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Bill shock debacle: Solar rooftop subsidies in Australia doubling, will cost $1.3 billion this year, $160 per household

And we wonder why electricity bills are rising?

Solar Panels, resting on a river of subsidies. Photo.Many Australians don’t realize that those without solar panels pay are forced to pay for those who do through their electricity bills.  That pain point is about to launch itself above the horizon and into public view. For those readers with solar panels (there are a lot) this is not about you, this is about the system. Our badly managed grid is now so obscenely inefficient and expensive, droves of people are installing solar panels because they feel they have no choice.

Tony Abbott says “Australians are paying too much for our emissions obsession”.

NSW MP Craig Kelly: “It’s effectively a reverse Robin Hood scheme where we are ­increasing the electricity prices on the poor to reduce electricity ­prices for the rich.”

As Jo says: We could have put that billion into a new hospital. Instead we put magic squares on our houses, hoping to get nicer weather.

Solar Subsidies must end

Solar Panels on Australian rooftops cost electricity customers $500m last year, and are projected to cost a staggering $1.3 billion this year:

The Clean Energy Regulator has released figures showing that more than 1057 megawatts of ­capacity was installed last year, equating to 3.5 million solar ­panels being fixed to rooftops.

Industry analysis obtained by The Australian reveals the cost of small-scale technology certificates — created to increase the incentive to install rooftop solar — shows the value of the sub­sidies was $500 million last year.

The solar industry is expecting the subsidy to increase to about $1.3bn this year….

 – Joe Kelly,  The Australian

With 8 million households that works out as $100 extra added onto electricity bills this year — on top of the $60 per household we paid last year for solar subsidies. That will be $160 total per household, just for solar subsidies, this year alone.

The few good politicians left are up in arms, in revolt:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott is demanding action… [he] led a chorus of ­Coalition backbenchers urging the government to end the small-scale renewable energy scheme, with Liberal MP Craig Kelly declaring the policy was more economically damaging than the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme.

“Australians are paying far too much for our emissions obsession. Government must end subsidies for new renewables,” Mr Abbott said yesterday.

Nationals senator John Williams said the policy forced struggling families to subsidise rich people’s solar installations.

Mr Kelly, chairman of the ­Coalition backbench committee for energy and the environment, said the government should halve the maximum certificate price to $20, followed by another ­halving in its value next year ­before it is phased out a decade early in 2020.

 When people find out just how expensive, toxic and pointless this is, there will be a riot.

The Minister Josh Frydenberg talks about ancient history and promises Santa is coming:

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Australian Energy Market Commission had found the average cost to households over the past five years was about $29 a year, with the price peaking in 2012 at $44 for the year. “The AEMC forecasts residential electricity prices will fall over the next two years as renewable energy, including small-scale solar supported by the Renewable Energy Target, enters the system,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy calls this a “right wing push” to slash “incentives”

Don’t threaten the cash cow! In parasite-language  a subsidy is not a subsidy, it’s an “incentive”. A sensible request not to force the poor to pay for the rich is labeled an ideological “right wing” push.  And when you don’t have an answer, blame the Murdoch media for standing up for poor consumers.

After the namecalling, the claim that rooftop solar is helpful:

Criticism of the small-scale solar scheme invariably ignore the considerable benefits of having such a large amount of rooftop solar in the grid.

Network owners and operators in all states have highlighted how rooftop solar has reduced and deferred the events of peak demand, thereby reducing the cost of wholesale electricity because there is less need for peaking plant and less opportunity to trade on scarcity.

Nice theory, shame about the facts. Wholesale electricity prices aren’t cheaper, they doubled.  For the total cost of all the solar panels, and batteries, and now the Snowy Money Scheme we could have built a new cheap coal plant [Or maybe three for $10b! h/t Graeme no.3]. The fact is that when Australians didn’t have much solar power, they had cheap electricity. Same is true all over the world.

And so much for “not trading on scarcity” — those solar panels didn’t stop $400 million of non-scarce profiteering in a two day spike in January.

Then there is the pathetic argumentum ad populum:

… rooftop solar is more popular than it has ever been – including when some state governments offered overly-generous feed-in tariffs in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Yes and coal power is more popular than it has ever been with 62 countries building 1600 new coal plants. Perhaps they are all stupid and we the only ones who can see the obvious blinding truth? Is Jay Weatherill the only genius running a state or is he the gullible fool who believes the green industry propaganda and thinks the ABC has impartial reporters?

Rooftop solar is only popular because our grid is so screwed people feel they can’t afford electricity any other way.

One in five houses have solar panels. What happens if we all got solar?

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Total subsidies for wind and solar is more like $5 billion or  $600 per household.

Madness.

 

h/t Pat

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Rating: 9.3/10 (97 votes cast)
Bill shock debacle: Solar rooftop subsidies in Australia doubling, will cost $1.3 billion this year, $160 per household, 9.3 out of 10 based on 97 ratings

141 comments to Bill shock debacle: Solar rooftop subsidies in Australia doubling, will cost $1.3 billion this year, $160 per household

  • #
    Hanrahan

    But new installations are only getting 10c FIT and surely the early 44c offers are maturing now and going back to 10c. I was under the misconception that these subsidies would be reducing.

    60

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Hanrahan:

      In South Australia (a.k.a. Jay’s Weird World) the 44¢ may last until 2028, or long after the panels (and probably this owner) are buried as land fill.

      80

    • #
      RickWill

      It is not the FIT that will cost non-solar consumers the $160 but the STCs credited to the installation that reduces the installation price. The credit works out at about $700/kW installed depending on the solar zone. This is a link to STC calculator:
      https://www.rec-registry.gov.au/rec-registry/app/calculators/sgu-stc-calculator
      The current price for an STC is $36/(deemed MWh). The calculation period for 2018 is 13 years. It reduces by 1 year each year now and will expire in 2030.

      STCs are less than half the price of LGCs. So the grid scale solar and wind generators are getting much more attractive subsidies although they are paid over the generating life of the grid scale asset whereas small scale get the subsidy at installation.

      What everyone will eventually realise is that power transmission, distribution and retail in Australia is more than the cost of generation. There is no way that grid scale wind and solar can compete with local rooftop because grid scale is hobbled by the high cost of transmission. The LGCs are priced to make grid scale wind and solar economic. LGCs are currently priced at $89/MWh; that is similar to the current wholesale price. Without LGCs none of the grid scale wind and solar could make money.

      If anyone had done any planning on all this they would not have allowed solar and wind generation onto the grid. South Australia has already reached the point where rooftop solar/battery is the economic option for businesses and households. The SA grid is dead economically. All the new grid scale assets in the pipeline will need to be paid for from general revenue or proponents will go bust.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        “The SA grid is dead economically.”

        And with that, S.A. business is dead economically and so are employment prospects.

        While it’s true that all of this mess can be laid at the feet of the voters, it is also true that they have been failed miserably on two counts.

        First,the politicians who deliberately created this mess must stand accountable.

        Second, mass media has failed the public in that it seems incapable or unwilling to examine a situation and get ALL the facts to present.

        It seems that Journalists simply submit press releases from politicians without any further assessment.

        It’s a mess. S.A. the social security state.

        Australia next, but who cares, our nation can always borrow money for social security from China.

        It sort of reminds me of the Kemlani affair back in the Whitlam era.

        KK

        60

        • #
          rapscallion

          Slightly off topic – and I apologise in advance.

          If any of you Aussies suspected that ABC was infected with post-modernists, communists, and all the other left wing hangers-on, then this clip from youtube will confirm your suspicions

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxgeevlRElw

          Minute 7:33 should be pretty conclusive evidence.

          10

    • #
      yarpos

      FITs far higher than I pay retail. I guess it makes sense in some other universe.

      30

  • #
    el gordo

    Predatory Pricing Ignored

    ‘ …. the Anti-Dumping Commission says, it seems Australian-made solar panels would be ” highly unresponsive” to changes in price of Chinese modules and a small increase in the installed price of Chinese PV panels wouldn’t result in significant switching to Australian-made products.

    ‘There’s little doubt that low-cost, high quality solar panels manufactured in China have played a significant role in Australia’s solar success story. The availability of low-priced solar PV products has empowered more Australian households and businesses to take greater control over their electricity costs through the use of solar power systems and accelerated Australia’s progress towards a cleaner energy future.’

    Energy Matters / 2016

    50

  • #
    Annie

    Good timing there Jo. Thanks.

    60

    • #
      yonniestone

      I understand you’re attending a meeting tonight Annie regarding an independent solar grid proposed in your area, if so can you please post details of the event.
      Good luck and stay focused.

      40

      • #
        Annie

        Thanks Yonnie. We went but are pretty tired now. It was a bit airy-fairy really, with lots of assumptions made. What I found annoying was the assumption that they were actually going ahead with this thing although precious few of the long-term residents were at the meeting. There was an attitude ‘We’ve done all this pro bono therefore you should all be so grateful’! I didn’t ask them to! We didn’t manage to ask about the subject of Jo’s thread although were ready to. A business friend wasn’t impressed favourably with their figures.
        We are just having a recovery shot of a good whisky given to us for our special anniversary a few weeks ago ;)

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        • #
          toorightmate

          Without having attended, I can guarantee that the WORST assumption was that CO2 is harmful and has some measurable effect on climate.
          That assumption is wrong, wrong and wrong.
          The soothsayers who continue to tell us that CO2 is harmful have been wrong, wrong and wrong with every prediction they have made in the past 40 years.
          The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

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          • #
            Annie

            I did chip in about CO2 when tbey started on about the efforts to save the environment…pointed out it was a small but essential part of the atmosphere without which we wouldn’t live. Guess what…change of subject.

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          • #
            Don A

            trm, this is the CORE issue that we must revert to and push. Nothing else matters as the cr.p will all fall down when the CO2 assumption is proved wrong

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        • #
          robert rosicka

          The old pressure sell eh , wot you should have done was got a heap of your friends together and all said hell yeah then pulled out at the last minute before signing .

          30

          • #
            Annie

            There were certainly several mentions of putting one’s name down as interested; not tempting to us though.
            Mind you, following your sugggestion would have been mischievous fun!

            30

            • #
              Yonniestone

              Good for you showing up Annie, sadly often people that should be there never are, the people proposing the solar plant will have to abide by the Victorian Renewable Energy Act 2006 among other Regulatory Framework Legislation for the Victorian energy sector and national energy market reform. (that link has all the acts in PDF) which I hope they produced legal proof of compliance with renewable energy certificates, Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria approval etc..

              Anywhere public money is available corruption is too, if all looks lost remember what is written in law can be undone by lawyers so a class action can be a good fright for any shysters posing as business but you will also essentially be taking on the Victorian Government who are now acting outside the law in many facets, I hope it doesn’t go that far but never underestimate the stupidity of people when it comes to making decisions that effect the many I’ve experienced it and its a real dent in your faith in others to do the right thing.

              The most annoying thing about this entire climate shemozzle is the way major changes in a persons life have been changed for the worse with no reason or consultation, James Otis’ ‘No Taxation Without Representation’ has never been truer and indeed leads to tyranny.

              40

              • #
                Annie

                Unfortunately I lost my original reply to you Yonnie as we went offline before I could post it. Trouble with the Telstra modem…
                My OH did ask questions about who was managing the proposed scheme; auditing the use of grants, etc. It was all very frustrating as it is nearly impossible to have a proper discussion at these meetings. There was virtually no notice of it in advance and the local regress group and ‘climate council’ seem very much to be acting to suit themselves. It all seems right out of proper control, procedure and administration to me. We were both very disinclined to attend but thought we should. Hardly any, if any, long-term residents were present but some of the usual greenie ring-ins from the general area were there. Our business friend was not at all impressed by it.

                10

  • #
    Klem

    Rooftop solar panels that cause leaks, wind farms that chop up birds, low water toilets that don’t flush, curley light bulbs that contaminate your home with mercury, closing of coal fired power plants, skyrocketing power bills, rolling power outages…the list goes on and on.

    Why are greenie leftist ideas always so terrible, why?!

    201

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Look at family law.
      Most of the money goes to lawyers, bank loans to pay for the lawyers, and so on.
      A tiny fraction of it, if any remains whatsoever, goes to the welfare of children, or in the case of green ideas, toward the actual saving of remaining species, remaining old growth forest and the like.

      80

  • #
    Richard Quigley

    I am beyond rational comment on what has been done to this country in the name of climate by so called rational adults. It is as if the entire government left school at the end of their third year.

    PS: Please fix this Jo: (there is a lot)should be:(there are a lot)

    [Yes, thanks Richard. At once! How did that get there - Jo]

    60

  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    Even the extreme-green George Monbiot was warning about the solar panel rip-off when the Feed-in-Tariff scheme was introduced in the UK in 2010:
    “Are we really going to let ourselves be duped into this solar panel rip-off?”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/mar/01/solar-panel-feed-in-tariff

    The scam continues in the UK, but the subsidies have been drastically reduced due to the massive costs of the subsidies which were exceeding the allowed budget for “green” energy.

    150

  • #
    Dennis

    I have done the cost-benefit analysis several times, rooftop solar is a con when accounted professionally.

    Remove the taxpayer subsidies including feed in tariff and solar would be ignored.

    So, connect to electricity grid, world’s highest pricing in Australia, only if connection to grid is impossible or prohibitively expensive, remote locations.

    142

    • #
      Dennis

      Add battery, who is kidding whom?

      112

    • #
      Hanrahan

      We are retired [both worked well past retirement age] we have a mildly brain damaged daughter and a son as useless as a hip pocket in a singlet still living with us. We therefore use much of a 3.5 KW system’s output. I didn’t cause the high power price so I make no apology for saving on my bill. A pox on those who made this necessary.

      120

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Sorry for your situation Hanrahan, as Jo said its about the system a few people we know who’d had rooftop solar for years were genuinely upset when I explained the cost to everyone but also because they believed it worked as I did many years ago and felt duped.

        You are correct on the excessive rising costs of everything in general as its part of a strategy much in line with “Cloward-Piven Strategy”

        Section 1:
        How to create a social state – The Cloward-Piven Strategy:
        There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.

        The first is the most important.

        1. Healthcare– Control healthcare and you control the people.
        2. Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
        3. Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
        4. Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state
        5. Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives. (Food, Housing, and Income)
        6. Education – Take control of what people read and listen to us“ take control of what children learn in school.
        7. Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
        8. Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

        [This is approved on the basis that it's Yonniestone's opinion. Readers can easily make their own judgments.] AZ

        101

      • #
        RickWill

        The fundamental mistake by governments and grid operators was allowing solar and wind to connect to the grid. With that mistake long past there is little chance of recovery.

        Having made the mistake of allowing wind and solar on the grid, it makes economic sense to distribute solar collectors and have them installed at the load; rooftop mounted. That avoids all the expense of transmission, distribution and retail.

        Already the SA grid is uneconomic. It cannot recover the cost of any new assets through electricity price increases. The lowest cost option for SA power is already solar/battery. All other states are on the same path.

        Nothing posted on this blog is going to change the direction with wind and solar. The state governments, banks and super funds are all backing wind and solar – there is no chance of changing direction. They will double down until the realisation hits that the grid is not an economic entity. There is a good chance the NEM will be dead economically within 10 years.

        I get the impression that proponents of wind and solar have not yet realised how the system constrains the capacity factor as the market share for wind and solar increases. AEMO are certainly aware of this because they have forecast that minimum demand in the SA grid will be zero in 2024. That means at those times all the grid scale wind and solar will only be able to generate through the Vic link. By then Vic may have enough wind and solar supply to meet demand in Victoria so SA generators have no demand.

        30

    • #
      RickWill

      What numbers are you using for your calculations?

      Right now rooftop solar/battery is an economic proposition in SA although just solar has shorter payback period. It is possibly the best investment that someone with spare cash can make.

      22

      • #
        Hanrahan

        Both this post and Yonnie’s above have thumbs down, yet whoever gave them has not told us of their objection. Come on out, whoever you are. lol

        I have zero interest in batteries but my solar system gives better returns than the bank.

        40

  • #
    pat

    heard Steve Price this morning (sitting in for Alan Jones), talking to a US correspondent about Elon Musk & his planned Mars mission.

    rough paraphrase, Price asked is Musk for real and the correspondent said Musk said he would make an electric car and send rockets into space and he’s done both…with his own money. well, if he’s using his own money, that’s fine, Price added.

    it’s amazing how CAGW-related subsidies are so well-hidden.
    unsurprisingly, when it comes to Musk, it would seem The Guardian is also ignorant, or pretends to be:

    9 Mar: Moneyweek: Elon Musk plans to put life on Mars
    At the start of last month Elon Musk, founder and CEO of electric-car company Tesla, sent one of his vehicles into space, attached to a rocket launched by his other firm, SpaceX…
    All Musk has achieved is to make the human race look ridiculous, says Jenny Lee in the Financial Times. “When aliens discover a sexy red sports car off-roading through the cosmos they are going to think Earth is having a mid-life crisis.” And as if sending a car up there is not a “fruity” enough idea, he’s also planning on building a city from scratch. On Mars. His plans are just silly. “It is romantic to build utopias; it is moral to fix what is broken. We don’t need billionaires. We need their billions back. For the cities that already exist. For the people in them. For goodness’ sake.”…

    Some might take issue with Lee’s argument. After all, it’s Musk’s own cash, and if he’d like to “spend it making big explosions and sending his convertible on a million-mile space voyage, that’s his prerogative”, as Nathan Robinson puts it in The Guardian…

    ***But this overlooks the fact that “Musk’s empire is fuelled by billions of dollars in government subsidies”. As well as Musk benefiting from grants, tax breaks, discounted loans and environmental credits, consumers are granted rebates for buying his products. “The average household income of a Tesla purchaser is in the hundreds of thousands, yet the American government pays people $7,500 to buy Tesla products through tax credits, and many states offer their own cash handouts.” Thanks to this support, “what he chooses to do with that money is very much our business… Silly and fun things are important. But some of them are an indefensible waste of resources.”…
    https://moneyweek.com/elon-musk-plans-to-put-life-on-mars/

    Aug 2017: The Hill: Can we wean Elon Musk off government support already?
    By Jenny Beth Martin
    But granting literally billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to Musk’s firms isn’t the worst of it. No, that honorific is reserved for this little gem: In order to induce car buyers to spend their money on electric vehicles, the federal government offers a $7,500 rebate on the purchase price.
    Some states enhance that rebate with rebates of their own. In California, for instance, purchasers of electric vehicles get a state-funded rebate of $2,500 more…

    “Why should those guys in Washington take my hard-earned tax dollars and use them to lower the price of an electric car for some movie star in Hollywood?”
    That’s a good question. Given that the average household income of a Tesla Model X owner is $503,000, that the average household income of a Tesla Model S owner is $267,000, and that we can only assume the average household income of a Model 3 owner will be somewhere in six-figure territory, it’s a tough question to answer…

    2017: FinancialPost: Lawrence Solomon: How Tesla’s Elon Musk became the master of fake business
    The fastest-growing industries over the last two decades have been fake industries, those that thrive despite having few customers willing to buy their products except at fire-sale prices. The fake industries all have the same angel investors — governments — and the same promoter touting their wares — again governments. These fake industries, the brainchild of subsidy entrepreneurs, also tend to be dazzlers, the better to wow their politician backers and the stock market speculators betting on cash flows of government subsidies.
    Today’s fake-industry leader is Tesla…

    Tesla stock is now valued at US$801,000 per car sold in 2016, compared to $26,000 per BMW sold and $5,000 per GM car sold…
    That inflated stock value rests entirely on government subsidies, as seen by what happened last year when Denmark decided to reduce its subsidies. In 2015, Tesla sold 2,738 cars in Denmark; in 2016, after the government said it would be phasing out subsidies, Tesla sold 176 cars, a drop of 94 per cent. Tesla’s car crash was even more pronounced in Hong Kong. After the government there cut its tax break on April 1, Tesla sales plunged from 2,939 in March to zero in April and five in May.

    The Tesla, in effect, is a beautifully engineered toy for the conspicuous-consumption market, accessible to millionaires but beyond the reach of the commercial market. Neither it nor most other electric vehicles have any place in a competitive, free-market environment. As an indication of how economically injurious these playthings are to society on the whole, the U.K.’s National Grid estimated that Britain would need to increase its peak generating capacity by 50 per cent to meet the government’s plans for electric vehicles, the equivalent of building 10 new nuclear plants…

    The driver of the electric-vehicle industry — government fixation on global warming — has spurred even larger fake industries, led by wind turbines and solar photovoltaic cells. Neither they nor the many other anti-carbon inventions such as carbon sequestration plants are in any business sense “real.” The global renewable-energy industry, having squandered trillions of dollars building economically unjustifiable infrastructure, represents the greatest loss of wealth in the history of commerce…

    Fake industries have always been with us, but today’s scale is greater by at least an order of magnitude…

    Subsidy entrepreneurs like the Musks of the world — often self-deluded true believers — should be distinguished from the Bernie Madoffs, who are fakes within real industries, and who prey primarily and illegally on private investors. The Musks are fakes in fake industries who prey primarily on taxpayers, a time-honoured practice that remains legal.
    http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-how-teslas-elon-musk-became-the-master-of-fake-business

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  • #
    pat

    the definitive Elon Musk subsidy piece, which is now out-dated, with no MSM apparently willing to do an update:

    May 2015: LA Times: Jerry Hirsch: Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies
    Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times…
    The figure compiled by The Times comprises a variety of government incentives, including grants, tax breaks, factory construction, discounted loans and environmental credits that Tesla can sell. It also includes tax credits and rebates to buyers of solar panels and electric cars…

    Tesla and SolarCity continue to report net losses after a decade in business, but the stocks of both companies have soared on their potential; Musk’s stake in the firms alone is worth about $10 billion…
    Musk and his companies’ investors enjoy most of the financial upside of the government support, while taxpayers shoulder the cost…

    The payoff for the public would come in the form of major pollution reductions, but only if solar panels and electric cars break through as viable mass-market products. For now, both remain niche products for mostly well-heeled customers.
    Musk declined repeated requests for an interview through Tesla spokespeople, and officials at all three companies declined to comment…

    On a smaller scale, SpaceX, Musk’s rocket company, cut a deal for about $20 million in economic development subsidies from Texas to construct a launch facility there. (Separate from incentives, SpaceX has won more than $5.5 billion in government contracts from NASA and the U.S. Air Force.)…

    Tesla buyers also get a $7,500 federal income tax credit and a $2,500 rebate from the state of California. The federal government has capped the $7,500 credit at a total of 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer; Tesla is about a quarter of the way to that limit. In all, Tesla buyers have qualified for an estimated $284 million in federal tax incentives and collected more than $38 million in California rebates…
    Tesla owners have an average household income of about $320,000, according to Strategic Visions, an auto industry research firm…

    Next: Battery subsidies
    Now Musk is moving into a new industry: energy storage…Tesla has already secured a commitment of $126 million in California subsidies to companies developing energy storage technology.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      Tesla has since absorbed SolarCity. Merging a loss making company with an insolvent one producing an A grade investment sounds like bundling sub-prime mortgages into a AAA grade investment. Like sausages, one should never see how this is done.

      110

  • #
    robert rosicka

    As someone who stupidly (with good intentions) forked out 12 grand on a 5 Kw system years ago had I have known just how much the subsidy would hurt even me I never would have installed it .
    It’s a tax on the poor by stealth and for no good reason other than to keep the green vote at bay for totally ignorant and corrupt politicians.

    130

    • #
      Annie

      Robert R. Was the place you referred to as not having gone ahead with a microgrid Yackandandah perchance? I think you mentioned only two households interested in taking it up? The presenter at that meeting we attended this evening says they are going ahead. Maybe it was elsewhere.

      40

      • #
        robert rosicka

        No not Yak but Glenrowan, Yak is full of hippies and hipsters so no problem getting a scheme going there I shouldn’t imagine .

        40

        • #
          Annie

          Still some sense somewhere!

          20

          • #
            Yonniestone

            Newstead central Vic has been toying with the solar grid option since 2014 and recently claim a breakthrough in network tariffs which translates to how much can they get subsided for virtue signaling because environment, there must be a sliding scale signal vs cost.

            Driving through some of these places I swear you can hear 76 Trombones playing gently in the breeze….

            40

            • #
              yarpos

              “Driving through some of these places I swear you can hear 76 Trombones playing gently in the breeze….”

              more reassuring than duelling banjos I guess

              20

          • #
            robert rosicka

            Glenrowan community has also put in objections to the solar farm being proposed/whitewashed for the area .

            40

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    A Quibble Jo: you claim that For the total cost of all the solar panels, and batteries, and now the Snowy Money Scheme we could have built a new cheap coal plant. The cost of the Snowy 2 scheme has now reached $10 billion with the buyout of NSW and Vic. That $6.2 billion will go down the gurgler in vote buying and the construction cost is more than likely to go up and up.
    Even at the current $10 billion we could build 2 coal plants with full CFMEU help. The Chinese and Germans can built a 1000MW one on a green fields site in Vietnam (and quicker) for A$2.8 billion. To get only ONE coal plant for $10 billion would require joint management with Malcolm Turnbull and Jay Weatherill (and possibly ‘help’ from Dan Andrews).

    160

    • #

      This is not about the feed in tarrifs. This is about the Solar Rebate for installation. A form of the RET. (Renewable Energy Target).

      Fair point. Thanks. Updated. Can you find a link for that costing? Thanks…

      41

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      • #
        Joe

        Jo, as you rightly point out to Graeme, it is not so much the FITs but the RET that is the source of this additional cost. So if the RET is something like 20% then the retailers have to purchase that percentage of RE (to use the standard gov lingo). They can do that by purchasing the small scale certificates or large scale certificates that are circulating on the market or just paying $65 in lieu of each certificate. The certificates are traded like some sort of commodity and prices vary with that market as you might expect. You might recall that when the certificate market prices went up near $90 a few years back, that some retailers were opting to pay the fine which was cheaper. Of course there was a bit of a cry that they were not playing ball with the whole RET scam but it was nonetheless found to be quite legal. So my question to you is how does the doubling of the number of small scale certificates push the price of electricity up? The small scale certificates are probably the cheapest way to meet the RET demands of the Gov and if there are a lot more of them, then surely that drives their price down even more and makes it cheaper for the retailer to meet their obligation? The doubling of the rooftop installations makes no difference to the RET figure that is required to be paid by the retailer, if they don’t buy the cheap small scale certificates then they have to buy the more expensive large scale ones or pay the penalty in lieu $65 ones.

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    pat

    AUDIO: 7mins44secs: 12 Mar: 4BC: Chris Smith show: Solar panel subsidies push power prices up even higher
    Liberal MP Craig Kelly, Chair of the Coalition’s Backbench Energy and Environment Committee, tells Chris Smith those who can least afford the price hike are the ones hit the hardest.
    “The person who puts those on their roof gets all those subsidies but that’s paid for by everyone else that doesn’t install on their roof.
    “All these schemes have done is make electricity prices dearer for every single Australian.”

    Chris says we’ve reached a “new level of idiocy in this country”.
    “Can’t we have a country using its resources reliably, affordably, until the technology is more efficient?”
    Click PLAY below for the full interview…
    https://www.4bc.com.au/solar-panel-subsidies-push-power-prices-up-even-higher/

    ***ABC: cutting subsides might be necessary?
    are they concerned about renters etc subsidising those with solar panels? not at all. just shilling for batteries:

    7 Mar: ABC: AM: David Lipson: Solar power: What happens when we start producing more electricity than we can consume?
    While Australia leads the world in the use of rooftop solar power, some experts say there could soon be too much power coming online — and governments will have little choice but to ***cut subsidies.
    Now one in five households are saving money on power bills by selling excess electricity back to the grid.
    Tony Wood, the energy program director at the Grattan Institute, said a big incentive for many people to adopt solar was “simply because they want to save money”.
    But while the solar industry is booming, he warns there are dark clouds on the horizon.

    “We’re getting to the point where the amount of solar power being produced in the middle of the day is so much that it can start to have an impact on the stability of the grid,” he said.
    “So what do we do with all this electricity we don’t need in the middle of the day?”
    Mr Wood says there will soon be certain times of the day when there will be too much electricity to consume — so it will lose its value.
    And that will become a problem for people being paid to produce it.
    While Mr Wood cannot predict exactly when that time will come, he says it could mean an end to cheaper power for those with solar panels.

    “The governments who have been happy to support solar up until now will start to say well, paying for electricity in the middle of the day when we don’t need it is actually a very inefficient thing to do, maybe we’ll stop doing that,” he said.
    “Obviously people who put in solar would be very upset, quite rightly, because they were promised they’d continue to be paid.

    ***”So you’ve got to find a way out — and possibly the only way out is the use of battery storage.”…
    When combined with home battery units, solar electricity collected during the day can be stored and used at early morning and evening peak times.
    And Mr Wood says a shift to demand-driven power pricing could help supercharge the battery industry.
    “You make electricity very expensive when it’s scarce, and very cheap when it’s in surplus — that gives people the incentive to try and address that…

    Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton says in some parts of the country solar battery units are already paying for themselves.
    “Batteries are quite a few years behind solar power and so obviously the cost of solar has come down dramatically over the last 10 years or so,” he said.
    “We’re really now just starting to see that with battery technology.
    “So in coming years I think we’re going to see many of those 1.8 million homes with rooftop solar look very carefully at battery technology, because the cost and economics just keep getting better and better.”
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-07/solar-power-what-happens-when-theres-too-much/9522192?pfm=sm

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    • #
      wal1957

      “You make electricity very expensive when it’s scarce, and very cheap when it’s in surplus” says Tony Wood of The Grattan Institute.

      Yep, that’s what they want to do. Great idea! Let’s make electricity even more expensive! That’ll work! We’ll make those pesky consumers and businesses stop using that nasty electricity!

      Fair dinkum…there seems to be more and more moronic ideas being bandied about. What sheer lunacy! Why doesn’t any media call these idiots out on their hyperbole? Answer…because the media are as stupid as the people that think of these things.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        That works on paper and in an ecomists head but in real life not so much , if it was true SA would have the cheapest power in Oz .

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        • #
          RicDre

          It has always been the goal of the “environmentalists” to have high electricity rates as clearly stated in the US by Mr. Obama: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gases,” Obama said. “Coal power plants, natural gas, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money onto consumers.”

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          • #
            Dennis

            Horse carts also needed repairs or replacement.

            41

            • #
              Another Ian

              Dennis

              Ever hear the story of “The One Horse Chaise”?

              20

              • #
                Another Ian

                That was a story whose title was a saying of my father and uncle.

                Precis. A country parson got fed up with recurring repairs to his “One Hoss* Chaise”, so he commissioned an “unbreakable” one.

                Finale to the story was the day everything collapsed on the road at the same time.

                Applicable to schemes of “government enthusiasm” IMO

                *authentic spelling that I just remembered

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            • #
              sophocles

              And the horse manure needs to be removed … by horse carts.

              40

      • #
        yarpos

        I used to work in networking in the early part of my career. The running joke was that the network would have fabulous response if it wasnt for all those pesky customers using up the bandwidth.

        20

    • #
      Dennis

      The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
      Minister for the Environment and Energy
      Driving finance for electric vehicles
      Media release
      6 September 2017
      The Turnbull Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), is supporting a new $100 million asset finance program to encourage Australians to switch to electric vehicles.

      Available through Macquarie Leasing, the program offers 0.7 per cent discount on finance for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and a range of eligible energy efficient and renewable energy equipment. A 0.5 per cent finance discount is available to those customers choosing eligible lower emissions passenger vehicles.

      The discounted finance will be made available by Macquarie Leasing to customers through its current relationships with car manufacturers to purchase, hire or lease low emission vehicles.

      “Electric vehicles will play a big role in terms of creating more sustainable cities with less pollution and improved health outcomes for our community,” said the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

      “By providing discounted finance through the CEFC, it is hoped we can encourage a greater up take of electric vehicles and reduce emissions.”

      Designed to make it easier for customers making major investment decisions to consider clean energy options, the program also includes discounts for new energy efficient equipment, battery storage and rooftop solar systems, as well as upgrades for buildings including energy efficiency lighting and better air conditioning.

      The CEFC is predicting that across the range of assets to be financed over the life of the program, carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 200,000 tonnes.

      “Initiatives like this one are example of the action the Government is taking to meet our Paris target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels,” said the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

      The program is funded under the Sustainable Cities Investment Program which supports the national Smart Cities plan by investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy and low emissions technology projects that improve our cities.

      The Turnbull Government’s investment in clean energy technologies is helping deliver affordable and reliable energy as we transition to a lower emissions future.

      PLEASE NOTE

      There is heated debate within government ranks regarding the introduction and subsidising of EV with sensible MPs saying let market forces decide, not governments.

      However, the PM and some others including the author of the above media release are pushing for an EV only Australia.

      In my opinion the subsidy to a private sector leasing company is a waste of taxpayer’s monies. Worse, the federal public debt is already far too high, to say nothing of the annual interest liability.

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      • #
        C. Paul Barreira

        What were the subsidies paid out to Ford, GMH and Toyota to build motor vehicles in this country? More of the same—except not built in Oz. All paid in the expectation of political plaudits—again and again. Why do none of these people read Adam Smith? For fear of learning something? The only (allegedly) scientific study warranting attention today is parasitology.

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  • #

    A Liberal loyalist was recently telling me how party conservatives had spoken seriously to Frydenberg about his tilt toward the Blob. The old guard really believes that the likes of Turnbull and Frydenberg can be redeemed by an appeal to party values and grass roots opinion.

    The likes of Turnbull and Frydenberg are full-bore globalist stooges and could not care less about party values or any grass roots outside of a Bowral paddock. They’re even happy with a tiny parliamentary majority. For the first time in our history we have a government leadership which is actually helped by its lack of parliamentary seats. Ditching Turnbull means Turnbull cynically ditches the party. This triggers an election likely to be won by globalist stooges (red flavour) called Shorten and Plibersek. So the unkeepable becomes the unditchable.

    The Turnbull government is a government of globalist appointees, shored up by the luvvie media and by an unsavoury clique around Murdoch’s Australian…which is an awful lot of shoring up. All the Libs can do is ditch him anyway and risk an election with whatever they can muster in the way of candidates, however ordinary, who will enunciate a few values from which they don’t back down. This, despite the howls of Leigh or Kochie or Miranda or whoever.

    When there’s only one punt before full-time, you take the punt, right?

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    • #
      el gordo

      Over at Sportsbet they have Dutton falling behind, with Bishop and Abbott moving up to be on Turnbull’s tail.

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      • #

        Bishop strikes me as an empty show-off, especially when dressing up in white and lolling about with her boyfriend like they were the cast of a 1970s Ben Ean commercial. Her boundless generosity to the Clintons will not be forgotten.

        I suspect she’s more of a fave with the luvvies and the commentariat than with the average punter. There’s not a real vote in her. Also, she loves the Blob and she loves swanning with the fake tan brigade. Has she been to Bilderberg and Davos yet? She seems to be made for that circuit.

        A French conservative and ultra-trad, Phillippe de Villiers, has said that if there can be no politics without sovereignty there is absolutely no point talking about politics of any sort until you get back hard sovereignty. So I guess a drover’s dog with just a vague memory of sovereignty will have to do right now. Abbott, even.

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        • #
          toorightmate

          The folk in the Ben Ean commercials had far more class and humility than Julie Bishop.
          All she does is go on trips.
          A bit like Hillary Clinton. She is proving to be a very frequent tripper.

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        • #
          yarpos

          ” like they were the cast of a 1970s Ben Ean commercial.” classic :-)

          ” Her boundless generosity to the Clintons will not be forgotten.” betcha it will, they will both ride off into comfortable sunset

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      I’ve given up on Australian politics – too depressing. Tony is not far right. If you read Menzies’ Forgotten People speech he has not strayed far from the party’s roots. But he is hated so there is nowhere for me.

      OTOH I find US politics totally absorbing. This is the second Civil War but the Generals are fighting it not the soldiers. When the smoke clears there will be dead to bury though. Who will the trumpets herald, Clinton or Trump?

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  • #

    6.30PM, and the Sun is slowly setting, except for WA where there is still a couple of hours daylight left.

    Here we now are in the middle of the Evening Peak Power period.

    Current supply from rooftop solar power is 300MW, 200MW of that from WA

    Current supply from coal fired power is a little bit more than that, 20,100MW.

    You be the judge.

    Tony.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Yeah but Tony it’s green it’s free and your missing the point of which I’m not sure what that is but it’s environmentally friendly and did I mention it’s free 24/7 power .

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      • #
        wal1957

        Yeah Tony, ditto wot Robert said. It’s free. We want some of it, because it’s free! 24/7 free! Whoopie!

        Can somebody tell me wot hours tomorrow all this free energy will be available? (sarc)

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      It rained around Ravenshoe last week and Koombaloomba Dam is abt 92% full. Qld hydro has ramped up to 153 MW and will stay that way for some time.

      The Kareeya power station is already 60 yrs old and will last another 100 with one more turbine update, three fifths of five eights of bugger all in the grand scheme of things. That is, today, after depreciation, close to free power.

      OK I know it ain’t much overall but it is dispatchable and variable without loss of efficiency, great for freq. control when that was done manually in the Northern grid.

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    • #

      Okay then, here we are now at almost Midday, Queensland time, so at the time when rooftop solar power is generating at its absolute best.

      The total power from all that rooftop solar is now 2300MW.

      Keep in mind that is spread across the whole of Australia, and is from a total Nameplate of 6000+MW, so it is managing only 38% f its Capacity, the current Capacity Factor. After watching now for most of the Summer, that’s about as good as it gets, because it is so spread out, tiny little generators in so many different places, supplying just the homes with the panels, and some of the excess into homes in those surrounding areas. Because it is so small and in such a huge area, it is making no difference whatsoever to power generation for the wider area.

      You can add it up to a total and say it is what it is now, 2300MW and surmise that it means that there is no need for other power plants, but that is AUSTRALIA WIDE, not a total in one serviced area for those power plants.

      Even so, that total of 2600MW is only 9.3% of what is actually being consumed in Australia, so 9.3% for a couple of hours in tiny areas, making no difference at all.

      You cannot run the Country, the State, the Capital city, the larger and smaller cities, the towns, the villages, whatever on 9.3% of requirement for a couple of hours ….. in SUMMER

      The total generation is meaningless because it is so spread out, and such a plethora of tiny little contributors.

      It’s like saying okay we have 2600MW, then let’s shut down Bayswater. You just cannot do it.

      I sincerely thank Giles Parkinson and his RenewEconomy site for providing the information via his ‘wijit’. He can point to it and say look at that huge output.

      I can point to it and explain how ridicul0us it actually is.

      Tony.

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      • #
        Chad

        Tony,
        Did you know how those rooftop solar output values are obtained ?
        There is no way of collecting actual generation data from each individual installation,..so..
        There are 6000 “sample” installations equiped with actual logging and reporting capability, distributed nationwide across 57 postal areas.
        Each unit reports data every 30 mins, and that data is combined with others, to produce an average % output compared to the known installed capacity in that postal area.
        Those 57 area averages are then totaled to arrive at the national output at that half hour point.
        So, in other words is an estimate based on a very small sample of the millions of installations nationwide !

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        • #

          Chad,

          thanks for this. I wondered how they did it without just guessing, and it seems that it really is just a guess. I suppose they could say that it was, umm, modelled!

          They must surely realise that when explained, it makes the whole thing look utterly ridicul0us.

          Can’t wait to see some Winter totals.

          Tony.

          20

        • #
          RickWill

          Smart meters provide the data on actual solar exported from premises and is certainly available to network providers and their users. I cannot say if it is aggregated into the Renew data base but it would seem silly to make projections from a sample when the actual data is being metered and is already available to distributors.

          00

          • #
            RickWill

            This site gives solar output as a percentage of installed capacity by 2 digit postcode:
            http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/live
            It also gives the total demand and PV portion of it for each state.

            10

          • #
            Chad

            Yes, Smart meters can only report the solar power exported to the grid, they have no ability to monitor the total solar power generated from the panels.
            Hence the need for the 6000 special ” sampling” sites as described on the apvi.org site

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  • #
    Wayne Job

    Just in the middle of major reno’s purchased the property two years ago, it had solar panels on a flat roof facing east. Obviously a government subsidised non-sense installation. I have acres and have organised for a deep hole to be dug to bury the bloody things.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Wayne:

      If you are in SA it would pay to investigate going off grid. All up (all charges included) the peak cost of electricity is close to 60¢ per kWh or A$600 per MWh. Even diesel generators can beat that.

      80

      • #
        Hanrahan

        I was a member of another forum for years where the sceptics and and alarmists were evenly matched. A common thought among the alarmists was that it is the fault of the power companies that we were paying so much for power – they are price gouging. Their answer of course is to go off grid to “punish” them. They honestly thought that they could do so with some PV cells and a couple of power walls. I gave it away for the sake of my sanity.

        While engaged I saw some great little standby diesel generators in soundproof boxes like mini Atlas Copco compressors. There were also off the shelf circuit boards so the days of the dirty diesel in the barn and 32V appliances are over so it could be cheaper for such an installation [I'm including PV cells and batteries in the design] than a SWER line.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Wayne,

      What about turning you solar cells to face North or North West. Is that possible?

      40

      • #
        Hanrahan

        He’d prolly break them digging them up again. :)

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      • #
        Wayne Job

        Peter C, The panels are only about 6 years old, the advice from the electrician that took them down was that rectifier was now not allowed. Everything can be left in place or put back in the same position but was not able legally to be moved to a new position?

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  • #
    RexAlan

    I just wish I could afford a house;). Can’t put solar panels on strata titled apartment building roof.

    60

    • #
      Hanrahan

      My neighbour has 5 KW on his house and 5 KW on his garage. You are subsidising his standard of living and pool filter. Wot a bummer. :(

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    • #
      sophocles

      You could.

      Just don’t tell anyone.

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    • #
      peter

      I’m in a strata building (in NSW) and I put solar panels on the roof. I know the Strata Manager (me) though. It was a great learning experience. 1.5kW setup that almost never reaches 1.5kW. Every cloud that comes over drops the output dramatically. It is often very cloudy in coastal NSW, you know. Most people think solar cells only work for 12 hrs/day. Not true! It is more like the middle 4hrs/day at reasonable output – say 1kW – unless some clouds come over, then it can be much lower. Why did I do it? At the time NSW was offering a feed-in tariff of 60c/kW. As they say, don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth. But I did, and in the middle of negotiations for installation, Premier Keneally dropped that largesse overnight. But roof-top solar has other advantages – it improves heat insulation of the roof. :-)

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    OT but WA has had the hottest evahhhhhhhh day

    For a year .

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  • #
    • #

      Finally, one whole day of summer.

      PS: Bum. Spoke too soon. Was only 38.5C. I thought it finally reached 40.

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      • #
        Alan

        Jo, this might be another BoM instrument spike. ABC news reports the max of 38.5 at 2:27pm.Can’t find the actual max time on BoM at the moment as it’s removed from the front page at 9am. When looking at the 30 min readings on the BoM site I notice that 2:00pm 37.3, 2:30pm 37.6, 3:00pm 37.6 and the easterly was still in at 3pm. Anyone checked the raw data?

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    And last OT for the night is the cyclone announcement for off shore QLD , winds expected to exceed 60 kilometres an hour this ones going to be huge .

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  • #
    Kinky Keith

    I didn’t realize that this subsidy for rooftop was paid via electricity suppliers and uses the same mechanism as the RET.

    I wrongly assumed that the Feral Government forked out.

    WHAT OTHER SURPRISES ARE THERE FOR ME TO LEARN ABOUT IN THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS MANIPULATION OF OUR MONEY COLLECTION SYSTEM.

    KK
    Is that right?

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    • #
      Serp

      Yep. Nobody knows how these things work. Just wait patiently until 2030 or whenever it is that the schemes expire. You’ve got to wonder how such mechanisms could have been legislated had our representatives done their due diligence. Our representatives, in enlightened times we’d send them for treatment not be governed by them.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        A few adjectives to describe such behaviour:

        Duplicitous, scandalous, underhanded, deceptive.

        Ultimately it doesn’t matter which way the rooftop subsidies are funded, whether the taxpayer forks out or the electricity users pay, the cost of power makes Australia into an uncompetitive third world nation.

        Our iron and steemaking industries are much reduced and aluminium production is shutting off as power prices put processing plants out of the game. But of course China has lots of spare aluminium of uncertain quality so why should we be worried.

        This society is being run for the benefit of politicians not voters and taxpayers.

        Very disheartening.

        KK

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      RickWill

      You obviously do not read TdeF. He has been bleeting about the RET and how it gets paid for for at least two years.

      STCs are paid for upfront but are only $36/deemed MWh). LGCs are paid for upon generation but are much more generous, currently $89/MWh.

      If you are paying for electricity you are subsidising the installation of rooftop solar and the profit of grid scale wind and solar. You are paying less for the rooftop of you neighbours than for the grid scale owned by corporations.

      One certainty in Australia is that electricity prices will continue to rise.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        We aren’t talking about the RET.

        10

        • #
          RickWill

          When you are talking about any form of solar subsidy you are talking about the RET. The RET is the Renewable Energy Target. All the subsidies, LGCs, STCS and generous FITs are all part of the government mandated transfer payments from electricity consumers to electricity generators to encourage more wind and solar generation in order to reach the agreed target.

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  • #
    Rah

    Just thought I’d mention that Joe Bastardi is forecasting “The Beast from the East” to make an encore appearance in Western Europe. He is also forecasting a more I intense Nor Easter to hit the central Eastern sea board. A wild March indeed. Weather pattern now similar to 2013 when they got a good snow in Chicago in May.

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    • #
      RicDre

      Here in the US in northern Ohio it is snowing again. This March has been one of the snowiest I can remember in my 65 years living here. It must be Climate Weirdness as normally the weather here always so predictable. Oh well, to paraphrase Joe Bastardi, “Enjoy your Climate, its the only Climate you have!”

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        Rah

        Erie, PA set a new record for December the Feb. Snow fall. 156″ or nearly 13 feet in those three months. Drove through there last night and they had I would guess about 8″ on the ground. Am currently in Syracuse, ANY then will head back west to Rochester to get parked before the snow and 40 mph winds forecasted to come in by 6 PM hits.

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    Jim

    Make them, the government see the folly. Mandate it that everyone get free solar panels and a powerbank to save the system. That way, everyone’s gets ” free power” and saves the grid for businesses that need it. If everyone has to pay for it, all should benifit from it. Not just a few. Not just those who can afford it, but all.

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    • #
      Chad

      Free solar panels and Powewall !….. Great .
      I will have to clear out the spare bedroom in my 5th floor, rented apartment to store them in untill i can sell them on Ebay .
      How many home owners have a roof that is facing the sun anyway ?
      Rooftop solar is not viable for 75% or the population……its a gimmick for a few wealthy suckers.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Yep!

        Nothing and I mean nothing, is more economical than large scale production.

        Multiple control and installation costs for rooftop is economic lunacy.

        How do they get away with it?

        KK

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      yarpos

      not really the way the world works is it? we all pay for things through our taxes we have little or no use for, but someone else does.

      10

  • #
    ivan

    The Clean Energy Regulator has released figures showing that more than 1057 megawatts of ­capacity was installed last year,

    Why do they use pixie dust to make their calculations? That figure may be the nameplate value but it should be reduced by well over 80% to get real world values.

    Using capacity figures is meaningless with any renewable energy product – they will never reach those figures even on a good day. But I forget, their advocates are living in la-la land with the unicorns and everything is covered with pixie dust.

    The really distressing thing is that the greens and politicians have fooled a lot of the people into believing in that stupidity. Hopefully, one day, the people will wake-up and claim their misappropriated taxes back out of the hides of the political parties that are engaged in the scam.

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      RickWill

      The STCs are paid for on deemed output. It varies a bit by zone and the current deeming period is 13 years. As an example the deemed output of 1kW of solar panels is say 0.001MW X 4 hrs of sunshine X 365days/yr X 13 years = 19MWh or 19STCs.

      Current price is $36/STC so the subsidy for each 1kW installed is $684. It will be more in zones with more average hours of full sunshine or less if there is less than 4 hours of average sunshine.

      South Australia provides the model for how this unfolds. Grid scale wind and solar cause increasing cost because they have scheduling priority. Low cost coal plants cannot respond to the rapid changes in demand due to large swings in wind output. High cost, fast response gas plant displaces coal plant to ensure reliable supply. Coal generation can no longer make economic returns once the wind and solar reach 30% of market share. That leads to much higher prices. All electricity intensive users close down because they cannot compete globally with computers in other countries with access to cheap power. That means the demand drops off and costs have to be recovered from fewer consumers. It becomes economic for everyone with a roof to fit solar. That means the grid costs have to be recovered from fewer people so prices continue upward spiral. There is now so much connected intermittent generation that at times prices go negative. The grid becomes unstable and household inverters are being shut down on over voltage during their most productive period. Having sunk the cost on panels, consumers double down and but batteries.

      Essentially the network in SA is dead economically already. It is on life support with new assets being funded from general revenue.

      We are yet to see the final stages of how the grid eventually collapses. Losing a freezer of food due to loss of power provides incentive to have a backup supply. Loosing the freezer and its contents, the fridge and its contents, the large screen TV, the washing machine on fire etc due to poor regulation will encourage people to leave the grid in droves.

      AEMO are already forecasting that SA will have zero minimum demand by 2024. It is then beyond the control of AEMO to regulate the system voltage and frequency. So there is a compelling need for SA to dramatically ramp up storage otherwise the grid is simply unmanageable.

      All other states are heading down the same track. SA is leading the race to the abyss.

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  • #
    Reasonable Skeptic

    Basic Concept: Nothing is free. If you get something for free other people are paying for it. If the government is providing it, tax payers are paying for it. This is not hard to understand, yet people can’t see it.

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    Dennis

    O Solar Meo …..

    English Translation
    What a wonderful thing a sunny day
    The serene air after a thunderstorm
    The fresh air, and a party is already going on…
    What a wonderful thing a sunny day.

    But another sun,
    that’s brighter still
    It’s my own sun
    that’s in your face!
    The sun, my own sun
    It’s in your face!
    It’s in your face!

    When night comes and the sun has gone down,
    I start feeling blue;
    I’d stay below your window
    When night comes and the sun has gone down.

    But another sun,
    that’s brighter still
    It’s my own sun
    that’s in your face!
    The sun, my own sun
    It’s in your face!
    It’s in your face!

    Luciano Pavarotti At Poplar Creek
    “O Sole Mio”

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    3x2

    Out of interest …

    Is there a site dealing with actual output (of solar panels) for the various regions of Australia? This would be rated capacity versus actual output.

    Presumably they may be a very good investment, subsidies aside, in Alice Springs but perhaps not so great in NSW of Tasmania? Any hard data?

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    Roy Hogue

    Pretty much worldwide the practice of government subsidising anything in order to encourage government approved behavior has been a disaster. You would think that by now there are more than enough examples to cause anyone contemplating it to think again. But no. Let’s just try the same thing again only try harder. After all, it’s bound to succeed someday.

    Insanity is inherited for sure. You get it from your government. There’s no doubt about it.

    It wastes money, time and peoples lives when the price of what is now a critical commodity in our electrified world is out of the range of the little guy in society. The funny thing is that those same little guys are the ones the two left handed progressives say they’re out to save from the evil corporations, power brokers and the free market in ideas, investment and its ability to adjust to solve the real problems of this world and ignore the imaginary ones.

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      Kinky Keith

      :-)

      That’s the problem Roy, well expressed.

      The big question is, how do we fix it?

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      RicDre

      “Pretty much worldwide the practice of government subsidising anything in order to encourage government approved behavior has been a disaster.”

      In my more cynical moments, I think that government created disasters are not a bug in the process but instead they are a feature of the process.

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    Another Ian

    “Finally we have a study from a respected academic institution which concludes that 100% – or even 77% – renewable energy won’t keep the lights on.”

    First item at Ewan Mearns linked at

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2018/03/blowout-219-1.html

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    Kinky Keith

    Everybody knows that the cost of rooftop solar is being borne by the Australian householders/workers/business/taxpayers.

    What occurred to me is that Jo’s large figures for this year’s subsidy are only part of the whole cost.

    People installing rooftop have to put down cash at the start. How much will that be on top of the $1.3 billion in subsidies mentioned by Jo?

    What prompted this outburst is the question of where ALL of the money goes.

    How much goes to the manufacturer, China, how much to handlers and installers and maintainers here in Australia, and lastly, how much to the government.

    A breakdown of cash flow would be interesting.

    It all falls into place as another make work scheme concocted by Australia’s political elites to keep the little guy moving around in circles.

    And now we have many good and decent people with a roof appendage that they installed as an investment, in all good faith, under advice, encouragement even, from our government.

    The future of these appendages is short as should be the tenure of these poor leaders.

    Australia needs good decent people as leaders, where are they?

    KK

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      toorightmate

      Unfortunately Keith, many voters do not realize that the cost of rooftop solar is being borne by themselves.
      They think it is being borne by government.
      They do not realize that government money is their money – an age old problem
      Same gap in basic understanding means that they think governments are subsidising wind power also.
      It is no wonder the average Jo Blow believes the sh*t that comes out of the mouths of Flannery, Steffan, Weatherdill, Andrews, Shorten, Turnbull, etc. in relation to the “need” for renewable energy.
      The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

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      RickWill

      If you do an installation yourself using components sourced from a short supply line from China you can install the system for the same cost as you pay an installer. Fundamentally the subsidies go to the installer.

      I believe you need to use a registered installer to get rights to STCs. The majority of people just hand over the STCs based on an agreed price of installation. You cannot trade in small quantities of STCs.

      STCs will not exist under the current rules after 2030 and the deeming period reduces by one year every year till then. It is now 13 years. The original period was 15 years so started reducing in 2015. The installers have a strong interest in encouraging uptake now because their subsidy stream is drying up. That means they will need sharper pencils to make the economic payback. Solar panels have not reduced much in price in AUD terms.

      AS far as I know LGCs will also cease in 2030. There will need to be a steep rise in wholesale power costs to justify new grid scale wind and solar as 2030 approaches or the government will need to extend the deadline. I think that is on the Labor federal agenda.

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    ZombieDawg

    Just get the old printing presses cranked up and roll off some more currency eh. No need to tax anyone ☺
    Y’know…it just occurred to me – I wonder what effect all these solar panels are having from a solar radiation reflection viewpoint. Interesting…

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      Kinky Keith

      Keeps the local temperature down with all that energy being redirected to space .

      Cooling the planet.

      This should allow us to produce more CO2.
      Better system than CCS.

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    Decades ago, when I paid tuition as a roofing contractor, people innocent of the definition of energy poked holes in the roof to install various “energy” devices and were surprised when rainwater came flooding in. When answering such leak calls, one look at the situation sufficed. I never even got out of my truck. Those “customers” would, I calculated, drag my competitors into bankruptcy court. Like Han Solo, my thought was “better them than me.”

    10