Follow The Money: Self-Interested Fiction Supplants Hard-Coal-Facts in Mythical ‘Transition’ to All Wind & Solar Future

 

Ignore the voluble pomposity and faux moral piety, the sole motivation driving RE zealotry is money. Lots and lots of other people’s money.

And forget about saving the planet, this is about making a group of cynical, conniving and audacious rent-seekers fabulously, indeed filthy, rich.

In what is the greatest, state-sanctioned wealth-transfer in human history, hundreds of $billions is being funnelled from the pockets of taxpayers and consumers into the coffers of wind and solar power outfits, around the globe.

Aiding and abetting those that profit handsomely from policies that are destroying business and industry, and punishing households, with spiralling power prices, are outfits like Greenpeace and GetUp! These operations will do and say anything, provided what’s deposited in their Swiss bank accounts comes with a sufficient trail of consecutive zeros.

It’s to be remembered that the Danes are responsible for the ‘modern’ wind industry (true, the Dutch mastered the technology in the 1600s, but that was all that was an offer, back then). Vestas kicked off as a state-supported wind turbine maker and, with cult-like fervour, set out to spear its whirling wonders all over the world.

Although labelled ‘drama’, the Danish series ‘Follow the Money’ plays out like a hard-hitting documentary: see the trailer above and our post: ‘Follow the Money’: Hard-Hitting Danish Drama Documents Wind Industry Corruption, Australian Sequel Promised

The DVD can be picked up on Amazon and is well worth the ticket price.

The plotline in that fine piece of Danish crime noir reads like the script being played out in Australia, as its renewable energy policies implode.

At the moment, Australia’s self-inflicted energy crisis is at a crossroads. After drubbings in by-elections in Queensland, WA and Tasmania, PM, Malcolm Turnbull has retreated to his Sydney Harbor-side mansion, while his gormless Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg attempts to sell the unsellable National Energy Guarantee.

The NEG, as proposed by Frydenberg, would expand (enormously) and extend (indefinitely) the Federal government’s Renewable Energy Target; more than doubling the amount of wind and solar, sending power prices into the stratosphere and guaranteeing routine load shedding and blackouts. Precisely what South Australians live with, as a consequence of their Labor government’s ludicrous attempt to run an entire economy on sunshine and breezes.

While there’s a solid group of Liberal and National MPs who have worked out that Frydenberg’s NEG is the RET on steroids (and for that reason will never support it), the lunatics from the hard-green left have determined, for very different reasons, to do everything in their power to ensure that the NEG never sees the light of day.

It’s cash for ethics as GetUp! gets down and very dirty
The Australian
Nick Cater
31 July 2018

Environmentalism has never been a beauty contest. Who can forget those unkempt figures in the 1980s prostrating themselves before bulldozers to save a reptile of equally ghastly appearance?

The ugliness of today’s campaigners, however, is more than skin-deep. In their high-minded defence of clean energy, they are not afraid to get down and dirty.

Take the $2.4 million in kickbacks GetUp! cheerfully admits receiving from a subsidiary of Meridian, New Zealand’s largest energy producer, majority owned by the New Zealand government.

Could that financial inducement be driving GetUp!’s rabid campaign against Josh Frydenberg’s energy plan, which will put an end to the subsidies Meridian has been milking for years?

Meridian owns two wind farms, at Mount Millar in South Australia and Mount Mercer in Victoria. They receive subsidies in the form of large-scale generation certificates, something akin to a Woolworths rewards card except that they can be sold for serious money. It sells LGCs when the price is high to coal generators, jacking up their costs and so hastening their demise. And your granny gets to pay for it through her electricity bill.

Meridian, this paragon of green corporate virtue, trousered $65 million from selling LGCs in the past two financial years which, after deducting expenses, netted it $49m in straight profit, a windfall for New Zealand taxpayers who own 51 per cent of the company.

The smug people from GetUp!, who say they support economic fairness, seem to think this socially unjust arrangement is fair and are campaigning to keep the scam going. GetUp! is fighting a rearguard action to defend the renewable energy targets that Fryd­enberg pledges to abolish when the present round ends in 2020.

Slick TV ads, funded by GetUp! and Greenpeace, have been screening in Labor states and territories in the hope of persuading them to block Frydenberg’s proposal and his national energy guarantee, which will lower the profits of speculators who trade LGCs and force the likes of Meridian to provide power 24 hours a day, not just when it feels like it.

If Labor gets in, it will be game over for common sense. Bill Shorten has pledged a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2050, which would turbocharge the market in certificates to the benefit of Kiwi carpetbaggers and others who make a mint out of these pernicious financial instruments.

GetUp!, meanwhile, is urging its supporters to stop buying electricity from the “Dirty Three” — AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin — and take their business to Powershop, “the only energy company actively campaigning to save the RET”, and by extension the subsidies. Powershop is an offshoot of Meridian. It boasts of being Australia’s only carbon-neutral energy provider, a claim invalidated by the small print that notes Powershop “cannot guarantee that the electricity every customer receives is renewably sourced”.

The cracks in its green facade are papered over with UN certificates pegged to “renewable energy projects in developing countries”. It may not be the most trustworthy eco currency but it allows Powershop’s customers to buy the same electrons from the grid sold by their old retailer without having to ask where they came from.

“Switch in 5 minutes!” GetUp! urges. “Feel good that you’ve changed your energy provider to one that cares about the environment!” Feel good too, one presumes, about Powershop’s back­hander to GetUp! for every cus­tomer who comes across. It’s about $120 a customer, if GetUp!’s figures can be trusted. Should this glaring conflict of interest be declared by GetUp! in its TV campaign in favour of renewable energy subsidies? Why, of course.

A little honesty from these hired advocates wouldn’t go amiss, as it wouldn’t from Greenpeace, which leases its brand to Powerhouse for an undisclosed sum, and shares the cost of a pro-subsidy TV campaign. It’s a marriage of convenience; Greenpeace has tax-deductible charity status while GetUp! does not. Should any reader of The Australian be inclined to contribute, here’s a little tax advice: give your donation to Greenpeace and get half of it back.

GetUp!’s foray into the cash-for-ethics market doesn’t stop with demonising the Dirty Three. GetUp!’s Brighter Banks campaign invites us to register our disdain for the big four and the $70 billion they supposedly have lent to “climate-destroying fossil fuel projects”. One click on GetUp!’s website links supporters to Bank Australia, which claims to “share their values” and will do so by flicking $50 to GetUp! if they move their account across.

Bank Australia has much to lose if Frydenberg’s proposal gets through, having entered into a 10-year agreement to buy power and LGCs from Pacific Hydro’s Crowlands wind farm. Futures contracts for LGCs for 2020 and beyond were selling for less than $25 a megawatt hour last week, a fraction of the price they commanded when the RET was in full swing. If GetUp! succeeds in retaining the RET with its campaign of disinformation and backing for Labor, Bank Australia, along with Meridian, will be in clover.

Self-interest and crude hyperbole are the ties that bind the coalition of rent-seekers, working to destabilise the government’s energy market reforms.

Former national director of GetUp! Simon Sheikh now runs Future Super with $240m under management, invested in environmentally friendly causes “to produce a world worth retiring in”. No prizes for guessing where they stand on the RET.

GetUp!’s pro-Labor presence at last weekend’s by-elections, when it paid people to don cheap orange T-shirts, stand outside polling booths and take potshots against the government, removes any doubt that GetUp! qualifies as an associated entity under the Australian Electoral Commission rules. It might not stop GetUp!’s insidious campaigns but it would force it to reveal the identity of its paymasters. The activists who complain so long and hard about the vested interests of others seem strangely reluctant to have the spotlight cast on themselves.

Nick Cater is executive director of the Menzies Research Centre.
The Australian

Want to know what drives RE zealotry, Follow the Money…

 

So far, so murky.

Of course, outfits like Greenpeace and GetUp! don’t travel alone (profiteering zealots tend to hunt in rabid packs).

For the best part of 20 years, journalists have been right in there, mouthing the same platitudes and spouting the same infantile nonsense, all in the name of the so-called ‘inevitable transition’ to an all-sun and wind powered future.

Originally, the affectation was uniform: even journalists and commentators with a hitherto free-market, conservative bent still fell for the myth that this country would soon be running on the weather, hook line and sinker. However, the debacle that panned out in South Australia clearly shook their erstwhile unshakeable belief. With, of course, the exception of a few recalcitrant and deluded souls.

These are the characters who are proud to be vocal members of and/or propagandists for Greenpeace and GetUp!, and who will – to the day they’re laid to rest in organic, recyclable cardboard coffins – continue to believe that sunbeams and breezes can power the world.

The Australian’s Chris Mitchell takes a look at how a dwindling number of journalists are still keen to maintain the rage against the intolerable idea that there should be reliable and affordable power, available for all.

Left struggle with fundamental truths concerning energy debate
The Australian
Chris Mitchell
30 July 2018

Groupthink seems to be preventing many journalists at left-wing media outlets from realising they have been on the wrong side of the renewable energy and power prices story for a decade.

This newspaper argued as far back as the Howard years that a renewable energy target was incompatible with a carbon trading system designed to produce a market for cost abatement. Then prime minister John Howard and opposition leader Kevin Rudd both took limited trading schemes to the November 2007 election.

Not long after, journalists from Fairfax Media and the ABC began taking issue with The Australian’s criticism of rooftop solar subsidies. We said these would do little to reduce carbon dioxide output from baseload power stations but would dramatically lift prices to consumers too poor to pay for rooftop sets.

Now there is independent proof the left media was wrong. This month the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Market Operator released reports that show The Australian has been right about the effects of renewables.

Remember the outcry against the “Carbon Cate” stories by The Sunday Telegraph about the Sydney Theatre Company’s installation of a $4.5 million rooftop solar system at the Wharf Theatre when Cate Blanchett’s husband, Andrew Upton, was director of the STC? Blanchett went on to campaign with other actors in television commercials about renewables in 2011 under then prime minister Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

Today, around the world, rooftop solar feed-in tariff concessions are being unwound, even in Germany, long the poster child for green warriors but a massive user of imported Australian coal and Russian gas to ensure reliable base­load power.

Climate change hysteria reached its peak in the Gillard years. Academics and journalists wrote that as editor-in-chief of this paper I should be charged with crimes against humanity for pointing out the facts: renewables would send industry offshore and play havoc with electricity prices.

Well, power-intensive industries have been sent offshore, where they add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than they would here because power here is mainly generated from higher-quality, less-polluting coal.

AEMO, distinctly pro-renewables, said on July 17 that the nat­ional power market would need to rely on baseload coal-fired power for at least another 20 years and called for policies to extend the lives of power stations nearing the end of their normal operational timeframes. The ACCC report ­released on July 11 said renewables had pushed out dispatchable power and made the network less reliable. Household solar subsidies had been paid for in higher prices to other consumers and business. It backed contributing economics editor Judith Sloan on “the gold plating of electricity networks” by state governments.

But at Fairfax, The Sydney Morning Herald economics editor Ross Gittins was lamenting on May 29 that he really should confine all his columns to discussions of government inaction on climate change. Ignoring the ACCC on coal on July 16, he assembled all the reasons Indian company Adani’s proposed Galilee Basin project in Queensland, which would be the world’s biggest coalmine, would not create jobs.

The Herald’s environment editor, Peter Hannam, at least reported the ACCC’s findings fairly, but in a comment piece he criticised it for focusing on power prices rather than climate change. Yet Fairfax does not come close to our ABC for renewables evangelism.

ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra stand-in host Andrew West interviewed finance blogger Michael West on July 21 about Adani. Michael West claimed, unchallenged, that the mine would not be economically viable, despite coal prices at six-year highs. India was leading the world in adoption of green power and would be at 55 per cent renewable power by 2030, he claimed.

In fact, India is at 16 per cent renewables today and is building 132 new coal-fired power stations according to research by the Australian parliamentary library. Its prospects of ever reaching 55 per cent renewables are remote, as Germany is finding out, struggling to meet its 30 per cent reduction target.

At The Drum nightly on ABC TV spruikers for renewables — particularly prominent renewables investor John Hewson and the University of Melbourne’s Simon Holmes a Court — are always given precedence over commentators with rational points about the power market. And for some reason a parade of people who know nothing about electricity generation are regularly given a platform to display their “correct” feelings (rather than facts) about coal and renewables.

Jane Caro flapped her hands wildly on July 9 and pronounced “any suggestions of any new coal-fired power stations is a criminal act”.

Do people who say such things know coal is the nation’s biggest export earner and 1600 new coal-fired power stations are under construction worldwide this minute?

For a historical perspective on the importance of coal to humanity, Caro could read a piece by global warming believer Bjorn Lomborg in this paper on July 20: “For the well off in both rich and poor countries around the world, lives are enriched by plentiful access to energy that provides light, fresh food and clean water … Yet there is a disturbing movement in the West to tell the 1.1 billion people who still lack these myriad benefits that they should go without.”

Taking care of the poor used to be central to the politics of the Left. No more. This is an issue where left-wing journalists always side with the wealthy, like the merchant bankers around the world who invest billions in the government-guaranteed and subsidised global wind power scam.

Anyone who doubts it is a scam should look at why wind subsidies are being dismantled in Europe.

This paper published a two-part analysis on the issue by veteran Herald-Sun finance journalist Terry McCrann on July 14 and 21.

McCrann’s first piece analysed prices for wind-generated power the previous weekend in South Australia. Almost all SA’s power that weekend was from wind because it was blowing hard. At one point the price of power hit zero (something that happens regularly in Germany). Across the weekend power averaged $44.89 a megawatt hour. Then the wind stopped and by Monday the price hit $14,000/MWh, “the maximum allowed” in the national market. Across that whole day it averaged $700.60/MWh.

Wrote McCrann: “How can you build a system on prices which fluctuate from day to day by over $650 a MWh?”

Lomborg wrote here on July 14 outing major nations around the world for announcing heavy greenhouse gas cuts but falling far behind their targets. He argued that even meeting the Paris Agreement global emissions reduction target would mitigate only 1 per cent of forecast global warming this century.

And by 2040, “even with carbon being taxed, the International Energy Agency estimates that average coal will still be cheaper than average solar and wind energy”. More than $100 billion was being spent globally this year alone on subsidies for solar and wind, “yet this technology will meet less than 1 per cent of the globe’s energy needs”.
The Australian

The sun will shine and the wind will blow 24 x 7, forever
and ever, because Greenpeace and GetUp! said so.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. The skeptical view, but it appears Germany’s love affair with wind and solar has taken a sour turn: http://notrickszone.com/2018/08/07/business-daily-handelsblatt-german-wind-industry-in-serious-crisis-could-implode-consequences-could-be-fatal/

    • Keith Staff says:

      The German wind industry imploding – required reading for all
      Australian Politicians. Hey, wait on, too many vested interests at work. Time for a Royal Commission into the Wind Industry?

  2. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    As ever, unpredictable part-time power is not a recipe for success in this industrial world, no matter how much subsidy is wasted on it.

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