Library filed under Energy Policy from Australia
On Monday, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce refused to commit the government to maintaining the RET. Tony Abbott and South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued that renewable energy targets should be scrapped.
On Monday the Australian quoted several unnamed conservative MPs who want to ditch the RET, arguing it would help sharpen the Coalition’s attack on Labor’s plan to lift renewable energy to 50%. Tony Abbott and the South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued for the scrapping of renewable energy targets.
Now is the time to debunk Labor’s myth-making and expose the true cost that its energy policies will have on Australian households and businesses.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its third report today with its preliminary conclusions on the causes of the “Black System” that plunged the entire state into darkness at 4.18pm on September 28. While tornadoes were found to have taken down three transmission lines ahead of the blackout, it was the loss of power from the state’s wind farms that is thought to be one of the primary causes of the event.
“While emissions-reduction policies are politically fashionable, the obvious result of the EU’s policies has been ... growing backlash at the soaring cost of the renewable-heavy mandates. The backlash is also coming from rural landowners who are inflamed by the encroachment of large wind-energy projects on their neighbourhoods. This backlash has forced European policy makers to begin scaling back their plans.”
BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie is furious that another failure of the electricity network in South Australia resulted in the prized Olympic Dam mine being without power for more than four hours overnight.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused some state governments of putting too much emphasis on generating electricity from wind farms, putting Australia’s energy security at risk and “distorting the national energy market.”
The nation’s renewable energy strategy has officially blown a fuse. Everything is back on the table after an interim report found last week’s storm-induced statewide blackout in South Australia was the result of a dramatic, sudden loss of wind power generation.
The power failure has cost billions in losses to households and business. It has pitted state and federal governments against each other over fragmented ¬renewable energy targets and left green groups scrambling to shift the blame from renewables to climate change. Most of all, the statewide blackout has left South Australia looking foolish and reminded everyone how security of electricity supply easily can be taken for granted.
It appears investors have been spooked by policy uncertainty, despite an RET subsidy of almost $80 a megawatt hour, which comes on top of the $40-$60 a MW/h that generators are typically paid for participating in the National Electricity Market.
If Frydenberg does not give EPBC approval for Dundonnell he can expect a fiery backlash and accusations of turning his back on renewables and new economy jobs. If he does give EPBC approval Frydenberg will be accused of grand-scale environmental vandalism against the Victorian brolga, which is listed as threatened and nests at the proposed wind farm site.
The confidence that everyone had expected to return to the renewable energy sector following the demise of Tony Abbott, is yet to come to fruition. Investors spent just $15 million since February 2014 on big wind, solar or other clean energy projects that were not otherwise supported by government programs.
Investment in large-scale renewable energy in Australia remains stagnant almost two years after the Abbott government began a review of the sector, according to an annual survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investors spent just $15 million since February 2014 on big wind, solar or other clean energy projects.
South Australia has increasing reliance on wind as a power crisis looms. The national energy market regulator has warned that South Australia is likely to face continued price volatility and “significantly lower” electricity availability with the retirement of two gas and coal power stations and an increased reliance on wind.
The new mandate says: “As part of its investment activities in clean energy technologies, the corporation must include a focus on supporting emerging and innovative renewable technologies and energy efficiency, such as large scale solar, storage associated with large and small scale solar, offshore wind technologies, and energy efficient technologies for cities and the built environment.”
“The CEFC certainly has been making some investments in this area and in that respect has been assisting in supporting the reduction in emissions, but it is a fair question to ask whether it is necessary as an institution, and indeed it was the government’s policy to abolish it. We do not support government banks performing roles that can be performed by the private sector."
Senator Leyonhjelm said he was not opposed to wind turbines in principle, but believed they were poorly regulated and are "making people sick". He said Dr Rapley was a suitable candidate for the committee because as a New Zealander he "has been out of the Australian environment", has extensively studied impacts of infrasound on human health "and is a genuine scientist".
The solution was “somewhere in the sensible centre”. The debate needed to move away from “two groups of people shouting at each other” and recognise that humans were not prepared to give up economic gains for environment outcomes. He said meeting the renewable energy component of the emissions commitment would require the equivalent of 250 40MW solar facilities to be built in a relatively short period.
“I listened to their concerns with a growing sense of unease as they documented a litany of failures by government and the wind industry to address, or even acknowledge, what seemed like genuine issues,” Mr Leyonhjelm said in the Senate about the final report. ...The federal government has agreed to appoint a national wind farm commissioner, and said it would look into the rest of the findings of the final report.
A Senate committee wants the government to establish a panel of independent experts to set standards and monitor the health effects of noise from wind farms, problems that health authorities say do not exist. ...Committee members heard from several people who live near wind turbines who complained of a variety of health effects including tinnitus, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, stress, anxiety, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and fatigue.