The return of a Federal Coalition government has given the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers no respite: the ‘uncertainty’ they dread is still hanging over the terminal Large-Scale RET (the subsidy scheme on which the entire scam depends) like the Sword of Damocles.
The LRET is set up as a $3 billion a year tax on all power consumers (collected as Renewable Energy Certificates – currently worth $87 each – and added to retail power bills), with the cash recovered from the sale of RECs pocketed as the subsidy by wind power outfits (see our post here).
A wind power outfit receives a REC for every MWh of power delivered to the grid.
To give some idea of how ludicrously generous the REC Subsidy is, consider a single 3 MW turbine. If it operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – its owner would receive 26,280 RECs (24 x 365 x 3). Assuming, generously, a capacity factor of 35% (the cowboys from wind power outfits often wildly claim more than that) that single turbine will receive 9,198 RECs annually. At the expected trading price of $93 per REC, that single turbine will, in 12 months, rake in $855,414 in REC Subsidy.
However, that subsidy doesn’t last for a single year. Oh no. A turbine operating now will continue to receive the REC subsidy for another 15 years, until 2031 – such that a single 3 MW turbine spinning today can pocket a total of $12,831,210 over the remaining life of the LRET. Not a bad little rort – considering the machine and its installation costs less than $3 million; and that being able to spear it into some dimwit’s back paddock under a landholder agreement costs a piddling $10-15,000 per year. State-sponsored theft never looked easier or more lucrative!
It was those numbers that prompted the 2015 Senate Inquiry into Wind Farms to make the following recommendation:
Recommendation 15: final
7.105 The Renewable Energy Target should be amended so that all new investments in renewable energy between 2015 and 2020 will be eligible to create renewable energy certificates for a period of no more than five years. Existing investments in renewable energy should be grandfathered so that they continue to receive renewable energy certificates under the Act subject to annual audits of compliance.
The recommendation of a five year limit sent the wind industry into a flat panic, as well it should: with a five year cap on REC entitlement there is no way on Earth that a wind power outfit would find any bank willing to lend for the construction of any new wind farms.
That, and a raft of other wind industry killing recommendations followed an Inquiry lasting almost 6 months, 8 hearings in 4 States and the ACT, dozens of witnesses and almost 500 submissions, which resulted in its ‘doorstop’ final report, which runs to some 350 pages – available here: Senate Report
The first 200 pages are filled with facts, clarity, common sense and compassion; the balance, labelled “Labor’s dissenting report”, was written by the wind industry’s parasites and spruikers – including the Clean Energy Council (these days a front for Infigen aka Babcock & Brown); the Australian Wind Alliance; and Leigh Ewbank from the Enemies of the Earth.
The Report was delivered in August last year and languished without response from the Coalition.
That lack of action led to a demand, made a few weeks back, by the new band of Cross-Bench Senators to have the Coalition front up and respond to the Report.
Liberal Democrat Senator for NSW, David Leyonhjelm – who sat on the Committee that ran the Inquiry – led the charge, as this Press Release attests.
Crossbench gets cross about Govt failure to respond to report
September 3, 2016
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has won the Senate’s unanimous support for a motion calling on the Government to respond to the Senate Select Committee report on Wind Turbines.
The motion is remarkable because it was sponsored by every crossbencher in the Senate. Senator Leyonhjelm says for all of the differences of opinion on the crossbench, they are all outraged that the Government had not bothered to respond to the report, which was tabled on August 3 of last year.
“The report uncovered systemic regulatory failure of wind farms and recommended stronger oversight so that communities have someone to hear their concerns about intrusive infrasound,” said Senator Leyonhjelm.
“In addition, concerns about wind farms involve every one of us because of the subsidies paid to wind farm operators, which result in higher electricity prices for families, schools, hospitals, homes and businesses.
“The Senate Select Committee tabled its final report on wind turbines over 12 months ago. The President of the Senate first reported the government’s response as outstanding in November 2015. We’ve still got nothing.
“It’s very rare to get this unanimous support, which reflects the fact that Senators are outraged the Government has not bothered to respond. We have given the Government until November this year to do so.
“If they fail to do so, it will greatly impact on the confidence of the crossbench in relation to the government’s sincerity in dealing honestly with the concerns of crossbenchers.”
Liberal Democrat Senator for NSW
As David Leyonhjelm notes, the push for action on the Senate Inquiry’s Recommendations “is remarkable because it was sponsored by every crossbencher in the Senate”.
Indeed it was. To get all 11 Cross-Bench Senators on the same page was no mean feat: the range of their political colours make the chances of a unified view on an issue fairly slim.
So, with a unified front on their push for enactment of the Senate’s raft of wind industry killing recommendations – like the five year cap on wind power subsidies – the wind industry can only wait for the Sword of Damocles to drop and leave its fatal mark.
In case it never happens again, here’s the version of the Motion signed by each and everyone of the Senate’s 11 members of the Cross Bench: