Marriage Meltdown: How A Love Affair With Intermittent Wind & Solar Ended In Tears

Australia’s grab bag of renewable energy policies are like a marriage made in hell. Destroying its once reliable grid and sending power prices through the roof, Federal and State Renewable Energy Targets are designed to destroy conventional generators. And, so far, they’ve done an admirable job.

Australia now faces a summer of widespread blackouts and mass load shedding, as the RE disease that struck South Australian breaks its border to infect Victoria and New South Wales. There are already serious reserve capacity shortfalls, which become evident whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

Couple sudden and unpredictable 1,000-2,000 MW wind power output collapses with spikes in demand, and you have a grid manager’s nightmare.

So, this summer when you’re scratching around for candles and finding a cold beer turns into a quest for the elusive, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

STT’s engineering contacts in NSW reckon that the situation is already critical; and that once demand starts to increase this summer, we’ll quickly end up in a state of emergency.

How Australia got itself into this predicament was not only perfectly predictable, it was perfectly avoidable. As Alan Moran outlines below.

The Bitter Fruit of a Bad Green Marriage
Quadrant Online
Alan Moran
10 September 2018

Comments from Josh Frydenberg and Mark Butler show that neither the Liberals nor ALP understand – or, perhaps more accurately, admit to understanding how carbon policies are destroying the economy. Both promote variations on a theme: subsidies to renewables and penalties on coal, which together have brought uncompetitive prices.

Mr Butler even repeats the shibboleth that without the National Energy Guarantee and its thinly disguised carbon tax, electricity prices, as per the latest model’s fabrication, will cost consumers $550 per year.

Mainstream Australian politicians are responding to a dominant scientific paradigm that says reductions in carbon dioxide emissions will save the world. The science is settled and all that.

Only a quarter of these emissions result from electricity production, so it’s not as if the sector’s transformation to renewables could ever be a solution in itself to the planet’s alleged peril. Yet these measures are widely represented by politicians and lobbyists alike as key. Abatement policies remain in place notwithstanding the trivial effect that Australian reductions might have, especially when the developing world is taking no action and the US has withdrawn from Paris.

Politicians’ climate alarmism is fuelled by scientific self-interest (grants) and commercial self-interest (subsidies). Economists will always be around to provide, for a fee, the forecasts that constantly “prove” more subsidies to renewables will bring down prices as we “transition” to a low carbon economy, when no subsidies will be necessary.

The past’s disappointing outcomes, like those illustrated below, are forgotten when the next thought bubble’s killer policy emerges. As always it will deliver “clean” energy at lower cost than provided by those archaic fossil fuel generators or their demonized nuclear alternative.

Modellers’ optimism that cleverly designed subsidies assisting wind and solar will bring a permanent lowering of prices have constantly been confronted by a reality that the products they favour are duds, and that favouring them raises prices by forcing out the penalised fossil fuel plants. The outcome in Australia from renewable subsidies was the doubling of prices – initially a slow burn but with the dam bursting in 2015 as coal plants closed as the penalties governments imposed brought on unprofitability.

At present, a conference of “climate denier” scientists in Porto is drawing to a close. For the past 30 years many of the leading scientific minds have demonstrated the absurdity of the forecasts of catastrophic global warming on theoretical grounds and, increasingly, empirically as satellite-based observations mug the forecasts of runaway warming with a reality evidencing little change.

But the power of vested interests has forced politicians around the world, even Tony Abbott as prime minister, to pay lip service to the need to reduce emissions and implement policies that attempt to bring this about.

All such policies not only bring immediate costs to taxpayers and electricity consumers but inevitably undermine the efficiency of the system, bringing higher prices as sure as night follows day.

Australia has been among the most aggressive in attacking coal generators with penalties and is among the most vulnerable to the escalating prices this entails.

Politicians always sound authoritative and their ruminations on climate change and energy are no exceptions. But, almost universally, they are responding to their own self-interest as dictated by focus groups.

Six prime ministerial changes in eleven years and the collapse of low cost electricity has been the outcome of Australia’s political leaders’ attempts to marry economics with the green energy goals. We may not have seen the end of this. But the Trump victory and his determination to restore cheap energy will eventually force changes beyond America’s shores.

Sadly, the costs already incurred and those still to be incurred can never be retrieved.
Quadrant Online

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. C. Paul Barreira says:

    “Only a quarter of these emissions result from electricity production. . . .” No political party has yet offered a programme regarding agriculture. That should be fun.

    And speaking of fun: the photograph heading this page shows onlookers laughing at the weeping, perhaps hysterical, bride. That reflects closely to the attitude of Australia’s political classes (elected and especially unelected), as well as media and universities to the effects on the public of their collective insanity or, more frankly, their evil as it has evolved from their ever-intensifying banality.

  2. Reblogged this on "Mothers Against Wind Turbines™" Phoenix Rising… and commented:
    The marriage was doomed from the start…

  3. William Gray says:

    The Australian Conservation lobby has often – in the past crowed that 40% of the worlds’ emissions are directly attributed to land clearing. Funny how that seems to have been forgotten these days with vested interest groups and pollies casting electricity as the bogey man – I wonder why?

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