Sunset ‘Industry’: If Solar Power is SO Cheap, Why Not Scrap The Subsidies Right Now?

Australian government subsidies to domestic rooftop solar are insanely generous, and are costing taxpayers more than $1.7 billion annually. The real beneficiaries of these massive and endless subsidies are, of course, the Chinese who manufacture the panels and export them to places like Australia, where a strange mix of greed and avarice, combines with a particularly obnoxious version of virtue signalling.

Those with a raft of panels on their roof, are quick to point to their perceived moral superiority. However, they’re usually pretty slow to thank their neighbours who paid for them; many of whom are in rental properties where they will never get the benefit of the subsidies and/or the high fixed prices set by Feed In Tariffs for any excess power they might produce.

When they start pontificating about the reduction in their power bills and how they believe they’re saving the planet, it’s only fair to point out that somebody else put them in a position to be paid over the market prices for a product that the market never really needed.

Indeed, the big problem with rooftop solar is that the grid manager has absolutely no way of controlling the surges and collapses in daily output. The problem has become so serious, that new rules are being drawn up to create a system whereby households with solar panels can have their output shut off remotely. But we digress.

Australia is on the brink of an all-out trade war with China, thanks to a move by the Morrison Federal government to launch an independent investigation into the precise origins (both geographical and biological) of the coronavirus that has caused chaos, far and wide.

For having the temerity to suggest that the sleuths looking for the source of the pathogen best start in Wuhan, in the PRC, the CCP has slapped punitive tariffs on Australian barley and is adding more Australian exports to its hit list.

As with any good trade war, it’s a case of tit-for-tat, with Australian politicians looking to hit the CCP where it hurts.

As STT Champion, Craig Kelly MP suggests, one very good place to start is to slash government subsidies rooftop solar and watch the market for Chinese made solar panels collapse overnight.

$1.7B solar panel subsidies solely pay for the importation from China
The Bolt Report
Andrew Bolt and Craig Kelly
20 May 2020

Liberal MP Craig Kelly says Australia should “extend” the argument of anti-subsidies China has used to place tariffs on barley to the billions of dollars-worth of solar panels Australia imports from China which are almost entirely subsidised.

China officially levelled a close to 80 per cent tax on Australia’s barley growers amid threats based on allegations of the barley industry dumping into the Chinese market.

Mr Kelly told Sky News host Andrew Bolt Australia subsidises the solar panel industry to the tune of $1.7 billion which is a “hidden green tax” on electricity bills.

“Those subsidies actually underwrite the importation of solar panels into this country”.

He said when a consumer puts solar panels on their roof, the installer “gets a subsidy paid through the government,” but the subsidy which flows through to the installer “helps them pay for the importation of the panels”.

“The cost of the subsidy is equal to the cost of the importation of the solar panels we have from China”.
The Bolt Report

Transcript

Andrew Bolt: Should we be fighting China’s fire with fire? Now it’s banning some of exports, beef, and barley to punish us for promoting this inquiry. Should we now ban one of theirs? And I’m thinking of an export that is actually costing us a fortune in subsidies, and it’s causing us a lot of strife as well. And I think this idea is a winner. And joining me is the man who put the idea in my mind, actually Liberal MP, Craig Kelly, without a doubt, the best informed MP on global warming.

Craig, thanks for your time. The Chinese export that I’m thinking of is solar panels. Now nearly 90% actually of the solar panels installed in Australia now come from China. It’s cornering the world’s market. Should we ban them?

Craig Kelly: Well Andrew, the whole reason the Chinese have put those countervailing duties on our barley exports is because they’ve argued that we subsidised the barley. And the Chinese are saying you shouldn’t have subsidies in your domestic market.

Now we’ll argue that case. That is simply not the case with the barley. We’ll argue at the world forums and I believe will eventually win, but the damage is done. But look, let’s take the Chinese at their argument. We shouldn’t be having these subsidies. Well okay, fair enough. Let’s extend that to the subsidies that we have for solar panels in Australia.

The cost of the subsidies last year was something like $1.7 billion. And that goes like as a hidden green tax on top of everyone’s electricity bill. Now, the thing is those subsidies actually underwrite the importation of solar panels into this country. And as you said, it’s close to 90% of the importation of solar panels are coming into Australia from China.

Last financial year it was $1.675 billion at FOB value that we imported from China into Australia of Chinese solar panels, which has all under written Andrew by the subsidies, which is a tax on electricity prices.

Andrew Bolt: And then we subsidise them. This is for green power right. This is the make us all have green power and all that kind of stuff. So what are these subsidies? How do we do this?

Craig Kelly: Well Andrew, the way it works, if you put solar on your roof, say you may get a price from your installer, say 5 or $6,000. The installer actually gets a subsidy paid through a government system. Of around about, depending on the size, say its a seven kilowatt system. You would get around about $4,000 in a subsidy.

Now that goes to the installer. So you as the householder, don’t see it, but where the money comes from for that subsidy is a hidden green tax on everyone’s electricity bill. So because that subsidy that then flows through the installer, that helps them pay for the importation of the panels. And Andrew, what we’re seeing, we’re seeing the cost of the subsidies is equal to the cost of the importation of the solar panels we have from China.

So it’s quite simple…

Andrew Bolt: So we hand China a fortune, right? We hand China a fortune, we then slug taxpayers another fortune to subsidise the instalment

Craig Kelly: That’s right.

Andrew Bolt: This has put solar panels on the roof and in solar farms. Solar farms give us unreliable and very expensive power because it’s got to be backed up. So we’re crippling ourselves while China, meanwhile keeps building lots and lots of coal-fired power stations to minimise their power costs while we’re making ours high. So, strategically great for China, shocking for us. One other thing, aren’t these solar panels actually destabilising our power system?

Craig Kelly: Well, of course, Andrew they’re intermittent generation. So when, of course, the sun doesn’t shine, there’s no power. In the morning they may work at 10% of their capacity. So they’ve got to be whatever number of solar panels we have in the country. It’s got to be fully backed up 100% by base-load electricity.

So it’s not actually saving us anything with our base load electricity. It’s still got to be there. And the cost, Andrew, even the solar industry themselves admit the cost of these solar panels is something like $180 per megawatt hour.

So we’re subsidising things that cost us $180 a megawatt to get rid of that and to get enough coal that costs us around $35 a megawatt. And we wonder why the prices are going up?

It puts our country in a strategic disadvantage. And going forward, post this COVID-19, we’ve got to make sure that we are doing everything that gives us a level playing field at least to compete and not put our country at a competitive disadvantage, which these solar subsidies do.

Andrew Bolt: This is a winner. This export is actually to our disadvantage financially, strategically, economically the whole thing. And I just think it’s got to go.
The Bolt Report

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. J Smythe says:

    Now on news commission into fires bods blaming on CC and pushing more renewables barrow as the solution.

  3. ronaldsteinptsadvancecom says:

    Mexico pulls the plug on Renewables – Endless subsides for intermittent electricity not in the budget. Facing its worst recession from the pandemic, Mexico has stopped the subsidies for intermittent electricity from renewables to focus on less expensive reliable electricity for it financially challenged residents. Published 5/19 at Eurasia Review https://www.eurasiareview.com/19052020-mexico-pulls-the-plug-on-renewables-oped/

  4. And the Power companies are feeling the cost of the renewables.
    A story from the financial times that tells how bad it is for AGL a big power supplier. One of their biggest backers from overseas has left them and the list goes on. The return is just not worth the cost.
    Wind and solar farms owned by AGL Energy and QIC are among renewable power plants that are set to be even worse hit by transmission losses next financial year as developers pay the price for the unco-ordinated flood of new capacity onto remote parts of the grid.
    The scales of the problem has triggered warnings of serious financial distress and some default with projects as revenues are slashed
    https://www.afr.com/…/agl-takes-renewables-hit-as-grid…

  5. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

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