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If SA gets any more free energy everyone will go broke

A funny thing happens when governments put “free energy” into an electricity grid. Wind turbines force down wholesale prices, but everyone’s electricity bill goes up.

Those cheap green electrons look so seductive, but the advertising hides the effect that intermittent, unstable electricity has on the whole system.

Armada Funds Management manages $400m dollars worth of South Australian shops. Look at the price shock these small business managers are dealing with, like $1200 a month, and only one employee:

Power spike hits South Australian shopping centres

The Australian, Jan 18:

Chris Monaghan, Armada’s managing director [said]…costs for purchasing electricity for shopping centres in South Australia had increased by 87 per cent during peak times last year and 101 per cent in off-peak periods. Costs would increase again this year a further 57 per cent at peak periods and 15 per cent off-peak.

The total extra cost to landlords could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Nino Pilaia, who has been running Meats-N-More Carvery & Spuds …  His business was among those ­affected by power blackouts last year and ever-increasing energy costs. “For this little place here of about 30sq m, it is about $1200 a month, which is ridiculous,” Mr Pil­aia said. “The rising cost of power has hit us hard, but you can’t keep on passing on the costs to consumers — you have to try and absorb it. It’s money out of my pocket, it’s as simple as that.

“I employ one other part-time person. I can’t afford to employ anyone else… The power costs are a business killer.”

 South Australia has the highest proportion of wind power of any state without 6 interconnectors. Somehow the Premier accidentally gives the right answer:

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill last week told ABC radio a lack of competition was to blame for high power prices, a claim rejected by the industry.

It is a lack of competition, but its not about retail competition — one more guy selling a dead dog doesn’t make it live again. What South Australians need is the right to buy whatever damn electricity they like. They need competition between generators: no RET’s, no schemes no subsidies — and may the best one win. All Jay Weatherill has to do is get out of the way, and consumers and energy companies will figure it out.

Bring it on, and watch those electricity prices plummet, and then watch big industry, shops, everyone clamour to live there.

Right now, SA “leads the nation”:

Unemployment, States of Australia, November 2016.

h/t David M

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