Australia is in election mode, with the battle for Federal political supremacy being won and lost on television and on the airwaves.
The one broadcaster a political hopeful doesn’t want off-side is 2GB’s Alan Jones. AJ’s followers number in the millions across 77 stations across the Country.
Last week, Alan picked up on the cost of the great wind power fraud in Australia, with a little help from STT Champion, Western Australian Liberal Senator, Chris Back.
Here are a few of their key points:
- Australia is in debt, requiring 1.2 billion dollars each month to meet the interest repayments alone.
- We are borrowing money just to pay interest.
- Currently each wind turbine, each year earns $600,000 up until 2031 (earning a renewable energy certificate for each MW of renewable power generated).
- Energy retailers need to buy (and surrender) renewable energy certificates, or be fined.
- The market value of renewable energy certificates will be ~$92 (equivalent of the fine)
- The cost to retailers of buying the certificates (or paying the fine) will be passed onto the energy consumer on top of the cost of providing the power.
- People are holding onto their certificates until the price reaches a peak.
- Currently $13 billion dollars of certificates are waiting to be charged to the consumer.
- The Wind Farm Senate inquiry recommended a Productivity Commission investigation about the impact of wind power on electricity prices – but this has not happened.
Here’s the podcast of the full interview: transcript follows.
Alan Jones AO: We’re running towards a half a billion in debt in government debt in this country. The interest on our debt is well over $1 billion a month and both parties are spending up.
I want to thank you for the letters that you write when you tell me rather flatteringly that I make complicated things simple. I’ll tell you what, this today has been a struggle. But please listen up because if this isn’t the greatest swindle that you’ve ever known, my name’s not Alan Jones. And the reason there’s no debate about this is because the issue is complicated and so the money, billions of dollars, is just being thrown up against a foreign ownership wall.
I’m talking about wind turbines, wind power, renewable energy and renewable energy certificates. Just forget for a moment the fact that farmers are bought off initially by the wind turbine industry to shove these things up and of course the wind turbine industry can offer farmers buckets of money because they are just making a fortune out of this. Forget it also, because I won’t do this today, the demonstrable and drastic health consequences of all of this, but of course where people are paid to have the wind turbines on their property they then have to sign letters that basically prevent them from saying anything, on the basis that well, you’ve been adequately compensated. So, that has bought your silence. Shut up.
We’re paying this mob, the wind industry, for every turbine that they stick up, sorry you’re paying them you’re paying them, foreigners, your paying, that’s why our want you to listen. The impact of some of these things, wind turbines is such that people can’t open the windows the noise at night they can’t entertain at night because of the noise they can’t sleep. They suffer nausea, headaches and of course they can’t sell. Farmers who’ve accepted the money in good faith, believing that this alternative energy was good for the country, they swallowed the story, and now they’re saying they’d never ever do it again and that no wind farm anyway should be built within 20 km of a property.
And farmers are telling me and they are writing to me their properties are totally reduced in value some of them useless. But if the wind turbine mob pay the farmer money, the farmer must waive his right to speak publicly so it’s difficult to get information. That’s not what I’m talking about today.
I’m talking about Renewable Energy Certificates. The figures are mind blowing. One politician whose done phenomenal work and has gone almost no credit for this is the outstanding Western Australian Liberal Senator Chris Back. I’m sure that most Australians know 5/8 of nothing about this. But when you hear the figures your brain will explode because it’s your money. And Chris Back is on the line. Chris good morning and thank you for taking this call at a ridiculous hour in Perth.
Senator Chris Back: Yes, good morning Alan, how are you?
Alan Jones AO: I’m very well thank you. Can I just get to the renewable energy thing in a moment as I know you’ve also made very significant comments about debt. And you know we’ve got a wind farm Commissioner who is not worth 2 bob because he’s in bed with the wind industry and I say that advisedly and I’ve got letters to prove it – the consequences of living on these damn farms. But on debt, you made a very valid point we’re paying $1.2 billion a month in interest when the cash rate is less than 2%. What the hell is going to happen to us as a nation if interest rates double or triple?
Senator Chris Back: Alan people need to understand exactly what that 1.2 billion is. In Perth we’re are just completing the construction of a new Children’s Hospital, that’s 1.2 billion, so one month of interest would’ve paid for that. So every month we denying the opportunity of another children’s hospital somewhere around the place. In terms of, if you put it in terms of primary schools Alan, it’s a new primary school every 8 hours, that’s 7 days a week, it’s the $40 million a day which makes up the $1.2 billion interest – so we’re denying ourselves of 3 new primary schools a day, 7 days a week. And the list is endless. And Alan, we’re borrowing that money offshore, not to repay the debt, we-re borrowing it offshore to simply pay the interest on the debt and as you quite rightly say interest rates at the moment, the official rate is 1.75, imagine it doubled and until such time that we can actually get that debt interest rate down, we’re not going to be able to put money back into the economy. As in these, Peter Costello. He said to me once that I paid down than $96 billion of Paul Keating’s debt, he said I had $5 billion a year to put straight back into the Australian economy well that $5 billion a year is now close to 15 billion a year Alan, and if people are not worried about it, they jolly well should be.
Alan Jones AO: So this bloke, I’m saying to my listeners, there are about 31 guernseys given out for Ministers, Assistant ministers and whatever, and this bloke doesn’t get a guernsey. These are the voices that we have to hear in an election campaign. $40 million a day a new primary school every 8 hours.
Let’s just go to these renewable energy certificates. No one knows a thing about them. Paid to wind power outfits. Keeping it simple, let’s just go through procedures. Okay, the windfarm operator gets a licence to build a wind farm and he doesn’t pay anything for that. Away you go and there aren’t too many criteria. He doesn’t have to answer any health issues. He doesn’t have to answer environmental issues, farming issues, problems for the community, none of that stuff. Because he’s going to generate alternatives to coal-fired power. So then the retailer by law, Chris, has obligated to buy electricity. Now, this is the guts of it. For every megawatt of electricity bought from that generator, a Renewable Energy Certificate is issued. Is that right?
Senator Chris Back: That’s correct. Yes it is Alan.
Alan Jones AO: Let’s keep this simple okay. The bloke gets out there building the stuff. Now why China and Qatar and everyone built these wind turbines, all foreign outfits. So a Renewable Energy Certificate is issued for every megawatt that’s generated and the retailer has to buy this stuff.
Senator Chris Back: Every megawatt hour, that’s right, as part of an Act of Parliament. He must buy it.
Alan Jones AO: Because that’s the law. Must buy it. How much for? The retailer?
Senator Chris Back: At the moment the cost, well it depends. If he enters into what’s called a power purchase agreement Alan, he might be paying up to about $112 per megawatt hour.
Alan Jones AO: For one certificate.
Senator Chris Back: And he gets, he then receives a certificate back because the government gives the okay and that’s worth about $82 bucks.
Alan Jones AO: Now why should why should the Rrenewable Certificate be worth anything? Who sets the value of this Certificate?
Senator Chris Back: Well the market does and that’s the interesting thing about it Alan. Earlier this year a Certificate was worth about $35. Now it’s up to about $82 and it will go to about $92-93 and I think Australia-wide if you like. And the reason is there’s an Act of Parliament that requires the retailer, the person who generates the base load power, requires him to actually purchase what’s called mandated target every year, which he’s got to buy from the renewable operator, from the wind farm operator. Alan, for every megawatt hour that he falls short of that he’s fined by the Australian Government to the tune of $65 bucks. And it will rise to $93 simply because of the fine, which you know when you speed, you can’t claim the tax on a fine Alan, so with the company rate of 30%, the $65 ending costing $92 and that’s why renewable energy certificates will go to $92.
Alan Jones AO: That’s it. So let’s keep it simple. The retailer by law, because we’re hooked up on this climate change hoax, we’ve demonised coal fired power. We do export the coal to China so they can have cheap electricity but that coal-fired power can’t be used here we’ve got to have this stuff – wind power. And the retailer must buy these Certificates. You don’t need a Ph.D. to know that the retailer then will pass that on to the consumer. Correct?
Senator Chris Back: Absolutely yes that is correct he passes that on the consumer for $92 so he puts his own wholesale price about $30 bucks a megawatt hour he puts the $92 on top and the consumer ends up paying for it Alan.
Alan Jones AO: There you are.
Senator Chris Back: What is also happening is the big retailers at the moment, they’re tending to not surrender (the term is) surrender back the Renewable Energy Certificates to the Regulator so a lot of the companies are holding millions of them …
Alan Jones AO: Hoping that the price goes up
Senator Chris Back: About 33 million of these certificates are being held in the market you know and some of them in fact the banks are in there.
Alan Jones AO: Everyone’s in there. Let’s just go back Chris, because you sometimes know too much here I’d just want to keep it for my listeners out here. So on the certificates, the Clean Energy Regular said at that Senate Inquiry, and you cross-examined these people, about 160 million of these have been issued. Now at $82 bucks that’s about over $13 billion dollars which potentially could be passed on to the consumer.
Senator Chris Back: Well they will be passed on to the consumer.
Alan Jones AO: They will be. Now you asked, you asked Frontier Economics, who appeared before the Senate Inquiry, “who actually pays for the large scale renewable energy subsidy” and the answer was from not you, Senator Back, but from Frontier Economics, “The customer”.
Senator Chris Back: That’s right, the consumer.
Alan Jones AO: “The consumer” was answered back.
Now there are currently 82 wind farms accredited under the Renewable Energy Electricity Act; 2077 wind turbines, this came out in the Inquiry, and with total installed capacity of 4180 MW, but the Liberal government, the Coalition government – forget about Shorten and these people who wants 50% renewable energy – the target is 33,000 GW hours in 4 years time.
Senator Chris Back: Yep, that’s correct.
Alan Jones AO: So they’ll need more wind turbines, another 2000 wind turbines. Right?
Senator Chris Back: …
Alan Jones AO: So each of these, the Clean Energy Regulator, the Clean Energy Regulator told you, didn’t he, that each of these is subsidised, taking just a rule of thumb, each of these turbines, subsidised by the people listening to us, the consumer $600,000 per year (per turbine).
Senator Chris Back: Not bad if you can get it Alan.
Alan Jones AO: Unbelievable! $600,000 per year and this will go right up until 2031. These are foreign owned wind turbine companies.
Senator Chris Back: And when, if, in the event that Mr Shorten wins the election next week he’s jumping up to 50% renewables which will add about $700 per annum to the cost of an average consumers’ electricity bill and we’d be looking at about 10,000 new (turbines). In fact Alan, the cold hard reality is the country, the technology is just not around. Whether it’s wind or solar or whatever.
Alan Jones AO: The point is, the reason I’m talking to you is, this is a gigantic tax on every one who uses electricity. A gigantic, enormous tax. Now you had a Senate committee for this purpose. It was to report on August 3 this year. It did. And the government has responded, by law, required by law to respond to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry within 3 months. The Turnbull government hasn’t responded to any of these recommendations, none of them. And you heard evidence – I think there were 500 submissions, hundreds of witnesses, experts from the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, everybody, everywhere. Submissions written in French and Danish and German and so on, and the government has virtually abandoned the consumer and not responded to the concerns expressed by that Senate committee. And you wanted a Productivity Commission inquiry, did you not, into the cost of all of this to the consumer and the impact on electricity prices. You haven’t got it.
Senator Chris Back: That’s the most critically important recommendation Alan and whether we win on next Saturday or not, whether or not I retain my spot in the Senate, I may not of course, but if I do …
Alan Jones AO: What number are you in WA?
Senator Chris Back: Sorry.
Alan Jones AO: What number are you on the Senate ticket?
Senator Chris Back: I’m number 5 …
Alan Jones AO: See, see, this bloke is number 5 on the Senate ticket. The public will want him number one. The public would want him number one but you see if we marginalise Chris Back, this troublesome Senator won’t be raising all these issues and reminding electricity users they’re being taxed to the eyeballs. This is being borne by the consumer. Now you’ve also cited, have you not, in South Australia where they have gone mad on this renewable stuff. They’ve closed coal-fired power stations and the wholesale price there, (this came out not from Chris Back but from the Senate Inquiry) $100 bucks per megawatt hour for electricity over there. Victoria $45, New South Wales $50-52, Queensland $60 a MWhour. So when you buy all these Renewable Energy Certificates, it’s passed on to the consumer and the cost goes through the roof.
Senator Chris Back: Alan South Australia is a good model to for the rest of Australia if people are wondering about what’s going on, you’re quite right, the spot price in South Australia is now twice that of Victoria. The Premier of South Australia is now rushing to actually get a high tension power cable back from Yallourn where they produce coal-fired power so they can keep the lights on in South Australia. Only the other day I predicted that the South Australian price would have to go up by $200 per consumer and indeed within a day of making that prediction, one of the 2 big retailers have put it up about 12% about $230 per annum, and the other one slightly less than that. So …
Alan Jones AO: And have said this is beyond our control. This is beyond our control because the law says this stuff, these Certificates must be purchased. Chris I’m going to go and I will leave my listeners with one thing. Your select committee recommended, Recommendation number 14, that the government direct a Productivity Commission to conduct research into the impact of wind power electricity generation on electricity prices. They have ignored the Senate recommendation. I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you again.
Senator Chris Back: I certainly hope that recommendation is picked up Alan and thanks for your time.
Alan Jones AO: Not at all, Senator Chris Back.