"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Industries want solar subsidies dumped.

Australian industry warns of an explosion in costs associated with the Renewable Energy Target using  intermittent solar and wind generation, an explosion which was always going to happen with the silly schemes implemented by successive governments.  Greg Combet's office said that major electricity users are partly shielded from RET costs without stating the corollary that the poorest consumers are hit with the total cost. It is an encouraging sign that more and more critical articles on the "clean energy" fiasco are being published in the MSM.

MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR subsidies for solar rooftop panels would be dumped under a plan by some of Australia's biggest industrial power users, who warn they face an explosion in costs for a federal renewable scheme favouring intermittent wind and solar electricity technologies that only provide part-time electricity supplies.

In a submission to the Climate Change Authority's review of the scheme obtained by The Australian, the Energy Users Association of Australia says the cost of the renewable energy target is now about one-third of their electricity charges, mostly because of the scheme that gives incentives for solar rooftop power subsidies, and they fear that energy retailers could be profiteering from the scheme.

The EUAA - whose members include mining giant Rio Tinto and big paper manufacturers including Amcor - says one member reported a sixfold increase in their RET costs from 2009 to this year.

Paper giant Amcor says the scheme has "runaway costs for little benefit" and that there is "creative accounting" applied to it because while the actual level of renewable generation is about 8.2 per cent, the cost is about 30 per cent.

The big energy users also complain that while the scheme provides subsidies for solar water heaters and heat pumps, it fails to encourage other business use such as co-generation, waste heat and waste-to-energy applications that cannot be interrupted.

A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned enterprise ChemChina and the Blackstone Group, Qenos, has also criticised the RET, warning that it cannot pass through the costs associated with it as it is competing with cheap imports from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

"Until recently, cheap energy was a competitive advantage for Australian manufacturers," Qenos has told the authority's review.

Energy-intensive companies including Visy, Amcor and Australian Paper are urging the review to recommend dumping the small-scale renewable energy target for solar PV panels.

The scheme has experienced significant growth as it is uncapped, state-based schemes offer generous feed-in tariffs for households that feed power from the panels back into the grid and the costs of buying the PV panels has fallen.

But Visy says this is distorting the market and eroding the role of the large-scale scheme to encourage wind farms and other big renewables projects.

On top of this, the RET is encouraging mostly power generation technologies that provide "part-time" electricity.

A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the biggest electricity users, including Amcor and Visy, had benefited from partial exemptions from the RET, a measure designed to support industry competitiveness.


  1. We desperately need politicians with both a solid knowledge of science and some ordinary common sense. Otherwise the scientifically-illiterate point-scoring slippery fools who think they're running the show are going to finish wrecking our once-great nation.


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