Renewables Reset: Rocketing Power Prices Mean New PM Bound to Slash Wind & Solar Subsidies

Posted: August 26, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics

The new Australian reality is not agreeing with some ministers it seems…


Australia’s renewable energy policy has just imploded and, with it, the set-in-stone ‘certainty’ craved by renewable energy rent seekers.

Never again will wind and solar power outfits be able to rely on the bipartisan support for subsidies to renewables, critical to their ‘business’ models.

Generating power at the chaotic whims of nature’s wonder fuels means that wind and solar outfits depend (and will always depend) on a mix of mandates, targets, subsidies and penalties to force power retailers to take a product which, otherwise, has no commercial value.

As the National Energy Guarantee (effectively the Renewable Energy Target on steroids) disintegrated in the hands of Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg, so-called ‘business groups’ (really just a front for those profiting from the greatest wealth transfer in Australian history) ranted and raved about the need for investment certainty. On their case, absent the NEG, the chaos faced by investors would equal…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Sky News reports that Keith Pitt, who just resigned, said he would ‘always put reducing power prices before Paris.’

    Which obviously suggests his new political boss doesn’t see it that way and presumably has said so to his colleagues.
    – – –
    Update – Guardian report:
    Shortly after Bishop’s resignation, Queensland Nationals MP and assistant minister for trade, investment, and tourism Keith Pitt announced he would also leave the ministry. He will remain in parliament and says he will contest the next election.

    But Pitt’s resignation statement hinted at continued disquiet within the Coalition over the Liberals’ disunity, and over energy and climate policies.

    “I will always put the national interest and the interests of my constituents above my own. I will always put reducing power prices before Paris,” he said, a reference to the Paris climate agreement Australia committed to in 2015.

  2. stpaulchuck says:

    this subsidy farming scam is way past it’s ‘use-by’ date, and time for the scrap yard. (pardon the mixed metaphors *grin*).

    These rent seekers and their quango buddies in government have ripped off the public for years now to the tune of hundreds of billions. There are dead and abandoned wind farms all over the world now, just rusting and rotting in place. The cost to recycle them will be more than the cost to create them. Guess who’s going to eat that cost?

    People should be going to prison for this but I fear they are all protected by their buddies in government.

  3. Well written piece Oldbrew. You could do a similar analysis with UK electricity. Germany and Denmark have high power prices due to renewables.. Germany is building new coal fired power stations to get stability in their network. I understand UK has now no coal fired power stations.

  4. oldbrew says:

    The UK cut-off for coal power is 2025.

    If biomass, gas and nuclear don’t fill the gap by then, the UK will be pushing its luck for reliable electricity supplies.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Australia faces increased blackout risks this summer as coal plants age
    August 26, 2018

    The risk of blackouts in Australia’s upcoming summer has grown from last year as aging coal-fired power plants have become less reliable, the nation’s energy market operator said on Friday, calling for more power investment in the next few years.

    Wakey wakey. Wind and solar are not and will never be on-demand options.

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    “Queensland and South Australia were exporting power across the interconnectors when they were simultaneously tripped on Saturday, forcing power to be cut to big industrial users and retail customers in NSW and Victoria.”
    Apparently the 2 interconnectors (roughly 1,000 miles apart) were disrupted by an event “consistent with lightning”.
    Rather odd (and a rare event) for South Australia – home of the loonies who believe in wind turbines – to be exporting to Victoria. Qld. – home of the newer black coal fired stations – has been propping up NSW for some time.
    “consistent with lightning” as distinct from “the lightbulb moment” but it will come.

  7. oldbrew says:

    the 2 interconnectors (roughly 1,000 miles apart) were disrupted by an event “consistent with lightning”

    One event? Must have been a big storm 😉

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    One Excuse to fool them all, One excuse to hide them,
    One excuse to explain them all until the darkness finds them.

    Actually it was around 1100 miles and no reason for the simultaneous failure known, but when you have 40,000 annoyed customers who lost power then any excuse will do.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Some kind of greenwash going on here?

    Amid blackout scare stories, remember that a grid without power cuts is impossible… and expensive
    August 27, 2018 by Dylan Mcconnell, The Conversation

    While there is a fair chance that some energy demand will go unserved, AEMO’s report also predicts that it will be below 0.002%, thus meeting the reliability standard.

    There is actually always a chance of some unserved energy. As discussed above, the aim isn’t to have no power cuts at all, but to keep them to an economically acceptable level.

    Read more at:
    – –
    The report talks of ‘the temporary diesel generators installed in SA last summer’ but here it says:
    For now they’ll be run off diesel, but next year the generators will be moved to a permanent location where they will use cheaper and and less filthy natural gas. [bold added]

    So it seems the only thing temporary is the fuel used to power them. Further evidence that renewables are inadequate.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Date: 27/08/18 The Sydney Morning Herald

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing his first foreign policy test ahead of a regional visit next week, as Pacific leaders urge him to deepen Australia’s cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and cement Australia’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change.
    . . .
    Asked on Monday about Australia’s commitment to the Paris agreement, newly installed Treasurer and deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg said Australia would not damage its economy in pursuit of climate goals.

    Still trying to face in both directions at once?

  11. tallbloke says:

  12. oldbrew says:

    Australia would run into trouble with its EU trade negotiations if it pulled out of the Paris agreement.

    When asked how Australia’s new approach to climate policy might affect the ongoing talks, a Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV that “it would be difficult to imagine concluding a broad trade agreement without an ambitious chapter on trade and sustainable development”.

  13. stpaulchuck says:

    oldbrew, the Aussies would do well to chat with President Trump on ‘the art of the deal’. The EU is trying to strong-arm everyone into their AGW scam. So tell them to take a hike and turn towards China, Singapore, Japan, etc. If you chop off their cash flow from Australia they’ll soon come around, and if they don’t – meh. Who cares.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Date: 30/08/18 EurActiv

    Bilateral trade between Australia and the EU topped €70bn in 2017 and an impact assessment concluded that removing certain tariffs could boost that figure by around a third.

    But earlier this year, EU trade boss Cecilia Malmström tweeted that a reference to the Paris Agreement is needed in all new commercial deals, as part of the bloc’s attempts to export climate diplomacy across the world through trade. [bold added]