The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 1)
In Australia, the wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – to wallow in a subsidy stream which will hit $3 billion annually in 2019; and continue at that colossal rate until 2031. The cost of the greatest subsidy rort in the history of the Commonwealth will exceed $45 billion – every last cent of which will be recovered from Australian power consumers through retail power bills:
True it is, that the PM is keen to R.E.D.U.C.E the LRET subsidy for these things, but plenty of other Coalition lightweights and wind industry shills – like Dan Tehan, Sarah Henderson and young Gregory Hunt (and two wind industry plants that work in his office) believe (or publicly claim) that the cost of the massive subsidies directed to wind power outfits under the LRET is magically picked up by fairies and pixies; and that the policy is a no-cost, family and business friendly vote winner.
However, the Senators on the Inquiry into the great wind power fraud – including Coalition Members, Chris Back and Matt Canavan – have worked out that the truth is all the other way – which has led to the recommendation of a 5 year limit to the rort:
The response from the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – like the Clean Energy Council – is as galling as it is pathetic; predictably pathetic.
You see, we’re consistently told how wind power is getting cheaper all the time – so cheap, in fact, that it’s cheaper than the cheapest of them all: coal-fired power (for a trip to a parallel universe see this piece of twaddle from ruin-economy).
The Clean Energy Council would have us believe that its clients – although now that it’s headed up by Miles George from near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown), it’s hard to tell who’s servant and who’s master – are blessed with a kind of ‘divine altruism’, under which their only objective is to power the world for free, while saving the planet from the ‘dreaded’ CO2 gas; and otherwise spreading health, wealth and happiness all over the planet.
But all of that benevolent bonhomie seems to melt away, like snow in summer, with the merest hint that the massive stream of power consumer and/or taxpayer subsidies are under threat.
Here’s STT Champion, Graham Lloyd with the parasites’ response to the Senate recommendations.
Subsidy limits ‘a wind farm body blow’
1 August 2015
Limiting subsidy payments for new wind farms to five years would destroy the future of renewable energy, says the industry’s peak lobby group, the Clean Energy Council.
A Senate committee will next week recommend the winding back of billions of dollars in subsidy support for wind farms. It will also recommend renewable energy certificates not be issued to projects in states which do not comply with federal guidelines on low frequency noise.
The final Senate report is due to be tabled in federal parliament on Monday.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government presently had no plans to amend the Clean Energy Act but would consider the Senate inquiry recommendations after the report had been tabled.
The government accepted interim recommendations from the Senate committee to establish an independent scientific panel to oversee research into the impact of infrasound and low frequency noise.
It agreed to appoint a wind farm commissioner to receive complaints. And the government also instructed the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to concentrate future funding on large-scale solar projects and emerging technologies rather than wind.
The final report of the Senate committee will call for new wind farm projects to be given renewable energy certificates for a maximum of five years, rather than 20. Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said this would damage Australia’s international investment reputation.
“Business needs stability and confidence to invest, and this has only recently been restored to the renewable energy sector after 18 months of uncertainty,” he said. “Adopting the headline recommendation of this report would be economically reckless, and shows some of the senators are out of touch with the business community and the Australian people.”
Mr Thornton said the wind industry remained open to scrutiny, provided that the scrutiny was objective and based on evidence. “The wind industry remains committed to constant improvement in the way it interacts with the local communities surrounding wind farms, and to treating all community members with respect,” he said.
Mr Hunt said he would consider the Senate report. “We’ve recently passed Renewable Energy Target legislation that gives certainty to the industry and will see 23.5 per cent of Australia’s energy come from renewable sources by 2020,” he said. “We are not proposing and have no plans to make any changes to RET legislation.”
Kane Thornton’s whining is not just pathetic; it’s embarrassing.
Running counter to the CEC’s repeated claims about wind power being competitive and becoming cheaper all the time, Kane tells us that limiting the flow of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to a period of five years, spells the end of the wind industry.
What Kane won’t tell you, is that the amount of subsidy available for a single 3 MW turbine operating 35% of the time (with RECs trading at their expected value of $93) will top $855,000 annually. That single turbine – if planted in 2015 will keep raking in that same amount of subsidy until 2031; allowing its owner to pocket a total in the order of $13,686,624 over the remaining life of the LRET: all at power consumers’ expense.
So, Kane’s complaint breaks down to this: if the subsidy scam is limited to 5 years, his client’s turbines will only get to rack up RECs worth a mere $4,275,000.
And that’s just the federal government’s mandated subsidy: wind power outfits receive guaranteed rates of around $120 per MWh under power purchase agreements, which run for 10-15 years – a price which takes account of the assumed value of the REC received for the MWh dispatched. That figure compares, somewhat unfavourably, with the average wholesale price of around $35 per MWh.
Bear in mind, that a 3MW machine and its installation costs less than $3 million; and that being able to spear it into some dimwit’s back paddock under a landholder agreement costs a piddling $10-15,000 per year. Oh, and as the CEC and its clients keep telling us, the “wind is free”; and that these things run on the smell of an oily rag for over 25 years:
So, Kane? Where’s the problem?
Under the Senate’s recommendation, your clients would get to pocket RECs worth over $4 million per turbine, at power consumers’ expense – more than the price of the turbine – where, on your case, the “fuel” is “free”; and the power produced is so cheap, retailers are just chafing at the bit to take it (although the fact that commercial retailers haven’t signed a PPA with a wind power outfit since November 2012, suggests otherwise). So, 5 years of RECs should be seen as money for jam, Kane?
The CEC, and the wind power outfits that it’s paid handsomely to represent, are starting to sound like a bunch of spoiled brats being disciplined for the very first time.
The other Kane ‘cracker’ – that we just can’t let go – is his throwaway that the “wind industry remains committed to constant improvement in the way it interacts with the local communities surrounding wind farms, and to treating all community members with respect”.
Either Kane has been living under a rock, and remains blissfully unaware of just how his clients “interact” with rural communities and the kind of “respect” that they mete out; or his idea of community “interaction” and “respect” is drawn from the pages of the old GDR’s Stasi Handbook on community relations.
As noted above, Kane’s boss, Miles George runs Infigen – an outfit that has had many “interactions” with rural communities; and has, apparently, created its own definition of “respect”.
Back in June, three farmers told the Senate Inquiry about how Infigen managed to force them to enter land holder contracts with it, through a combination of threats, bullying and deceit. One of them, Robert Griffin, told the Senate:
It is hard for us to generalise because we have one man, Jonathan Upson, from one company, Infigen. I must say he was really shocking. He was an incredibly arrogant man. He was arrogant about everyone. All the protesters were just idiots. You could never have any discussion. They were just idiots. The department of planning were dopey. When we raised problems, we were the troublemakers.
We never got anywhere with him at all, except to get threats. Even when the department of planning first said that they would have to get our written signature on a document after the date of approval we never got any consultation. We read in the local newspaper that we were going to be made to come into line. For six months we did not get one bit of consultation from them. They could not come around and try and sweet talk us—’What’s your problem?’- none of that. We just got threats straight away, right from the word go. We were told, ‘They will be made to step into line.’ That was the thing in the local newspaper and that was the attitude.
Funnily enough, the farmers in question have resolved to get out of their contracts with Infigen; and wish to have nothing more to do with goons like Jonathan Upson:
Then there’s that paragon of community relations, Pac Hydro. The union super fund backed Pac Hydro has destroyed the ability of the Cape Bridgwater community to sleep, live in and otherwise enjoy their homes for over 7 years:
After receiving hundreds of complaints over that time – largely ignoring and dismissing them – Pac Hydro was eventually forced by residents to engage Steven Cooper to carry out some proper acoustic testing. Cooper’s work – properly described as groundbreaking by qualified acoustic experts, including America’s best – demonstrated that the terrible effects being suffered – including constant sleep deprivation – were clearly related to the operation of Pac Hydro’s turbines:
After Cooper’s smoking gun research was made public, Pac Hydro was faced with a community and media backlash. True to form, Pac Hydro responded with its own brand of community “respect”. During a “community relations” meeting in February its then head-spruiker, Lane Crocket accepted Cooper’s work, and then practically told its numerous and long-suffering victims to “get stuffed”:
After that effort, wind industry corporate relations were never sunnier – well, not since James Hardie spent $millions trying to cover up and avoid its liability for thousands of asbestos-related deaths and illnesses – all with the help of the same class of so-called “academics”, that help run cover for the wind industry today (see our post here).
STT can only endorse the CEC’s brand of “community interaction”; and the type of “respect” dished up by Infigen, Pac Hydro & Co. If there was anything that was guaranteed to result in the demise of the wind industry, it’s treating honest, decent hard-working country people with condescending contempt, of the kind usually reserved for bitter and sworn enemies.
Australians – especially rural Australians – aren’t so gullible and guileless to tolerate the lies, treachery and deceit doled out by the likes of the CEC and its clients. Under the current LRET, the Coalition is expecting rural communities to cosy up alongside another 2,500 of these things; Labor’s 50% renewable energy target lunacy requires more than 10,000.
There is no way that rural Australians will take this rubbish lying down. Not anymore.
STT hears that hundreds of people, in dozens of communities are already organising the mother of all counter-attacks. And it’s the high-handed arrogance of outfits like the CEC, Infigen and Pac Hydro that’s driving them to revolt. Thanks Kane.