The Criminal Cost of the Federal Government’s Obsession with Wind Power

Person dumping money into a toilet bowl --- Image by © Rubberball/Corbis

Compared to wind power – a canny investment…

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Alan Moran needs no intro for STT followers. Here’s another cracking piece, courtesy of Catallaxy Files

Billions wasted in economy sapping energy regulations
Catallaxy Files
Alan Moran
16 December 2016

Each year the energy regulator, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), publishes data on the make-up of electricity costs for households. This breaks down costs into three categories: environmental, regulated networks and wholesale/retail.

In Queensland federal environmental policies cost the average household $63 and state based schemes a further $128, adding 7 per cent to household electricity bills. NSW consumers get off more lightly: Commonwealth environmental schemes cost them $72 with state schemes a further $37. Victorians pay only $48 in subsidies for the Commonwealth schemes and $33 for the state schemes, while South Australians pay $62 for the Commonwealth schemes and $93 for those of the state government.

But these are only the direct costs. The environmental regulations bring three other classes of cost. The first of these is resulting in the closure of coal-fuelled power stations because increasing amounts of volatile subsidised “must-run” wind forces them into stop-start operations.

This undermines the economics of generators designed to provide stable supplies of base load power. The latest forced closure is the Victorian Hazelwood facility. Hazelwood’s shut down is estimated by the AEMC to bring about wholesale price increases of 55 per cent next year in Victoria and Tasmania, and lesser price rises in other jurisdictions. That comes to about $200 per Victorian household. The renewables subsidies will drive further such closures which will add to these costs.

The displacement of fossil fuel supply by more expensive wind and solar is causing other problems. The progression of the South Australian system to third world reliability standards is just one of these.

But further costs are entailed. Among these is spending to augment transmission in order to link remote wind installations and to allow the remaining stable supplies of fossil fuel generated electricity to back-fill the reliability of increasing amount of unreliable wind and solar.

AEMO estimates it must spend $2.2 billion to allow the Victorian renewable energy scheme to operate.

The wind generators want to locate in areas where there is very weak transmission capacity at present. Gone by the board is the original national market plan under which new generators would be required to pay any additional transmission costs their location entailed. Hence, the costs will be charged to consumers.

The AEMC also foreshadowed additional new costs from a new ancillary market that is to be created to provide system stability. This is needed to counter the effects of wind and solar’s intrinsically inability to provide the same flexibility as the fossil fuel generators they displace. In South Australia, the government is already paying Engie to keep open its Pelican Point gas plant to enable this.

Yesterday, Victorian energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, acknowledged that Victoria’s electricity prices would rise as a result of the Hazelwood closure but said they would fall again as new renewable energy came on stream. This is (perhaps intentionally) misleading.

The AEMC forecasts only a slight fall in later years and this is dependent upon no other fossil fuel generator being forced out of business. Moreover, the minister’s statement took no account of the $2.2 billion in increased costs of transmission lines and of the additional ancillary costs.

Compounding these problems are the measures introduced by politicians in NSW and Victoria (and to be introduced in South Australia if the state Liberals prevail) to ban or restrict the search for additional gas, the fuel that might replace coal, albeit at a premium.

Unfortunately we are still going backwards. The regulators are working on how to achieve the 26-28 per cent reduction in emissions that Australia agreed to in its ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement. To this end, Mr Turnbull’s attempts to railroad through an emissions intensity form of carbon tax via his hand-picked Finkel review of electricity have been forestalled temporarily. However, not coincidentally, there was another AEMC review was also released last week.

This looked into achieving the Paris Agreement’s 28 per cent reduction from electricity emissions; it estimated the costs were $66.6 billion if the approach were to use renewable requirements and that this would be reduced to a mere $55.4 billion through the emissions intensity carbon tax.

Political meddling from ministers bowing to green ideologues and enjoying the patronage of renewable businesses that can exist only on the back of political favours is forcing Australians to pay a high price. At the turn of the present century, reform had meant Australians enjoyed the cheapest electricity in the world.

Even though other developed countries have become infected with the same green poison that is raising Australia’s prices, none have the same severity of sickness. American and French consumers now pay half our average of around 30 cents per kilowatt hour, even Japanese households, in a country with negligible domestic energy resources, have electricity cheaper than Australians.

This week Eddie Obeid was jailed for misconduct in office but the costs of his crimes are chicken feed compared to those of the nation’s energy ministers.
Catallaxy Files

Money Wasted

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Smart Meters required to cope with renewable additives to the energy mix, only add to the above costs to energy consumers. Prior to the rollout we were told we would save money on our electricity bills, that we had no choice and could not object to, nor prevent the installation of smart meters to our homes.
    In Sept 2015, Mr John Doyle, Victorias’ Auditor-General released a report ‘Realising the Benefits of Smart Meters’.
    Basically from this report it doesn’t appear like there are any benefits to the majority of consumers. The final cost of these meters paid by we the consumers, was predicted to rise above 319 million dollars, yet in 2014 two thirds of Victorians still didn’t understand any benefits of smart meters and didn’t know how to lower their energy bills. And since 2009 the average household has paid out an un-itimised 760 dollars for metering services on their energy bill. It was also predicted by 2014 four percent of consumers would opt for flexible electricity price offers but at the time of the report only 0.27% had signed up. So called ‘green’ energy is simply too expensive, too complicated and just doesn’t work.
    It is expected we will face (?) two rises in the cost of Victorias electricity this year and none of us want to pay an extra two hundred dollars or more extra on our already costly electricity bill. None of us want to be reliant on unreliable wind and solar energy, so predictably non-existent most of the time, causing failures and blackouts. A national grid in melt down for days on end provides no running water, no shower, no flushing toilet, no drinking water, no bore pump, no hoses. No dampening down around the farmhouse in preparation for high fire days.
    It’s a rural nightmare. Despite all attempts by many to educate our now energy Minister, having attended Portlands renewable jobs forum she remains blinded to reality and continues to proceed down the (jobless) path of building blade- to-blade wind turbines across the State.

    Stop waiting for our savings, stop waiting for the ‘free’ energy, from the free wind and stop waiting for our planet to be ‘saved’ by renewable energy. Solar and wind un-renewables is proving useless at reversing rising sea levels, lowering the intensity of natural disasters as a climate change fixated media is informing us there is no change. We need real solutions, real leaders and solid communities without the fracturing caused by wind turbines and without the fallacies and mistakes of energy Ministers hellbent on following the mistakes of SA. Its all about the money, but really….why? Thanks Mr Moran for your wisdom, clarity and continued efforts.

  2. brian Johnston says:

    Here we go again
    Oil and coal are not fossil fuels
    They are abiotic
    And for those that are interested, there are thousand of years of oil remaining
    CO2 in atmosphere = 400ppm
    Humans produce 2%
    Aust. produces 1% of the 2% which equals
    .08ppm
    .000008%
    8/100,000,000ths
    And we are going to change the climate by saving a portion of this

  3. Reblogged this on open822.

  4. Don’t forget the indirect cost “imposed cost” which is the forced under-utilization of dispatchable generators, which raises fixed costs per unit of energy sold: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ier_lcoe_2015.pdf
    I am available to consult on this effect and how to get it recognized by policymakers around the globe. Contact me, Tom Stacy, at (USA) (937) 407-6258

  5. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Why are we fixated with reducing emissions so drastically with the use of useless renewable energy projects and especially ones that have proven to be so disastrous, like reliance on a wholly uncontrollable natural source such as wind?
    Why aren’t we as a nation working to cleanse the air we have already dirtied.
    Surely this is a better way than sending nations broke and reducing their citizens to and archaic way of life.
    Where are scientists working on ways to do effectively this?
    Why are we destroying trees and land to install turbines instead of planting more and looking after our environment and eco-systems to help cleanse the air we breath?
    The above article unfortunately does not show how the closure of Hazelwood will cause energy prices to once again sore in SA, as they will be more reliant on purchasing energy from Victoria and NSW.
    I and no doubt others in SA will remember the cry of firstly Rann and then Weatherill that SA would be making money from their turbines because they will be selling wind turbine manufactured energy to Victoria and NSW!
    Where did those promises go – blown away in the wind!!!
    If the past week is anything to go by and it is, the performance of wind energy across the Grid has been woeful and at times without the backup of coal from Victoria and NSW, SA would have been steaming and fuming as the temperatures sored. That day the single gas plant operating in SA was only managing 128MW with temperatures at 40C in Adelaide and above in other places day.
    If it wasn’t for our Eastern neighbours SA residents would have been left in a state of desperation as another Blackout brought the State to its knees, but this time the day could have proven a far more deadly event during such a stinkingly hot day.
    Cost of energy is at last making people more aware of the uselessness of wind energy, but financial cost is only one of the things they should be looking at, as we know there are so many ways in which this form of energy production is costly including human lives as well as the death of numerous birds, bats and other creatures.
    Rann ran leaving Weather-ill-prepared to lead SA out of emerging debt and destruction, all they had/have was/is words that twist in circles following the blades on their beloved turbines. Blades that go round and round like a massive roundabout that goes and goes gives nothing in return except empty words and promises to the people of SA.
    Please, please other States and Territory’s of Australia and country’s far beyond out own shores, don’t try and climb on the same roundabout, empty promises are no use to anyone.

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