Coalition may stop wind, solar farms if energy demand stays weak

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The Coalition has confirmed it may reconsider the renewable energy target if energy demand remains weak. An Abbott government could announce a larger but delayed renewables target, which may bring near term developments in wind and solar farms to a halt. (Updated)

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The Federal Opposition has given its clearest hint yet that it is prepared to dilute the 20 per cent renewable energy target – and bring new new developments of large scale wind and solar farms to an effective  halt – if electricity demand continues to be weak.

The Coalition continues to sell its position for large scale renewables as one of “bipartisan support” for the 20 per cent target. But there is great suspicion that it is prepared to soften the fixed target of 41,000GWh – which would require some 8,000MW of new renewable capacity – and adjust it to a “floating” 20 per cent that reflects revised demand forecasts. This would effectively cut installations by more than half  – as demanded by most major generators and electricity utilities and the conservative state governments.

Climate Change spokesman Greg Hunt told the Australian Summer Study on Energy Efficiency and Decentralised Energy in Sydney on Wednesday that there were no current plans to change the RET. However, he said “we will want to see where energy consumption is heading in 2014,” when the next RET review is expected to be held.

For the last four years, and against most previous forecasts, electricity demand has fallen – the result of lower consumption due to rising prices, the introduction of energy efficiency measures, and the growing impact of rooftop solar. In 2012, the average consumption from households in Victoria fell 10 per cent, according to EnergyAustralia, as consumers became more cost conscious or decided to produce their own energy with rooftop solar.

Utilities such as EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy have used this data to argue that the rollout of large scale renewables should be slowed or even halted, because of its impact on wholesale energy prices and therefore profits from their generation fleet.  They have been supported by government owned coal fired generators and network operators, who face similar challenges.

Hunt’s remarks confirm the worst fears of the renewable energy industry, which once again finds itself in a hiatus because of regulatory uncertainty, despite the need to build more than 1,000MW of wind farm capacity – and eventually including solar farms – to meet that target. They rely on utilities to write contracts to buy energy from wind and solar farms to met their RET obligations, but there is little incentive to do so with the election later this year, and the likelihood of another review in 2014. The result is a virtual capital strike on new investments.

The clean energy industry wants the major parties to use the opportunities presented by renewables – both large scale and smaller decentralised installations – to rethink their energy systems and usher in a new era of smarter, cleaner and more efficient power networks that would encourage individuals and communities to generate their own power. They see this as the best way to keep a lid on costs, and to decarbonise the grid.

The Climate Change Authority has rejected the calls to dilute the RET, saying that claims of increased costs on consumers were unfounded. But there is a massive pushback from key players in the conventional industry, and from conservative state government who own such assets, who fear their business models will be trashed. Hunt’s comments suggest that those fears are now gaining traction in the federal sphere.

The CCA had recommended, for the sake of certainty, that the next regulatory review of the RET be held in 2016, rather than 2014.  However, such a change requires a change to legislation, considered by some to be a risky business in the current parliament. This means that the the next review would be concluded within 12-14 months of the election, and if the Coalition wins, it won’t be conducted by the CCA, because the Coalition will have abolished it. Another fear is that if the capital strike continues for another 18 months, the target would be nearly impossible to meet.

Some expect that the Coalition could decide after the 2014 review to dilute the current target to protect the earnings of the incumbents, but sell the change by promising a “higher and further” renewable energy target such as 25/25 (25 per cent by 2025), or 30/30. The former had been proposed several years ago by Origin Energy, one of the principal opponents to the current RET arrangements. It may sound nice, and give the impression of greater ambition, but by diluting the short term target,  wind and solar farm developers said it will simply bring the industry to a halt, and defer new investments.

The comments by Hunt continue the apparent confusion over the Coalition’s policy position on climate and clean energy – firstly over the mechanics of its “Direct Action”, and its proposed buyback of emissions, and its real position on renewables. Several of its new “star recruits” have strong anti-wind and anti-solar positions.

Even the ability to repeal the carbon price is being questioned. Industry analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance on Wednesday there was less than a one-in-three chance that would occur, and would rely mostly on the results in the upcoming election. The clean energy industry fears that if a Coalition government cannot repeal the carbon price, then a dilution of the RET is a near certainty.

Hunt confirmed on Wednesday that the CCA will be scrapped and so will the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation. He also indicated that contracts written by the CEFC, which begins investing some of its funds from July 1, would not be honoured as it would fall in a “caretaker period” of government.

And he insisted that the Direct Action policy – which includes a “buyback” of emissions from generators, carbon farming and energy efficiency measures, was scaleable even if Australia decided on a more ambitious target than its current level of 5 per cent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. He did, however, consider this was unlikely unless the “G4” – the US, China, India and the EU – agreed on ambitious targets.

“We have underestimated abatement potential and overestimated the cost. We will have capacity to go further,’ he said.

He said the Coalition would continue with its 1 million solar roofs program, but with the focus on lower income and disadvantaged households, and repeated previous remarks that he is a big fan of algal fuel, which he said was being worked on by the “smartest minds and best business brains” –it would capture emissions from fossil fuel plants and factories, and would create clean fuels, displacing conventional oil.

Given that Opposition spokesman Ian Macfarlane is a big fan of ocean energy, and not so much of wind and solar, Australia could have a very different looking energy market than some imagine if they had their way.

Update: This just in from Senator Ron Boswell, in comments made to the SMH. “If we want to have a manufacturing sector in Australia, we have to dump the carbon tax and abolish the RET. The whole of the National Party agrees with me, although we haven’t got a formal policy on it yet, and I suspect many Liberals do also.”

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38 Comments
  1. shane 6 years ago

    Two points , 1. They are not anti wind as you so often brand them with as anti wind farm miss placement . And yes its about the money , from everyones perspective ,and always has been .. The hosts making money the wind companies making money and the neighbours properties becoming unsaleable ,, nothing to do with climate change.
    2. If you believe its not the main driver behind the steep rise in energy bills than you truly are just peddling hard for the wind organization ..

    • Giles Parkinson 6 years ago

      Shane, have a look at the second graph in this story https://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-australian-retail-electricity-prices-in-2020-2020

      or the third graph in this story

      https://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-australias-soaring-electricity-prices-15178

      (Both graphs are produced by australia’s biggest energy utilities)
      .
      then come back and tell us that wind is the main reason for rising energy bills.

      • shane 6 years ago

        At soon to be close to $1 000 000. Per turbine per year in subsidies, you can shuffle where the money comes from all you like but at the end of the day its the tax payers that cop it through the nose. The money has to come from somewhere..
        Can I ask have you worked all your life to pay off and own your own house? If so what would you say if a developer came to you and said sorry mate building a sewage works next door and your asset that you have broken your back for to own is not going to be worth much… Sorry .. Another side to the story you forget to add to your costs…

        • Ronald Brak 6 years ago

          So Shane, you are saying that there is about a 28 cent subsidy per kilowatt-hour produced by a wind turbine? Is that a figure you want to stand by or would you perhaps like to think about it a bit and reconsider?

        • Craig Memery 6 years ago

          Shane,
          – The revenue received form the the sale of LRECs under the Renewable Energy Target equates to (ballpark) $100,000 per installed MW capacity per year, or about $200,000 per wind turbine. Not sure where your $1,000,000 comes from but you might want to question your source.
          – You refer to subsidy from taxpayers, but actually not a single cent goes from taxpayers to windfarm owners. All costs for energy, and the RET, are passed through to other energy users. People who use more energy, pay more to the RET.
          – Incidentally, these same energy users who pay for the RET enjoy the benefits of the downward pressure on all wholesale energy prices brought about be new renewables. In other words, the actual cost to other consumers is only a small portion of the $200,000 per turbine per year that the RET costs.
          Maybe try checking your facts in future.

      • Martin Nicholson 6 years ago

        Giles, I assume you are saying that price increases are largely to do with the network not the generating costs. Have you read this paper from OECD-NEA titled System Effects of Low-Carbon Electricity Systems? http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/reports/2012/system-effects-exec-sum.pdf

        If not, it suggests that grid-level system effects from wind power can cost between $20-32/MWh. This clearly doesn’t explain all the network cost increases but wind (and solar) has to have made a contribution. The paper is worth a read.

    • adam 6 years ago

      2. If you believe its not the main driver behind the steep rise in energy bills

      There are numerous reports by government organisations across different states that say this is crap. In fact, it is so much crap, that finite govt resources wasting time on hindering renewables penetration will actually flounder and fail to reduce consumer power prices because they’re not targeting the dominant drivers of price increases. E.g., QLD libs. This will come back to hurt them.

      And no, it isn’t all about the money. A just society doesn’t pay off an angry neighbour because he’s angry the guy next door put a barn up he doesn’t like. Nor do residents at Portsea get money when the guy in front of him puts up a house that blocks his ocean view. Anyone living in an urban or suburabn environment feels or experiences this regularly.

      The issue is a fundamental conflict between an engorged obsession with individual rights and a land use planning system that doesn’t align with this.

      That and the poor strategic decision of the wind industry to align itself with a political philosophy given the current increasingly shrill and overblown polarisation of our political spectrum.

      Those are the reasons.

  2. Craig Allen 6 years ago

    I’m with Diamond energy, which buys my rooftop solar generation by day and sells me sewerage methane generated electricity by night. So they are both a generator and a retailer. Is large scale solar likely to become cheap enough any time soon to allow companies to build these plants and sell direct to consumers at high enough a profit to enable them to attract investment? Alternatively is there any possibility that such large projects could be funded through crowd sourced mechanisms the way smaller PV projects are beginning to be?

    • Ronald Brak 6 years ago

      Utility scale PV competes with rooftop solar and because of our low wholesale electricity prices and high retail prices, rooftop solar has a huge advantage. As a result utility scale solar is going to have a hard time attracting investment.

      I do think crowd sourcing of funds for rooftop solar will become more popular. But I don’t know how popular it will be in Australia, given how many people have their own roofs or grandparent’s roofs they can put solar on.

  3. adam 6 years ago

    Ugh… when will this witch hunt end I wonder.

  4. Beat Odermatt 6 years ago

    The Coalition must be aware that many voters have turned away from the Greens and Labor because of their weak and ineffective environmental policies. Many Australians will vote for the Coalition because they have policies which can deliver more direct and effective action then the current clowns in power. If the Coalition must deliver better environmental outcomes then the Green-Labor axis.
    The Coalition must remember that a very large proportion of their voters want a better environment and a lot more renewable energy. Most Australians are already shareholders via their superannuation funds in companies such as AGL, Santos and Origin. If these companies want to cut their costs, they could look at the massive pays their senior executives currently receive. Should these companies cut senior executive pays or environmental progress?

    • Phil of Brisbane 6 years ago

      I must admit, you have got me beat, Beat :-). How can you possibly lump Labor and the Greens together as having weak environmental policies? The Greens are streets ahead of the old parties in this area.

      The old parties treat the environment as just another competing issue to be considered in a “balanced” way with all the other issues affecting human beings, especially economic issues. For example, it seems like Labor is prepared to at least partially sacrifice the environment for the supposedly (short-term) benefit of jobs and working families (e.g. massive coal terminal facilities in Gladstone threatening the Great Barrier Reef, mining in the Tarkine, coal seam gas mining). The Liberals seem to be prepared to almost completely ignore the environment for the purpose of profits for business (apart from establishing green armies of people to clean up along river banks etc). It’s not good enough! Humans in the past may have been able to make the assumption that the planet is infinite in terms of resources and ability to store waste, but this is no longer true. The party is over, and we need to start living off the interest from the earth and not eating into the natural capital.

      The Greens are the only party who dare to suggest that environmental sustainability should be a mandatory foundation of all policy. For that, they are labelled as extremist, wacko, prepared to “take a battle-axe the economy” etc. Indeed, in sympathy with the current attacks on the environment, the Greens are also under attack by the major parties and the media (and even one or two readers of RenewEconomy).

      I will be doing everything I can to get people to vote for the Greens, because they are the only party who believe in a fair go for all, not only in this generation but for all succeeding generations! A sustainable environment will mean a sustainable economy – it’s that simple.

      Beat, if you care about the environment our children will inherit, you should Vote 1 Greens, and then make your own choice for second preference. Then you will be letting the world know of your environmental concerns and if the Green doesn’t get up, your second preference gets carried through – it’s a higher impact vote.

      • Beat Odermatt 6 years ago

        Don’t worry too much. The Coalition knows that over 90% of all Australians want more renewable energy and a better environment. The current Green-Labor axis has failed to achieve any positive environmental outcomes, The Greens have been very active in alienating virtually all environmentally aware Australians and have managed to destroy pro-active environmental goodwill. The carbon tax has failed in providing any direct environmental benefits, but has resulted in more work being driven to countries with a far more polluting production practices, Their policies have provided windfall profits to the most polluting industries. You know yourself that the Coalition must and will provide for a better environmentally responsible Nation. You just have to drive or walk around suburbs in Australia ans see the number of rooftop solar installations. People voted already for a better environment, with their own money. The Coalition will hopefully continue provide what people want, good pro-active action to make our economy towards a low carbon economy. Save the Environment, get rid of the Greens!

        • keith williams 6 years ago

          Beat,

          Tony Abbott REALLY believes that climate change is crap or he wouldn’t be so determined to wreck the whole show. He honestly thinks nothing needs to be done about climate change or getting off fossil fuels. Apart from Malcolm Turnbull, the whole party is in a corner that truly is “la la” land. These guys are close to Alan Jones, Lord Monckton and a host of other Tea Party types.

          It will be a disaster if they get control as they don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. The average Australian has a mich better grip of what’s going on.

          The Labor party isn’t much better. The Greens (and the Independents) are the only groups who pay attention to the experts and they have forced at least some action.

          The reason of course is that both parties can only conceive a future for Australia in the next 50 years by exploiting coal and gas. Fortunately China and India are both aware of the looming catastrophe, so I’m confident that fossil fuels as products will be drastically curtailed probably quite soon. The longer we live in denial the more painful it is going to be.

          We can’t afford to be run by a bunch of ignorant people who ignore the experts.

          • keith williams 6 years ago

            Beat,

            You are probably correct that most voters support environmental policies (1.5 million households with solar is an indication). It’s just that neither Labor nor the Liberals provide voters with policies that support the environment, because both major parties can’t get their heads around the fact that our basis for future prosperity needs to remove coal and gas exploitation from the picture. It is simply too hard to face the changes needed, so both parties are in complete denial.

            Without resolute action by the Greens and Independents (who pay attention to what the science is saying) there wouldn’t be 1.5 million households with solar PV and the developments in wind and solar that mean South Australia is now generating around 30% of its power from renewables wouldn’t be happening.

            It will be a disaster if we don’t get a hung parliament out of the next election as if either party gets to be in control they will mess up the progress that has been made. Of course the Liberals are a much bigger disaster than Labor as they don’t even accept the science.

        • Phil of Brisbane 6 years ago

          Sorry Beat but I think you are deluded. I have been an environmental activist for the past 40 years, and I have NEVER EVER seen the environment under such attack as I see now from Coalition governments (and the current Opposition).

          1-in-100 year flood events happening every year?! Liberal and National climate change policy has got MUD on its hands!! They are literally threatening my children’s future, which makes me very angry. We must not let them get control of both houses, or we will be back to the 19th century!

          • Beat Odermatt 6 years ago

            The noise of a wind farm is no louder or more annoying then waves breaking on the beach or wind rustling through a forest. Most people regard wind mills as beautiful, they are an investment into our children’s futures. If we use the sun, the wind or any other renewable resource more coal, gas or oil remain in the ground. These resources may be essential raw materials in the future. Are we the “stupid generation” which is destroying and burning the resources needed for survival by the children of our grandchildren?
            What’s about a billboard pointing out the “benefits” of coal, such as acid mine drainage, spontaneous combustion., coal dust, noise from drilling, blasting, transport and mining, smoke, water use for mine and power station, land degradation etc.
            Coal has been an important part of our past, but like the horse and buggy type of transport, its time is finished.

          • Beat Odermatt 6 years ago

            Environmental activist? Many environmental “activists” have never done any “environmental action” such as planting a single tree. Just go and watch when the “Greens” have one of their brainwashing event. You see more cars blowing blue smoke then during a hoon rally. The major parties are responsible for some of the worlds leading environmental legislations to protect our natural resources. These actions had nothing to do with the Greens. Most of the environment advances in Australia occurred when the Coalition and Labor worked together. It was before the Greens started to prostitute the environment for their political aims. If you love the environment, get rid of the Greens!

        • Chris Fraser 6 years ago

          I strongly agree with Beat’s environmental sympathies, but keith has nailed it this time. a Lib/Nat coalition will only add to the problems, not take them away. Even better is the offer of independent candidates, who as we have already seen this term, can think for themselves and stand apart from this awful mob.

    • Alastair Leith 6 years ago

      @Beat If you think the coalition has any good ideas for environmental policy in the wings how about you take a look at what their Murdoch and Mining sponsored think tank, the IPA, have on their “Please Tony…” wish list.

      http://ipa.org.au/publications/2080/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia

      We have right at the top of a list of 75 ‘ideas’:

      1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

      2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

      3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

      6 Repeal the renewable energy target

      7 Return income taxing powers to the states (thereby diluting Commonwealth powers in environmental issues across the board)

      8 Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission (not sure if that’s relevant to renewable energy)

      9 Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ditto)

      10 Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

      My comments in parenthesis. So six of the top ten items on a list of 75 wishes representing the most reactionary and conservative forces in Australia are about destroying Australia’s responce to Climate Change and the renewable based economy and society that needs to be transitioned to under an emergency conditions.

      A very ‘conservative’ approach indeed trashing the planet, ensuring countless extreme weather events to destroy public and private infrastructure and property, guaranteeing the international movement of 100s of millions of climate change refugees from impoverished parts of the world exposed to constant flooding (coastal Asian cities) or drought (Africa), reduce the sustainable agricultural sector with much tougher climate and water resource,… the list goes on and on.

  5. suthnsun 6 years ago

    Climate Change spokesman? Can Greg Hunt really be speaking for climate change when in the face of all the dire predictions for humanity in ‘official’ and ‘conservative’ reports released recently, he is still mouthing lazy fossil fuel platitudes ‘we want to see where energy consumption is heading in 2014’. Also recall only last week he was saying on Q&A that electricity demand is inelastic?
    In as little as 30 years from now we could be facing mass displacement of all people in low lying countries and cities (of which we have many in our region) (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20121226_GreenlandIceSheetUpdate.pdf if a 5 year doubling melt rate ensues)
    We are in a planetary emergency and displacement of fossil fuel burning is the primary requirement we must all face up to in our lifestyles and we need to activate every available means to do it urgently.
    Allowing even the slightest possibility of these imminent dangers to manifest is a gross dereliction of duty by all of us – even more so for a so-called climate change community leader.
    In the face of a likely Coalition victory, I would urge everyone to at least vote with you actions on the issue of fossil fuel burning – take every possible opportunity to reject dirty energy and its proponents – a genuine well-directed mass movement has the power to overturn even the strident anti-climate change of the Coalition.

    • keith williams 6 years ago

      It is crucial that the Coalition is “outed” on their climate change and carbon reduction (not) policies.

      The only conclusion of the rag bag of coalition “policies” is that they are climate change deniers and that they support continued fossil fuel dominance.

      It isn’t clear to me that the community at large understands that this is their position.

      The 5% reduction by Direct action is ludicrous, but for Greg Hunt to suggest that larger carbon reductions are quite feasible by Direct action along the lines the coalition envisages, shows just how far away from reality the opposition is in this area.

  6. Robert Vincin 6 years ago

    In carbon accounting terms wind and solar take 10-14 years to payback CO2e emission from raw materials to fab, transport, erection, foundations, hook to grid and disposal in 15yr life cycle. Coal is defacto volcanoes emitting essential nitrates sulfates to breathe or sequester as part of Carbon cycle. pplying science fact before commenting is paramount. well planned CO2 science sinks based on science (not C3 trees)will offset CO2e with vertually no cost to consumers. Robert Vincin. Sat on UNCTAD UNFCCC forums 96-02 setting low cost solution.

    • suthnsun 6 years ago

      @Robert Vincin, you don’t quote any reference for 10-14 years to payback CO2e, there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise;
      http://www.murgatroid.com/sust/Fthenakis_PVLCA.pdf
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/wind-carbon.html

      • Robert Vincin 6 years ago

        I have been challenged by a respondent to my comments in your article. I sat on panels UNCTAD UNFCCC helping establish IPCC travelling the planet for for 6 years. I co-authored the paper the missing sink tabled at UNFCCC COP 3 credited as saving article 3.4 to become known as the Australian Clause. I transferred the Australian technology stoichiometric hydrogen gas (Brown’s Gas H2O energy H2o) to PRC. They have a city now producing such to power cars, welders, long distant pumps (16 applications). I introduced to PRC Canadian technology to capture nox sox mercury from coal fired power station steel mills 99.98%. 2005 PRC came to Australia to view my work in sequestering CO2e offsetting 40tomnnes CO2e per annum pa meeting UNFCCC 100 yr rule.
        As neither side of Australian government actually want to lead the world in lowering CO2e or the 100billion dollar annual income employing 116,000 people I will return to PRC via helping UN en-route to reverse deserts to grow global food fodder and in time as the soil grows forestry. Trees rice cotton most grains vegetables take biomass carbon from soil not the atmosphere. PRC will offset 8billion tonnes of CO2e annually by 2015 see blue skies by 2020 (and public health along with visible invisible pollution. Unlike Australian they embrace the A$160,000,000,000 (9×0) and reverse 200million hectares of desert to grow food fodder etc.

        Unlike a wide array of folk putting themselves forward as experts, I just replicate nature and add a balance of true carbon accounting unto UNFCCC 100yr rule. So to answer Craig Memery Sean Sweetser suthnsun et al who asked for some evidence to back my statement wind solar power takes 10-14 years to payback CO2e emission produced from raw material to fabrication to transport preparing in-situ foundation and materials, to remote erection, to operation maintenance to hook to grid and high tension all season towers (I have seen then fall in regional global cooling events in PRC) and then disposal of all that.
        Few understand coal fired energy is but de-facto volcanoes. The emission via the Suns radiation become essential nitrates sulfates for all living matter to breathe and or sequester.
        So I assembled a few references why wind power is in no way the answer if you are hungry for more and you have read the following and at last conducted your own due diligence and listed your year of at the coal face reducing global emission writing policy and reversing deserts and poverty (3 billion wanting food fodder shelter) then set it out and we could as a nation repair the Planet for the historians of tomorrow from whom we borrowed the home. My close Homo sapiens have never paid rent. My question is when folk don’t pay rent what mostly happens to the home and second question with 60% damage to the baseline assets of man soil, water vegetation atmosphere what are you contributing along with your local member?????????????
        Without prejudice Robert Vincin
        A few extracts
        Wind power is ‘crippling expensive’ and preventing the UK from effectively reducing carbon emissions, says a new report.
        Leo Hickman, with your help, investigates. Get in touch below the line, email your views to [email protected] or tweet @leohickman
        1. Wind Energy Is Not the Answer” — Paper bywww.jvas.org/pdf_files/Wind_Energy_Not_Answer.pdf
        2.
        1. Lake Superior ARC Research Find on Renewable Energy 1www.lsarc.ca/lsarcrf_re1.htmWind Power does not reduce CO2
        A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy Robert Bryce, 07.19.11, 05:00 PM EDT Reality has overtaken green hope.
        1. Dutch fall out of love with windmills | Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/…/us-dutch-wind-idUSTRE7AF1JM201111...
        1.
        2. Checking five facts from the Mail on wind power | Carbon Brief http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/…/checking-five-mail-facts-on-wind-pow…Nov 2, 2012
        2.
        3. A Problem With Wind Power [AWEO.org] http://www.aweo.org/problemwithwind.html by E Rosenbloom –

        1. Wind Energy Does Little to Reduce CO2 Emissions | The Energy …theenergycollective.com/willem…/wind-energy-reduces-co2-emission…

        1. Government Lab Finds Wind Energy Not Meeting Carbon Emission …www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/…/

        1. Do windfarms work? | UK news | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk › UK news Nov 21, 2011 –
        2.
        1. Wind Energy CO2 Emissions Reductions are Overstated | The …theenergycollective.com/willem…/wind-energy-co2-emissions-are-ov…Jul 1, 2012
        1. Climate Change Paradox: Wind Turbines in Europe Do Nothing for …www.spiegel.de › English Site › Business › Climate Change
        2.
        1. 14000 Abandoned Wind Turbines In The USA | Tory Aardvark toryaardvark.com/2011/…/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-in-the-us…Nov 17, 2011
        2.
        Wind energy claims are just a lot of hot air – Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk › Earth › Energy › Wind Power

        1. Wind energy — Unreliable, expensive and utterly impractical http://www.akdart.com/wind.html
        2.
        1. The wind power CO2 conspiracy | Climate Spectator http://www.climatespectator.com.au/…/

        1. Taxpayers Shouldn’t Subsidize Wind Energy They Don’t Want, Don’t … http://www.usnews.com › Opinion › On Energy

    • Sean Sweetser 6 years ago

      Hi Robert,

      can you back up this claim with any data?

      “In carbon accounting terms wind and solar take 10-14 years to payback CO2e emission from raw materials to fab, transport, erection, foundations, hook to grid”

      Sean

      • Robert Vincin 6 years ago

        I have been challenged by a respondent to my comments in your article. I sat on panels UNCTAD UNFCCC helping establish IPCC travelling the planet for for 6 years. I co-authored the paper the missing sink tabled at UNFCCC COP 3 credited as saving article 3.4 to become known as the Australian Clause. I transferred the Australian technology stoichiometric hydrogen gas (Brown’s Gas H2O energy H2o) to PRC. They have a city now producing such to power cars, welders, long distant pumps (16 applications). I introduced to PRC Canadian technology to capture nox sox mercury from coal fired power station steel mills 99.98%. 2005 PRC came to Australia to view my work in sequestering CO2e offsetting 40tomnnes CO2e per annum pa meeting UNFCCC 100 yr rule.
        As neither side of Australian government actually want to lead the world in lowering CO2e or the 100billion dollar annual income employing 116,000 people I will return to PRC via helping UN en-route to reverse deserts to grow global food fodder and in time as the soil grows forestry. Trees rice cotton most grains vegetables take biomass carbon from soil not the atmosphere. PRC will offset 8billion tonnes of CO2e annually by 2015 see blue skies by 2020 (and public health along with visible invisible pollution. Unlike Australian they embrace the A$160,000,000,000 (9×0) and reverse 200million hectares of desert to grow food fodder etc.

        Unlike a wide array of folk putting themselves forward as experts, I just replicate nature and add a balance of true carbon accounting unto UNFCCC 100yr rule. So to answer Craig Memery Sean Sweetser suthnsun et al who asked for some evidence to back my statement wind solar power takes 10-14 years to payback CO2e emission produced from raw material to fabrication to transport preparing in-situ foundation and materials, to remote erection, to operation maintenance to hook to grid and high tension all season towers (I have seen then fall in regional global cooling events in PRC) and then disposal of all that.
        Few understand coal fired energy is but de-facto volcanoes. The emission via the Suns radiation become essential nitrates sulfates for all living matter to breathe and or sequester.
        So I assembled a few references why wind power is in no way the answer if you are hungry for more and you have read the following and at last conducted your own due diligence and listed your year of at the coal face reducing global emission writing policy and reversing deserts and poverty (3 billion wanting food fodder shelter) then set it out and we could as a nation repair the Planet for the historians of tomorrow from whom we borrowed the home. My close Homo sapiens have never paid rent. My question is when folk don’t pay rent what mostly happens to the home and second question with 60% damage to the baseline assets of man soil, water vegetation atmosphere what are you contributing along with your local member?????????????
        Without prejudice Robert Vincin
        A few extracts
        Wind power is ‘crippling expensive’ and preventing the UK from effectively reducing carbon emissions, says a new report.
        Leo Hickman, with your help, investigates. Get in touch below the line, email your views to [email protected] or tweet @leohickman
        1. Wind Energy Is Not the Answer” — Paper bywww.jvas.org/pdf_files/Wind_Energy_Not_Answer.pdf
        2.
        1. Lake Superior ARC Research Find on Renewable Energy 1www.lsarc.ca/lsarcrf_re1.htmWind Power does not reduce CO2
        A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy Robert Bryce, 07.19.11, 05:00 PM EDT Reality has overtaken green hope.
        1. Dutch fall out of love with windmills | Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/…/us-dutch-wind-idUSTRE7AF1JM201111...
        1.
        2. Checking five facts from the Mail on wind power | Carbon Brief http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/…/checking-five-mail-facts-on-wind-pow…Nov 2, 2012
        2.
        3. A Problem With Wind Power [AWEO.org] http://www.aweo.org/problemwithwind.html by E Rosenbloom –

        1. Wind Energy Does Little to Reduce CO2 Emissions | The Energy …theenergycollective.com/willem…/wind-energy-reduces-co2-emission…

        1. Government Lab Finds Wind Energy Not Meeting Carbon Emission …www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/…/

        1. Do windfarms work? | UK news | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk › UK news Nov 21, 2011 –
        2.
        1. Wind Energy CO2 Emissions Reductions are Overstated | The …theenergycollective.com/willem…/wind-energy-co2-emissions-are-ov…Jul 1, 2012
        1. Climate Change Paradox: Wind Turbines in Europe Do Nothing for …www.spiegel.de › English Site › Business › Climate Change
        2.
        1. 14000 Abandoned Wind Turbines In The USA | Tory Aardvark toryaardvark.com/2011/…/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-in-the-us…Nov 17, 2011
        2.
        Wind energy claims are just a lot of hot air – Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk › Earth › Energy › Wind Power

        1. Wind energy — Unreliable, expensive and utterly impractical http://www.akdart.com/wind.html
        2.
        1. The wind power CO2 conspiracy | Climate Spectator http://www.climatespectator.com.au/…/

        1. Taxpayers Shouldn’t Subsidize Wind Energy They Don’t Want, Don’t … http://www.usnews.com › Opinion › On Energy

    • Craig Memery 6 years ago

      Robert,

      You’re mistaken. Wind turbines actually offset their entire embodied of CO2 in a matter of months after they start operating. The exact number depends on many variables including relative CO2 intensity of the energy systems of the countries of manufacture and installation and the transport CO2 intensity, and on the wind resource at the wind farm location, but the CO2 payback is well under 1 year in any case.

      That’s a funny joke you make about needing coal though 🙂

      • Craig Memery 6 years ago

        Also, wind turbines have a 20-25 year asset life, solar more like 30 years (with 25 year warranties)

  7. Mr Mauricio 6 years ago

    The Coalition must be one of the most despicable parties EVER to stand before the Australian public.Mr Hunt their shadow Environment Minister wrote his thesis on effectively controlling emissions through a Carbon Tax.He now spouts this Tea Party rubbish day in day out.How can he sleep at night? Solar Panels at current prices repay their entire cost within 6 years without subsidy.Solar and wind are now cheaper than coal or gas fired electricity.So the coalition is bare faced in supporting its mates in old doomed industries-to the detriment of the Australian public.The current “clowns” as burnists infecting these pages like to describe the government are far preferable to Abbott’s swaggering,sneering mealy mouched line up.Then there are the reductions in aged pensions and benefits to families then Work Choices for Mr Everyman to choke on.

  8. shane 6 years ago

    So Craig what is the first thing the larger energy users do to correct that loss ?? Increase their bills so yes it does end up costing the people.. Pretty simple if you complete the circuit ..
    As for Adam did you honestly just draw a comparison to an urban neighbour putting up a barn and 250, 188m tall industrial wind farm , devaluing surrounding properties by millions,, wow , how far removed from reality are you?
    Typical urban Green , couldn’t care less if it destroys rural communities . All about you feeling warm and fuzzy thinking your saving the planet.. Don’t bother commenting done with this..

    • Alastair Leith 6 years ago

      @Shane
      Destroying rural communities? Hepburn Wind is pouring millions into community projects unrelated to wind power! And they have the vast majority of community behind them (was it 80% support in a recent survey?).

      It is not renewable energy dividing rural communities, nor Urban Greenies, it’s the dinosaurs who cannot get their head around the fact that we need to stop burning fossil fuels as ASAP to avert Climate Catastrophe who therefore object to anything resembling reasonable action because they’re not up for it. Incidentally vastly increased extreme weather events are just one of the symptoms of an unsafe climate. You know those events like floods and decade long droughts that ‘rurals’ understandably put their hands up for taxpayer funded assistance dealing with. Give it a rest, mate.

    • David 6 years ago

      You need to get some perspective on how urban people feel about wind farm complaints. I have visited wind farms and stood next to turbines. Standing within 50m of a functioning turbine it makes no more noise than my neighbour’s pool pump does when I stand in the middle of my back yard. Why would I have any sympathy for complaints from someone who lives a kilometre away from a turbine? On the one hand is a wind farm creating clean power for thousands of people and on the other hand one family’s selfish disregard of their neighbours.
      As for the barn; having an 8m high wall erected a metre from your bedroom window is much more intrusive than a spindly tower on the horizon.
      Urban people put up with such intrusions all the time.

  9. Gillian 6 years ago

    Hunt implies that algal fuels capture emissions from fossil fuel plants and somehow miraculously make them disappear.

    I know that CO2 is used to grow the algae, but surely it is emitted again when the fuel is burnt? The CO2 is captured only briefly and then released.

    Algal fuel reduces emissions by displacing oil and does nothing to divert the CO2 from fossil fuel plants from entering the atmosphere.

    Am I missing something? Do algal fuels have a double benefit – displace oil AND sequester carbon emissions from fossil fuel plants? Or is Hunt hoping we won’t see his sleight of hand?

    • Alastair Leith 6 years ago

      ^ Gillian

      You are correct, Gillian. If the algae were ‘locked up’ in some kind of plastic product that never broke down (just what the oceans need more of!) then perhaps there’d some gain. Or if the algae could be returned to soils as OM, maybe. But as you say burning it as oil will release almost all of the Carbon atoms ‘sequestered’ as algae as CO2/CO.

      And we still get the contribution to black carbon which is a climate forcing particle accept recently by IPCC. Black carbon is released in coal mining, transport and burning. The particles enter the atmosphere travel to the ice-caps and then land on the ice absorbing heat that would otherwise be reflected by the ice sheets.

      Also it’s worth noting that none of these CCS schemes hope to capture all of the carbon just some of it, and the energy costs are very high so that’s why algae is interesting to them, they can commercialise the ‘waste’ product. Win-win, not!

      Algae as a way of providing transport fuels with a high energy density when using atmospheric Carbon may be preferable to burning fossil fuels, like avgas. The costs are still very, very high despite many different attempts to find a path from algae to fuels. One day maybe, definitely nothing to base our energy policy on today.

    • suthnsun 6 years ago

      Gillian, I think you are correct. It’s a pipe dream to collect low concentration CO2 from flues anyway. There are some point sources of high concentration CO2 which could be collected and used, so displacing fossil fuels. These are already being used in some processes which may or may not end up sequestering the CO2 anyway, so there may be some nett benefit there but as far as I can see it is likely to be ‘peanuts’ compared to the mountains we need to stop burning.

  10. MSRahme 6 years ago

    I wish I took a photo, but if one drives south down the New England Highway through the beautiful Hunter Valley and into a town called ‘Scone’ what will you see? You will see a very large unmissable billboard sign, I think erected on private land. What does the sign say?

    “SAY NO TO WIND FARMS THEY DESTROY THE LANDSCAPE”

    (or something like that if they are not the exact words)

    Now that’s a bit rich, when 5 minutes down the road all you see are massive holes, Big Massive Holes, big ones, big coal pits, a lot of them. And they are talking about landscape! What else do you see? Very large unmissable billboard signs erected by coal companies. What do the signs say? How much these companies and big holes contribute to the country. But not much about how they destroy the landscape!

  11. Michael Gunter 6 years ago

    Forest campaigners should by rights be able to breathe a sigh of relief that biomass burning as an alleged “renewable fuel from forests” will suffer similar cutbacks or abolition.

    “Tell them they’re dreamin'” or am I being too cynical?

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