No its not Sunday and its only a typo because I didn’t use caps. The Renewable Energy Target requires 20% renewable energy usage in Australia by the year 2020. Today is notable because four relevant articles appeared on line respectively about Germany, the UK and here.
First here. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Tens of thousands of families across NSW are being crippled by high energy prices, with mounting arrears, credit listings and disconnections, the Energy and Water Ombudsman says. The Ombudsman received a record 37,485 complaints in 2013-14, its annual report being released on Thursday shows, with half relating to billing and a quarter relating to affordability.
“There’s been an increase in the number of people struggling and it’s very much to do with the higher prices for what is an essential service. People don’t have a choice,” Ombudsman Clare Petre said. “There’s lots of pressure on low-income households, people with fixed incomes, people who have very little financial flexibility.” Ms Petre said complaints surged, despite the levelling off of price hikes in July last year. The “long tails” of the huge hikes – largely driven by over-spending on poles and wires and, to a lesser extent, the carbon tax – in the previous four years were still having an impact on consumers.
Ah the old poles and wires. You would think that RET would get a mention since most of the poles and wires spend has been to accommodate rooftop solar panels and wind turbines. If they didn’t spend that capital suburban street grids could see damage caused due to overvoltage. Coping with intermittent wind energy would also be made much more difficult, since interconnector capacity would be strained.
Ok, RET has caused massive spending on grid infrastructure here in Oz. And big electricity price rises. What about Germany and the UK then?
Well the story in the UK today is actually about Germany, but I’ll take the opportunity to hark back a few days to two other stories I saw:
He said that British firms are “struggling” to compete with their international rivals on price, which is leading to work going abroad. He said that as a result Britain is effectively “exporting pollution” to other countries.
The company’s Longannet power station provides electricity for 2m homes and plays a crucial role in balancing electricity supply and demand to prevent shortages in Scotland. But rising green taxes and high network charges set by regulator Ofgem could make it unprofitable by winter 2016-17 and could force its closure, ScottishPower warned on Friday. If the plant is shut and no replacement built Scottish consumers will be at risk of interrupted electricity supplies, Neil Clitheroe, head of its retail and generation business, told the Telegraph. … Unlike wind farms and nuclear plants, electricity output from these fossil fuel-fired power stations can be adjusted at short notice to manage voltage and frequency.
So yes, the UK’s version of RET is making industry uncompetitive, causing high green taxes and high network charges to subsidise renewables, and due to insufficient back up base load capacity is possibly leading to blackouts. And not in 2016-17 either, this coming winter too.
I said today’s article in the UK was about Germany. It is, and its a doozy:
Henri Proglio, EDF chief executive, acknowledged his country was “in a poor situation” and “under pressure”. But he said different industries should be considered in their own right, highlighting the German energy sector, where the country’s phase-out of nuclear power and drive for renewables has severely damaged its two biggest companies.
“When it comes to energy they are in a disaster. Their two major companies – E.On and RWE – are under huge pressure. One is more or less dead, the other one is in a very difficult situation,” he said.
Because of the German version of RET, which is known as energiewende, their two biggest power companies are close to bankruptcy? Is there anything worse? Yes, still from today two more articles:
Germany will end up opening nine coal power plants between 2010 and 2015. Last year, its electricity production from brown coal rose to its highest level since 1990.
The 102-page highly technical assessment examines a variety of scenarios in order to see how well Germany’s electrical power grid will hold up this winter. Looking at the report’s conclusion, one can only conclude that the power grid is more unstable and prone to a collapse than at any time in Germany’s post-war period. It’s a debacle knocking at the door.
So not only has energiewende now caused coal usage to go up despite its intention to save on CO2 emissions, but Germany too is under threat of grid instability and blackouts from all the solar panels and wind turbines they have installed.
And most of those articles are from one day – today: Thursday 9 Oct 2014.
Can someone please explain to me why we still have RET when it threatens the collapse of our whole energy sector? Please, Mr Abbott, get rid of this giant toxic albatross!