Stop renewable subsidies to allow lower electricity prices and competitive industry

The RET Review brought the usual howls of anguish from the rent seekers concerned that regulatory measures will cease and that they will need to sell their wind and solar products on the open market.  That means they would need to persuade people to pay three times the price they are already paying. 

Support for the rent seekers is coming strong from the usual green left anti-capitalists, including THEIR ABC.  This piece on the Drum explains the issues then goes full pelt in support of the continuation of the rort.  It includes a clip by Sarah Ferguson who, along with her husband Tony Jones and the dozens of other far leftists, is a major shareholder in the tax financed propaganda agency.  In the clip the ACCI’s Burchell Wilson stoutly defends the consumer’s right to avoid exploitation by the politically correct.

The RET scheme with the feed-in tariffs for roof-top solar already adds 7 per cent to the cost of electricity to households, a cost that will more than double on present policies.  By 2020 the scheme, if unchanged, will add over 40 per cent to the wholesale cost of electricity and largely negate the benefits from the demise of the carbon tax (should that occur). It is little wonder that major energy intensive industries are departing Australia – our prices have risen to be among the highest in the world from among the lowest less than a decade ago. 

The RET review does not have the usual clutch of green left or docile functionaries that have previously characterised such reviews.  Led by a highly successful businessman, Dick Warburton, there is no likelihood of a repeat of the previous pattern of reviews that ramped up the scheme.  In the past we had:

  • Howard announcing a scheme in 2001 which would subsidise an innocuous “two per cent of additional energy”; that was trebled to 9,500 GWh by a hand-picked team established to interpret this.
  • A proposal in 2003 by the hapless Grant Tambling for an increase to 20,000 GWh, which John Howard, having come to his senses, rejected. 
  • And as a “compromise”, Rudd and Turnbull agreeing to the present 20 per cent of electricity to be provided by subsidised exotics, mainly wind, defined as 45,000 GWh by 2020. 

The rent seekers know the game is up and there is no prospect of an economy-busting increase in their feed.  They know they cannot even expect Gillard’s  Climate Change Authority placepeople’s solution of retaining the scheme as is and are falling back on one that which would reduce it to comprise the currently expected 20 per cent of electricity.  The presently expected 20 per cent by 2020 shaves off at least a quarter of the existing RET’s 45,000 GWh because regulatory and tax boosts have caused energy demand to drop.

Alternative approaches would range from cancelling the scheme’s subsidies for any new proposals to doing something akin to the Spanish Government’s approach and ceasing to pay any subsidies, even on windmills in the ground.

The review is to report later this year and is taking submissions until May 15.

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37 Responses to Stop renewable subsidies to allow lower electricity prices and competitive industry

  1. I love the smell of burning greenies and their rent seekers. It smells like… Victory.

  2. Rabz

    … allow lower electricity prices …?

  3. It includes a clip by Sarah Ferguson who, along with her husband Tony Jones and the dozens of other far leftists, is a major shareholder in the tax financed propaganda agency.

    The greens are quick to look for financial motivations among their critics.

    This is despite many of their own jobs depending on renewable energy, climate alarmism etc,.

  4. H B Bear

    It includes a clip by Sarah Ferguson who, along with her husband Tony Jones and the dozens of other far leftists, is a major shareholder in the tax financed propaganda agency.

    Shareholder or stakeholder? Or is this another example of the ALPBC’s off-the-books enterprises that seems happy to allow it’s full time employees to write books, host events and speaking engagements courtesy of their employment at the staff collective?

    Could Mrs Snowcone’s lemon suppository-driven, school marmish tone and delivery be even more annoying than the smug superciliousness of Snowcone himself?

  5. Montgomery Brewster

    The enthusiasm for the review may be a little premature. We need to wait to see the outcome of the modelling that the review will undertake which includes some interesting assumptions. Further, the environment department are deeply involved in the secretariat and this may be cause for concern given their institutional bias.

  6. blogstrop

    Howard’s last term was marked by ramping up of the end-of-the-world rhetoric by fraudsters in the scientific community and the media. I’d be fairly confident that he, or anyone with some sense now, would look again at the whole fiasco and say “changed circumstances”.
    Let’s call the whole thing off.

  7. stackja

    #1277947, posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm
    Howard’s last term was marked by ramping up of the end-of-the-world rhetoric by fraudsters in the scientific community and the media.

    Why are not these fraudsters being held accountable like any other person? Why are company directors held accountable and these fraudsters do not have to pay?

  8. jupes

    Let’s suppose for a moment that the government is vain enough to believe any decision they make can affect global temperature. If that is the case then they need to explain how much their decision will actually move the thermometer in degrees or parts thereof. We are not interested in how much CO2 won’t be released; we want to know how exactly how much global temperature will change.

    If they cannot tell us that, then they have no justification whatsoever to implement the policy. Even if they can tell us, then they will have to explain how changing global temperature by, say, 0.0001 of a degree is worth $20 billion per year.

    If the only reason they are doing it is because they believe the population expects them to ‘do something’, then they need to explain that there is precisely nothing they can do to effect global temperature.

    It is the job of government to make decisions in the national interest. It is clearly in the national interest to repeal the RET immediately.

  9. Dr Faustus

    The Clean Energy Council – the rent seekers’ industry body – begs to differ. It’s public position is:

    – The days of cheap power are gone, because – well, because they are gone…

    – Renewable power is not much more expensive than cheap power because – well, because cheap power has gone…

    – There is absolutly no hope of cheap fossil-fueled power coming back to Australia, ever, because all of Australia’s gas is being sold to Asia at prices that make renewable energy seem nearly reasonable. And because there is no water left to make steam, apparently;

    – The voting public loves renewable energy as a concept and will brutally punish any government that stands in the way of the long march to 100% renewables;

    – Any attempt to dismantle the RET will be massively counter-productive because of the impact on renewable jobs (who he?), the damage to Australia’s sovereign risk and capacity to attract capital – and the simply ENORMOUS and POLITICALLY DEVASTATING compensation bill that will be demanded by the rent-seekers collective.

    Download and enjoy the CEC’s breathtakingly cynical, self-serving and dishonest Myths and Facts in the Energy Policy Debate.

  10. Ant

    “That means they would need to persuade people to pay three times the price they are already paying. “

    So what’s their problem? They keep insisting to us that renewables are just fabulously planet-saving fabulous that selling the idea of paying a miserable 2-3 times more for power is a no-brainer.

    Ah, but there’s the problem: The scam really only works in an open market when the Deceivers can sell it to the Dreamers who’ll believe any old BS provided that it “saves the planet”.

    The minute the Deceivers try and sell it to the Dummies, not to mentioned the informed amongst us, the minute the scam hits the fan and no more taxpayer funded honey for these used underwear shysters.

  11. These fossil fuel subsidies dwarf renewables.
    How about we get rid of them – level playing field and all that….

  12. Dan

    40% more by 2020! Fuck me sideways.

    That would put our quarterly sparkie bill into $800 territory. If any politician thinks that is ok, they need to be shot, electrocuted with 3 phase power and ground into dust

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    These fossil fuel subsidies dwarf renewables.

    Numbers – I saw this article today which argues much the same thing (see the last sentence). But when you look at the subsidies on a like with like comparison they do show the problem:

    Energy Subsidies
    Dollars per megawatt hour

    Natural gas $0.64
    Coal $0.64
    Hydropower $0.82
    Nuclear $3.14
    Wind $56.29
    Solar $775.64

    You take away these and wind and solar are dead as a bird hit by a wind turbine blade.

    On top of that the “study” you cite is from the Denniss’s Australia Institute, who are to the left of Lenin. The so called subsidies in the article comprise the diesel rebate. The tax on diesel is intended for road maintenance due to wear and tear from heavy vehicles. But mining trucks don’t travel on government maintained roads. Nor does the diesel used in minesite power plants affect road wear and tear. So why in a fair world should mining companies be hit with and unjust tax?

    As for “subsidies” for exploration that is state governments investing for a return, since if a mine is built the company pays quite large royalties to the state government. Miners would not give a fig if no such subsidies were given, but then they wouldn’t bother to explore in that state. You want to catch mice, you need bait in your trap.

  14. Sir Fred Lenin

    These Criminals should be financialy and physicaly Punished Severely.Real Labour
    facilitise,wher for the first time in their Bludging lives they are made to do Hard Physical Work ,to help them Bond with the real Workers,just imagine if they couldnt afforfpd theupir Lattes!

  15. Tapdog

    ….a senior Liberal has told the ABC it will provide the Government “cover” for “let’s kill the RET”………..

    Sounds like bullshit to me.

  16. Notafan

    I say give the consumer the choice, if they want to pay extra for renewable energy then they can, but not the 1% I saw offered a few years ago, the real cost, whether it is two or three times more expensive. If the wind and solar guys can’t attract enough customers too bad so sad.
    My business doesn’t get government subsidies and I am going to close next year because I can’t compete. That’s life.

  17. Tom

    Albanese on RET: “It’s important for jobs. It’s important in terms of positioning Australia as a clean energy economy into the future.”


    Not very bright is our Ant. Can’t bring himself to tell the aspirational bogans he now works for the Greenfilth and that the Liars Party destroyed their jobs in the manufacturing industry through the $1-million-a-week debt binge, which drove the AUD through the roof.

  18. manalive

    These fossil fuel subsidies dwarf renewables …

    A tax concession is not a subsidy.
    To say so is another example of the Left’s corruption of the language in order to corrupt thought.

  19. Baldrick

    The RET and the ABC have a lot in common.

    Snouts in the public trough, squandering millions of taxpayer dollars to support green-filth and their socialist ideology.

    Rabz doctrine© please.

  20. Toiling Mass

    Not even tax concessions. This is money they should never have been liable for.

    That the government takes the excise and the miners must ask for it back afterward (without interest) is the crime.

  21. gabrianga

    Good one numbers.

    How about we get rid of the subsidies the accurate, not the Left Wing Institute’s, and we all go without a reliable but expensive power source.

    Perhaps you could do your little bit for Queen and country and hit the “shut down” button on your computer?

  22. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    Indeed, it is probably no exaggeration to say that economics developed mainly as the outcome of the investigation and refutation of successive Utopian proposals – if by “Utopian” we mean proposals for the improvement of undesirable effects of the existing system, based upon a complete disregard of those forces which actually enabled it to work.
    — Friedrich von Hayek

  23. Michael

    If you think Tony Jones is of the “far left” you need to get out more.

  24. Burke & Wills

    Hunt will not backflip on the RET lest he & Abbott are pilloried. Enter Fatty Palmer.
    He demands his CO2 Tax votes upstairs are contingent on the RET being abandoned with proceeds
    stored in Treasury & used for Pensioners instead of retiring debt.
    Can not see the Coalition using such a’ gift’ as a Double Dissolution trigger.
    This maybe the only time PUP’s will get the chance where their tail wags the dog !!!

  25. wazsah

    In discussing all this we have not touched on the negative effect renewables have on our electricity grid – This article at Anthony Watts recounts how the US grid was near the limit last winter.

  26. rickw

    There are two foundations of prosperity: technology and energy availability / cost.

    Thankfully Government usually finds it very difficult to meddle with technology, because it’s usually past them before they realise what’s going on. Unfortunately this not the case with energy, they need to stop meddling with it’s availability and cost.

    These two foundations have been there right from the start. eg. The Roman Empire gained a huge advantage from the availability of hydroelectric power courtesy of their water engineering projects, this allowed them to free vast amounts of labor from grain milling and also to produce arms and armour with much less labour.

  27. Bruce of Newcastle

    Rick – I think you meant hydro power. The Roman Empire didn’t know about electricity. 🙂

  28. Notafan

    The more I read about wind and solar power the more I think how stupid people are to support this ‘technology’
    If only they could separate the grids so that greens and any other volunteers got electricity from wind and solar and the rest of us coal gas (and nuclear)
    And of course user pays.

  29. JC


    I’m actually warming to solar (the 1st derivative) as the cost of these silly panels and other related technology is falling. What this sector needs is for the government to stop the subsidies and allow the market to explore opportunities to create cheaper technology without assistance.

    Government don’t realize that by subsidizing this crap they are likely to be retarding R&D rather than helping it along.

    There is absolutely no fucking way though that solar will be able to produce anywhere near significant energy for industrialized civilization.

    Some of these solar nutballs are laughably peddling assistance from batteries. This is the one area where technological development has come to a full stop. There is nothing on the horizon that will much improve things in this regard. You only have to look at how slow battery development has been in the computer industry.

  30. blogstrop

    Once again il numero shows his true colours. Thanks Bruce of Newcastle for cutting him off at the knees, something Sinc should have done long ago, with more extreme prejudice.

  31. Notafan

    I agree there is some capacity for solar to be useful. Perhaps mainly in.isolated rural areas where there is plenty of sun. Even Israel has a fairly low use of solar and they have been working with it since the 1950s.
    I would rather see it off grid for those that can either make it work for themselves commercially or for money where your mouth is domestic consumers.
    You are right JC, it probably won’t improve until the subsidies cease.
    I see in the states there is a negative payment for solar into the grid when there is oversupply but they do it anyhow for the government subsidies, how inefficient is that?

  32. incoherent rambler

    I am in favour of solar. It works for things like my washing line and pegs.

    Solar PVs are another matter, total dud.

  33. Notafan

    It is especially good to make whites whiter.

  34. nerblnob

    I have to declare an interest here since I’m in the drilling industry and stand to gain possibly from subsidised activities like geothermal and “carbon capture” – not much, but we do a few jobs for those guys now and then. It’s quite good work because the safety people and other bureaucrats pretty much leave you alone compared to oil and gas work.

    A German geothermal guy told me last year that, if you took away all the subsidies, inflated feed in tariffs rtf from wind and solar, and took away all the royalties, taxes, windfall taxes etc from oil and gas, then oil would have to be $2000 a bbl before solar became competitive. Probably plucked the figure out of the air but I’d say he’s in the right ballpark from what I’ve learned about both industries

    This is without taking into account the extraordinary regulatory oversight the oil and gas industry is subject to, and the relatively free ride that “renewables” get.

  35. rickw

    Thanks Bruce !!, jeeeez…

  36. old bloke

    I’m all for free choice. Those people who are concerned about CAGW should be allowed to purchase “green” energy at the non-subsidised price, and others should be allowed to purchase their energy at the going rate from non-renewable sources (gas, coal or whatever). I should not be asked to subsidise other folk’s religious beliefs.

    The electicity supply companies can then source a balance of power according to their customer’s wishes, without a government enforced dictate on the ratio of renewable vs. non-renewable sources.

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