Articles from Australia
While sinking enormous financial resources into propping up renewable energy prospectors, national governments are providing no perceptible benefits to their citizens, writes Judith Sloan, a renowned Australian economist who has served on the Australian government’s Productivity Commission.
The key message from Josh Frydenberg is that subsidies for renewable energy are coming to an end. ...He does not rule out more subsidies explicitly, but the clear suggestion is that renewable energy generators are now at a point where they can stand on their own two feet.
Frydenberg set to drop clean energy target; Mr Frydenberg told the summit that emissions in the electricity sector had fallen over the last two quarters as a consequence of the closure of coal-fired power stations and flatlining demand, but said this could not continue if it made power less reliable or affordable.
Move over, Ponzi; forget Bernie Madoff; ignore Enron; and dismiss collateralised debt obligations associated with subprime mortgages. Without a doubt, the biggest scam perpetrated against taxpayers and consumers is renewable energy. And if you think this scam is just an Australian phenomenon, think again. With very few exceptions, governments all over the world have fallen into the trap of paying renewable energy scammers on the basis that it is necessary, at least politically, to be seen to be doing something about climate change.
One of Victoria’s best-known wind farms, Waubra, 35km north-west of Ballarat, has been shot at several times in recent years, police have revealed.
Now with a slew of new wind farms planned around his town of Hawkesdale, 300km west of Melbourne, and impending changes to Victorian state planning policy, Mr Lewis is seriously pondering his future. “Everyone thinks these things are great, but they’re not the ones living beside them and getting woken up at night,” he said.
As things stand, energy distributors are forced to buy in baseload at absurd spot prices while the wind and solar kings sit around their idle generators and count their profits. Why should the taxpayer have to pay for unfeasibly large batteries from a US billionaire because of the failure of highly subsidised renewable energy plants to provide electricity around the clock? The Finkel review says that should change.
Households are paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world and manufacturing industries have been closing or downscaling because of cost pressures created in part by rapidly rising power prices. Energy bills are also creating commercial hardship for struggling retailers as well as hospitality and other sectors. The largest single factor in the power crisis is the renewable energy target demanding 23 per cent of electricity be supplied by renewables, which are subsidised by consumers.
Seven years ago, in my first column in this series, I wrote of how wind farms were causing much angst in the bush.
The Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed wind generation output during times of peak demand could fall to as low as 2 per cent of installed capacity. Even when spread geographically across the entire National Electricity Market, wind power could not be guaranteed to deliver more than 5 per cent of its promise.
Victorian taxpayers will cough up hundreds of millions of dollars to help pay for the Andrews government’s upcoming solar and wind farm auction. ...The move will punch a $250-350 million hole in the state Budget, and experts warn the full cost could be much higher.
Tablelands residents have accused the developer of a wind farm of destroying part of a mountain for the $380 million project and turning it into an “eyesore”.
The question of whether wind turbines are physically capable of producing the adverse reactions claimed is unresolved. However, it is now scientifically demonstrated by Swedish researchers that amplitude-modulated low-frequency wind turbine noise can directly cause sleep disturbance, even in young fit people taking part in its research study.
AUSTRALIA: Goldwind Australia has confirmed three workers were transported to hospital following an incident at the White Rock wind project in New South Wales.
A factor which may have impacted on the expansion of wind driven technology in Australia was the ongoing claim by people living near turbines that their health had been impacted. The institute is working with acoustics experts to test surrounding inaudible, or infrasound noises, generated by wind turbines.
Trade union, CFMEU, slammed the wind power giant on Tuesday, accusing them of unsafe work practices. CFMEU organiser Dean Rielly said they had been warning Goldwind management about safety concerns at the wind farm for some time –highlighting the need for hard barriers at embankments.
If electricity consumers were not already being squeezed by the closure of Victoria's coal burning Hazelwood power station, an extraordinary lack of wind in the past few months has certainly compounded the problem. The large wind-focussed generator, Infigen Energy has been forced to downgrade its full-year profit forecast due to what it says has been the least windy period it has endured put its current capacity together in 2012.
Electricity prices will jump another 20 per cent, partly because global warming policies are closing cheap coal-fired power plants. With even supply now threatened, the Turnbull Government is considering building its own plant.
A spokesman for Mr Fydenberg said the "Government considered the proposed wind turbines would create a considerable, intrusive visual impact". "This would affect the spectacular and scenic landscapes for which the world heritage island group is recognised," the spokesman said in a statement.
Victorian firm Maddens Lawyers filed the class action against Infigen Energy Ltd in the NSW Supreme Court after a crow electrocuted by a transmission line carrying power from the company’s Woodlawn wind farm sparked the fire, which burned 3400ha and caused up to $20 million damage.