Victoria’s Suicidal 50% Renewable Energy Target Set to Wreck Grid & Drive Power Prices Into Orbit

Want to know what a 50% RET does to grid stability and power prices, then look no further than South Australia.

Despite some desperate wind industry propaganda efforts suggesting that South Australians are currently enjoying 1970s power prices, Australia’s renewable energy capital still pays the world’s highest power prices – thanks to its ludicrous 50% Renewable Energy Target.

SA’s 50% RET was the product of an unhinged state Labor government. At the last Federal election, Bill Shorten campaigned on a policy of delivering the South Australian ‘experience’ to every other state in the Commonwealth, with a 50% RET to be enforced nationwide.

The promise has long been that if we roll-out millions more solar panels and thousands more of these things – coupled up with mythical mega-batteries – power prices must surely plummet. They haven’t (see above); and there’s much worse to come.

Where Bill Shorten failed in his bid to carpet the country in solar panels and windmills, Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews and his hapless sidekick Lily D’Ambrosio are doing renewable rent-seekers and zealots proud with their effort to enforce their very own 50% RET.

Dan and Lily are hell-bent on replicating South Australia’s wind and solar debacle and bringing it on home.

By definition, ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

On that score, Andrews and D’Ambrosio are in a league of their own.

It’s not as if the results are news: South Australia is the only state in Australia to suffer a statewide blackout; and the fact that it suffers the highest retail power prices in the world, is known from here to Timbuktu. But, as the Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor once put it, this is all about ‘Labor virtue signalling with other people’s money.’

The more serious problem Taylor faces is that – with lunatics like Dan and Lily in charge – it’s going to be next to impossible to keep the lights on this coming summer, and beyond.

Last summer, Victorians faced mass load shedding (euphemistically referred to as ‘demand management’), when temperatures rocketed and wind power output hit the floor.

As they did, the previous summer, when some calm-weather-driven chaos left hospitals scrambling for power and saw dozens of energy hungry businesses unceremoniously chopped from the grid during a typical Aussie heatwave: Australia Closes Coal-Fired Power Plants: Hospitals Forced to Cut Power Use & Power Prices Rocket

By backing chaotic wind and solar instead of the reliable stuff, not only will Dan and Lily deliver ‘system blacks’ to Victorians, Victoria’s wind and solar obsession now threatens to wreck the entire Eastern Grid. And, as Liberal MP, Craig Kelly points out, Victorian power prices will be sent into orbit.

Victoria’s renewable target is ‘complete and utter madness’
Sky News
Peta Credlin and Craig Kelly
19 July 2019

Liberal MP Craig Kelly has slammed Victoria’s 50 per cent renewable energy target, calling it ‘complete and utter madness’.

Mr Kelly notes that Australia has already had a ’50 per cent renewables experiment – it was called South Australia’.

The Liberal backbencher says if Victoria goes ahead with its ‘stupid and absurd’ plan, it will push power prices up in other states too due to there being interconnectors between state electricity markets.
Sky News



Peta Credlin: Last night, in my editorial I said, “The prime minister can make himself a hero if he addressed two major issues. Just two. That’s it, just two. Power and water.” And today, the Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, set his sights on the Victorian Labour Government with revelations that their push for a 50% renewables outcome by 2030, that’s less than 11 years away, will mean an increase to state power costs of around $370 million. The Australian Energy Market Operator has voiced its concerns, too, fearing that Victoria’s existing distribution network won’t be able to cope with a surge in renewables.

Surge, at least on the days that the wind blows and the sun shines, meaning soaring prices for householders. Angus Taylor was firm when he called the Victorian Government “reckless” today. Joining me now to explain the risks of these go it alone targets set by some of our states, is the Liberal member for Hughes and resident energy expert, Mr. Craig Kelly. Craig, thanks for coming on tonight. I really want to get into this issue, particularly with Victoria.

Explain to me what this great influx under their target, and it’s 11 years away, but it’s well underway, of renewable power does to the grid and why Victorians are going to have to cop now an almost $400 million cost just because of the target?

Craig Kelly: Well firstly Peta, we’ve had this experiment, this 50% renewable energy target experiment. It was called South Australia. They went down this track. So, we have the evidence of what happened in South Australia and that gave that state the highest electricity prices in the world. And now we have Victoria saying, “Look what South Australia did, let’s copy it.” This is complete and utter madness. Now, where a lot of the even extra costs will come in, in Victoria, you have to remember how our grid was initially designed by a lot of very smart engineers over many decades. And the electricity is distributed around the state via the transmission lines, which all vary in size.

So, a good way to imagine it is a series of pipes that connect, and your thicker pipe, which lets you push more electricity or more current down the line, is closer to your coal fired power stations. And as you get out into the more regional and remote areas, the size of the pipe, or the size of the wire, or the transmission that it can actually take, thins down and gets smaller. Now what’s happening, they want to build these extra wind turbines and solar farms out in the far western parts of Victoria, and the transmission lines are not there.

So, the cost has to go on to actually double the size of the transmission lines to make sure the power can flow the other way. And this costs hundreds of millions of dollars and it simply gets added on to Victorians’ electricity prices. But then, Peta, it gets worse. It’s not just affecting Victoria. Because we have a national market, and we have interconnectors between each market, when Victoria does something stupid and absurd like this, they’ll put prices up in Victoria. It also affects New South Wales. It affects Queensland. It affects South Australia. And it pushes the prices up in all those states as well.

Peta Credlin: All right, let’s go back. You started the discussion with South Australia as the example of what not to do. If we remember when there was the big blackouts in South Australia, the main issue was their own systems failed, but they also had a failure with the interconnector between South Australia and Victoria. That was at the time when Victoria still had the Hazelwood Power Station, thank goodness for Hazelwood, but of course Hazelwood’s gone and there went 24% of Victoria’s power.

If Victoria goes down this path, and continues to build more and more renewable capacity into the grid at the expense of coal fired power, it has no Hazelwood. And we know that Yallourn, which is set to go in 2029 and likely to go earlier, will also be vulnerable. So there goes another significant proportion of Victoria’s fossil fuel power supply.

What happens to South Australia when it gets self into trouble, even if the interconnector doesn’t fail, let’s assume it works. It’s not much power to drag out of Victoria anymore, and if Yallourn goes under and you’ve got the issues with Liddell, Victoria can’t borrow from New South Wales as it has been in recent months, particularly over summer, what happens to Victoria if what happens to Victoria also happens to South Australia? God help us if New South Wales goes.

Craig Kelly: We saw, of course, blackouts in Victoria earlier this year. It was simply a day when the wind stopped blowing, a bit of cloud cover came over, and they didn’t have enough power to run the states, and they had blackouts. Now, Victoria with this policy will actually be exporting blackouts to New South Wales, and we’ll be exporting blackouts to South Australia. And you mentioned Yallourn Power Station and the other coal fired power stations. What the Energy Market Operator doesn’t cost, and why their analysis in this is actually faulty, they don’t cost in the intermittency, the cost of the intermittency, all this renewables or this intermittent generation coming into the grid costs.

If you build another 6,000 megawatt capacity of wind and solar, that is fantastic when the sun is shining and the wind’s blowing, but you have to have it backed up for when that doesn’t happen. So what happens? All of a sudden you have a windy day when the sun’s out, that means your coal fired power stations in Victoria have to ramp down and basically turn themselves down to very low capacity, but they have to be on standby ready to go up to full speed when the wind stops blowing and the sun goes behind clouds. So, it makes the operational cost of those existing coal fired power stations a lot more dearer. It undermines the economic case. It pushes them out of business quicker. And then you see the explosion in prices. Exactly what we saw when Hazelwood closed down.

Peta Credlin: Okay, well, Angus Taylor didn’t miss today. He went out to the government here in Victoria. I’m down in Melbourne tonight and it’s cold, so thank goodness the power hasn’t had a bit of a brownout down here, but you know anything could happen. It’s still very early in the night. He went after the Victorian government, called them reckless. How reckless is it and are the other states any better off?

Craig Kelly: Look, Angus is 100% right on this issue. This is just a reckless policy of Victoria. They know what happens, it’s called South Australia. The highest electricity prices in the world. It’s not as though there’s some guessing game or there’s some debate about what will happen. This will make electricity prices higher. Now, Angus is doing everything as the federal minister working to get electricity prices down, but his hands are tied behind his back when you have Victoria doing these reckless and crazy things.

Simply virtue signalling on electricity. Yes, okay. They’re not only going to punish Victorian consumers, but there’s the knock-on effect across the states that New South Welshman, Queenslanders and South Australians will all be punished by the reckless policies in Victoria on energy.

Peta Credlin: Yeah. Look, I have to say, I think that this issue, and the more that Victorians have learned about it, is one of the reasons that Scott Morrison, your party, didn’t cop the hiding in Victoria that everyone assumed they would. I think there were a range of factors in the state election, a little bit of federal implications, but a lot of delivery by Daniel Andrews on the ground in terms of local infrastructure. I think a poor campaign from the Libs, and I think it was over-inflated that people were really signing up to absolutely everything that Andrews has on the table. I mean, it’s a socialist state down here, but this issue, power for a state that has more coal than anywhere else, that has made its name from being value add manufacturing.

Craig Kelly: That’s right.

Peta Credlin: It’s a state that doesn’t make much anymore. It’s got some of the most expensive power in the world, and now increasingly, some of the most unreliable. It’s a really big worry, Craig Kelly.

Craig Kelly: What we’ve seen over the last two decades, we’ve had this relentless propaganda on wind turbines and renewable energy about how wonderful it all is. But people, Peta, are slowly waking up. They’re seeing the realisation. It’s the intermittency that is the real problem.

Peta Credlin: Well, even Bob Brown’s waking up, mate, even Bob Brown’s waking up.

Craig Kelly: Bob Brown has woken up. Now, if Bob Brown can see the light, I’m sure a lot of other people finally can see the light. Not only the environmental hazards of wind turbines, but it’s the economic cost. And a state like Victoria, that built the wealth upon that state of back of their low-cost energy, it puts the whole economic prosperity of that state, for decades in the future, at risk.

Peta Credlin: All right, Craig Kelly, well parliament’s back on Monday. I hope you thump the table in the party room and really get some movement on two issues for us, please: water, and obviously, power prices.

Craig Kelly: We will, Peta.

Peta Credlin: Thank you very much for your time tonight.

Craig Kelly: Thank you.
Sky News

Of course, the myth is that by spearing hundreds more of these things across the great State of Victoria, Dan and Lily will overcome the fact that they have helped to destroy the viability of coal-fired generators in the Latrobe Valley.

Well, here’s the news.

In the dead-still heart of winter, there will be whole days and even weeks when a high-pressure system plonks itself over the South-East of the Continent, and the combined output of every wind turbine in QLD, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and SA – with a combined notional capacity of 6,702 MW – amounts to little more than a risible trickle (see above).

Given that Craig Kelly sought to focus on Victoria and the consequences of its ludicrous 50% RET, STT will do likewise, with a look at what Victoria’s whirling wonders have been doing over the last week or so – courtesy of Aneroid Energy..

As you read on, bear in mind that there are 17 wind farms spread across Victoria with a combined capacity of 2,116 MW.

There you have it. For more than a week, Victoria’s wind farms struggled to produce anything much at all – topping out at around 400 MW on a couple of occasions, representing 19% of their combined installed capacity of 2,116 MW.

But, for the bulk of the time, the ‘team’ lucky were produce half that and, on numerous occasions, output hit the floor, and for 12 hours at a stretch.

The idea that Victoria is going to power itself on sunshine and breezes is, of course, patent nonsense. As a South Australian, who’s been there and done that, might say: “well, good luck with that!”

Dan, Dan, he’s your man, if he can’t wreck it, Lily can!

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. How many ‘green’ schemes have actually benefited us?
    I am at a loss to think of any.
    We can blame the politicians,(as we should), but don’t forget the so-called engineers who decided that intermittent wind and solar could replace fossil fueled power generators. They deserve a big kick up the backside as well.
    Last but not least, the lazy voters. I am appalled at the number of people who have no idea of the damage that renewables are doing to our once stable grid. Not to mention the fact that they blame the prices on the fossil fuel generators.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Don’t worry, as soon as there is a serious blackout Dopey Dan will blame the Federal Government and claim that Victoria must speed up the drive to renewables.
    Then he will demand subsidies for the coal fired stations.
    S.A. (once the lights come back on) will demand Federal money to build an interconnector to the far SW of NSW, so they can export very cheap surplus wind power and (maybe) get expensive coal fired electricity back when the wind doesn’t blow.

    • Jacqueline Rovensky says:

      Inter-connector funding – already offered and accepted. Of course it is going to be the saviour of SA and even NSW – but then the constant need for more and more subsidies, funding and ‘renewable’s’ which is not deterring the unfortunate people who think renewable’s are the answer to our energy ‘crisis’ which was brought about by the take over of our reliable energy supplies by renewable’s! Going in circles is the way to not get anywhere but try telling the policies maker zealots that.

  4. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    On 4.8.2019 approximately 9.15am SA time

    SA 16.41% 570MW Installed MW Capacity 2138
    Vic 0.94% 1MW 2117
    NSW 0.08% 3MW 1504
    TAS 0.0% 0MW 308
    QLD 41.5% 151MW 632

    Just an example of how wonderfully wind production is and can be relied on – because if the wind isn’t blowing in one place it is in another.
    Of course that requires it to be blowing STRONGLY (gale force) 24 X 7, day in day out doesn’t it and our Governments can guarantee that will happen because they want it to.
    Nature has nothing to do with it, we can manipulate the weather – except when there is a drought or major flood then it’s all the fault of Climate Change!!!!
    So don’t worry, we have such wonderful Politicians, who are Superhuman and can do anything they desire, so we don’t have to worry about anything!!!

  5. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

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