JobSeeker: Australia’s Economic Recovery Demands End to Subsidies For Unreliable Wind & Solar

Putting a million Australians back to work requires a complete overhaul of Australia’s suicidal energy policies. The Federal and State government dictated coronavirus lockdowns have delivered Australia’s first recession in over 30 years; unemployment rates – already climbing – are set to skyrocket when the JobKeeper employment subsidy to businesses runs out in September; close to million Australians were put out of work overnight. With thousands of businesses on the ropes, a fair proportion of those will never regain employment.

Claims by the PM, Scott Morrison that once the lockdowns are lifted the economy will ‘snap back’ to life sound nonsensical now.

Thanks to tens of $billions squandered on chaotically intermittent wind and solar over the last 20 years, Australian power prices have gone from the cheapest in the world to the most expensive. Anyone doubting that relationship need only look at what’s happened in Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia: South Australia’s 50% Renewable Energy Fail: World’s Highest Power Prices Caused by Subsidised Wind & Solar

The cure for the economic malaise that’s beset the Lucky Country is hardly more of the same. As Alan Moran details below.

Is a COVID based slump causing an energy policy re-think?
Catallaxy Files
Alan Moran
2 June 2020

I have a piece in the Spectator this morning that builds upon the challenging commentaries by Senator Canavan and Craig Kelly calling for termination of subsidies to renewables and leaving the Paris Agreement under which Australia agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.  These measures, and those earlier under the Kyoto Accord, drive up energy costs and are destroying manufacturing which would be flourishing under the low energy costs we could have.

Some in the ALP, especially Joel Fitzgibbon representing a coal mining seat, also agree.

Australian electricity supply has, in the course of 20 years, moved from just about the cheapest in the world to one of the most expensive.  The present relative position is indicated by this graph.

Twenty years ago, Australia along with Poland and the US, enjoyed electricity prices that were less than half of those of Japan and most of Europe.

This morning the Australian carries a story about calls to scrap the $50 m a year subsidy to the Portland aluminium smelter.  Though the advocates are the Labor Party taxpayer-funded “thing tank”, the Grattan Institute, this not a bad idea – it is a miracle that the Australia has so far avoided countervailing duties on aluminium products as a result to the subsidy which is illegal under WTO rules.

However, aluminium smelters are a near perfect fit in Australia with what is potentially just about the cheapest electricity in the world. Grattan, with its ideology of promoting subsidies for wind and solar, has been instrumental in creating the conditions whereby this domestic world conquering industry is reduced to destitution.

The AFR is also a long-term supporter of renewable subsidies to hasten the “inevitable” triumph of wind/solar and regularly features agitprop from Grattan’s Tony Wood to promote this.  Yesterday, it also had an op ed from David Byers and Peter Cook, subsidy seekers for government grants to succour the impossible carbon capture and storage con. Laughably, the article points to several subsidised storages that successfully operate at massive costs but the AFR is seldom troubled by expenditure wasted on its favoured causes.  Governments, spearheaded by an always gullible Kevin Rudd, poured $1.3 billion into a body, grandly called “The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute”, that promotes the approach worldwide and carefully conceals its own expenditures.

There are some who say the COVID-19 will bring the western world to its senses and reverse the crippling effects its sojourn into carbon free energy has cost (needless to say the Chinese and Indians, number two and four in world CO2 emissions have powered on with coal).

Those of us seeking prosperity without mysticism all hope they are right.   But the immediate responses are not encouraging. Flouncing around Brussels, a masked European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen has upped the EU ante for renewable spending from €7.5 billion to €40 billion in response to the crisis.  And Spain, the world’s worst hit nation has just proposed climate legislation would ban all new coal, oil and gas extraction projects, seek a 35 per cent reduction in energy consumption through building renovation and “introduce climate change to the school curriculum”.

For Australia, this issue looms larger than for other countries.

We have at least two highly informed, credible and hardworking coalition MPs forcefully promoting the return to unsubsidised electricity supply.

However, Craig Kelly and Matt Canavan face immense opposition from the indoctrination that people have been subjected to (that renewable energy is cheaper, as well as that Australian inadequacies in emission controls causes bushfires and disease).  In addition, they face the massive funding from subsidy-seekers and their cohorts within the bureaucracy.  Even within the Coalition, there is a near preponderance of support for further action in support of renewables and Ministers always seem to become quickly captured by activists within their own departments.

So, the battle, 20 years on remains an uphill one, even though the economic devastation stemming from the destruction of the once highly electricity supply competitive industry becomes clearer by the day.
Catallaxy Files

Rocketing power prices helped destroy their jobs. Forever.

9 thoughts on “JobSeeker: Australia’s Economic Recovery Demands End to Subsidies For Unreliable Wind & Solar

  1. Rest In Peace champion former senator John Madigan who passed away this week. He sat on the Senate Enquiry into wind farms and fought for communities in Victoria.

  2. As Victorian’s living near the SA border, we like to get our car serviced in Millicent, owing to the fact that this is the closest Land Rover dealer. We currently cannot get our car serviced in the region, and the Millicent dealer is being deprived of our custom.

    We also like to get our 4×4 tyres in Mount Gambier as this is an award winning retailer for its customer service. They also have electronic wheel balancing and alignment facilities. The local Victorian retailer does not. Again, we cannot cross the border to provide custom for this SA business.

    Our car is now long overdue its major service, and our tyres are borderline street legal, all due to political posturing from SA’s belligerent Steven Marshall.

    As a family member recently stated, Victoria should try cutting SA off from the eastern grid, until they open the border.

    Open the border, and stop behaving like you’re another country. This is Australia.

    1. It might cost a couple of $s more but you could get behind the car, push it across the border and get the work done. Just a thought, as they’d want the work.

      1. I think the car would welcome being pushed Peter. It’s done 445,000km! Best car we’ve ever owned. And you can’t beat an all aluminium body! Another reason for keeping aluminium production in Australia. Where’s the all alloy Holden? Or did I miss that one.

  3. This inland railway project has been talked about for years. But not as long as the 18 river diversion projects that date back to Prof Lance Endersbee; Snowy Hydro & Dr JJ Bradfield; Sydney Harbour Bridge & underground rail: QLD LNP is talking about building the modified Bradfield Scheme if elected but so did Premier Beattie. They, like big dams, would be unnecessary with strategically placed desalination plants.
    The rail-line is costed at about $10 billion with bits already built in NSW. It’s supposed to be a mainly private project paid for by selling land at key places to take pressure off urban sprawl. The old main Melbourne to Sydney line, depending on the weather, has had mud coming up through the sleepers putting another 12-15 hours on the journey for more that 20 years. With money being thrown around like confetti, $1.5 billion has been given by ScoMo to fast-track the “shovel-ready” project but Queensland is umming and aahing over the route and environmental concerns.

    The Geelong, Alcoa aluminium smelter closed when the Anglesea brown coal supply ran out.

    I had the following printed in the Fraser Coast Chronicle paper today 17/06/2020.
    The water canal flat rolled pipe (easy to transport) was paid for by Richard Pratt (former “cardboard king”) who was charged with running a cartel for his donation.

    The inland railway sounds good but it’s just more of the same. Old century rattling rail with a diesel engine. States as usual, play what’s in it for me. It would have happened with Snowy Hydro had it not been built under national defence policy.

    Commitment to over-subsidised renewables means we’ll always be living in the past. If the whole country was covered with windmills and panels, we are still weather dependent. It is as ridiculous as cleaning sewerage to pump it into the ocean; the solids could be sterilised by microwave and reused as fertiliser.

    That is the point of having reliable, on demand electricity. With enough the desert could be greened, and floods mitigated. Too many greenies live in big cities and can’t define what a ‘natural environment’ is. Where is it? They also don’t protest about the umpteen trillions spent on nuclear powered warships and weapons.

    There is an eastern power grid, that Queensland coal helps southern states cope with shortages, particularly South Australia. But look what happened to Tassie when its mainland link broke while they tried to make a profit.
    Why shouldn’t there be an eastern water grid?

    Some of Victoria’s water supply canals had cheap collapsible pipe installed saving evaporation and seepage. So it’s not as expensive as first thought, particularly if the renewables subsidy was redirected. Even earthquakes can be predicted up to weeks in advance. A scientist tried to warn Japan of the tsunami but was ignored. Four since modified Chernobyl designs, are still operating in Russia.

    Renewables can’t match sixty plus years lifespan as they start to degrade immediately and are virtually useless at ten years. International finance isn’t concerned with facts, but government should be.

  4. Will this happen in Ontario as well? The people being harmed by turbines sited too close to their homes, who have been forsaken by the Ministers of the Environment and their agents/ order followers, under both governments, can only hope that the economy is so damaged by the lockdown, that subsidies will be cut and eventually the turbines will stop.

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