Regulations currently force consumers to accept an ever growing share of subsidised renewable energy – largely wind farms and rooftop solar – within their electricity supply. Subsidised renewables comprise 9 per cent of supply; this is to grow to 16 per cent plus 4 per cent rooftop solar by 2020.
The damage caused by these regulations is now clear.
Renewable energy subsidies force existing coal fired generators to operate unprofitably so they progressively close.
This reduces reliability as seen in South Australia’s blackout last year following the closure of its last coal power station.
It also raises prices – Hazelwood’s recent closure has seen electricity prices, which had previously been under $40 per MWh, jump to a new level of $100 per MWh.
The Finkel review learned nothing from these disastrous outcomes, which have transformed Australia’s electricity from the cheapest in the world to among the dearest. Instead of seeking to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to high cost, low reliability wind and solar, the report calls for a fourfold increase in subsidised renewables by 2030.
Madness, brought on by a dopey ruling class that didn’t check the climate calculations. They are going to look foolish when the error is widely known.
The fantasy of Finkel:
Many reports over the past 30 years have proclaimed we are on the cusp of an era when renewables’ costs will fall below those of coal. This allows supporters of renewable energy to fantasise that the substitution of wind for coal based electricity will see prices gradually fall.
Finkel is hooked onto this illusion and says his proposals will mean wholesale electricity prices falling to one third of their present levels of $100 per MWh.
But the report’s confidence in this is insufficient for it to recommend the removal of the supposedly unnecessary renewable energy subsidies!