Business operators have just worked out that Australia’s renewable energy policies are deliberately designed to destroy them. Concepts such as ‘demand management’ (state-ordered deliberate blackouts) are the natural result of seeking to run an entire economy on sunshine and breezes.
This country wouldn’t be debating Josh Frydenberg’s National Energy Guarantee, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commissioner’s report on price gouging or the latest demand by AEMO’s Audrey Zibelman for coal-fired power plants (which her favoured policies are deliberately designed to destroy) to keep chugging away for at least another 20 years if it was not for the weather and the daily rotation of the planet.
When the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in wind and solar power output collapses, like night follows day.
When wind and solar capacity represented a tiny fraction of total demand, their daily disappearance was just a minor irritant to grid managers – and of no real concern to anybody keen to consume electricity, including energy hungry industries and businesses.
However, with 5,000 MW of wind power capacity connected to the Eastern Grid and 7,800 MW of solar capacity, sunset and calm weather have become the key determinants of whether power consumers get power, at all. And a daily nightmare for grid managers.
The closure of baseload coal-fired power plants – like Victoria’s Hazelwood and South Australia’s Northern and Playford plants – have eroded capacity where it counts: ie, the kind of power that can be delivered any time of day or night, irrespective of the weather.
The NEG has absolutely no hope, and Josh Frydenberg knows it. It’s been hit from all sides, left and right. Including from within the Coalition.
The version being pushed by Frydenberg (gutted and redrafted by renewable energy rent seekers) included the (oh so ‘millennial’) notion that Australia’s biggest and most profitable businesses could go and get stuffed.
On top of the idea that every business and household will be treated as ‘demand resources’ (aka pre-determined victims of demand management), the top 100 energy users will be left to scramble to find their own power supplies.
Suffering back to back and year-on-year power price increases in the order of 20% presents as a mortal threat to businesses, both large and small.
No one (save Frydenberg and the eco-zealots that pass for his ‘energy experts’) believes that the NEG has any hope of reversing the ever-upward trajectory of retail power prices in Australia.
With absolutely no reliable reserve capacity in the system (and not keen to structure their businesses around the weather), Australian businesses have gone on the offensive.