Library from Australia
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.
The market price of the subsidy households end up paying to wind farms has surged by up to 270 per cent in just two years. A grab-bag of green schemes is expected to add between $90 and $190 to power bills in 2016-17 depending on where consumers live.
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.
And if the federal process works, not a single turbine will ever start slaughtering birds at Dundonnell. ...The (state-based) environmental effects study which gave the project the green light was a joke. Birds in general will be cut down by the turbines. They do end up turning occasionally; indeed when they really get going they can be very efficient bird killers.
Chris Back called for a moratorium on new wind farms, and no more subsidies for wind energy generators until the Productivity Commission conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the effect the industry was having on the National Electricity Market and retail electricity costs.
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.
Wind turbines in South Australia were using more power than they generated during the state’s electricity crisis, which has prompted major businesses to threaten shutdowns and smaller firms to consider moving interstate. The sapping of power by the turbines during calm weather on July 7 at the height of the crisis, which has caused a price surge, shows just how unreliable and intermittent wind power is for a state with a renewable energy mix of more than 40 per cent.
Rising energy prices fuelled by South Australia's ambitious renewable energy target have helped send stricken Whyalla steelmaker Arrium cap in hand to governments seeking $150 million-plus in taxpayer aid. Higher energy prices may have added as much as $12 million to Arrium's annual costs, with rising gas prices and South Australia's wind and solar power among the main culprits.
"[South Australia] has moved so far ahead of the rest of Australia in terms of changes of generation", with a prominent role for renewable energy which has forced the closure of coal-fired power stations, he said. "Not only are they paying through the nose for their electricity, but with large price declines last year, and now the big rises this year – you can't get stability in household budgets.
Boco Rock Wind Farm has been fined for disturbing Indigneous heritage sites at its Nimmitabel operation.
Infigen, which has a market cap of $664 million, said it was "exploring a range of options" but advised there was no certainty a transaction would eventuate. Mr George said the company had approached underbidders in the recent sale of Pacific Hydro, a deal said to be worth $3.2 billion.
A warning letter has also been issued to NGH Environmental Pty Ltd for providing incorrect location information about heritage sites in the management plans provided to both companies.
Some 4850 megawatts of wind farms and solar power plants need to be installed to meet the deadline, with most expected to be built in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, the research firm found. It calculates that though $340 million of investment has been committed to new projects, another $10 billion is needed.
Claims have emerged that Mr Saunders was subjected to a terrifying campaign of retribution after giving evidence alleging corruption in approvals for wind farms around Portland. Mr Saunders said his family had been subjected to duress and that he now wants a full investigation in to why he wasn’t protected after speaking out.
It’s time to stop denying that wind farm noise causes adverse health effects in some people. It’s insulting to sufferers to be accused of only suffering from a “nocebo” effect. Everyone who is adversely affected by wind farm operations deserves to be heard and deserves adequate compensation, which should include an offer to purchase their property at a fair price.
“This is basically giving the minister powers to allow for changes without going to a panel hearing,” Ms Kearns said. “We might not even be given an avenue for appeal.” Ms Kearns, she was concerned about wind farms close to people’s homes.
A rule change that allows the Planning Minister Richard Wynne to bypass planning panels and advertisements on amendments to approved wind farms could soon be challenged in the Supreme Court. A group has filed an originating motion with the court over ministerial changes to the Victorian Planning Provisions.
But landowners who have been offered upfront payments of $25,000 and $8000 a year say they have been told to keep the existence of the contract and its details secret. Sue Dean said she had been given to the end of this month to sign an agreement with WestWind, but had decided to blow the whistle instead.
Putting money into investigating possible health effects of infrasound was consistent with previous National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations, said the environment minister, Greg Hunt. ...“A reasonable exercise for the government is to ... investigate the matter,” the prime minister told reporters.