Let the Sun Shine In: Australia’s BIGGEST Power Retailer Determined to Kill Wind Power

desert-sun

Unlike the wind, something you can set your watch by.

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STT has been pointing out for sometime now, the fact that Australia’s big 3 power retailers have been refusing to ‘play ball’ with beleaguered wind power cowboys, like near-bankrupt, Infigen and the union super fund backed disaster, Pacific Hydro.

Commercial retailers have not entered any power purchase agreements with wind power outfits, since about November 2012; and have made it very clear that they have no intention of doing so, any time soon.

Their renewables-recalcitrance is not, however, some kind of amorphous syndrome: it’s specifically a case of ‘wind’. Capturing a few of the Sun’s rays is still, apparently, on the retailer’s radar, as this article from The Australian points out.

Energy boss Grant King tips solar explosion
The Australian
Shane Rodgers
10 September 2015

Origin Energy boss Grant King says the only way the emission targets could be reached was through fuel substitution.

One of Australia’s most experienced energy sector leaders has foreshadowed a major investment in “utility scale” solar power as the nation grapples with ways to meet carbon emissions targets.

Origin Energy manager director Grant King said the size of the task to meet the 26 per cent emissions reduction (based on 2005 levels) by 2030 should not be underestimated. “That 26 per cent target is a very big and very challenging target,” he told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Brisbane yesterday.

“It will not be met through incremental things or by small steps. It will require investment on a tens of billions of dollars scale and will require policies to be implemented that will cause that change to occur on an accelerated basis.”

Mr King said the reduction task was a “practical problem for practical people” and would not be achieved by ideological debate from the far ends of the environmental spectrum.

The solution was “somewhere in the sensible centre”. The debate needed to move away from “two groups of people shouting at each other” and recognise that humans were not prepared to give up economic gains for environment outcomes. He said meeting the renewable energy component of the emissions commitment would require the equivalent of 250 40MW solar facilities to be built in a relatively short period.

“That is something like a $10 billion investment by the community,” he said. “That is an extraordinary outcome to contemplate. (However), extraordinary things can be achieved if people get really focused.”

Mr King said the “next great round of investment” in Queensland would be in utility-scale solar projects. “You can see it is happening because the mark of any industry, if you want to know what is happening, is just watch what the prospectors are doing,” he said. “And the prospectors are in Queensland looking for utility-scale solar sites. That tells you what is going to happen.”

Mr King said the only way the emission targets could be reached was through fuel substit­ution. This would not happen if energy solutions were lumped into “good” and “bad” baskets. Sometimes it would mean replacing highly polluting coal with lower-emission coal.

In this context, it was in the “greater global good” for coal developments in Queensland’s Galilee Basin to go ahead because of the quality of that resource.

Mr King said Australia had picked the wrong measure to track carbon emissions; that had allowed some very “unproductive conversations” to happen.

On a pure carbon output per capita measure, Australia would always perform badly because it had high GDP and a relatively small population. A better measure was the “trifecta” of achieving economic growth while reducing carbon emission intensity and overall emissions. On this, Australia was one of the best-performing economies.

Some countries achieved emissions reductions mainly by outsourcing them to China, which burned four billion tonnes of coal a year. Thus a global solution was required and steps to avoid a misallocation of resources based on domestic politics.
The Australian

Grant King

Grant King estimates Origin’s chances of signing up with Infigen & Co.

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Sometimes, it’s what someone doesn’t say that matters; much more than what they do.

That Australia’s largest power retailer makes absolutely NO mention of wind power – in a discussion all about meeting the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target – is more than just ‘telling’: for the wind industry in Australia – it is ‘damning’.

Willing to be accused of stating the bleeding obvious, electricity retailers aren’t in the business of NOT selling power; they’re in the business of selling power, at a profitable margin, to as many customers as possible.

The ONLY reason that they display an ‘interest’ in renewable power at all, is the need to obtain renewable energy certificates, in order to avoid a whopping $65 per MWh Federally mandated fine for every MWh the retailer falls short of the mandatory LRET target (the fine dwarfs the average wholesale price of $35 per MWh).

Everything that Grant King has to say above about solar power, is about obtaining RECs to avoid fines that will add up to more than $21 billion over the life of the LRET:

Wind Industry Still Wailing About ‘Uncertainty’ as Australian Retailers Continue to Reject Wind Power ‘Deals’

The cost of the fines and purchasing RECs – which themselves will add a further $23 billion to Australian power bills – will all be passed on to power consumers, tens of thousands of whom can’t afford power, right now:

Victoria’s Wind Rush sees 34,000 Households Chopped from the Power Grid

Casualties of South Australia’s Wind Power Debacle Mount: Thousands Can’t Afford Power

With more than $45 billion in REC Tax and fines to be collected from here, as the LRET starts to bite in the next two or three years, power prices are set to double: an outcome that is politically toxic; and will ultimately result in the LRET being scrapped. Any policy which is both economically and politically unsustainable will fail.

And that is one of the very strong factors, that’s turning the big retailers into ‘Sun-worshippers’. However, STT hears that the planned rollout of panels is designed as a temporary measure. When the LRET is inevitably scrapped in a few years time, the retailers plan to pack up the panels; and sell them to households, to be stuck on homes all over suburban Australia.

Narndee Station PAYNES FIND

Put up in hours; pulled down & sold in the blink of an LRET collapse.

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Another reason that retailers are talking about solar, is the fickle nature of the wind itself.

The Sun, you can set your watch by. From sun-up, and especially by high noon – and for 5 or 6 hours thereafter – a sea of solar panels in the sunnier parts of Australia are able to send power into the grid, at a point of the day when it’s actually needed.

output vs demand

Wind power, on the other hand, usually saves its fickle ‘best’ until the wee hours of the morning, when there’s very little demand for power at all. And, most of the time, produces little more than pure chaos:

South Australia’s Unbridled Wind Power Insanity: Wind Power Collapses see Spot Prices Rocket from $70 to $13,800 per MWh

June 2015 National

But the thing that has really got Australia’s retailers nervous about doing any more business with the callous thugs that run wind power outfits, is the fact that litigation against wind power operators is a case of when, not if.

After the Australian Senate’s keen-eyed scrutiny of the stinkiest parts of a stinking industry; and the delivery of its thumping report, rural communities currently suffering from – or threatened by – these things – are not just angry, they’re now armed with 200 pages of detailed, and well-considered analysis – with expert and actual, first-hand evidence on the health impacts caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound, including that given by turbine hosts, Clive and Trina Gare.

The Gares – despite earning $200,000 a year hosting 19 of these things – told the Inquiry that it was the worst decision of their lives; and that, if they knew then, what they know now, they would not live within 20 km of a wind farm:

SA Farmers Paid $1 Million to Host 19 Turbines Tell Senate they “Would Never Do it Again” due to “Unbearable” Sleep-Destroying Noise

Australia’s power retailers may be greedy, but, in the light of that kind of irrefutable evidence, they’re not stupid.

Signing up with a wind power outfit that will wind up in insolvency – when it gets sued by its neighbours in nuisance for millions in damages for loss of the use and enjoyment of their homes – and the resulting loss in the value of their properties – doesn’t make a whole lot of business sense:

Brits to Force £2 Wind Power Outfits to Hold £Millions in Reserve to Pay Damages to Victims & for Decommissioning

Where outrage and community division follow the wind industry wherever it goes, there’s been no such hostility generated by solar panels.

Jan h Hetherington

The source of Jan Hetherington’s tears isn’t the Sun.

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Solar panels don’t tend to terrorise stoic Australian heroines, like Sonia Trist, Jan Hetherington and Annie Gardner, wrecking their ability to sleep in and enjoy their own homes, in the way that these things do:

Three Magnificent Women Take On Australia’s Monstrous Wind Power Outfits & their Pathetic Political Backers

Hearing lovely ladies, like Jan Hetherington publicly weeping – at 7 in the morning – on Australia’s most popular breakfast radio show – 2GB’s Alan Jones Breakfast – about how these things have turned her home into a soul-destroying, sonic torture trap, is not a good PR look.

So, the choice between purchasing RECs obtained by terrorising lots of Jan Hetheringtons – and popping up some shiny, but silent solar panels somewhere in the bush – is a ‘no-brainer’, for businesses with a customer focus – like Grant King’s Origin.

STT hears that the big retailers have decided to steer well clear of wind power, wherever there is serious community opposition to any planned project.

STT also hears that plenty of rural communities are alive to that fact; and are gearing up for a counteroffensive. Hundreds are ready to make it crystal clear that they have no intention of ending up like Sonia Trist, Jan Hetherington and Annie Gardner; and every intention of suing developers, in order to protect their rights to live, sleep in and otherwise enjoy their own homes and properties. Some rights are sacrosanct. And rightly so.

sleeping baby

A right that’s always been worth fighting for.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The power to stop the Wind Industry from destroying our lives is with us as much as anyone else, the more we let retailers and the Government know we are ready to fight the more they will look for alternatives. That is a priority of Government and businesses – to keep the people happy.

    Solar, whether from panels spread across large areas of land, from solar thermal or private roof tops will be an energy source acceptable to many more people as the technology continues to improve.

    It ensures those living in suburbia can participate in removing the misled belief that wind energy production is a worthy replacement for other forms of production while enabling individuals to take more control of their own energy production.
    Solar will not completely take over the place of other forms of energy production, but it can make inroads, and it can be more productive than Wind.

    It can also be stored, and more effective storage systems are in the process of being developed.

    Diversity of energy supply is a must, and if we as individuals can look after our own needs to a greater extent than just using low energy goods then we will be doing more of our ‘bit’ for the environment.

    If the retailers do decide to sell on their panels after the LRET concludes then they will also be helping people to reduce their dependence on Large Scale energy suppliers, leaving these suppliers to deal with Large Scale users in areas such as manufacturing, commercial buildings and businesses.

    Though even they may take the opportunity to reduce their reliance on retailers by also installing solar with storage if they have roofs or areas available to do so.

    Australia is well placed to be able to utilise the sun to our advantage, to continue down the road of falsely believing Wind Energy is the answer to energy supply needs, simply places this country in a backwater, moving backwards into the future rather than forwards.

    Two quotes come to mind, the first is what is happening now as we dutifully follow other countries who have gone down the road of Wind Energy production:

    JS Mill

    ‘He who lets the world or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need for any other faculty, than the ape-like one of imitation’.

    The second is what we as a Nation should be doing:

    GC Litchenberg

    ‘Ask yourself always: How can this be done better?’

  2. Origin 'l sin says:

    see Tony from Oz comments at the top of this post which succinctly provide the arithmetic of the reality of energy needs and why wind and solar are largely symbolic rather than solutions to energy needs of a modern economy. http://joannenova.com.au/2015/09/weekend-unthreaded-92/

    As for Origin, the ‘O’ also stands for opportunism and onanism.

    • Retailers, like Origin aren’t the least bit interested in solar in the long-term. If you read our commentary, you will note that this is all about avoiding a Federally mandated penalty. Panels will be erected as their current stock of RECs run out. As retail power prices double, the pressure will be on the Federal government to scrap the LRET. When they do, the panels will be pulled down and sold to householders.

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