Politics of Power: ‘Green’ Energy May Be ‘Wonderful’ – But Nobody Wants to Pay for Being ‘Green’ or Feeling ‘Wonderful’

His business couldn’t afford the ‘wonderful’ feeling of SA’s ‘green’ power.


As that great frog-philosopher, Kermit reckoned, it isn’t easy being ‘green’. It is even harder when the cost of attempting to do so is, quite literally, crippling.

Back in July, a family-owned specialist plastics recycling company in South Australia was forced to close its doors for good, with the loss of 35 jobs, after its electricity bills soared from $80,000 a month to $180,000 a month in less than 18 months.

At the time, Plastic Granulating Services managing director Stephen Scherer said power price hikes, driven by the closure of the state’s last coal-fired power station and a more than 40 per cent green energy mix, were the “final straw” for a company founded by his father 38 years ago. “I am absolutely devastated,” Mr Scherer said. “I literally kept a close daily monitor on electricity prices and at the end of the day we were simply unable to wear the extra expense.”

Stephen Scherer, like plenty of others, probably started out with lots of warm fuzzy feelings about the prospect of running on sunshine and breezes: right up to the point when the cost of trying to do so put him out of business.

The trouble is, that running ‘green’ with the wind and the sun comes at an extraordinary cost, as South Australians are now painfully aware. Not only suffering the highest power prices in the world, they have developed a kind of gallows humour about their rickety grid and the expectation of more blackouts this summer.

While plenty openly tick the box of wanting to feel wonderful about so-called ‘green’ energy, apparently the great bulk of the proletariat does not want to pay a single penny more to experience that warm, virtuous inner glow, that’s said to come with going ‘green’.

Opinion polls on green energy: a glass half full
Catallaxy Files
Alan Moran
31 October 2017

There is some interesting material thrown up by today’s release of the Newspoll results on climate change. One interpretation is that a majority of respondents would prefer to leave the Paris Agreement, which the Government uses as justification for green energy policies, in light of Trump having already so opted, if this “could result in lower electricity prices”.

Another way of looking at the results is that 40 per cent want to stick with the Paris Agreement even though its original fragility (in not requiring any action from the non OECD world responsible for 60 per cent of emissions) is further undermined by the US reneging with a further 15 per cent. That 40 per cent of voters (34 per cent Coalition; 50 per cent ALP; 71 per cent Green; 19 per cent One Nation) refused the carrot of prospectively lower electricity prices.

The problem with such surveys is “rational ignorance” on the part of respondents with many other matters on their mind beyond abstract policy matters. This is a factor in 17 per cent of Green voters rejecting the party’s core policy and 19 per cent of One Nation supporters also reject a key party policy line.

Breaking down the reactions by party of choice in this way means rather less reliability but the numbers of supporters for each political party that reject the leadership position is interesting. While the Coalition supporters are overwhelmingly lined up against the Turnbull government pro-Paris position, over a third of the ALP people reject the extreme 50 per cent renewables policy being promoted by the Shorten team if that will cost them – as it undoubtedly would.

Some doubt on the credibility of what people say as opposed to what they do can be seen in the fact is that only about 3 per cent (and falling) of electricity users actually agree to pay any premium by selecting green power options. But then again most people think the government should collect taxes but hardly anyone voluntarily pays more than required!

The poll’s result illustrates the support for “clean energy” and all the other propagandistic labels that have conditioned people’s thinking. There is no major lobby group prepared to contest this head on – even the Minerals Council doffs its hat to lower emissions. Add to this a high proportion of people who are sucked into the Finkelesque view that renewable energy if not quite cheaper than fossil fuels right now will very soon be.

We have some way to go before a recognition of the damage being done by green energy causes a groundswell of opposition to the policy and causes the retail politicians to abandon it.
Catallaxy Files

60% of Australians are OK with dumping Paris if they can cut their Electricity Bill
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
31 October 2017

Nearly half of Australians are already paying more than they want to for the Paris Agreement. Sixty percent of Australians wouldn’t mind us dumping it if it meant getting cheaper electricity. That fits with most other surveys for the last four years. It’s a stable slab of the population — despite the ABC and Fairfax running prime-time adverts for renewables constantly pushing the line that renewables are cheap, inevitable, and that only stupid “deniers” would want us out of Paris.

In Australia, no major party represents these voters. Instead, both sides of the establishment are competing on how to meet an agreement that, if the truth were known about the costs, at least 60% of Australians either oppose or couldn’t care less about.

When will the Liberals and Nationals figure this out?

Voters prefer cut in power prices to Paris climate accord
Simon Benson, Michael McKenna

A Newspoll ­survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian, has revealed that 45 per cent of Australians would now ­support abandoning the non-binding target, which requires Australia to reduce emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, if it meant lower household electricity prices.

This compares to 40 per cent who would oppose opting out of the agreement, with 15 per cent of people uncommitted. Significantly, more than a third of Labor voters backed ditching the Paris target when asked to consider whether the economic cost outweighed the likely benefit, while 54 per cent of Coalition voters backed withdrawing from the agreement if it did.

Pulling out of Paris is not discussed as if it were a real option in Fairfax or the ABC. Despite that, so many Australians are in favour of pulling out.


Given the years of propaganda, lack of debate, and Nobel Prize fawning documentaries — this is as good as it’s ever going to get for the believers.

When the ABC explains Paris, it doesn’t mention the cost. When it talked about Trump pulling out, it compared the US to Syria and Nicaragua. How backward are the nations that aren’t signed up! In terms of popularity, it’s all downside from here for the Paris Agreement as electricity bill shock hits and the screws turn. Even among the Labor Party supporters 37% would like to get rid of the Paris deal if it reduced their costs.

It is why One Nation appears on this list now and why Turnbull’s poll figures are bad and worse. All the Liberals have to do is convince the voters that renewables are expensive (which is not too hard, since it’s real).

All the Libs have to do (or the Nats) is say the words: subsidies, storage, batteries, maintenance, long transmission lines, back up base load and stability).

No countries with lots of wind and solar power also have cheap electricity. Repeat, rinse, wash, collect the votes.

While most voters rank “the environment” at the bottom of their lists, when this becomes a costs-of-living debate, it rockets up the ranking.
Jo Nova Blog

The place where ‘green’ turns black and white.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. To add insult to injury, claims of carbon avoidance by wind turbine developers are untrue. Wind power is intermittent and variable that requires firming from fossil fuel power to stabilize the grid. When the extra fuel to stabilize the grid is added to the mix, carbon avoidance approaches zero.

    Wind power has no effect in avoiding Climate Change!

  2. Reblogged this on Jaffer's blog.

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