Remarkably, in this clip the Energy Minister joins the market manager in recognising the perverse effect roof-top renewable energy installations have on the electricity supply system. Those installations impose costs far greater than the value they tap in “free” sunlight. This is an outcome common with all wind/solar facilities.
The unmentioned fact in the clip is that there would be negligible take-up of these facilities without subsidies, which annually cost consumers and taxpayers over $4 billion and have caused a doubling of the electricity price. Though economy-saboteurs comprising greens, the ALP and the Turnbull Liberals have been the most complicit in requiring these, the policy approach has also been shared by people who claim to be conservative rationalists within the Coalition. Astonishingly, the current government remains in favour of the on-going policy of subsidising roof-top solar installations and only one MP, Craig Kelly, is outspoken about the damage being done by the subsidies to renewables!
Having forced closure of reliable cheap coal generators, subsidised wind/solar now comprise a fifth of electricity supply. In addition to their direct subsidies, accommodating them requires expensive management procedures and transmission; even with these the renewables’’ intermittency jeopardises the reliability of the system.
It is testimony to the ignorance of politicians and their and others’ susceptibility to environmental lunacy harnessed by subsidy seekers that we have, over the past two decades, expanded such policies. In doing so, we have destroyed the world’s cheapest and most reliable electricity system, converting an Australian natural competitive advantage into a competitive disability.
We cannot expect an apology, even from Liberal Ministers (Howard, Hunt, Frydenberg have all joined Turnbull in complicity) but perhaps we are now seeing a realisation of the damage inflicted on the economy by the policies.
While the Commonwealth will, hopefully, stick to the current approach of not subsidising new large-scale wind/solar facilities and even extend this to rooftop solar, the government needs to go further and immediately terminate subsidies received by all energy supplies. Even with this, we face a long period of recuperation as the industry mends itself, a process not assisted by on-going subsidies delivered by state governments, which like those of Victoria are primarily aimed at outflanking the Greens to save inner-city seats.