Australia’s Great Shame: Renewable Energy Obsession Leaves Pensioners Freezing in the Dark

96 year old Donathan Roe Key: one of the 25% who
can’t afford to heat their homes this winter.

 

Australia’s maniacal obsession with attempting to power itself on sunshine and breezes has led to ‘The Great Shame’: a 140% increase in the number of homes disconnected from the grid, no longer able to afford power prices rocketing, year-on year, at 16 to 20%, leaving 25% of households unable to heat their homes during the depth of an Australian winter.

Liberal MP, Craig Kelly quite rightly exposed the outrage, pointing to the increased risk of mortality amongst those sitting in homes they can no longer afford to heat: Australia’s Renewable Energy Disaster Puts Lives at Mortal Risk: More Powerless Pensioners Will Freeze to Death this Winter

For his trouble, Craig was attacked with the kind of maniacal zeal not seen since the Spanish Inquisition. Not only did the usual suspects from the hard-green-left of the ALP and the Greens launch into Craig, he copped it from a nominal Liberal; the hapless and dimwitted Sarah Henderson, a former ABC journalist utterly divorced from the proletariat and reality.

Despite the efforts of the likes of Sarah Henderson and Labor’s Mark Butler, the reality is no longer being suppressed. This Editorial from The Australian lifts the lid on the causes and consequences of Australia’s self-inflicted power crisis. However, it’s a letter from a demoralised and dejected Jean-Pierre Zajac that renders their attacks on Craig Kelly not only risible, but malicious.

States want to save planet but should keep lights on
The Australian
Editorial
15 July 2017

The hotchpotch of state and national energy and climate policies will take a power of unwinding. Recognising there is a drastic problem, we suppose, is at least a start. Still, with South Australia having endured a statewide blackout last September while paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world and other states facing power bill increases of 20 per cent or more along with fears of supply shortages, it would be futile for anybody to deny the extent of the problem.

It is concerning that the nation has had to come this close to a crisis before a serious policy debate has even begun. And even after yesterday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting of state and federal energy ministers we are still some way from an adequate resolution.

Much of the dilemma rests on how various levels of government have mistaken their responsibilities. Under the Constitution energy policy falls to the states but national climate change policy, particularly the renewable energy target, has overlaid this and had a direct impact, as has the National Electricity Market, which is effectively legislated and controlled by the states under federal guidance. Yet before the nation has even had a chance to bed down these overlapping responsibilities and ensure consumers and industry have access to secure and affordable energy, the states again have signalled an intent to play out of their division.

Whatever the relative role and merits of renewable energy, storage, peaking generation and interconnection, it is clear that SA’s headlong and unilateral rush to a 50 per cent renewable energy share seriously weakened its network, hastening the demise of coal-fired generation, pricing out gas-fired generation and, without adequate storage, increasing reliance on interconnection.

Rather than revise downwards their state-based renewable targets the Labor governments of Victoria, Queensland, SA and the ACT have signed a proclamation, with former US vice-president Al Gore no less, promising zero net emissions by 2050. This potentially commits them to energy policy overreach. And it again makes a mockery of the federal government’s leadership on climate policy. Canberra rightly should dictate this area given emissions targets are set to meet international agreements (the latest struck in Paris in 2015).

In reality the NEM, interconnection of electricity and gas supplies across borders and the need to co-ordinate climate policy mean COAG is the appropriate forum to win a nationally co-operative approach. That is why threats by the states to go further and “go it alone” on clean energy targets are disturbing, especially when the states clearly have not planned wisely for their energy needs so far.

Bans on gas exploration and exploitation in SA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland have worsened supply and price pressures feeding directly into electricity costs. Even federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has conceded there is a need to act in this area. It is worth noting that the US has achieved energy independence in the past decade by vastly increasing oil and gas use largely on the back of fracking and associated technologies. This is crucial because as we rely increasingly on intermittent renewable energy the nation will need to greatly expand peaking and back-up generation capacity from gas.

While Canberra did nothing under the RET to ensure renewable generation was spread across the national market, SA should have realised that rushing to a 50 per cent renewable share in one state without adequate storage or back-up was reckless. There are fears Victoria is heading in the same direction after the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired generators.

Reassurances from Mr Gore that SA and Victoria are looking to lead the world, and from Elon Musk that his battery plan carries some “risk” as a world first, do nothing to provide comfort. We need a national approach to provide investment certainty. Many in the energy industry and politics believe this demands bipartisanship so that we know any policy setting will last beyond a single electoral cycle. “A comprehensive and truly national policy framework will not be achieved by just some jurisdictions ‘going it alone’,” is the warning from the Business Council of Australia.

They are right. But as the states, territories and federal governments adopt all Finkel recommendations save for the clean energy target, there must be some concern that the desire for co-operation and bipartisanship could lead to the adoption of second-rate policy.

A clean energy target must be left for the federal government to set and manage; and it won’t be easy to balance environmental, parliamentary, Coalition and economic objectives. All governments and parties must adopt a clear hierarchy on Malcolm Turnbull’s “trilemma” of priorities: affordability, security and emissions reductions. Given our economic needs and the trifling impact our emissions have on global trends, security and affordability must come first with the aspiration of meeting emissions reductions targets coming a distant third. The Coalition faces no more difficult or vital task.
The Australian

The buck stops with this pair.

 

The Australian’s Editor has been drawn into the buck-passing and finger-pointing game being played between State and Federal politicians over the true responsibility for Australia’s renewable energy debacle.

Australia’s power pricing and supply fiasco is always and everywhere the direct consequence of the Federal government’s Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target.

The states might pontificate about their own ‘aspirational’ RETs, but none of them bring with them subsidies for large-scale wind and solar of the magnitude available under the Federal LRET: subsidies which now add $3 billion a year to all Australian power bills, have already added $15 billion to those power bills and, unless and until the LRET is capped or scrapped, will add a further $42 billion to Australian power bills between now and 2031, when the LRET expires (see our post here).

Blame shifting might work among newspaper editors and in the corridors of power. However, the political buck stops with those responsible for the wholly unnecessary suffering of voters like Jean-Pierre Zajac and his wife.

Life in a cold climate
The Australian
Letter from Jean-Pierre Zajac, Umina Beach, NSW
17 July 2017

Mornings have been bitterly cold lately. Intrigued by her silence, I checked on my wife on Saturday to see if she was all right. I found her sitting in her office, her head covered to the eyebrows by the hood of a thick jumper. I immediately felt ashamed, sad and angry.

With the price of electricity going through the roof, little essentials that were making our lives comfortable in our old age have been turned off, starting with the heater.

What’s happening? Instead of providing us with cheap and reliable energy, governments are presiding over the sale of our gas to nations that provide their people with cheap and reliable electricity.

We now turn off all lights, my wife spends her evenings reading under a heavy blanket and I watch the Tour de France in the dark, rugged up in an old sleeping bag. As I ponder on our predicament, I recall that in the 1970s, when I migrated here, all I could hear was that I had arrived in the lucky country. But we don’t say that anymore. Bitterness has replaced happiness, shame has replaced pride, sadness has replaced joy. My wife is cold. I am cold.
The Australian

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Crispin Trist says:

    Just a thought.

    For the benefit of those who may not know, thermal underwear is essential during this cold weather. I think you can either pick it up at Army disposals or possibly Target, KMart or similar. A hat too and gloves, socks, etc. I speak from personal experience having grown up in Scotland where ice can form on the inside of the window!

    I cannot believe what we are witnessing in present day Australia… Exploding power prices and the destruction of a once affordable and reliable grid. At the same time, the UK is importing coal from Australia and Russia in favour of burning Welsh coal.

    Why?

    Because Australian coal has lower emissions.

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Isn’t it time the medical profession pulled its head out of the sand and told the Government to stop this insanity.
    You would think Di Notallthere would have recognised the danger to public health and the damage the cold and dampness of peoples homes is a health hazard as mould takes hold and people sit freezing when they should be warm and cosy.
    Its a prime case of ideology taking over form common sense and ethical behaviour by all politicians who continue to support and promote this worst case scenario for provision of an ESSENTIAL SERVICE to the people of this Nation.

  3. The people responsible for leaving us cold needs to hang your heads in shame.
    Sick from being cold

    • This is turning into a huge debacle. The vast majority of Australians support renewable energy and climate change. They aren’t in a position to apportion blame to the renewable energy sector just yet and perhaps never will be. Instead, we’ll go through this little dance for the next decade or so of blaming the fossil fuel companies and politicians while watching electricity prices go through the roof and businesses close. We might even see state and federal governments mandate utilities to assist (donate) those in energy poverty in obtaining solar and/or wind devices on their own homes, thereby making the situation worse by kicking the difficulty in paying the electricity bill to the next level of income earner.
      No one who had anything to do with promoting renewable energy will want to be tied to its demise. If I had any money invested in Australian industry from overseas, I’d be seriously considering withdrawing all investments until there was some indication of ownership for this developing scandal.

  4. It’s not just Pensioners who are struggling.. It’s also many people like me who live in a one income only household and have a low income…because I am a cook …. I run a number of fridges…one regular inside fridge..and two bar fridges that run only two days a week….but besides that I could disconnect for the little amount of electricity I use…and yet my electricity bills are crazy! Here in SA….it’s getting bad 😦 I don’t turn the lights on until I can’t see what I’m doing.)..I light candles …My Pensioner neighbour sits at night with a candle and a rug over his lap to watch TV…really?

  5. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    GREEN, virtue-signaling, wind-obsessed, “save the planet” climate change nuts howl and hiss of “leaving a better place for our children’s, children’s, children blah blah blah”.

    AND yet, as they preach their favorite religious eco-meme from the comfort of their air-conditioned and centrally heated, inner-suburban palaces, they couldn’t give a brass razoo about societies most vulnerable – who live on the “planet” RIGHT NOW! – our elderly, pensioners and the impoverished.

    SHAME on the groupthink green minority lobby and the suckered in politicians who implement such deadly policies, all for a fake fix to a fake catastrophe.

  6. Reblogged this on Wolsten.

  7. Being a neighbour of the Macarthur wind factory have seen and heard the extravagant waste of money during construction and even now the workers having debit cards to please themselves what they spend or use it for the bankcard that is. One thing with the Finkel report they have to guarantee supply which is impossible without our old baseload power stations. So wonder how the wind weasels will get around that. Interesting interview from Richo with Frydenburg the other night. Richo the old Labor stalwart seems to have seen through the renewable farce or religion whatever these people believe it to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: