No Salvation: South Australian Businesses Being Crushed by Wind Power Costs

Posted: July 27, 2016 by oldbrew in ideology, Incompetence, wind
Tags: , ,

“I think it’s fair to say there is a growing awareness of the need for stable back-up.”
– Spark Infrastructure’s new chairman, Doug McTaggart

Well, yes. But you could have read that on amateur blogs at any time in the last few years. Somehow it takes leaders with supposedly smart advisers an age to see the obvious, especially when they don’t want to see it.


Gerard Mahoney, manager of iron making at the Arrium steel works, in front of the blast furnace in Whyalla.

Arrium Steel’s Gerard Mahoney: SA’s power play the last roll of the dice.


South Australia’s unfolding energy calamity, has drawn all sorts of self-professed experts out of the woodwork; desk-bound boffins, who all seem to have ready-made answers to SA’s self-inflicted power supply and pricing disaster.

However, most of their “solutions” involve spending hundreds of $millions more of other people’s money.  We’ll hand over to The Australian, as another power market dilettante, Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute (a Labor-left think tank) struts his stuff.

Green push risks power price surge, distorts national market
The Australian
Rick Wallace & Michael Owen
21 July 2016

Energy crises in South Australia and Tasmania have shown that unilateral state-based renewable energy measures were distorting the national market and could trigger damaging price surges in eastern states, one of Australia’s leading energy specialists has warned.

The head of energy policy at the Grattan Institute…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    They now want to subsidise the fossil fuel providers of ‘back-up’, whose business models have been destroyed by subsidies to renewable energy developers.

    Subsidies all round it seems.

  2. tom0mason says:

    A modern day experiment is being performed on the population — after decades of stably regulating the grid power by generation matching customer demand, we are now entering a era where customer demand must match generated power.
    This supply-side regulated model seems to have a few problems with performance in maintaining grid integrity or reasonable cost.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Total stuff-up by incompetent and gullible politicians. The latest Minister for Energy would be, if he were a light bulb, a 5 watt one. He thinks that wind electricity is cheap and the solution to them being idle is to build more turbines so they can be idle as well. He is not alone in that view in the Cabinet.
    If they couldn’t manage in winter there will certainly be blackouts this coming summer on hot days as the turbines shut down at 40℃ when people want the air-conditioning working. (Peak demand is in summer, not winter).
    The up-grade to the Heywood inter-connector has been finalised but that adds no where near enough extra capacity – it would only supply around 20% of peak demand.

  4. Poly says:

    Australia really is the dumb country.
    Somehow Aussies manage to turn an abundance of energy resources (coal, natural and coal-seam gas, uranium, water and wind) into a high and unreliable energy cost structure.
    First the energy fiasco in Tasmania, now South Australia.
    However, these pail into insignificance when compared to the emerging natural gas fiasco in the eastern states. (whereby 3 loss-making LNG plants in Queensland sell Australian gas to Asia at lower prices than locally)
    Houses and Holes from Macrobusiness summarises it very succinctly;
    “Let me conclude by saying that I know of no greater market and policy failure anywhere in the world than this debacle. We took an huge natural advantage of low cost gas for manufacturing, leased it away for free with no tax take, watched as $200 billion was pissed away to increase revenue for a few gas firms by $10bn (not profits, revenue), allowed the same hapless gas-bubblers to consolidate and ream us (the owners of the gas) by refusing to give it to anyone locally, hollowed out our manufacturing and lumbered households with higher energy bills, while providing the cheapest energy bonanza in decades in North Asia (at huge losses cross-subsidised by you know who).
    We could not have f#*ked ourselves more royally than if we let some resource-poor super power in North Asia invade and set us up as a vassal state paying huge royalties to the distant King to live in our own land”.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Meanwhile the biofuel fiasco rumbles on as the US discovers some of its drawbacks.

    ‘More than a decade after conservationists helped persuade Congress to require adding corn-based ethanol and other biofuels to gasoline, some groups regret the resulting agricultural runoff in waterways and conversion of prairies to cropland — improving the odds that lawmakers might seek changes to the program next year.’

    ‘And alternatives using switchgrass, algae and other non-edible plant materials have been slow to penetrate the market.’

    Obviously not throwing enough public money at them 😉

  6. oldbrew says:


    By Keith DeLacy AM, Queensland business identity and former Labor Treasurer of Queensland.
    First published by The Australian

    ‘To summarize – with all of the trillions spent world wide on wind and solar, wind currently (2015) represents 1.2% of global consumption of energy, and solar 0.2%.’

  7. oldbrew says:

    ‘The global war against fossil fuels is in fact a war against progress, prosperity, and the poor. No one has ever explained it better than Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White.’

    Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy, by Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White