, andreasmarciniak! The perpetrators of this abuse should be tried and imprisoned! Sadly though, this is exactly where every state and nation that pursues this INSANITY is heading!

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