Subsidised Suicide: Wind Power Delivers Nothing But Rocketing Power Prices & Blackouts
In this pair of pearlers, James Delingpole spans the globe: firstly detailing the growing and staggering cost of subsidised wind power in Britain; and then turning his attention Downunder to the disaster that is Australia’s wind power capital, South Australia.
Post-Brexit Britain Wants To Escape Its EU Renewables Targets. About Time Too
5 April 2017
Britain is using Brexit to try to wriggle out of its EU-driven renewable energy targets, says Bloomberg, quoting an anonymous insider.
Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Erasing the target would allow Britain to skirt fines that could reach tens of millions of pounds since it’s on track to narrowly miss the 2020 goal. It would also move the U.K. out of step with other European Union nations that maintain targets as part of their membership in the region’s energy market. The U.K. wishes to preserve its link to the market and smooth cross-border trading of electricity, which has helped lower power prices, the person said.
Let’s translate that into English, shall we?
Under its current status as an EU vassal state, Britain is committed to suicidal, unaffordable “clean” energy targets based on the green religious prejudices and junk-science-driven scaremongering of unelected, unaccountable, borderline-Commie technocrats in Brussels.
These targets were made law by the 2008 Climate Change Act, drafted with the help of a left-wing activist from Friends of the Earth Bryony – now Baroness (!) – Worthington, supervised by the dim eco-zealot and unpopular Labour leader Ed Miliband during his stint as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. This will cost the UK taxpayer, by 2030, around £300 billion – while making no measurable difference to the planet’s climate.
But now Britain wants out because it can’t afford it, because it’s running out of countryside to carpet bomb with bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes which no sane person wants within fifty miles of their home, and because meeting these targets is going to be logistically impossible, which will mean that Britain is liable for “tens of millions of pounds” in Euro fines on top of all the other taxpayers’ money it has already squandered on the renewable energy scam.
What’s just as fascinating as Bloomberg’s inside information that the UK government is contemplating a renewable energy U-turn is the slant that Bloomberg has put on the story.
It wants us to believe that this is a bad thing; that it will “sour” Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours by putting it “out of step with other European Union nations that maintain targets as part of their membership in the region’s energy market”.
No. Duh. It’s precisely to regain this kind of competitive advantage and to escape from the prison of EU groupthink that so many of us voted for Brexit.
But now we’ve regained our sovereignty we have to take responsibility for our own stupidities rather than forever blaming everything on the EU.
That means that we have to repeal the 2008 Climate Change Act. Unless we do that, at least where energy policy is concerned, we might just as well have voted with all the pillocks who wanted us to remain.
Where’s the due diligence on renewables?
The Spectator Australia
25 March 2017
You know that lovely warm glow you get on a summer’s evening when it’s still 42 degrees outside and you’re reaching into your fridge for your first restorative tinny when suddenly the lights go out and your air-con too?
Of course you do, especially if you live in South Australia, where, thanks to ambitious ‘green’ energy targets, power outages like this have become the new normal.
‘No worries!’ you say. ‘I accept that personal discomfort, inconvenience and mild danger are but a small price to pay to save the planet from global warming. Only a dinosaur would expect to go on being able to use electricity as and when he wants it. I for one welcome the bright new age of darkness, clean energy and government rationing!’
Except you don’t, do you? If you’re anything like all the commonsense Aussies I met last time I visited, you’ll be absolutely bloody livid: ‘We’re Australia, the lucky country, not some third world backwater. We invented commercial refrigeration. We’re sitting on top of a continent’s worth of cheap energy. What kind of eco-fascist madness is this?’
The madness is the result of the global warming scare which has dominated Western policymaking for the last four decades. Some countries are starting to get over it – notably Donald Trump’s United States – but in Australia it continues to exert a grip tighter than the bite of a ravenous saltie.
Climate change lunacy has affected everything from your right to clear trees off your property (often you can’t: they’ve been designated a carbon sink) to where you can’t build your waterfront home (junk science paranoia about rising sea levels) to how many millions of dollars you waste on desalination plants (for the permanent drought that never came).
Most damaging of all are Australia’s renewable energy targets. In South Australia they stand at 50 per cent (by 2025), in Queensland 50 per cent (by 2030) – rightly described as ‘bonkers mad’ by deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, in Victoria 40 per cent (by 2025). Even under the Liberal federal government, the national target is 23 per cent by 2020. All of these are doomed to fail – even the national one would require the impossible feat of a 50 per cent increase in Australia’s renewable energy (mainly solar and wind) within three years. Meanwhile, the havoc they have already wreaked is considerable.
South Australia has been the hardest hit so far by the great renewables disaster. No doubt it sounded good when premier Jay Weatherill and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis first began evangelising about their world-beating clean energy targets. The consequence, though, has been blackouts, job losses and economic chaos caused by rocketing power prices and intermittent supply.
But instead of apologising, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is asking customers to take it on the chin. In a process euphemistically known as ‘load shedding’, the AEMO can order customers’ power supplies to be switched off in times of extreme stress so as to prevent wider system failure.
Why is this happening now in a developed nation in the 21st century? The simple answer is that renewables, apart from being two or three times more expensive than fossil fuels, are intermittent, unreliable and unpredictable.
If the sun isn’t shining (which it doesn’t, at night, not even in Australia) or the wind isn’t blowing, then the power needs to come from more conventional sources like coal and gas. The more renewables in the energy mix – 40 per cent of South Australia’s energy capacity is now wind – the more inherently unstable the grid becomes.
Hence the great blackout of September last year: a storm forced a shut down of wind power to prevent surges; this in turn crashed the entire local grid.
All this man-made chaos might be excusable if it served any useful purpose. It doesn’t.
Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that renewables are one of the great, truly bad ideas of the last 100 years: a boon for troughing rent-seekers, virtue-signalling pollies and posturing greenies but terrible for the rest of us poor saps who have to subsidise them; disastrous for the environment (all those birds and bats sliced and diced); utterly ineffectual in ‘combatting climate change’ (Australia produces less than two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases).
So what’s to be done? What’s painfully clear is that – with rare exceptions like Cory Bernardi and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts – Australia’s politicians have no appetite for reining in the problem, for fear of suffering the same fate as Tony Abbott, whose political demise was partly wrought by the Green Blob. It doesn’t help that most of the media – especially the ABC –is so heavily in thrall to eco-zealotry and refuses to question the (fake) green ‘consensus’.
That means people who believe in regaining the cheap, reliable energy Australia used to have before the green madness took hold have a fight on their hands. One way they might yet win is through the courts via judicial review. What, after all, is the most basic requirement taxpayers ought to expect from their governments? Due diligence on public expenditure.
This is going to be one of the tactics of Cool Futures Funds Management – a contrarian Aussie hedge fund of which I’m an enthusiastic supporter because it is, as far as I know, the first financial institution to try to profit by holding the Green Blob’s dodgy dealings to account.
It has approached the government with a low-cost, shovel-ready, clean-coal technology solution which could solve all Australia’s baseload energy supply problems. But because this solution involves fossil fuel, it will inevitably be resisted heavily by the greens and their useful idiots in government and business. And that’s where the courts may have to adjudicate.
Australians deserve better than to be held to ransom by the duff ideology of a few eco-zealots. If governments can’t provide their voters with something as basic as reliable energy, then they must be held to account for their negligence.
South Australia is a warning the rest of the country should heed before it’s too late. And the answer to your problems, my Aussie friends, is most definitely not blowing in the wind. It’s right there, underneath your feet.
The Spectator Australia