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How to destroy the solar industry — lesson from the Socialist republic of Victoria

Showing their mastery of business, the Victorian Government is helping the local Solar industry to death. To prop up the failing, uneconomic but “fashionable” industry the Andrews government decreed that they will throw an extra $2,225 at homes earning less than $180,000 that want to install solar. (This is on top of the Federal subsidies). Because free money is always popular, they decided to limit this to 3,333 rebates per month but now it’s a stop-start monthly bloodbath out there.

The applications for this months allocation went online on the first of August and were all gone in 106 minutes. Some people had waited all month but their internet connections were too slow, and according to them “the orange wheel of death” kept spinning, but no magic money appeared. Now they have to wait another month. Who’s going to install solar now, if you might get two thousand dollars off it by waiting a few weeks?

It’s all utterly predictable, but killing small solar installers. For some, not one of their customers scored a rebate. So they’re saying they have no work for the next month now, no more will come in, and no way to pay their staff.

As the placards on the protest signs read: Thanks Vic Solar for killing the industry and small business.

Warwick Johnson, Reneweconomy:

August has smashed last month’s record for the amount of time it took Victoria’s Solar Rebate slots to run out. Three days? How about two hours?  Already at a crisis level, the rebate scheme has now entered nightmare territory, with solar installers across the state – already hurting – forced to sit out another month without sales.

What the government created, the government can destroy. There goes the Victorian solar market. If only those businesses were selling something that people wanted to buy without a subsidy?

The up/down artificial cranking of the market will shake out all the small businesses.

Waste, waste and destruction

The rebates paid off people who would have installed the panels anyhow:

The program took residential installation levels from 3,000/month up to 5,000/month for that eight-month period. So, on the up-side, it brought 16,000 new solar installations that wouldn’t have proceeded without the rebate.

But it also funded 16,000 that would have happened anyway. And such was the impact of the scheme, only 1,000 customers/month of the original 3,000/month were ineligible for the rebate.

That makes it problematic even to simply dump the program. In the space of 12 months, the government has conditioned two-thirds of the original market to expect a rebate, and those customers will take a long time to return to the market in the absence of a rebate. Hence the crater

Solar PV Market, Grapoh, Victoria.

Oops. Spot the bubble. This is the state rebate on top of the Federal version.

Solar Panels are still not worth installing without a subsidy

Watch the fans at Reneweconomy dance around the high cost of solar PV. Here is how to not say that solar is too expensive for homeowners to want to buy it voluntarily:

…past experience with premium feed-in tariff schemes in various states has shown that scrapping the scheme outright would throw the industry into the doldrums, as consumers will feel that they’ve missed out. While the case for purchasing a solar system in Victoria without the current rebate is much more favourable than it was 5-10 years ago, it may take the average Victorian some time to become aware of this fact.

Some time? It may take 20 years for the panels to start being economic. Or 100.

If solar panels saved people money on their extremely high electricity bills they’d figure it out. The real problem is the solar panels are junk tech, solving a crisis that doesn’t exist in the most expensive and stupid way possible.


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76 comments to How to destroy the solar industry — lesson from the Socialist republic of Victoria

  • #

    “This is on top of the Federal subsidies”

    What Federal subsidies? The STCs are electronic indulgences which are paid by everyone who buys coal and gas electrons. The Federal Government does not give this money. It is taken from your electricity bills without your knowledge, marked up as well. Except no one knows that. The Federal Government claims credit, the poorest people are ripped off and the cash flows like a river to the installers and the energy retailers and China.


    • #

      And as electricity prices soar, it justifies people putting in more solar panels because of the high cost of electricity caused by people putting in solar panels. Middle class energy paid by a non deductible tax grab on the poorest sections of the community who cannot afford electricity and balance electricity, food and petrol every week. It is a National disgrace, this robbery to save the planet. Then the owners of these symbols of middle class privelege are given more cash for useless lunchtime solar, again from everyone’s electricity bills. A caring government. No, they don’t care. Highway robbery.


      • #

        Then the owners of these symbols of middle-class privilege are given more cash for useless lunchtime solar, again from everyone’s electricity bills

        And there is no mention of it on our electricity bills.

        The truth be told, if your electricity bill showed not only your usage and supply charges but also a charge for the solar panel users that you are ‘sponsoring’, what could you do?

        Damn well nothing.


      • #

        I said much the same thing to a bunch of people at a 14-Nation meeting in Noumea in 2011 and got jeered at for my trouble. This was a meeting where a luminary from JCU gave us a lecture on how AGW was going to cause all the fish to move south and the locals would all starve.

        A senior person there said to me, “Jeez, Dave, we’re stuffed! We’re all stuffed.”

        When I replied that it was all a load of bollocks, he said, “Aw, don’t tell me you’re on the lunatic fringe that doesn’t believe in global warming!”

        “Too right, I am, mate.”


      • #

        Funny how the email I received from a solar company didn’t even include this in their fine print.

        A 6.39kW system now only $775, here is how:
        Existing Federal rebate $3,185
        New Victorian rebate $2,225
        New Victorian Interest-free loan $2,225
        Cost to you $775

        Lot’s of smoke but I don’t see the mirrors.


  • #
    Serge Wright

    “solving a crisis that doesn’t exist in the most expensive and stupid way possible”

    I would go further and add that they are creating a crisis. They add cost to everyone else’s bill creating an energy affordability crisis. They create a demand drop at midday when we don’t need the power and then create a grid management crisis as thermal generators need to provide an impossible rapid ramp up for the evening peak, when solar is absent at a time when extra power is most needed. And after 20 years they will create a toxic waste environmental crisis as people discard the aged panels that will lie decaying in landfills or get dumped in bushland.


    • #
      Latus Dextro

      “The real problem is the solar panels are junk tech, solving a crisis that doesn’t exist in the most expensive and stupid way possible.”

      “And after 20 years they will create a toxic waste environmental crisis as people discard the aged panels that will lie decaying in landfills or get dumped in bushland.”

      Precisely; and in less time than 20 years. The junk accumulated on people’s roofs will be showing its inefficiency and age, and they’ll still be paying for it. Then they’ll be paying for it to be removed though many won’t be able to afford that luxury. They’ll simply tear it off the roof and dump it somewhere.

      And by then, other than deranged UN installed Watermelon Dictators peering down their gun barrels, will there be anyone left capable of earning $180,000 in a bankrupt, productionless economy?

      Who is John Galt?


  • #

    on the one hand, Alinta -

    Alinta signs up for huge solar and battery project in South Australia
    RenewEconomy – 18 Jul 2019
    A 200MW South Australia solar project that proposes to add “one of the largest” batteries in the Southern Hemisphere should be under construction by Christmas, after its developers snared a power purchase agreement with major utility, Alinta Energy…

    while on the other they are, apparently complaining about a cap in Victoria that might mean closing Loy Yang B years before its lifespan is due:

    Alinta Energy questions Victoria’s emission targets
    The Australian-20 hours ago
    Alinta Energy has raised concerns over the future of Victoria’s coal-fired power plants as the state weighs emissions reduction goals which…
    Alinta owns the Loy Yang B coal station in the Latrobe Valley, the youngest in the state’s fleet, which is expected to operate until 2047. However, the company said it was difficult to predict exactly how long…by 2030, eclipsing federal Labor’s plan, with a decision due in March next year…

    5 Aug: AFR: Default offers hit growth at acquisitive Alinta
    by Angela Macdonald-Smith
    Customer growth for retailer Alinta Energy has halved on the east coast since the partial re-regulation of household power prices while “churn” has slowed, said chief executive Jeff Dimery, who is expecting a wave of consolidation in the sector that may throw up acquisition opportunities…
    “With all the intermittency going in and some of the prevailing issues we have been seeing – and they are not going away – around security and reliability of supply, we’re very cognisant of that in our generation so how we move forward is important,” said Mr Dimery, warning of “tight” supply this coming summer…
    The volatility has led to warnings from some in the industry that baseload coal plants that can’t flex down their operations may be forced to shut early…
    Loy Yang B is currently due to run until 2047 and Mr Dimery said that he was confident of the plant’s ability to weather market conditions at least until 2030…READ ON


  • #

    2 Aug: AFR: Victoria needs renewables to offset coal risk
    by Angela Macdonald-Smith and Mark Ludlow
    Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has argued that the state needs more – not less – renewable energy to compensate for the fading reliability of ageing coal plants, dismissing warnings from generators and the federal government that its renewables and emissions targets will force early closures and drive up prices.
    Power producers have told the state government that pushing subsidised variable renewable generation into the Victorian market at scale “will have major consequential impacts on the operability and viability of existing plants leading to their early, and potentially disorderly, closure”…
    They cautioned in a submission to the government that such closures will inevitably result in a “major bounce” in wholesale electricity prices and put the reliability and security of the grid at risk…
    Ms D’Ambrosio said it would be “more than important than ever” to bring more renewables into the system to make sure supply was available as coal plants fail more often…READ ON

    6 Aug: ReNews.Biz: Alinta turns sod on Yandin in Oz
    Western Australia’s largest wind farm is on track to be up and running in the H2 2020
    Australia-based renewables developer Alinta has kicked off the construction of the 214MW Yandin wind farm in Western Australia.
    The project, in the Shire of Dandaragan, about 175km north of Perth, will comprise 51 Vestas 4.2MW turbines, which will be installed between January and June in 2020…
    Yandin is expected to cost approximately AUS$400m and will generate around 150 jobs during construction…
    The high-quality wind resource in the region means the wind farm’s long-term capacity factor is projected to be around 50%, potentially the highest in the country…
    The wind farm will connect to Western Power’s 330kV electricity network via a new 10km transmission line and terminal station that will be built, owned and operated by Western Power.


    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Yandin Wind Farm Become the State’s Largest Wind Project in Australia

      214MW Yandin wind farm in Western Australia will boast a stunningly good capacity factor of 50 per cent, its backers and technology providers say.

      Hard to establish the veracity and basis of this claim.
      The average capacity factor in WA is 35% (range: 8% – 43%, SD: 9.32%).
      So, quite how Alinta Energy gets 50% is unclear. I have not been able to identify a study, though there must have been one undertaken.
      Wellington New Zealand claims 48 – 50%, which is acknowledged as the highest in the World and therefore the windiest city.


      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Latus Dextro:

        They claim near 50% capacity factor BEFORE the wind turbines are in place. What happens AFTER isn’t worth publicity, and gullibles like P*ter F*tzr*y go on quoting that 50% figure regardless of reality.

        Take the 12 turbines near Albany. An ideal site on a rise with exposure to the prevailing SW wind (and located further south than Yandin) which was said BEFORE that it would have a CF of approx. 41% (translate the figures for output on the brass plate there). In reality it was making 30-33% when Warwick Hughes analysed its performance a few years ago.

        Betz’s law indicates the maximum power that can be extracted from the wind, independent of the design of a wind turbine. It was published in 1919, by the German physicist Albert Betz. According to Betz’s law, no turbine can capture more than 16/27 (59.3%) of the kinetic energy in wind. Practical utility-scale wind turbines achieve AT PEAK 75% to 80% of the Betz limit (that’s 44-47% AT PEAK).


  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    “What the government created, the government can destroy.”
    I thought it was the government creditors who decide what a government can borrow, or not borrow money for. Who holds the purse strings calls the tune.


  • #

    ***ex-2GB Chris Smith (who I like) was sitting in for Andrew Bolt on Sky tonite and had Grimes/Smart Energy Council on. they were going off big-time at the Vic Govt for destroying the solar industry, while I thought it was the best news I’d heard all day.
    Smith had just finished a segment, going off about Alinta possibly closing down Loy Yang B early.
    talk about confusing messages:

    6 Aug: Age: A ray of hope as Premier says he could increase number of solar panels
    By Benjamin Preiss
    Facing a backlash from frustrated consumers and solar panel companies, Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday that the monthly allocation could be increased from around 3300 a month – if safety and quality can be guaranteed.
    “I’m happy to look at expanding the amount of installs each month,” he said. “But I will only do that if I can be completely confident that high quality will be observed and safety will be observed.”…
    The rebate scheme was a major election pledge by the Andrews government, which promised to put subsidised solar panels on 650,000 homes ***to cut household power bills…

    Solar panel companies are preparing to rally in the city again this week to protest against the scheme they say has slowed down installations and hurt their businesses.
    Victorians who had been planning to install solar panels are now unwilling to do so unless the state government helps foot the bill…

    The Smart Energy Council, which represents solar installers, wants the state government to scrap “red tape” and simplify the approval process.
    It has also called for the number of rebates to be doubled.
    The council’s chief executive ***John Grimes said changes to the rebate system needed to be made immediately because it had already caused “devastation across the industry”.
    “Our sense is that changes need to happen within days, not weeks or months. We just don’t know how much longer solar businesses can hold out.”…


    • #
      Kinky Keith

      I don’t know whether to laugh, because it’s a shambles, or cry because people are being hurt.

      Why not just build a few FB sized HELE coal plants: if the Victoria government can’t handle the detail, I’m sure that the Chinese government could help out again.



  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Right to the point Jo.

    “The real problem is the solar panels are junk tech, solving a crisis that doesn’t exist in the most expensive and stupid way possible”.

    The cost to clean up this mess when all this dysfunctional tech stops working in about 5 years is going to be a burden on everyone in Victoria.

    Other states are crazily close behind.

    Meanwhile in Indonesia the power failed yesterday.

    Nobody knows why. :-) :-)



    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      There is ‘good debt’ and ‘bad debt’. :(
      The solar powered ‘evacuated tube’ solar water heaters are an example of ‘good debt’. :)


    • #
      Tony K

      I’m going to throw cold water on your assertion Environment Skeptic, but hey!…as the prices of electricity get exorbitant, even burning pig manure in the living room fireplace to stay warm in winter starts to look attractive.
      Evacuated tube collector (ETC) marketers like to push the efficiency aspect, but when you want to store water at 60 degrees C, what’s the point of keeping water at 90? The main advantage that ETC’s have in the Australian market is that they are more resistant to freezing than the open loop, flat plate collectors that have been so dominant over such a large area of the market to date. However, ETC’s have their own set of problems:
      1. More complexity means more expensive and more things to go wrong. A rat can chew the wire to a $15 temperature sensor and the entire system is useless.
      2. When the glass breaks on a flat plate collector, it is mostly contained within a metal box on the roof. Break the glass on an evacuated tube and there are thousands of shards in your gutters, in your rainwater tanks and in your grass where you’ll never pick it all up again. If you like bare feet in your yard, then you won’t be doing that again after a few tubes break on your roof.
      3. The problem with most solar water heaters is that to get decent performance in the winter, they over-perform and get far too hot in summer. The best option would be to remove 3/4 of your collectors in summer and put them back up for winter. It’s even more critical for ETC’s.
      Space heating? Anyone who uses solar heated water for space heating in Australia is wealthy enough to not need it.


      • #

        I suppose you could use the overcapacity to heat a swimming pool during summer. Then again, mine gets too damned hot mid-summer just from the pool blanket so it would be like a huge spa (sans bubbles) if boosted by rooftop collectors.


      • #

        even burning pig manure in the living room fireplace to stay warm in winter starts to look attractive.

        Except I’m fresh out of pigs.


  • #

    …just to prove how inept Government is when it comes to running a business, here we have a Liebor Government championing the solar industry and yet destroying it with the policies it has put in place.
    Why do politicians wonder why we detest them so much?

    I personally hate the fact that the poorer of the community are subsidising those that put solar on their houses. It’s just another of the many schemes that have been introduced with very little thought of the potential consequences.

    Is there a single politician who is championing the RE industry that can tell me when the electricity prices are going to drop, and become cheaper than what fossil fueled power stations can provide the power for??? …….crickets


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      How about the SA Govt. subsidising the installation of batteries (to go with solar) with $5-6,000 each. They’re planning on paying out $100 million PLUS another $100 million from the Clean Energy Finance quango.
      Supposedly this will power homes in the peak demand time as the sun sinks slowly in the west.
      What happens to coal fired power stations who will have to put up with a longer period of reduced demand?
      No problem, SA got rid of its coal fired stations and relies on Victoria’s stations when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun isn’t shining. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?


  • #

    VIDEO: 1min42sec segment. includes the warning to sceptics below. watch BBC’s Shaun Ley in the last 30 seconds, nodding along to every word, with a silly grin on his face:

    26 Jul: BBC Hardtalk: Tim Flannery: Climate change – very big and fast moving
    Tim Flannery, chief councillor of Climate Council Australia, has warned about the pace of climate change.
    He told Hardtalk’s Shaun Ley: “We are seeing a change of such a large scale it is hard to find an analogy to it in the previous fossil record and of such speed – it’s happening 30 times faster than the melting of the ice at the last Ice Age.”
    “If we are crossing the road and you are getting a boy on a bicycle coming towards you slowly it is not a big deal, we can get around it. If you have got a huge semi [trailer truck] coming towards you at 100mph you know you had better get out of the way…

    ***”And the sceptics, quite frankly, they need to stop threatening my children, they need to get out of the way so we can get some solutions in place,” he added.

    LINK Climate change: Current warming ‘unparalleled’ in 2,000 years

    You can see the full Hardtalk interview on Monday 5 August 2019 on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel and after on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

    full programme won’t play in Australia.

    ***24 Jul: BBC: Climate change: Current warming ‘unparalleled’ in 2,000 years
    By Matt McGrath
    When scientists have surveyed the climatic history of our world over the past centuries a number of key eras have stood out.
    These ranged from the “Roman Warm Period”, which ran from AD 250 to AD 400, and saw unusually warm weather across Europe, to the famed Little Ice Age, which saw temperatures drop for centuries from the 1300s.

    The events were seen by some as evidence that the world has warmed and cooled many times over the centuries and that the warming seen in the world since the industrial revolution was part of that pattern and therefore nothing to be alarmed about.
    Three new research papers show that argument is on shaky ground…

    The “Medieval Warm Period”, which ran between AD 950 and AD 1250 only saw significant temperature rises across 40% of the Earth’s surface.
    Today’s warming, by contrast, impacts the vast majority of the world…

    Many experts say that this new work debunks many of the claims made by climate sceptics in recent decades.
    “This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle,” said Prof Mark Maslin, from University College London, UK, who wasn’t part of the studies…
    LINKS The three papers have been published in the journals Nature (1) and Nature Geoscience (2), (3).


    • #
      Ian Hill

      The “Medieval Warm Period”, which ran between AD 950 and AD 1250 only saw significant temperature rises across 40% of the Earth’s surface.

      Probably a large portion of the Earth’s land surface (The Americas, Antarctica and Australasia) wasn’t “developed” very much then and therefore there were no anecdotal means of gauging temperature rise.


    • #

      “If we are crossing the road and you are getting a boy on a bicycle coming towards you slowly it is not a big deal, we can get around it. If you have got a huge semi [trailer truck] coming towards you at 100mph you know you had better get out of the way…

      Reminds me of the you tube video earlier this year. A group of cyclists were riding along a highway in WA. two lanes plus cycle lanes each way, 100 kph speed limit. One of them had a video camera mounted backwards. Most of them were riding in the cycle lane, but one was riding on the rode having a chat with the others. Along came a V-double doing 100 kph in the inside lane, who didn’t change lanes, narrowly missing the cyclist on the road. The cyclist with the camera got a video and they put it on You tube. They commented that the truck could have changed lanes because there was nothing in the other lane. My thinking was that it’s a lot easier for a cyclist to move a metre or less into the cycle lane than it is for a truck doing 100 to change lanes. There was nothing about whether the cyclist with a camera was able to view the incident as it happened and could have warned the cyclists.

      Even Tim Flannery appears to understand that you had better get out of the way of a truck doing 100mph (160 kph)


    • #

      The three papers have been published in the journals Nature (1) and Nature Geoscience (2), (3).

      That’s it then. We’re screwed.


  • #

    4 Aug: CleanTechnica: 100% Renewable Energy, Tesla in the Early Days — #CleantechTalk with Mark Z. Jacobson
    by Winter Wilson
    In this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Zach Shahan sits down with Mark Z. Jacobson, professor at Stanford University and co-founder of The Solutions Project, to discuss Mark’s work to bring together important players from science, business, culture, and community behind his vision of 100% renewable energy for 100% of people. They also talk about the early days of Tesla and some of Mark’s special history and connections.

    You can listen to the full conversation in the embedded player below (39min35sec). Below that embedded SoundCloud player is a brief summary of the topics covered, but listen to the podcast to follow the full discussion.


  • #

    6 Aug: FlindersNews: Approval has been given to French company Neoen to build an energy park near Crystal Brook
    by Piper Denholm
    Approval has been given to French company Neoen to build 26 wind turbines in addition to a solar farm and lithium-ion battery in the Southern Flinders Ranges near Crystal Brook.
    Plans for the energy park were developed in 2017 and immediately received backlash from the local community who simply did not want the turbines in close proximity to the town.
    The decision landed with the State Commission Assessment Panel who approved the $500 million project, with construction set to commence in 12 months time…

    Gerry Nicholson, a Crystal Brook resident, has fought in opposition to the park and will be able to see the turbines from his front porch. He expressed his disappointment of the news.
    “This is not an anti-wind turbine movement, this is a considered approach to where these wind turbines should be placed in our battle to have renewable energy which is inevitable,” he said.
    “We knew that this was coming eventually, one way or the other and I only found out through the media. It was a bit of a shock to the system, however to be disappointed is an understatement. I am very disappointed, but it would appear that the government of the day have listened to the proposal from Neoen and have accepted it, unfortunately.”…

    Mr Nicholson reflected that their fight against the park was not a waste of time, but an opportunity to try and change the future implications possible to health.
    “I don’t think it was a waste of our time, the fact that it has gone ahead is certainly disappointing. There have been a lot of people investing a lot of time.
    “But at the end of the day, when those wind turbines are stretched a quarter of a kilometre up into the sky around our township and there are people having health concerns, there are going to be a number of people who can sit back and say, at least we tried, and we didn’t sit on our hands to do nothing and allow this to happen,” he said.


  • #
    Gerry, England

    If you made a film about this it would be labelled a comedy as nobody would believe it was actually a documentary. Never has ‘you couldn’t make it up’ been so true.


  • #

    impressive headline!

    5 Aug: BusinessGreen: Battery electric car registrations almost triple in July to record high market share
    by Madeleine Cuff
    Sales of new fully electric cars shot up by a staggering 158 per cent in July compared with a year earlier to secure a record monthly market share, industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders announced today.

    Overall 2,271 battery electric cars were registered in July 2019, compared with 880 in July 2018. The result means battery cars represented a 1.4 per cent share of the total new car market last month, the highest ever share recorded in any month for electric vehicles (EVs)…
    Overall new car sales were down more than four per cent to 157,198, the lowest level recorded for July since 2012…

    NB: This article’s headline was amended on 06/08/19 to make clear registrations of battery electric cars almost tripled


  • #

    check the pic:

    PIC: 6 Aug: RenewEconomy: Windlab’s solar-wind-battery project finally connected to Queensland grid
    by Giles Parkinson
    Windlab’s world-leading solar, wind and battery project at the Kennedy Energy Park in north Queensland has finally been connected to the grid and energised after an eight month delay.
    The construction of the Kennedy hub – combining 43MW of wind, 15MW of solar and a 2MW/4MWh Tesla battery – was completed in December but has been held up by the complexity of generation performance standards, one of a number of projects that have had to wait on the sidelines as they sought to negotiate strict new standards.

    The combination of wind, solar and a battery makes it the first of its type on a major grid in the world, but Windlab says its issue were complicated by the requirement to add both a statcom (for voltage) and a synchronous condenser (for system strength), the first project to do so in the Ergon network.
    Many new wind and solar farms in Australia are now required to install a synchronous condenser to ensure system strength is retained. These have cost an average $25 million (although it is understood that Windlab’s is smaller than most), and has added significantly to project costs.

    Windlab also had problems with its EPC contractor, declaring force majeure earlier this year because of the delays in production caused by the connection issues and flooding at the site.
    “Nearly all renewable generators in Australia have found grid connection challenging in the past 18 months,” Windlab executive chairman and CEO Roger Price said in a statement…

    The Kennedy facility is connected but will not be able to export electricity into the grid until the middle of the month because of a compulsory “hold point zero” period that will allow the network operator to conduct background power quality testing…
    Windlab has previously suggested that project could be transformed into a major 1200MW plant combining the three technologies, but this would require a major grid upgrade for the area.


  • #

    noticed a couple of idle turbines in the video.

    VIDEO: 5 Aug: ABC27: Emergency crews respond to wind turbine fire near Friesland (Wisconsin)
    Friesland firefighters are currently on the scene of a burning wind turbine east of the village on Highway 33, according to Columbia County dispatchers…
    Pictures posted to the Baraboo Scanner Facebook page showed the turbine billowing smoke into an otherwise blue sky…

    5 Aug: WSJ: If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig
    Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.
    By Mark P. Mills
    (Mr. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund)
    Democrats dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries. Realizing this dream would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste.
    “Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste. The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar goals for 2050 consistent with the Paris Accords will result in old-panel disposal constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste. Consider some other sobering numbers:

    A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life.

    When electricity comes from wind or solar machines, every unit of energy produced, or mile traveled, requires far more materials and land than fossil fuels. That physical reality is literally visible: A wind or solar farm stretching to the horizon can be replaced by a handful of gas-fired turbines, each no bigger than a tractor-trailer.

    Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.

    Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’ green ambitions alone would consume a major share of global minerals.
    “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production,” it concluded.
    The demand for minerals likely won’t be met by mines in Europe or the U.S. Instead, much of the mining will take place in nations with oppressive labor practices…

    What’s more, mining and fabrication require the consumption of hydrocarbons. Building enough wind turbines to supply half the world’s electricity would require nearly two billion tons of coal to produce the concrete and steel, along with two billion barrels of oil to make the composite blades. More than 90% of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids…


  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Does anyone expect the politicians who created an insane situation to act sanely? I don’t. I expect their every new action to be even more destructive who’s failure is used to justify the next even more destructive action. If they are left to their own devices, the process will continue until there is nothing left to destroy.

    That is the way governments have been since the first government. There is nothing more dangerous to life, liberty, and individual rights than a government set free to do its “thing”. Some governments get there sooner than others but it is the inherent nature of government to be that way.

    Why? It is the nature of those who seek power over others (especially those who are members of government) to become to believe their commands define what is and can be. They convince themselves they are as gods able to redefine the nature of reality to the smallest detail. When this does not happen, they double down on their godly powers and try harder to cause to make happen that which cannot. This works as long as there are sacrificial victims who are compelled to pay the cost of the “powers that be” being wrong.

    Don’t be a sacrificial victim. Stop feeding them!


  • #

    Here in Arizona, the perfect place for solar if there is one, installs are at a standstill. With subsidies being cut, few people are interested in paying cold, hard cash for intermittent energy. Of course our 13 cent electricity doesn’t hurt either.

    There are 2 homes in my immediate neighborhood with solar. Both required total replacement of the panels due to low output in the first three years of operation. Each has seen 3 inverters go bad in the past 5 years. Both men are well-heeled, drive electric cars, and are deep greens. I wish them luck.


  • #
    Rafe Champion

    Pink batts over again, installers who operated in the real market went broke when Kevin’s scheme broke on them.


  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    “If only those businesses were selling something that people wanted”

    This is the placard that should be setup across the street, and on billboards everywhere.


  • #

    Frankly, the average Victorian who voted in the Andrews government deserves everything they get.


  • #
    Annie A

    Why don’t they set it up like raffle and if you have got solar panel installed you go into nto the draw where you could be 1 of 3333 who will get the rebate. That wayvthe installers will have the work and if you are lucky you would get a discount via te Government. However, I think if you need rbates or subsidies for people to get it means the whole industry is not viable for the matket.


  • #

    The current reality of electricity supplies and prices in Victoriastan:
    For the last 24 hours coal has delivered a steady 3,400 MW.
    Solar delivered a peak of 800 MW at midday, but zero at 6pm when demand peaked at 6,900 MW.
    Wind was also going strong, delivering 1,300 MW, but this morning that has dropped away to just 100 MW.
    The evening peak was met by adding 1,000 MW from gas generators, and 500 MW of hydro, supplemented with imports from Tas, SA and NSW.
    This morning’s peak of 6,500 MW is being met with 800 MW from gas and 1,800 MW of hydro, plus 470 MW of Tas hydro and 280 MW of mainly gas from SA.

    At midday the Vic wholesale price was $50/MWhr (5 cents/kWhr) while most feed-in tariffs were rewarding owners with 11 cents/kWhr.
    The average for the 24 hours was $85/MWhr, well down on the previous week that averaged $113/MWhr because of less wind. This morning the 30 minute price peaked at $210/MWhr.
    For the last 12 months, the Vic average price was $110/MWhr compared to $80 in Qld.

    Further increasing intermittent wind and solar supplies in Vic is going to force coal and gas generators to reduce average utilisation, yet they must still be available to meet peak demand when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
    Bottom line must be higher prices until these market distortions are stopped.


  • #

    Wow Daniel Andrews has finally seen the (sun)light and is annihilating the taxpayer-subsidised money-wasting useless renewable rooftop PV panel installing nonsense! Have I got that right? :) .


  • #
    Peter C

    The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

    Energy regulator launches legal action against windfarm operators over SA statewide blackout


  • #

    Brown coal is bad bad bad… Except of course when it’s used to make hydrogen to export to Japan! Yup work has started in Victoria on the $500 million coal to hydrogen plant, with Kawasaki Industries the big player plus some government subsidies. 160 tonnes of brown coal to make 3 tonnes of hydrogen. Surely that process would release some, ahem, greenhouse gases or CO2? How about pollution? Effluent? But that doesn’t count… hydrogen is green!

    Dan Andrews keeps running TV ads to recruit 6000 new police for Victoria. Maybe he knows something. As a famous incident in New York showed, extended electricity blackouts lead to soaring crime rates. Are you planning to close more coal generators Dan? Are you ” future-proofing ” Victoria, crime-wise?

    Well done, comrade. You can count on the Wangaratta Kid when things get serious! Dan’s got you covered…

    :) .


    • #

      The Andrews Labor Government of Victoriastan must have reduced the price of brown coal after raising the price to put Hazlewood Power Station operators out of business and force closure of about one quarter of the state’s generating capacity.


      • #

        Nothing if not cunning, our Dan. The proverbial rat with a gold tooth.


      • #

        I hadn’t thought of that; words fail when considering such iniquity.

        I wonder if Premier Dan will share with the electorate the advertising rigmarole describing the further villainy which was cooked up in the Belt and Road conference he recently attended; three and a bit more years of such shenanigans will surely end any chance of his ever being elected again. But didn’t I say that last time? Sigh…


  • #

    Don’t worry, be happy, the electricity grids cannot support a transition to electric vehicles but they can be supported by diesel generators attached to recharging stations.

    I wonder if Ernie Dingo would be kind enough to create a welcome to energy site ceremony to entertain the electric vehicle passengers? Maybe a coffee van nearby? Playground for the children and a dog exercise area?

    See Australia.



  • #

    Another bit of genius out of Lily “downward pressure on prices” D’Ambrosio’s trainwreck portfolio. There surely can’t be much left to get wrong?


  • #

    The only reason to install solar panels is because of the ridiculously high energy prices we currently have to pay .
    The renewable wind and solar government policies have caused this problem .
    The noisy minority backed by spineless politicians and media which influence the voters are entirely responsible .
    Truth will win out , but the damage has been done and it will be costly .


  • #

    You know something? I think I preferred being scared of the USSR.


  • #
    Annie A

    Just walked past a protest rally on the steps of Parliment in Melbourne. It looks like the small solar business industry are making their voice heard about how the Victorian Government has / is ruining their industry.


  • #
    Ronald Bruce

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”


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