Sanity Shutdown: Staggering Cost of Australia’s Renewable Energy Policy

The economic destruction wreaked by Australia’s obsession with intermittent wind and solar was perfectly predictable and perfectly avoidable.

Power prices have rocketed out-of-control, energy hungry industries are chopped from the grid whenever sunset and/or calm weather coincides with heavy demand during very hot or very cold weather. The boffins in charge of this calamity cynically call that Soviet-era rationing ‘demand management’.

Having power as and when businesses need it is one thing, being able to afford it and make a profit, is quite another.

The situation is desperate.

Not least because Liberal PM, Scott Morrison has made no serious effort to restore sanity to the market place, and no sensible effort to build the baseload generation capacity this country sorely needs. Instead, he’s recently announced a plan to build a few small-scale pumped hydro plants and a few highly inefficient gas-fuelled, fast-start peaking power plants (Open Cycle Gas Turbines – effectively a jet engine attached to a tiny generator) – which have only one purpose: compensating for the chaos delivered by intermittent wind and solar.

If the Liberal’s energy policy is atrocious, Bill Shorten’s Labor party’s plans are suicidal.

For Australian households and businesses the choice is one between being run over by a steam roller or being eaten by sharks, as Simon Benson details below.

Climate plan ‘wrecking ball’ for economy
The Australian
Simon Benson
19 March 2019

Labor would have to use credits from exceeding Australia’s Kyoto climate change targets to avoid a “proxy” carbon price of almost $700 a tonne under its plans for a 45 per cent emissions reduction target and 50 per cent renewables target by 2030, according to independent modelling.

This could lead to a 20 per cent loss in economic output from the manufacturing sector, up to a 16 per cent drop in activity in the construction sector and reduced output of more than 60 per cent in the thermal coal sector.

The Coalition would also be forced to adopt international trading of carbon permits to avoid a $263 shadow carbon price under its policy of meeting Paris targets and an emissions reduction of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

A final peer-reviewed modelling report by former government scientist Brian Fisher, the former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics who served under the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments as a chief adviser on climate policy, will be released today.

Without trading of carbon permits, modelling shows the economic impact of emissions reduction ranges from $70 billion by 2030 and up to $1.2 trillion under the high-cost scenario.

“The economic impacts associated with emissions abatement result from the introduction of either an explicit or a shadow carbon price,” the report said.

“Australia’s effective carbon price out to 2030 will depend on the policies pursued to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

“The two main factors that influence the carbon price are the magnitude of the emissions abatement task and the availability and cost of abatement options.”

The modelling, peer reviewed by Stanford University economists and lead authors to the International Panel on Climate Change, examines six scenarios under both the Coalition’s and Labor policies.

Assuming Labor does not adopt a Kyoto carry-over mechanism or allow for international carbon trading, the implicit carbon price would be $696 per tonne. If it were to adopt both mechanisms, this drops to $97 per tonne.

Under the Coalition’s policy — including its $2.5bn emissions reduction fund — the maximum carbon price would be $263 per tonne. With carry-over, which it has committed to, as well as international carbon trading, this falls to $73 a tonne.

The report suggests Labor’s overall policy of a 45 per cent reduction target and a 50 per cent renewable energy target would constitute a carbon price not significantly greater than the Coalition. Labor, however, has yet to reveal whether it would use a Kyoto carry-over mechanism or carbon trading — the use of which are rejected by the Greens — in its overall climate policy.

Both policies imply a carbon price significantly higher than that projected under the scrapped Gillard government’s carbon tax, which began with a $15 a tonne floor price before being slated to move to a floating price pegged to the European market.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor seized on the report and claimed that, under Labor’s target, the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, coalmining, oil and gas production, and transport sectors would pay a heavy price.

“Regional economies that depend on industries like these will be hardest hit but no Australian will escape the impact of Labor’s economic wrecking ball,” he said.

“Labor’s targets will punish Australian families already struggling with cost-of-living pressures and destroy the industries that have made our economy strong.”

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said the report was fundamentally flawed.

“Labor utterly rejects this latest attempt at a climate change scare campaign. This isn’t an analysis of Labor policy and its conclusion about the impacts of our policy are not accurate,” Mr Butler said.

“The report assumed storage or firming costs for renewable energy are as high as $200/MWh when we’re already seeing Snowy offering firmed renewable contracts at $70/MWh and these costs are only expected to fall over time.

“This is just another fear campaign, led by the government and Mr Fisher, who prime minister Abbott appointed to his review to end the renewable energy target.”

Labor’s policy requires 1.3 billion tonnes of abatement to meet its 45 per cent emissions reduction target. The report concludes international carbon permit trading would be the only way to minimise significant economic disruption in meeting the targets.
The Australian

Brian Fisher asks: would you prefer a slow
drawn out demise or something a whole lot quicker?


No one, on either side of politics, has any grip on reality. If Australia shutdown every energy hungry business overnight, it would have no bearing on global carbon dioxide gas emissions. And yet, that’s precisely what Australia’s energy policy guarantees. Graham Lloyd takes a look at the cost of what is simply suicidal.

Expensive Fisher price comes down to virtue signalling
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
19 March 2019

The cost of cutting Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions will relate directly to the amount of virtue being signalled.

A go-it-alone big target that forgoes savings already in the bag will come with a trillion-dollar price tag.

There simply is no free lunch, with the Fisher modelling projecting a “shadow” abatement cost under this scenario of up to $969 a tonne.

This is the extreme based on Labor’s planned 45 per cent emissions abatement goal compared with $263 a tonne for the Coalition’s more modest Paris target of 27 per cent.

The figures are well beyond anything previously considered as a reasonable economy-wide carbon price to encourage action.

But the Fisher estimates bring to account the full economic impact that flows from decarbonisation of the economy.

The shadow carbon price cost can be reduced dramatically by accepting the global reality of what is a global problem. There are two key mechanisms and a big opportunity.

One way to significantly reduce the cost is to book Australia’s Kyoto target over-achievement onto its Paris pledge. The Coalition will do so and Labor would be well advised to quickly follow suit.

Allowing the purchase of international carbon abatement permits also needs deep consideration.

There must be a bipartisan agreement to get the best result at least cost.
The Australian

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. Son of a goat says:

    Alleluia Brothers !
    There was a full coterie of the faithful in Sydney today for the “Smart Energy Council’s” exhibition, show casing the brain cells behind the revolution of solar and energy storage systems.

    The Renewable Energy Messiah was prominent as well as Dr Hewson (God love him), a fired up Alan Kohler wanting to know what his grand kids would inherit?……not much I’d say going on his verbal crap.

    Why even Chicken women herself (Zali Steggles) flew in for a quick chirp.

    The piste de resistance was of course the High priest himself Yoda Yates.
    Poor Yoda is in a tussle for the electorate of Kooyong with incumbent Joshi Frydenberg and that well known patron of all things green Julian Burnside.
    I’ve been trying to help Yoda out but alas to no avail. His whole world, whether it be on twitter or in public addresses, seems to seethe with hostility at Frydenberg.

    I said Yoda, mate its like you’ve come out the wrong end of a spiteful divorce case with Joshi, he got a million dollars and all you got was Peanut the pooch.

    Hang in there Big Fella.

    Ps. A word of warning on how to handle Burnside, throw a punch at one, you might as well throw a punch at the tribe.

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