Mystery: Australians invest billions in free wind and solar, but prices rise another 20-30%

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By Jo Nova

Last winter’s debacle in Australia could be repeated this year, but at even higher prices.

Despite adding more cheap renewables per person than nearly anywhere on Earth, for some inexplicable reason our retail electricity prices rose 18% last year and are set to rise another 20 to 30% this winter.

Last year was a bloodbath on the wholesale electricity market. Those costs have fed through to retail.

AER Australian wholesale electricity prices.

The Energy Minister Chris Bowen blames the Russians, and says we need more renewables.

Shock power bill jump to hammer households

Perry Williams, The Australian

Power bills for households will soar by hundreds of dollars a year from July 1, adding to soaring cost of living pressures as the regulator blamed supply challenges and volatility for the steep cost hit.

Customers in Victoria face a 30 per cent jump on ‘safety net’ prices while households in NSW, South Australia and southeast Queensland will see bills soar by up to 24 per cent.

The Victorian ruling by the Essential Services Commission estimates power costs will jump by $426 for residential customers to $1829 a year while small businesses face bills surging by a third or $1738 a year to $7358.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen suggested measures would be introduced in the May budget to help households cope with the coming bill shock. … “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen energy costs skyrocket globally, and Australia has not been immune,” he added.

For 40 years electricity prices went down, but something changed in the last ten years. What could it be?

Source: OWID

Australia “invested” $4 billion dollars in renewables just last quarter.

Despite waves of inflation in the 1970s Australian electricity kept getting cheaper. Engineers were improving the system faster than the costs went up. Then the government joined all the separate state grids into one big bureaucracy and decided to change the weather as well, and we can see how that worked out.

Electricity prices in Australia were falling for 40 years, then we added renewables…

The bigger the bureaucracy is, the more it can screw things up.


Share of electricity from low-carbon sources, Australia

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