The announced closure seven years from now of EnergyAustralia’s Victoria’s Yallourn power station is an inevitable outcome of the subsidies that governments provide to wind and solar. Yallourn supplies one fifth of Victoria’s electricity and about 8 per cent of that in the National Electricity Market. I have a piece in The Spectator covering the event.
The rapid expansion of wind and solar has seen their market share lift from virtually nothing 20 years ago, to over 20 per cent. Renewables, in addition to getting the market price for supply, are subsidised with payments that are in excess of the market price. Consumers and taxpayers presently pay $7 billion annually in these subsidies and more are in the pipeline with subsidised transmission, Snowy2 and the market manager’s interventions to shore-up the inevitable unreliability of wind and solar.
Wind and solar’s on-off operations cause further costs to the coal generators, which have also been subject to increased taxes, euphemistically called “royalties”.
Due to government policies, energy demand is stagnating in Australia – the risible claims about green steel and green aluminium defy credibility when renewable generators cost twice as much as those powered by hydrocarbons or nuclear.
EnergyAustralia has foreshadowed that it will be investing in batteries. This is a market opportunity from increased supply irregularity but batteries do not diminish customers’ costs.
Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said there would be a further 5,000 megawatts of new power generation in the next seven years. Even without back-up supplies, skeptic Mike O’Ceirin estimates that 5,47o megawatts of wind is needed to replace Yallourn. And that this will require an additional $11billion of transmission simply provide unstable power.
One has to delve deep into history to find examples of nations engaging in conscious self-harm comparable to those that government energy policies are bringing about.