Reality Bites: ‘Green’ Dreamers Struggling to Spin Away South Australia’s Failed Wind Power Experiment

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Fantastic in theory, but reality is another place.

***

It’s been barely 5 months since South Australia experienced a state wide blackout on 28 September, when a typically vigorous spring storm delivered wind speeds in excess of 90km/h, causing the majority of turbines operating at its 18 wind farms to automatically shutdown to avoid self-destruction. The ensuing collapse in wind power output overloaded the interconnectors with Victoria, which tripped automatically; and thereafter South Australia suffered what is now known as a ‘system black’ (see our post here).

With a string of blackouts during December (see our post here) and mass load shedding during a heat wave when, yet again, wind power output plummeted (see our post here), humour among South Australians is now a rare and treasured commodity.

Inversely related to South Australians’ fury at their power pricing and supply calamity, is the battle that the wind cult is having in maintaining faith amongst their brethren.

The once pliant and gullible media have turned on subsidised wind power, and the renewable energy target that sustains it, with a vengeance.

Letters to the editors of  Australia’s newspapers and the online comments on energy related articles are now dominated by people who have tumbled to the inescapable fact that wind power can only be delivered at crazy, random intervals and is, for that that very reason, meaningless as a power source.

The more deluded still rock, seated on crossed legs, and chant in honour of the Wind Gods, muttering mantras about mythical giant batteries that will soon save their heavenly Masters.

What is interesting is how quickly the Australian populace have woken up to the wind power fraud; and how angry they are for having been taken for fools: nobody likes waking up as the dupe.

Still, a dwindling band of delusional wind worshippers attempt to maintain the faith. However, as more and more sensible and reasonable members of the proletariat become enlightened to the patent nonsense of relying upon the weather for power, the wind cult’s delusion deepens, as they are forced to confront reality, at long last.

The Australian’s, Janet Albrechtsen hasn’t had much to say about Australia’s energy debacle, but this contribution is both timely and welcome.

Green dreamers are weaving baskets in the dark
The Australian
Janet Albrechtsen
15 February 2017

The greatest policy hoax of our time has conned the State government – and the ABC

History is littered with failed experiments. The hippie experiment of the 1960s and 70s never turned into anything more than a fashion statement. While the outfits survived, it turns out most people would rather shower daily, live in their own houses and not take recreational drugs.

The kibbutz experiment in Israel was a sweet utopian dream of communal living that tanked too. It turns out that people expect to be rewarded for effort, rather than carry freeloaders who refuse to share the load.

Even that “progressive” stalwart at the ABC, former 7.30 host Kerry O’Brien, was forced to report on the end of a “remarkable experiment” back in 2015 when the misguided ideology of Israel’s oldest kibbutz, Degania, was dismantled.

After almost 100 years, 85 per cent of Degania members voted to abandon its collectivist dream in favour of a simple principle: individuals should be paid according to effort.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take 100 years to wake up to the utopian renewables energy experiment undertaken by state Labor governments and wholly supported by the federal Labor Party. Sadly, there are few signs that the green dreamers at the national broadcaster understand the harsh reality of these renewable energy policies. After a 10-week taxpayer funded break, commentators on ABC’s Insiders were back at it, trying to dream their way out of facts, basic reason and common sense.

When asked by Barrie Cassidy to what extent was the blackout in South Australia due to renewables, The Australian Financial Review’s Laura Tingle said, “well, none”. The Guardian’s Lenore Taylor propagated the same dream, saying “renewables aren’t causing the blackouts”.

Like a modern-day version of the Mamas and Papas, Tingle and Taylor are so busy reworking the hippie lyrics of California Dreamin’ into South Australia Dreamin’ they refuse to see an experiment crashing down around them.

There’s one thing worse than a bunch of deluded commentators who treat green energy as a religion and Insiders as the church where they get down on their knees and pray. And that’s the South Australian Labor government. Prior to leaving on a trade mission to the US last year, SA Labor Premier Jay Weatherill said South Australia risked becoming like a “rust-belt” industrial state in the US if it didn’t change its economy. Weatherill’s changed economy is one powered by 40 per cent of renewable energy and the results are in.

Weatherill’s renewable energy policy has turned out to be the biggest policy hoax in the modern era. It is not transforming the economy: South Australia sits at the bottom of the economic performance table in this country. It is not creating jobs: South Australia has the highest unemployment rate in the country. It is not driving investment: companies big and small are rethinking their commitments to the state and others have already pulled back from expansion. And that says nothing about the businesses who will not consider opening up in the state.

SA Water Minister Ian Hunter crowed last year that “South Australia is proud of its role as a living laboratory, leading the way to a low-carbon economy”. That leaves the people of South Australia bumping around in the dark like laboratory rats while men in white coats express pride in a failed experiment.

What are they proud of? That the lights keep going off in homes across the state? Proud that they cannot guarantee cheap, reliable and secure energy to businesses, small and large? South Australia is turning into a rust-belt state because of Weatherill’s changed economy. In December, the lights went out again; the response from the SA Treasurer to business was blunt: build your own back-up, baseload power station.

After the latest blackout last week, the state Labor government was quick to blame energy market structures. No doubt, the market needs to be finessed. But why would a government leap headlong into what it describes as a renewable energy experiment before the right market structures are in place?

It beggars further belief that a government genuinely concerned about its people would rush into an experiment, without considering that intermittent wind energy creates serious engineering risks for managing the stability and reliability of the power grid. When the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann raised these engineering questions last year, he was harangued and mocked as the new face of the anti-wind lobby. The national broadcaster took delight in leaking to The Guardian that complaints had been received about Uhlmann’s reporting.

Talk about post-truth. The further blackouts last month and this month expose the hoax of a prosperous green energy driven economy. The stark difference between feeling good and doing good is now irrefutable. It doesn’t feel good to be unemployed, or out of business, as the myth of green prosperity explodes. It doesn’t feel so good to have your electricity turned off in the summer heat or the winter cold. It doesn’t feel so good to be subjected to the Left’s utopian dreams that end up hurting the poor the most.

As The Australian revealed on Monday, electricity prices have spiked 106 per cent over the past decade, outstripping the rate of inflation, making power bills the biggest slug to the household budget. And South Australia ranks as one of the states with the highest power bills.

Last week, opposition climate change and energy spokesman Mark Butler accused the Turnbull government of playing politics over energy. That’s a bit rich coming from a bloke whose party, state and federal, is playing ideological games with the future of the Australian people to satiate its left flank and secure Green preferences. In any case, SA Labor and federal Labor, with its own 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, have gifted the Turnbull government one heck of a political weapon. And they know it.

That’s why there are small signs of Labor panicking, even admitting that its ideological experiment, like Israel’s kibbutz movement, is being trumped by reality. After the SA blackouts last week, the West Australian Labor Opposition Leader Mark McGowan ran for the hills in the middle of WA’s election campaign, refusing to outline its own renewable target despite signalling at a conference in October last year that it supports a 50 per cent target by 2030.

Meanwhile, Weatherill last week admitted his state needed more baseload energy. That’s a no-brainer given the blackout during Adelaide’s sweltering heat occurred when wind dropped to 2.5 per cent of supply.

Even Butler said there needed to be a proper balance of energy sources, an admission that SA’s current energy source balance is entirely out of kilter. On SA’s leap into the renewables unknown, Butler said, there was always going to be a jurisdiction that led the way. That policy rush hasn’t worked well for the people of South Australia. And it’s not working for Labor. The only question is how much more evidence will it take for Labor’s hasty and ill-conceived green energy experiment to be deemed a policy and political disaster.
The Australian

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Reality bites: no chance for any kind of resurrection here.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. What a great post. The best framing yet of why we should question the climate consensus policy demands: “Why should a society that allegedly cares about its people depend on the weather for its power?”

  2. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “The greatest policy hoax of our time has conned the State government – and the ABC.” – Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian)

  3. Janet Albrechtsen picked a very a very apt analogy when she described the current South Australian grid disaster as a "hippie experiment".  Young gun, US power engineer Andrew Dodson is someone who understands the shortcomings of the "hippy grid" only too well, in this video he explains some of them.

  4. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Reality is catching up with wind power dreamers in South Australia as the public wake up to the truth – via power failures.

  5. E Griffiths says:

    Are the denials of the wind god zealots a case of:
    “I’d better pass the buck on to someone else”
    or as Mark Twain once said,
    “It’s easier to fool people than to convince people they’ve been fooled.”
    or a combination of both?

  6. Jackie Rovensky says:

    There was apparently an explosion at Torrens Islands gas plant TORRB1,2,3. Power was lost there at around 4pm and was still of when writing this at 8.30pm SA time.
    Not too big a surprise though as this site was in mothballs and needed maintenance work – maybe it wasn’t ready to be utilized but called on, due to the weather and all the activity in Adelaide with the two big Festivals as well as the Formula 1 race.
    How many upgrades of the Heywood inter-connector are needed they seem to be doing nothing but upgrading it.
    We seem to be having to pay for constant upgrades of this
    ‘Gold Plated’ system that was meant to serve needs from a massive wind project on Eyre Peninsular with more to be built along the route to Victoria – the Eyre P. one didn’t happen, so what did SA citizens pay for – apparently a system that cannot keep up/cope with less than half of what it was meant to service.

  7. william gray says:

    Makes you wish for those long gone days when selfish, corrupt public miscreants were just taken out and shot. No ifs nor buts. Even today the SA energy minister was asking the population to cut down on its power use to avoid more ‘load shedding’. Great way to run a state let alone an entire country. Perhaps we should just close all the base loads down right now and give the fantasists the ruined economy they seem to want and drive home the reality of a ‘wonderful renewables’ future. God help us though when Hazlewood closes.

  8. Son of a Goat says:

    Joy oh Joy.
    The power in Adelaide flickered off for a short time this afternoon with a reported fire in the Torrens island generator. This was followed shortly by an announcement by AEMO that because of planned upgrades to the Victorian interconnector the state could separate from the national grid on the weekend.

    One could be not sure what happened after the announcement late this afternoon but one could be reasonably assured young Tommy Kouts SA’s energy minister went into convulsions.
    Already on the ropes on hearing of possible load shedding just in time for the Clipsal weekend in Adelaide it would have had him tripping from an over whelmed trance to fits of psychotic frenzy.

    The phone call between Tommy and the AEMO would have been a rip snorter, but as the dust settled the announcement came out that all planned work on the interconnector for the weekend had been cancelled.

    No bullshit these idiots are more entertaining than anything I’ve seen at the Fringe festival. You have to laugh otherwise you would cry.
    Just sad the state has been trashed!

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