ALMOST 150 suspected rorts of the Gillard government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme were reported to the regulator last year, with NSW and federal authorities assisting with the execution of two search warrants as a part of the probe.
The Clean Energy Regulator yesterday released its annual report to government on the administration of the RET — a scheme that provides certificates for both large and small-scale renewable energy generation as part of the bipartisan target of ensuring 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewables by 2020.
The regulator’s audit report revealed that during 2012 it received 147 allegations of rorts, the majority of which related to the creation of dodgy certificates for rooftop solar panels.
So far three “monitoring warrants” have been executed by NSW and Australian Federal police. One matter is before the Federal Court as a civil prosecution. One criminal matter was heard last year.
…businessman John Testoni of Sydney Solar Eco Solutions pleading guilty to improperly creating $170,000 in RET certificates for 24 non-existent solar system installations in the Sydney area.
Fake markets just ask to be scammed. Who can forget the Spanish winter of late 2009 when 4,500Mw hours of “solar” electricity was generated at night. That was 2.5 million euro of diesel powered photovoltaic electricity. As Lubos points out, the regulators said they ended the scam, but slightly smarter crooks would just turn off the diesel at dinner time wouldn’t they? Who was checking?
Higher feed in tariffs for solar power are a falsely high price. No one can tell a solar-powered electron from a coal-fired one, yet one artificially “sells” for more (and these are the same people who say we need a “free market”). The arbitrage position begs to be tested.
Alarmists concerned coal investors will lose money
The same Australian story notes at the end that The Climate Institute are worried about coal investors losing money. Shucks. Coal investments in the US are about $674bn a year and about $5.7bn in Australia. Coal is in an unsustainable bubble they say, “of climate denial, indifference or dreaming.”
Being the great investors they are The Climate Institute warns “It is increasingly clear there will be a lot of wasted investments or stranded assets,…”
But I suspect coal investors probably know something about their competition from The Famed And Glorious Renewables Revolution.
Speaking of which, Scott-the-trader wrote to me yesterday to point out that in the wind-favoured-electricity-market of South Australia the wind was stilled and electricity spot prices were up: “Pool prices at $200/Mwh compared to the rest of the NEM at $60/Mwh.” (NEM means National Electricity Market.) He went on, “5 minute pool price price in SA has been as high as $12000/Mwh this morning.” I wondered, how much power the turbines were making? He replied, “…the next 5 minute snapshot after the one attached was for a net draw by wind from the system of 1Mw.”
“Installed capacity of wind in SA >1220Mw. ”
Running at minus 0.1% capacity then*.
A few hours later things had improved (slightly) “Combined wind output totalled across Vic and SA is right at this moment 52Mw from the installed capacity of 2107Mw”
But hey. It’s only one day, right?
UPDATE: Commenters were asking about the screen, and if that pricing information is available on the web publicly. It’s not. But Scott points to the goovernment AEMO site (Australian Energy Operator), and the Wind-Farm Performance site where data is available for yesterday, and on each wind-farm individually. We can see that yesterday national wind-generated-electricity was running a bit less than 10% of capacity.
* UPDATE #2: John Hultquist points out that a “draw” on the system means it’s a negative. Scott confirms. The wind towers are using electricity trying to “hunt” for the right wind direction. The word “minus” added to that sentence.