French Kiss of Death: Paris Obsession Driving Australian Power Prices Through the Roof

For Australian households and businesses being crushed by out-of-control power prices the Paris Climate Agreement is a maniac’s suicide note.

With nothing else to justify the $60 billion being thrown in subsidies at chaotically intermittent wind and solar, renewable energy rent seekers are clinging to the notion that the deal done in the City of Light will forever hold them harmless from both political and commercial reality.

The more insane aspects of the Paris agreement are yet to bite in Australia: agriculture and transport will eventually suffer the same self-inflicted destruction that has been meted out in the power generation sector.

Australia’s cattle and sheep herds currently number in the tens of millions: 26 million beef cattle and 2.8 million milkers; sheep number around 74 million. Under the Paris deal sheep and cattle numbers will need to be slashed by more than 26% to meet its target for CO2 reductions: get ready for $100 steaks and $200 lamb roasts, washed down with $4 a litre milk.

The diesel-hungry V8 Land Cruisers, loved by city-bound outback wannabes, and the 4×4 dual-cab utes, favoured by farmers and tradies, will also become endangered species beyond 2020, when the more ridiculous aspects of the Paris CO2 targets take effect.

The political response out there in voter land to all of this pointless insanity is unlikely to favour what’s being pitched as the pinnacle of moral virtue by the hard-green left.

To date, renewable energy rent seekers have simply relied on the Paris deal to justify their continued existence. However, with Malcolm Turnbull gone and mounting hostility to all things Parisienne, wind and solar power outfits shouldn’t assume that we’ll always have Paris.

Climate, economy must be balanced: ex-Landcare chair
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
1 October 2018

Former BHP and Landcare chairman Jerry Ellis has called for Australia to leave the Paris Agreement, ditch Snowy Hydro 2.0 and be more balanced in discussing the costs and benefits of tackling climate change.

Mr Ellis said it was clear the push to meet the Paris targets was leading to higher power costs.

“We have lost balance between working for the environmental outcomes and working for economic outcomes,” he said. “These things need to be balanced. This has been missed with the Paris accord. The world is better off to have strong economies to have money to spend on poverty, health and the environment.”

Mr Ellis is one of Australia’s most accomplished businessmen. He was chairman of BHP from 1997-99, is a former chancellor of Monash University and was a director of ANZ bank. He was also a president of the Minerals Council and chairman of the national environmental organisation Landcare.

His views are at odds with the publicly stated policies of the companies he once led.

His comments come as new figures show Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.3 per cent in the year to March. Emissions from electricity generation fell 4.3 per cent but total emissions were higher due to strong LNG production in the March period.

Scott Morrison said, in per capita terms, emissions were the lowest they had been for 28 years and Australia remained on track to meet the Paris Agreement target of 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Technology and demand management are pointing to that outcome,” the Prime Minister said.

However, the government is struggling to define new energy and climate policies following the collapse of negotiations for a national energy guarantee.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has been given the single focus of reducing energy prices but the states are pushing ahead with ambitious renewable energy targets of their own.

“I hope the new leadership of the Australian government has the courage to guide our country in a rational manner on this subject, as Angus Taylor seems keen to do, and abandons the Paris treaty,” Mr Ellis said.

Internationally, new doubts have been raised about the cost of Germany’s renewable energy transition, once considered a template for global action.

In a scathing assessment on Friday, Germany’s Audit Office said efforts had been an “unprecedented” waste of resources and the project was on the brink of failure.

Germany has confirmed it will miss its 2020 emissions target and the EU has decided not to push ahead with more ambitious targets for 2030.

The German government has defended the energy scheme, saying the cost of not acting would be higher.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is working to make the case for tougher action ahead of a crucial meeting in Poland in December where the rules governing the Paris Agreement are due to be confirmed.

Furious negotiations are under way to condense the findings of thousands of scientific papers into advice for policymakers.

Green groups have complained the report is being watered down to make it more palatable.

But Mr Ellis said experience had shown the opposite was often the case.

“The IPCC scientific reports are stated in possibilities, yet the guidance for policymakers is written as certainty. A farce,” he said. “There is a misfire between the IPCC scientific community and policy outcomes.

“Genuine debate with scientists who do not agree is almost disallowed and I think there is a lack of balance in debate about policies that are going to hurt economies like ours.”

He said former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan for Snowy Hydro 2.0 was “quite extraordinary”. “That investment would have been better spent on fossil fuel power generation using coal or gas,’’ he said.
The Australian

Ghost PM peddles watery white elephant.


Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews and his sidekick Lily D’Ambrosio occupy a parallel universe, where the laws of physics, nature and economics are suspended.

Determined to wreck Victorian businesses and industry, Dan and Lily have signed up to replicate the wind and solar debacle that is South Australia on the eastern side of the border.

Communities threatened by the rollout of hundreds more of these things are in open revolt: Victorian Victory: Council Slams Wind Farm Proposal After Angry Mob Reads Riot Act

And Dan and Lily are going to have a very hard time explaining away blackouts and rocketing power prices, this summer and beyond.

Foreigners scoop renewable energy windfalls
The Australian
Samantha Hutchinson and Richard Ferguson
2 October 2018

Foreign entities will clean up under Victoria’s renewable energy target and reverse auction program, with new analysis showing foreign companies make up five of the six funded by the program and about 96 per cent of the generation capacity.

Premier Daniel Andrews last month promised Victoria would emerge as Australia’s “capital of renewable energy” as he unveiled a plan to underwrite six new wind and solar farms in the state, generating enough electricity to power up to 650,000 homes.

As the Andrews government continues to duck questions over the cost of the program, energy advocates have argued that the bulk of economic contribution from six newly announced solar and wind farms is going overseas.

Australian Power Project chief executive Nathan Vass said taxpayers would be forced to effectively “pay twice” for the program — once when they pay their electricity bill and again through government support of the companies running the solar and wind farms. “Australian industry won’t get much of a benefit from this deal,” Mr Vass told The Australian. “This will only help manufacturing jobs in China, Europe or the US where most wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers are based.”

State Environment and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio defended the government investment, saying the new wind and solar farms would create jobs, while local content requirements would stimulate local industries.

“These projects are about creating local jobs, reducing emissions and delivering lower power prices for Victorian families and businesses,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Thanks to our support for renewable energy, these projects will exceed local content targets and Portland manufacturer ­Keppell Prince will double its workforce over the next six months.”

A local content target of 64 per cent has been set for all projects, as well as a target of 90 per cent for local operations and 90 per cent for local steel.

Projects that exceeded the targets were scored higher, a government spokesman said. Under the plan, the Andrews government has approved three new wind farms at Berrybank near Geelong, Mortlake and Dundonnell near Warrnambool, and three new solar farms near Benalla, ­Cohuna near Echuca and Cawarp near Mildura.

Spanish groups Acciona, Union Fernosa and FRV have won the contracts for the Winton Solar Farm, the Mortlake South Wind Farm and the Berrybank Windfarm, while New Zealand-owned Tilt Renewables and Canadian Solar have won the other two contracts. Just one company — Leeson Group — is Australian-owned.

The company, which will build the Cohuna Solar Farm in the state’s central tablelands, will generate just 3.7 per cent of the total 928.1MW of new supply guaranteed under the reverse auction.

Evansford farmer Donald Thomas, who has been living near the large, Acciona co-owned Waubra windfarm for five years, told The Australian that turbine noise had affected his health, his family and his business.

Mr Thomas said the fact that the profits were going overseas only exacerbated the discomfort.

“I wouldn’t mind so much if some of the money was going back into people in this country,” he said, “but they don’t care about us sitting up there in Spain.”

“They don’t listen to our complaints … they don’t give a damn about us in Spain.

“And why would they?”

The new power generation is being underwritten by the state government via contracts for ­difference that provide the ­winners with development ­certainty.

If the new plants produced electricity to their full capacity, the five foreign owners would be guaranteed annual revenue of between $159 million and $164m.

Together, the projects will produce enough power for 646,273 households and reduce electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent by 2035.

Some energy advocates say the wave of new-generation power farms could pull forward the ­closure dates of the state’s coal-fired power stations, snuffing out baseload power supply.
The Australian

Donald Thomas: one of Acciona’s long-suffering victims at Waubra.


Samantha Hutchinson once again picks up STT’s Lazy Journo of the Week Award with this sloppy guff:

“six new wind and solar farms in the state, generating enough electricity to power up to 650,000 homes.”

STT has already had a crack at Samantha for an earlier ‘effort’, but here she is again.

When, Samantha? Precisely when? How about after sundown on 20 February 2019 or 2020 or 2021? Or before sun-up on a frosty, dead-calm morning in June? When? On all of those occasions, or none of them?

STT strongly doubts that any one of those 650,000 (it was a very precise 646,273 in her last article) householders are keen to do without electricity 70% of the time.

As a three-year-old knows, that big fiery ball in the sky drops over the horizon every single day; and, with it, the output from every shiny solar panel, no matter how well subsidised. So, sunset is likely to dash the prospects of any one of those households being powered by that lucky old Sun, as will cloudy and inclement weather.

Then there’s the fickle old wind. … [Note to Ed: even if they put a million wind turbines up in Victoria, when the wind stops blowing, aren’t you just left with useless, enormous hunks of fibreglass and steel? – eg, the output from every turbine in Victoria in June]:

Samantha’s editor-in-chief isn’t quite so slapdash. And at least had the wit and temerity to challenge the insane cost of Victoria’s effort to duplicate the South Australian debacle.

Powering up foreign interests
The Australian
2 October 2018

As is the case with most government interventions in markets, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’s dream to make his state Australia’s “capital of renewable energy’’ will generate winners and losers. The winners will be foreign companies that will reap a windfall generating electricity from five of six new wind and solar farms.

The losers, unfortunately, will be Victorians, who will pay twice — through their power bills and through their taxes that will enable the government to support the companies running the projects.

Just one Australian-owned company has won a contract: the Leeson Group will build the Cohuna Solar Farm in northern Victoria. Spanish, Canadian and New Zealand companies will build the rest. While the contracts specify the use of local steel and other local content and the farms will create jobs, the bulk of proceeds will go overseas, as Samantha Hutchinson reports today.

The other big winners, Australian Power Project chief executive Nathan Vass says, will be Chinese, European and US solar and wind turbine manufacturers.

The Andrews government expects the farms will generate electricity to power 650,000 homes, reducing the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent by 2035. But it is ducking questions about the program costs.

Those unanswered questions reinforce former BHP and Landcare chairman Jerry Ellis’s call for a more balanced discussion about the costs and benefits of climate policy. Mr Ellis’s call for Australia to abandon the Paris treaty coincides with serious doubts emerging about the costs of Germany’s transition to renewable energy, once considered a model for other nations. Germany will miss its 2020 emissions target and the EU will not embrace more ambitious targets for 2030.

Without careful cost-benefit analysis, climate policy could be a bottomless pit for taxpayers. That’s why Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has made the right call in freezing Australia’s contribution to a Green Climate Fund that gave millions of dollars to replace cooking stoves in Bangladesh and sponsored “gender responsive” drinking water projects in Ethiopia.

Australia has given the GCF $200 million in three years, but the World Resources Institute last week said that based on our economy and emissions, our contribution should be doubled. Enough is enough.
The Australian

Adelaide, South Australia: the world’s current renewable energy capital.

4 thoughts on “French Kiss of Death: Paris Obsession Driving Australian Power Prices Through the Roof

  1. A little literal liberty with an Australian classic:

    “When they reached the mountain’s summit, even Morrison took a pull,
    It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
    The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
    Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
    But the Australian left let the wind and solar industry have its head,
    And they swung their stockwhips round and gave a cheer,
    And they raced it down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
    While the others stood and watched in very fear.”

  2. It’s all okay – Scott Morrison has told us Tasmania will be the battery for Australia (with pumped hydro and interconnectors of course)! Angus Taylor has been a bit quiet of late, no doubt checking the figures on his parliamentary pension, but,seriously, what hope has Taylor possibly got to fix this mess when surrounded by the same groupthink fantasists everywhere he turns. To add to Taylor’s woes is the prediction of over the top gas prices in summer – gas, of course, being the go to saviour for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar. Meanwhile the inertia in the gurgler is gathering intensity.

  3. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Australian Power Project chief executive Nathan Vass said taxpayers would be forced to effectively “pay twice” for the program — once when they pay their electricity bill and again through government support of the companies running the solar and wind farms. “Australian industry won’t get much of a benefit from this deal,” Mr Vass told The Australian. “This will only help manufacturing jobs in China, Europe or the US where most wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers are based.””

    NOT only are jobs, industry and “emissions” going offshore thanks to skyrocketing ‘green’ energy bills, but now income from energy bills will be going to overseas multi-nationals who build and control Australia’s planned mega wind parks. Insanity on stilts!

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