Hidden Cost of Solar: Sunset Delivers Power Price Surge As Governments Dictate Household Power Use

Hereafter, the lights will go on during the day and off after sunset.

In the ‘even the Soviets couldn’t have dreamt this up’ category sits a plan to force households to use power when they simply do not need it.

Backed by the Federal government’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme – which delivers taxpayer funded credits to the owners of rooftop solar panels worth $40 per megawatt-hour – and ludicrous State backed, over-the-market, Feed In Tariffs (when the schemes started, in the order of $500-600 per megawatt-hour), domestic solar is not only wrecking grids, it’s wrecking household budgets for those without them.

To call it chaotic mismanagement, is an understatement.

Having helped to create the debacle, the West Australian government is now trying to arrest it, by cranking up power prices as the sun sets and slashing them during those few hours when rooftop panels are delivering the goods, in the hope that households will chew up more juice during the middle of the day, when there is little or no demand for it.

Eric Worrall takes a look at the latest from the People’s Republic of WA.

WA “Solves” the Solar Energy Duck Curve by Raising Evening Electricity Prices
Watts Up With That?
Eric Worrall
16 December 2020

The Duck curve. By Arnold Reinhold – Own work based on data from caiso.org, CC BY-SA 4.0Link

In a desperate attempt to contain the damage government subsidised rooftop solar energy has done to the grid, West Australia is trialling a pricing scheme which offers cheap electricity around midday, when nobody wants it, then slams on high prices when solar energy begins to fade in the early evening.

WA electricity prices would be slashed during the day, doubled during peak under new Government trial
Daniel Mercer
16 December 2020

Electricity prices would be slashed by more than two thirds during the middle of the day under a trial aimed at encouraging households to soak up excess solar power flooding into Western Australia’s biggest grid.

But customers would face paying almost twice as much for their power at peak times in the evening, as the State Government tries to shore up supplies and reduce costs in the system.

Amid forecasts the number of installations could almost double by 2030, the Government will run a trial that provides incentives for customers to shift more of their use to the middle of the day.

Under the trial 400 customers of State-owned electricity provider Synergy will pay just eight cents for every unit of power they draw from the grid between 9:00am to 3:00pm, compared with a flat rate of 28.8 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).

Opposition energy spokesman David Honey labelled the changes bad policy, arguing time-of-use tariffs tended to disadvantage poorer households while benefiting wealthier ones.

“What WA Labor doesn’t understand is that there are many West Australian families that simply cannot change the times that they use energy,” Mr Honey said.

“The working poor who don’t have swimming pools and lots of freezers simply do not have large energy consumption that can be shifted to other times of the day.

“Likewise, West Australians that cannot afford batteries and solar panels miss out.”


If only West Australia had invested in nuclear power plants, which produce reliable zero carbon power 24×7, instead of trying to coerce people with higher costs, demanding people change how they live, to fit their lives around their useless green energy system.
Watts Up With That?

And then power prices went through the roof.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Craig Lucanus says:

    The worship of intermittent energy sources has spread west. The whole country is barking mad and the Coalition is presiding over it, too cowardly to announce nuclear energy as the only way to significantly cut emissions. When it talks about gas it’s really taling intermittents. We’re screwed and our main export will soon be our energy intensive industries

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