Australian Federal Govt wakes up to scale of solar electricity scheme waste

I bet the numbers behind this debacle are horrendous – to get the GreenLabor Govt to act this fast. I see Minister Combet claims – “The overall reduction in 2013 electricity bills is estimated to be in the order of $80 million to $100 million.” So assume 5 million households – only $20 per bill.
What a joke – the damage to our hip pockets from a decade of mad Green electricity schemes is way worse than that. Voters have to vote GreenLabor out then look for a double dissolution to clean out the Senate and campaign for a major slash & burn of all wasteful Green schemes damaging our electricity grid. Nothing less will have a hope of stabilizing electricity bills.

7 comments to Australian Federal Govt wakes up to scale of solar electricity scheme waste

  • David Brewer

    A public policy disaster that has lasted a decade.

    Billions wasted. Rich people – who could afford the panels – subsidised. Everyone else stuck with huge price rises.

    The whole thing blindingly obvious from the start. A massive programme of home generation of electricity at five times the cost of central generation. As stupid as Mao’s backyard blast furnaces in the Cultural Revolution.

    Ridiculous justifications advanced. Stimulate new technology – by subsidising existing technology. Bring down the price – by abolishing the price signal.

    This is the type of thing that really would justify a Royal Commission. We might actually learn something, and who knows, avoid a similar appalling stuffup in future.

  • Graeme Inkster

    David Brewer Says:

    What would a Royal Commission tell us? That politicians believe public polls, or that some of them are quite stupid? Bear in mind that the relevant public servants will form a circle, horns outwards and shielding any weakness?

    The only thing you can say in favour of home PV generation is that it is marginally less stupid than similar schemes in Germany and the UK. For the latter, even George Monbiot has condemned it as an upper middle class welfare scheme. Given his normal slobbering joy at any thing ‘green’ that must truly demonstrate the level of lunacy reached in the UK. He points out (or probably his technical advisor does) that the output of a panel in southern England is only 2/3 that of one in the south of France. Given that most australian capital cities are equivalent to north Africa, we would get much better output.

    I must declare that I put in panels last year when it became obvious that the Labor politicians in SA are even dimmer that those in Canberra, and encouragement for wind farms was unending, as would be the inevitable electricity price rises. With the world wide slump in the solar industry panel prices have slumped, so any equivalent unit with the ludicrous ‘feed in’ tariff would return 13-14% p.a. You can’t blame the public for taking advantage of that, for as long as it lasts.

    There are rumbling in the local rag letters column about replacing an obsolete coal fired station in Pt. Augusta with a solar tower plant (with heat storage so it can do base load!!!!). Solar power is cheap is the usual catch phrase. Your comment about solar power costing 5 times as much as coal fired is generous. On the basis of one heavily subsidised pilot plant in southern Spain running for 24 hours, some people think that we can replace our entire electricity generation.

    On second thoughts a Royal Commission would be a good idea, but only if these people were forced to sprout their nonsense in public, followed by their committal to the appropriate home.

  • Philip Bradley

    And it looks like Anthony Watts has shown, the problem was Stevenson screens weren’t painted often enough.

  • Beachgirl

    Alan Moran at Catallaxy has some commentary. He makes the point that the cost of connecting and coping with intermittent Wind & Solar is seldon admitted in this talk of “gold-plating poles & wires”. Recently the huge GreenLabor Solar Dawn project collapsed, we seem to have ARENA and AREVA in this mess.
    Remember these plainly stated warnings from the WA Economic Regulation Authority last year. “Watchdog warns about cost of green power”.

  • Bob in Castlemaine

    Germany with its massive wind and solar capacity is a sobering example the economic madness implicit in these Green schemes. From NoTricksZone here we can see what an appalling return on investment is achieved by such white elephant schemes:

    64,000 MW of installed wind + solar capacity in Germany, less than 5000 MW was fed in. That comes out to just over a whopping whole 7%!

    The underlying reference from EIKE (in German) includes a number of edifying graphs.

  • David Brewer

    The graphs on the EIKI site are indeed edifying, especially this one.

    Total nameplate capacity of German wind and solar power together (the green line at the top) slightly exceeds its average daily peak consumption of around 60 Gigawatts, which occurs at about 6pm each day. But the total output of wind and solar is never more than 8 Gigawatts, and at 6 pm there is no solar, and between 0 and 3 or 4 GW of wind. The average total contribution of wind and solar would be roughly 5% of Germany’s average consumption of 50 GW.

    Other EIKE graphs show that Germany is hardly ever exporting power to France, but is importing from it most of the time, sometimes for many days in a row, non-stop. The peak the imports seems to be early in the morning, but from what you can judge they are also importing at 6 pm just about every day, which will be the most expensive time to do it.

    It is surely no coincidence that German retail power prices are almost double those in France – 24-25 Euro cents versus 13-14 cents a kilowatt/hour chez les Frogs.

    The only country on the continent of Europe that charges more for electricity than Germany is – you guessed it – Denmark, the world leader in wind power.

  • Graeme Inkster

    David Brewer Says:

    By some sort of coincidence, those german electricity prices are the same as the low summer rate offered in South Australia.

    S.A. leads the installation of wind “farms” with 50% of those installed in Australia, about 22% of generating capacity in S.A., and nearly matches the level in Germany. So all the talk of cheap energy from wind is nonsense.

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