Wind Power Supply and Pricing Fiasco Leaves South Australians ‘Mad as Hell’

tom koutsantonis2

Tom Koutsantonis reckons SA’s wind power disaster is BHP’s fault.


In yesterday’s post we drew attention to the fact that the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers are having a rather torrid time, as they try to deflect attention from South Australia’s unfolding power supply and pricing calamity.

What is crushing their feeble spirits is the fact that, despite their very best efforts, the facts, are finally getting out.

Mainstream media outlets are all over South Australia – aka “Australia’s wind power capital”  – like a tropical rash.

In the battle for hearts and minds the Clean Energy Council, yes2ruiningus and Ruin-economy are being ground down by a relentless barrage of articles and broadcasts, making the obvious connection between SA’s routine but unpredictable wind power output collapses and spot price surges – from $70 per MWh all the way to the $14,000 per MWh regulated market cap. Big numbers like that make for big headlines.

Business operators in South Australia are furious that they will be belted with power prices more than double their Victorian neighbours from here on; with those crippling rates set to rise further still.

The State Labor government’s Energy Minister, the witless Tom Koutsantonis has taken to berating SA’s few remaining employers, as if it was BHP, Arrium and Nyrstar who were responsible for plugging South Australia into a wholly weather dependent power generation source, that was abandoned centuries ago, for fairly obvious reasons.

June 2015 SA

Apart from blatant lying, the wind industry and its parasites have absolutely no sensible answers; and the belligerent twaddle coming out of Tom Koutsantonis is no better.

It’s a beautiful dilemma, to be sure.  And no better example was last week’s Today Tonight broadcast.

Channel Seven’s Today Tonight is the must-watch current affairs show for SA’s aspiring working class – when an issue becomes the top story on Today Tonight, you can guarantee you’ve reached not only a substantial audience by number; but that you’ve also hit political dead-centre – in terms of reaching voters capable of deciding elections; and policies on the way to them.

The Today Tonight viewer mightn’t be a Twitter jockey, but he or she is a first-class talker; whether it’s at work or backyard barbecues, whatever they’ve seen soon becomes the topic of the day (or the week).

When the topic is their spiralling power bills and, despite paying through the nose for the stuff, suffering statewide blackouts to boot, you can guarantee plenty of fist-waving fury being added to tea room and backyard debates on just who, or what’s to blame.

In the Today Tonight broadcast below, STT Champion, Hendrik Gout launches another of his sardonic side-winder missiles at South Australia’s wind power ‘policy’ disaster. And, in a little under 7 minutes, manages to score direct hits on every target we’ve outlined above; viz, a costly, intermittent, unreliable power source; that’s killing industry and destroying the viability of SA’s rural heartland.

Paringa Power
Today Tonight
Channel Seven
25 July 2016



Paul Makin: Welcome back. How did that movie go? ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more’. Well that’s how everyone watching Today Tonight this evening should feel about the electricity charges in this state. We pay the highest in the Nation and our State government doesn’t appear to have the will to change it. In fact, they could be making it worse. Hendrik Gout investigates.

Hendrik Gout: The November night the lights went out 100,000 South Australian homes and shops lost electricity last year because of the state’s reliance on unreliant energy.

Ben Haslett: Yeah wind power sounds really exciting until the wind doesn’t blow or the wind blows too hard. The cruel reality is to run consistent reliable businesses you need power when you need it. It can’t be just when the wind blows or the sun shines.

Hendrik Gout: And last week the states biggest employers, including BHP, threatened to close because what electricity there was, was shockingly expensive. Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says that’s their problem.

Tom Koutsantonis MP:  There’s a very small minority who haven’t hedged their electricity prices and they’ve played the spot market and they’ve lost.

Interviewer: Are you talking Arrium, BHP and Adelaide Brighton are a minority group in terms of employees?

Tom Koutsantonis MP: Well first and foremost, they have not hedged their um, their um, their a, their a…

Ben Haslett: Yeah, electricity is a really important part of what we do. As food producers, irrigators, we use electricity to pump water and that obviously means you need reliable, affordable electricity supply and then obviously once you’ve grown that food produce, be it citrus or an almond or whatever it is, you need to do something with it. In case of stone fruit to go into cool rooms straight away which is a large electricity draw and then you need to pack that produce – so obviously that takes power too.

Hendrik Gout: Ben Haslett – a citrus and grape grower in the South Australian Riverland. Electricity prices drives this machine and all his machines.

Ben Haslett: Without that reliable, affordable supply, we’re not in business.

Hendrik Gout: Which is why we’re now hearing a diesel generator in the background.

Ben Haslett: It’s exactly why we are hearing a diesel generator in the background.

Hendrik Gout: Tom Koutsantonis says that it isn’t his fault.

Tom Koutsantonis MP: The state government has not invested a dollar in wind generation.

Hendrik Gout: Intermittent generators get a tax concession of 100%. They pay nothing. You pay higher government charges to make up the shortfall.

A 20 million dollar renewable energy fund to leverage renewable energy investment. So that’s not one dollar, it’s 20 million of them.

Then there was the $1 million study to unlock the Eyre Peninsula’s wind resource.

A score of mini wind turbines on government buildings around Adelaide – $330,000 for 20 turbines; then 40, then 60.

What did the Treasurer’s say?

Tom Koutsantonis MP:  The State Government has not invested a dollar in wind generation.

Hendrik Gout: The turbines generated just a 10th of the predicted power and actually added to our carbon footprint. Adelaide companies set up to cash in on their mini turbine bonanza, promising local jobs, are now broke or in administration. What rankles Mister Haslett most is that his competitors in Victoria pay far less for power than he does. South Australia has the most expensive electricity in Australia and some of the most expensive electricity in the world.

Ben Haslett: So when we think about investment, if there are other areas that pay half of what we do for power, or they have more reliable power, then obviously they’re more attractive for investment.

Hendrik Gout: There is enough water flowing through the pumps here to supply 400 irrigators and their families. 660 industries in this small district alone. Yet if we were 60 km in that direction that’s across a Victorian border, the electricity being used here would cost around $2 million a year less.

Tim Whetstone MP: At the moment we’re are looking at the spot market price hitting 10 times the cost of power in Victoria.

Hendrik Gout: Local MP Tim Whetstone and Irrigation Trust chair Greg McCarron know that Victorian irrigators are pumping water from Victorian installations exactly like this one, from the same river but at less cost.

And makes us less competitive compared to other states?

Greg McCarron: It makes us less competitive compared to other states.

Tim Whetstone MP: Well I am seeing some businesses that are actually restructuring their business models. They are setting up in New South Wales and Victoria – as we speak.

Hendrik Gout: This is an almond processing plant at Renmark, that’s in South Australia. Across this barbed wire fence, across this grid, is Victoria. This mountain is made up of almond shells dehusked a kilometre across that border in Victoria.

Brenton Paige: So there’s certainly an attraction to probably, to look at having operations based over there, rather than South Australia.

Hendrik Gout: Brenton Paige is at Almondco. in SA.

Brenton Paige: Being so close to the border you can almost touch the cheaper power and we just can’t get hold of it.

Hendrik Gout: Jack Beaver should know, he made it; here in this converted shearing shed on the banks of the mighty Murray. It’s good beer and he could make more of it, except…

Jack Beaver: We’ve reached a limit to where we can expand to as far as the power consumption goes. We’re basically going around the property and turning things off just to run the brew house as it is.

Hendrik Gout: That must make it pretty hard.

Jack Beaver: Ah, it keeps you on your toes.

Tim Whetstone MP: The irrigators, the processors and the wineries are really feeling pain at the moment. Power prices in the last 12 months have doubled.

Hendrik Gout: So this is an example of decisions being made at Parliament in North Terrace affecting small communities up and down the river.

Tim Whetstone MP:  Absolutely. We have to pump water, pressurised water in pipes to irrigate. We also have to manufacture, to convert wine grapes into wine through the wineries, which are large power  consumers. We are now uncompetitive with Victoria and New South Wales.

Hendrik Gout: There have been times when wind turbines have actually sucked power from the grid rather than supplying it.

Ben Haslett: Look power is the absolute key for community wealth. Unless you have got affordable, reliable, economic power, you don’t have development. And without development, there’s no healthy communities.

Paul Makin: And if you’re looking for a better deal on your power bill, and who isn’t, go to the One big switch website to register. We’ve also started an online petition for government action on power prices. Get involved.
Today Tonight

hendrik gout2

Hendrik Gout scores another direct hit.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Hi,

    I just started a petition “SA PREMIER JAY WEATHERILL : Demand the resignation of the Energy Minister for HIGH POWER PRICES CAUSING SA’s JOBS CRISIS and also 15,000 household POWER DISCONNECTIONS, frequent POWER BLACKOUTS and the JULY 2016 POWER CRISIS” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

    Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support.

    You can read more and sign the petition here:

    Please share this petition with anyone you think may be interested in signing it.

    Thankyou for your time.

  2. A climate rationalist by the name of Malcolm Roberts has just been confirmed as elected to the Senate – representing QLD as part of the One Nation team. The man is knowledgeable and well-qualified on the subject. Although he hasn’t even been sworn in yet, two journalists in “The Australian” newspaper have already labelled him as a climate change “denier”. The real problem in Australia until now is that the mainstream media has been deeply corrupt in their biased promotion of the climate change alarmist ideology. They have had most politicians dancing around like puppets on a string. But it looks like things are now starting to change as more and more voters come to understand the true nature of the climate change hoax and the parasitical rent-seekers who are driving it.

  3. Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM.

  4. Terry Conn says:

    My tip for South Australians in the predicament outlined above is to read up on the law titled National Electricity Law – section 7 in South Australia requires that electric power ‘must’ be the most efficient, most secure and cheapest available. Get together and start a class action law suit for compensation for damage suffered for economic loss. Get with it folks, the remedy is in the ‘law’ as already ‘writ’ – use it.

    • estherfonc says:

      Cheers Terry

  5. michaelspencer2 says:

    One has to wonder what so many politicians actually use for brains?

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