THE Twisted Irony of Deep-Green Energy Policy (RET)

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SOUTH Australia will this weekend overtake Denmark with the highest electricity prices in the world.

The South Australian Labor government’s mad rush into renewable unreliable energy, particularly wind power … has helped generate a surge in South Australian electricity prices.

South Australian businesses face wholesale electricity prices of between $87 and $90 per megawatt hour, compared with $37-$41 in Victoria and $43-$48 in New South Wales.

In South Australia, wholesale prices are regularly spiking to the market-allowed maximum of $14,000 per megawatt hour. In July 2016, South Australia’s wholesale price spiked above $13,000 per megawatt hour 32 times! Reliance on weather-dependent wind and solar power is responsible for these absurd prices.

SA already gets more than 40 per cent of its power from intermittent renewable sources, mostly wind.

That is a nation-leading level, which energy experts say has contributed to higher prices and statewide blackouts by undermining baseload power like the “blown-up” Port Augusta coal plant.

ARTIFICIAL MARKET DISTORTION (“RET”)

WIND and SOLAR projects are primarily funded through subsidies — Renewable Energy Certificates.

The Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target is currently 23.5% green power by 2020.

SA is already easily ahead of the national target, and likely to be for some time.

The subsidy is imposed by the Federal Government, but paid for by power retailers. This forced cost of green power eventually paid for by power users.

Because wind farms make money from these subsidies, they can afford to underbid coal and gas into the wholesale electricity market.

To be financially viable, wind and solar generally require prices for their power that are higher than what other existing power generators receive.

For a while, they helped stimulate competition and put downward pressure on prices in a not-particularly-competitive (aka artificially distorted) market.

Things have started changing rapidly in the past year. This abundance of cheap wind (in a market sense) has helped contribute to the closure of a coal-fired power station and the partial mothballing of a gas plant.

The state now survives on wind, solar, gas, diesel (and perhaps even an offshore Turkish “power ship” if the SA grid destabilises further, especially with the closure of neighbouring Victoria’s “Hazlewood” coal-fired power station which supplied 25% of SA’s baseload power via a giant extension cord).

UNRELIABLE ENERGY = WORLD RECORD POWER BILLS

THE PROBLEM is, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. The high peaks in South Australia’s energy usage don’t always match up with a large chunk of its increasingly intermittent supply.

If the demand for electricity is low – on a public holiday, say – while the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, the price of electricity in South Australia will be low. Conventional generators will make losses, while the market losses of the renewable generators will be (artificially) covered by their sale of Generation Certificates.

If the demand for electricity is high – a heat wave on a working day, say – and it is a still, overcast day, the price of electricity in South Australia will soar, because it will be mostly produced by high-cost, back-up, peaking generators.

The high price of electricity in South Australia is eating away at our economic competitiveness. The probability that we will become, sometime in the distant future, a “low carbon electricity powerhouse” looks extremely low.

Greg Sheridan puts it brilliantly about windfarm-obsessed South Australia:

South Australia, truly the Athens of the south. SA shows that, like Greece, economic misfortune will not drive it to good policy. A state with chronic unemployment, disinvestment and deindustrialisation is determined to have the most expensive and unreliable source of power in Australia, if not the Western world, providing maximum disincentive to any investment other than a socialist enterprise backed by the Australian taxpayer. This is what you get from modern centre-left governments — identity politics, green gestures, economic failure.

THE FALLOUT

NO BUSINESS, big or small, has been spared SA’s skyrocketing power prices.

But, perhaps the most symbolic case of a South Australian business shutting its doors due to soaring electricity costs is that of the very green, ethical, eco-friendly, planet saving recycling business “Plastics Granulating Services (PGS)”, based in Kilburn in Adelaide’s inner-north.

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South Australia’s sky-high electricity prices have forced an Adelaide plastics recycling business to shut its doors, costing 35 workers their jobs, its managing director says.

Plastics Granulating Services (PGS), based in Kilburn in Adelaide’s inner-north, said it had seen its monthly power bills increase from $80,000 to $180,000 over the past 18 months.

Managing director Stephen Scherer said the high cost of power had crippled his business of 38 years and plans for expansion, and had led to his company being placed in liquidation.

“It’s where the cash went out of the business, and without the cash, we couldn’t service what we needed to service,” he said.

“We process about 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste [and] that’s now currently turned off, so South Australia won’t be recycling 10,000 tonnes [of plastic],” he said.

“To scope 10,000 tonnes for you, 10,000 tonnes is 15 per cent of the Australian market [of low-grade recycled plastic] … so Australia has lost 15 per cent of its supply.

SA plastics recycling business closes due to $100k hike in power bills – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

38 YEARS of hard work over. 35 workers out of a job and 10,000 tonnes of plastic that will now not be recycled, thanks to SA’s mad obsession with windmills, solar panels and their associated economy-wrecking policies.

It is astonishing that a Government should deliberately create such an expensive and unreliable power supply – destroying the cheap and reliable one it had – without even being able to explain just how much difference any of this would make to the world’s temperatures.

This is ideology gone mad. How often must it be said that what South Australian Governments have done to their power system at such vast expense MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO GLOBAL WARMING ANYWAY.

The brutal closure of PGS – yet more evidence of virtue-signalling global warming climate change policies causing far more damage, right now, than any slight warming could ever do by 2100.

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