Perth economic regulator warns Green power schemes badly flawed

What have climate sceptics been saying for years ?
Watchdog warns about cost of green power
BEN HARVEY and DANIEL MERCER, The West Australian August 12, 2011, 2:50 am
The State’s economic watchdog has warned that policies to encourage green power such as wind farms are badly flawed and may drive up household electricity bills without good reason.

As Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night talked up the carbon tax at a community meeting at Perth Town Hall, the Economic Regulation Authority dropped a politically explosive report on the real cost and impact of renewable energy sources.

The authority called for a rethink on the subsidies enjoyed by the green energy sector and backed a price on carbon as an efficient way to influence markets.

Energy Minister Peter Collier rejected the finding on the efficiency of a carbon tax but conceded the rush for wind farms and rooftop solar panels was costing the State a fortune for negligible environmental rewards.

Authority boss Lyndon Rowe said the real cost of producing environmentally friendly electricity had to take into consideration the expense of having base-load power stations on standby.

And the cost of upgrading transmission lines to deal with the erratic electricity supply associated with solar panels and wind farms needed to be factored in.

“This is not an argument against renewables, it is an argument about going to renewables in the most efficient way,” he said.

In a key finding in its annual wholesale electricity market report, the authority noted renewable energy incentive schemes “will be a major driver of higher electricity prices in WA and impose significant additional costs on consumers”.

“The authority is concerned that unless there is pressure on retailers to procure green electricity at the lowest cost, then inefficient costs will be passed on to consumers,” the report stated.

“Evidence shows the current Federal and State renewable energy incentive schemes are an expensive, economically inefficient means to achieve the policy objective of greenhouse gas abatement.”

Mr Collier said that as a signatory to a national agreement for States to have 20 per cent of power from renewable sources by 2020, the WA Government was required to take the financial pain for what he admitted would be a “negligible” environmental benefit.

“In crude economic terms I agree with what he (Mr Rowe) has said,” Mr Collier said.

“It (renewable energy) is three or four times more expensive than other sources. But this is as much about changing community attitudes as anything else.”
Sustainable Energy Association chief executive Ray Wills conceded measures to encourage renewable energy generation had pushed up average power bills but denied the increase had been significant.

Growing unpopularity of GreenLabor Canberra Government corresponds exactly with post April weakness in the ASX

Comparing one year charts for DOW and ASX All Ords – note how the ASX has performed much worse that the DOW – particularly since April this year. Yet the fundamentals of our economy would be sounder than in the USA.
IMHO the unpopular GreenLabor Govt in Canberra is the cause of most of the difference. Everybody knows they view the productive sectors of our economy as simply a source of extra taxation – that they then redistribute to their unproductive constituency. Just off the charts in May 2010 they announced version 1 of the mining tax – that had a negative effect on the ASX that has been added to by the version 2 mining tax proposal – and lately the Carbon Tax.
DOW
DOW stock index
ASX All Ords (Charts by Proview)
ASX All Ords stock index
A year of “Newspolls” measuring shifting Australian Federal “Two Party Preferred” voting intentions. Note how the collapse in the ASX relative to the DOW started in April – exactly when the popularity of the Canberra GreenLabor Govt began to collapse.
A year of Newspolls
Millions of Australian investors realise that the Gillard/Brown GreenLabor Government in Canberra knows little about safeguarding Australian prosperity.
Post March 11 as talk around introducing the Govts. new Carbon Tax increased and caused the Govt to become more unpopular – worried investors began to take cash out of the ASX. Our Nation is now weaker than it need be – had we had prudent economic managers.
The sooner the Gillard/Brown GreenLabor Government in Canberra comes to an end – the better for our Nation and all of us.
No wonder concerned Australians are planning a “Convoy of No Confidence” – actually eleven truck convoys converging on Canberra on 22 August.

Queensland Flood Commission says to lower Wivenhoe Dam levels to 75% on basis September forecasts

This of course assumes that a reliable forecast exists – on which to base this proposed very serious action. The only forecasts I am aware of are the BoM Rainfall Outlooks which are published usually after the middle of the month and cover the next 3 calendar months.

I have just checked the BoM September Rainfall Outlooks for the 11 years of their archive, for the Brisbane catchment area. I make the score 5 wins, 5 failures and 1 too close to call.

If valuable dam water is to be released from say October onwards – on the basis of useless BoM 3 month forecasts – then it is inevitable there will be a considerable risk that this will be in vain.

But it would help to keep upward pressure on the price of water.

From mid 2010 I have several articles critical of BoM Outlooks:

BoM incompetence again – for the 5th month in a row

Ongoing BoM utter incompetence

#2 Ongoing BoM utter incompetence

#3 Ongoing BoM utter incompetence – month after month

#4 Temperature too – not just rain – ongoing BoM utter incompetence – month after month after month

#5 BoM Spring Outlooks – rain and temperature – more hopelessly wrong models