Wind and solar don’t run on sunshine and breezes, they’re powered by massive and endless subsidies. Remove the subsidies and both so-called ‘industries’ would disappear in a heartbeat.
The perpetual claims about wind and solar competing with dispatchable generation sources, such as coal, gas and nuclear, ring hollow when talk turns to reducing the subsidies and forcing the unreliables to face true competition – unleashed and unbridled. At which point, rent seekers start muttering about being ready to compete, but just not yet.
Then there’s the endless drivel about our ‘inevitable transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future not only delivering reliable electricity at 1970s prices, but delivering an endless stream of groovy ‘green’ jobs.
No State or country that’s ever chased the wind and solar Nirvana has experienced either: power prices rocket; and both jobs and industries disappear. South Australia being a prime example.
It’s against that backdrop that a handful of Australian politicians are beginning to stand up for the jobs that depend upon reliable and affordable power.
One of them, Queensland Senator, Matt Canavan has joined forces with Barnaby Joyce and Liberal MP Craig Kelly in an effort to demand an end to the self-serving nonsense being peddled by NSW’s Energy Minister, Matt Kean.
Kean is a close compatriot of Michael Photios (a champion for Australia’s renewable energy rent seekers, including AGL) and former PM, Malcolm Turnbull – a disgruntled ghost who has been pushing to expand and extend Australia’s, already obscene, raft of subsidies to wind and large-scale solar ever since he was ditched by his party for promoting a plan that would have done just that. Of course, with his son Alex heavily invested in the renewables scam, Turnbull has every reason to do everything in his power to keep the gravy train running: Born Lucky: Stars Align Perfectly for PM’s Son with Mammoth Bet on Wind Power Outfit Infigen
Where the gormless Kean and cynical Turnbull and their mates seek to profit at the misery of their compatriots, Canavan, Joyce and Kelly are in their fighting for Australian industries and jobs at a time when every employment opportunity counts, like never before.
Federal Nationals slam state Coalition’s ‘pixieland power plan’
1 December 2020
The climate wars have re-emerged in the Coalition, with Nationals MPs urging Scott Morrison to build a new coal-fired power station while a Liberal MP wants the government to commit to a net-zero emission by 2050 target.
Nationals MP Matt Canavan used the Coalition partyroom on Tuesday to savage the NSW Coalition government’s energy road map, which passed state parliament last week and encourages investment in low-emissions energy to replace ageing coal-fired power stations.
The former resources minister said the government needed to tear up its $2bn energy agreement struck in January, which included federal funding for emissions reduction initiatives and a commitment to more gas supply.
Senator Canavan said the government should back a taxpayer-funded coal-fired power station in the NSW Hunter Valley.
He accused NSW of passing “radical legislation” without consulting the federal government.
He said the policy undermined the Morrison government’s program to underwrite new energy projects, with gas projects being put on hold.
Senator Canavan questioned why rural people should be kept up at night by “noisy wind farms just so guilt-ridden inner-city people can sleep”.
Partyroom sources say Senator Canavan was supported by fellow Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce and Liberal MP Craig Kelly.
Liberal National Party MP Warren Entsch, meanwhile, outlined his hope that the government would sign up to a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Mr Entsch, the member for the north Queensland electorate of Leichhardt, told the ABC a 2050 target was “not unreasonable’’.
“I was certainly opposed to 2030, I thought the timeline was too short,’’ he said, adding, “we certainly are in a position, I think, to be able to give that commitment and I hope that down the track we do that”.
Queensland Liberal senator Gerard Rennick pushed back against Mr Morrison’s indication that the government would resist using Kyoto carry-over credits to achieve its 2030 Paris targets.
“Every carbon credit had come at the expense of someone’s livelihood,’’ Senator Rennick said.
“To not count all carbon credits would be a slap in the face to workers and industries, especially agriculture, who have reduced their emissions at great expense to their wellbeing.
“Australia signed up to Kyoto in good faith and exceeded its targets. It should not be punished because it was one of the few countries to do so.”
Mr Joyce said the Prime Minister needed to come out against the Berejiklian government’s “pixieland power plan”.
“There has to be a sober assessment to stop an impending fiasco as we destroy our power reliability,” Mr Joyce said.
“This means hard decisions by leaders and that means the PM will unfortunately otherwise be held accountable to the extent that he could have avoided an impending power collapse.”
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said Mr Joyce and Senator Canavan were arguing against lower power prices.
“Matt Canavan wanting to build a coal-fired power station is just asking people to pay more for their electricity bills and is the equivalent of him wanting everyone to abandon Netflix and go back to watching black and white television,” Mr Kean said.
Matt Kean comes from a parallel universe, where mathematics, physics, economics, logic and reason have been banished like troublesome teenagers. Kean, like every character profiteering from the greatest environmental and economic fraud in history, resorts to the usual waffle about wind and solar underpinning some kind of technological utopia.
If wind and solar were even remotely competitive, then they wouldn’t need subsidies. If they were even vaguely reliable, then there would be no need for coal-fired or gas-fired electricity, at all.
In NSW – as in every other state in the Commonwealth – when the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in, every last MW is being generated by coal, gas, hydro and, increasingly these days, diesel fuelled generators.
It’s a simple equation, Matt: for every MW of wind or solar there has to be a matching MW of coal, gas, hydro or diesel generation capacity connected to the grid and ready to dispatch in an instant.
The added capital costs in capacity duplication – and in the increased costs to grid managers, trying to balance supply and demand caused by chaotically intermittent wind and solar – are nothing short of astronomical. And provide the explanation as to why Australian power prices are now among the highest in the world (wind and solar ‘powered’ South Australia’s retail prices win, hands down).
Alan Moran picks up that thread below, as he takes a look at the snouts still gouging around at Australia’s renewable energy subsidies trough.
Subsidies drain power from the electricity market
2 December 2020
Last week’s virtual Climate and Energy Summit screened politicians, industry leaders and bureaucrats, many of whom have been responsible for destroying the world’s most competitive electricity industry. The sledgehammer has been subsidies through regulations and government spending, which are running at $7bn a year.
Speakers included US Democratic Party activist Audrey Zibelman, who came to Australia as a refugee from the 2016 Trump victory and is returning as a Google executive to help refill the Washington swamp. Zibelman heads the Australian Energy Market Operator, which she transformed into a policymaking body fostering increased renewable energy supplies by spending $17.4bn on new transmission in addition to the $10bn for Snowy pumped storage. She assisted in designing the new NSW subsidy package.
Also featured was Kerry Schott, who was picked by Malcolm Turnbull to head the Energy Security Board, which is at the apex of the electricity industry’s dozen regulatory agencies. Schott’s energy industry experience includes having sold, for $1m, the NSW government power station Vales Point, which now makes annual profits of $60m.
Among the many openly speaking for the renewables lobby was Anna Skarbek of ClimateWorks. Skarbek raised the goal for renewables supply of 100 per cent of electricity to 700 per cent, arguing Australia could soak up sunlight and export it, a delusion assisted by a mirage involving its conversion into hydrogen power.
Politicians included Victoria’s Lily D’Ambrosio, who has pioneered a damaging subsidisation of renewable energy to prove the ALP’s green credentials and save inner-city seats. The state’s spendthrift 2020 budget provides even more subsidies.
But NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean is the new standard bearer for government control over the industry. Last week he pushed through the NSW parliament a package of imposts on electricity consumers and central planning machinery. This is designed to leverage $32bn in new private investment in renewables and the transmission lines they will require.
Kean maintains a game changer is that the cost of renewables has plummeted. But not one of the 24 gigawatts of wind, grid solar or rooftop solar would have been installed without a subsidy. Nor, as the state’s new legislation demonstrates, would any future supply be built without assistance.
Kean claims these regulations will lower prices. The assumption is subsidised renewable power will force down prices of all electricity supplies, with non-subsidised coal-fired plants running at a loss but remaining operating. But 20 years of such policies brought the opposite outcome. Seven years ago financial losses sustained by coal-fired plants as a result of competition from subsidised renewables forced the Northern and Hazelwood power stations to close. The outcome was a doubling of wholesale prices.
Kean thinks laws preventing power stations closing will prevent a reoccurrence of this but it is doubtful firms could trade while insolvent. Moreover, industry sources suggest the intrusion is so great investors might take legal action against the government. AGL’s response to Kean’s plans was to shelve new investments.
These developments have led Kean to give voice to his barely disguised socialism and fulminate against Big Business that refuses to cop losses by doing the government’s bidding. Kean copped an earful from federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who recognises the precarious nature of a renewables-rich energy supply in an electricity system where supply and demand must be precisely balanced for every 86,400 seconds a day. The unpredictable variability of wind and solar adds further expenses to their intrinsic high cost. Indeed, negative prices are almost a daily occurrence and the difficulties are so great that the market manager is spending consumers’ money to switch off subsidised surplus wind and solar.
That said, the federal government’s policies are not markedly different from those of state governments. The commonwealth retains the subsidies on renewables that have created the present high costs and unreliability, while putting taxpayer dollars into speculative funding of hydrogen and other new technologies that might replace coal.
Twenty years ago, soon after the dawn of the national electricity market, the divestiture of political interventions and privatisations that came with this produced a world-beating electricity supply system. The only way to restore this is through a market unpolluted by subsidies, regulations and directions.
Sadly, the replacement of market forces by subsidies means government intervention is advocated even by backbenchers Matt Canavan, Craig Kelly and Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon, who recognise the low cost and reliability advantages of fossil fuels. Ranged against these are powerful lobbies advocating for closure of fossil-fuel generation — in some cases out of environmental zealotry and in other cases to benefit from subsidies.
via STOP THESE THINGS
December 5, 2020 at 12:31AM