JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Australian Doublespeak: a policy “vacuum” still means $billions in renewables subsidies

From the headlines you might think Australia is going to stop giving free money to Renewables shareholders from 2020:

Australia abandons plan to cut carbon emissions

Scientists say this move amounts to walking away from the Paris Climate agreement.

–  Adam Morton, Nature, Sept 2018, vol 561, page 293

Australian energy policy vacuum beyond 2020 officially confirmed

An energy policy vacuum in Australia beyond 2020 is now looking inevitable, with the baseload-focused reliability guarantee the sole remaining piece of the shelved National Energy Guarantee the Coalition government is hanging onto.

–PV Magazine Australia

My reading is that this is wild exaggerated spin (and that Nature used to be a science journal). Remember that Kevin Rudd signed away $7 billion dollars in a flick just before he left Parliament. He extended the RET subsidies to keep drawing from your electricity bills til 2030:

Electricity customers face an extra burden of between $3.8 billion and $7.5bn in “windfall” subsidies for renewable power generators in the next decade ­because of the stroke of a pen in the last months of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. Against advice from consultants, energy companies and [...]

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?

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 [...]

Canberra man uses subsidies, “invests” $20,000, still pays $700pa in electricity. Hopes to break even in 14 years.

A fairly crappy investment in every sense — even as a “subsidy farmer”:

…renewable energy proponents say individual consumers like Mr Pulford could play an increasingly important role as citizen investors.

“I say it is a little bit gold plated,” Mr Pulford says of his $20,000 investment.

‘The new system was installed last month and he is already generating enough power to run all his home energy needs, charge his son’s hybrid SUV and sell excess back to the grid. “It ranges between $2 to about $1.90 a day for energy and that can be with the clothes dryers and bar heaters on.”

Mr Pulford said he expects to pay off the investment within 14 years.

He’s excited that his electricity bill is only $700 a year, after laying out twenty grand. After 14 years his “investment” will start to pay off, assuming the batteries are still running, the solar panels are clean, and the inverter didn’t need replacing. Those battery warranties, at best, are ten years. He might get lucky. Without subsidies, his “pay-back time” would be something like 30% longer.

In the ACT, 250 homes with Reposit technology [...]

Taxpayers give $300m to Saudi billionaire for solar plant that makes 2% of old dying coal plant’s power

It will only take 50 plants like this, and $15 billion spare dollars, to replace the Liddell coal station (8,000GWh), now slated for closure in 2022.

$300m handout to Saudi tycoon for solar farm

Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire in a new test of the federal government’s looming energy reforms, escalating a dispute over whether to cut the handouts to keep coal-fired power stations alive.

AGL’s controversial Liddell coal power station in the NSW Hunter Valley generates 50 times as much electricity as the Moree solar farm in the state’s north, which stands to gain big subsidies from households from higher electricity bills until 2030…

But we need more chinese-built glass panels that make green weather-controlling electrons.

Lucky solar power is so competitive. Look at the money roll…

The Moree solar farm generates 150,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, about 0.08 per cent of the 200 terawatt hours produced on the national electricity market every year. The project is forecast to collect about $50m in payments over the next four years and $90m in the following decade under the existing [...]

Japan: Fifty solar PV companies already gone in 2017 as subsidies end. Coal soaring.

What’s the word for competitive-but-needs-a-subsidy?  Broke…

One hundred solar PV companies are forecast to collapse in Japan this year alone.

Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of this year than the same period in 2016.

According to corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank, which surveys companies across various industries and has produced its third report on solar PV company bankruptcies, 50 companies in Japan’s solar sector have already gone out of business in the first six months of 2017.

While the market overall has rapidly expanded from the launch of the feed-in tariff (FiT) in July 2012, Teikoku Databank acknowledged that there has been a slowdown in deployment in the past couple of years as the government successively made cuts of 10% or more on an annual basis to the premium prices paid for solar energy fed into the grid.

Bankruptcies have doubled in the industry since last year.

Meanwhile Japan plans to build at least 45 HELE Coal Plants.

Check out the map of “coal in versus coal out” in Japan. For [...]

Clean energy “investments” just a tiny $243 Billion in 2010

Click on the image to go to a fully interactive infographic where you can find out just how much money people have buried,  I mean, invested in clean energy in your country. It’s nifty.

Have you ever thought about how lucky we are that only kind-hearted helpful souls are involved in the erstwhile cottage industry known as “renewable energy”?

Imagine if a less-than-scrupulous agent got into these green-fields of money, and frolicked in the vast acreage of subsidies, schemes, and easy loans? Where would we be? The public would think the people and the industry were here to save us, the industry could prod levers of government to encourage more subsidies and pro-renewable energy legislation. The “cottage” industry could also pay for and help write reports that the government then used in order to convince the people to put more of their goods and chattels in the public-trough. In variations on the circular theme, the industry could apply for grants from the government to help pay for the reports it wrote for the government to help it earn even more subsidies, or to cripple it’s competitors. (eg. See here).

Thus deadly positive feedback would spiral out of control.

Then [...]