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CLIMATE ACTIVIST : If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?

Unreliables - The Green Road To Energy Poverty.png

INFORMATIVE piece written not by a climate change “denier” but by energy and environment expert Michael Shellenberger – a democrat and climate change activist, no less.

ALWAYS refreshing reading Shellenberger’s work and commentary on twitter. Like Bjorn Lomborg, the other well-known ‘warmist’, they both provide reasoned analysis of environmental issues, focusing on costs and outcomes of climate and energy policy, rather than blind ideology so common in mainstream media environmental reporting that only poisons and polarises the debate leading to unnecessary alarmism resulting in overarching climate policy and misguided allocation of public money.

Shellenberger concludes…

This is a problem of bias, not just energy illiteracy. Normally skeptical journalists routinely give renewables a pass. The reason isn’t because they don’t know how to report critically on energy — they do regularly when it comes to non-renewable energy sources — but rather because they don’t want to.

That could — and should — change. Reporters have an obligation to report accurately and fairly on all issues they cover, especially ones as important as energy and the environment.

A good start would be for them to investigate why, if solar and wind are so cheap, they are making electricity so expensive.

Read on here…

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?

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Clipper yacht Liverpool 2018 passes the Burbo Bank Wind Farm on August 14, 2017, off Liverpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

OVER the last year, the media have published story after story after story about the declining price of solar panels and wind turbines.

People who read these stories are understandably left with the impression that the more solar and wind energy we produce, the lower electricity prices will become.

And yet that’s not what’s happening. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Between 2009 and 2017, the price of solar panels per watt declined by 75 percent while the price of wind turbines per watt declined by 50 percent.

And yet — during the same period — the price of electricity in places that deployed significant quantities of renewables increased dramatically.

Electricity prices increased by:

What gives? If solar panels and wind turbines became so much cheaper, why did the price of electricity riseinstead of decline?

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Electricity prices increased by 51 percent in Germany during its expansion of solar and wind energy.

One hypothesis might be that while electricity from solar and wind became cheaper, other energy sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas became more expensive, eliminating any savings, and raising the overall price of electricity.

But, again, that’s not what happened.

The price of natural gas declined by 72 percent in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 due to the fracking revolution. In Europe, natural gas prices dropped by a little less than half over the same period.

The price of nuclear and coal in those place during the same period was mostly flat.

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Electricity prices increased 24 percent in California during its solar energy build-out from 2011 to 2017.

Another hypothesis might be that the closure of nuclear plants resulted in higher energy prices.

Evidence for this hypothesis comes from the fact that nuclear energy leaders Illinois, France, Sweden and South Korea enjoy some of the cheapest electricity in the world.

Since 2010, California closed one nuclear plant (2,140 MW installed capacity) while Germany closed 5 nuclear plants and 4 other reactors at currently-operating plants (10,980 MW in total).

Electricity in Illinois is 42 percent cheaper than electricity in California while electricity in France is 45 percent cheaper than electricity in Germany.

But this hypothesis is undermined by the fact that the price of the main replacement fuels, natural gas and coal, remained low, despite increased demand for those two fuels in California and Germany.

That leaves us with solar and wind as the key suspects behind higher electricity prices. But why would cheapersolar panels and wind turbines make electricity moreexpensive?

The main reason appears to have been predicted by a young German economist in 2013.

In a paper for Energy Policy, Leon Hirth estimated that the economic value of wind and solar would decline significantly as they become a larger part of electricity supply.

The reason? Their fundamentally unreliable nature. Both solar and wind produce too much energy when societies don’t need it, and not enough when they do.

Solar and wind thus require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining.

And unreliability requires solar- and/or wind-heavy places like Germany, California and Denmark to payneighboring nations or states to take their solar and wind energy when they are producing too much of it.

Hirth predicted that the economic value of wind on the European grid would decline 40 percent once it becomes 30 percent of electricity while the value of solar would drop by 50 percent when it got to just 15 percent.

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Hirth predicted that the economic value of wind would decline 40% once it reached 30% of electricity, and that the value of solar would drop by 50% when it reached 15% of electricity.

In 2017, the share of electricity coming from wind and solar was 53 percent in Denmark, 26 percent in Germany, and 23 percent in California. Denmark and Germany have the first and second most expensive electricity in Europe.

By reporting on the declining costs of solar panels and wind turbines but not on how they increase electricity prices, journalists are — intentionally or unintentionally — misleading policymakers and the public about those two technologies.

The Los Angeles Times last year reported that California’s electricity prices were rising, but failed to connect the price rise to renewables, provoking a sharp rebuttal from UC Berkeley economist James Bushnell.

“The story of how California’s electric system got to its current state is a long and gory one,” Bushnell wrote, but “the dominant policy driver in the electricity sector has unquestionably been a focus on developing renewable sources of electricity generation.”

Part of the problem is that many reporters don’t understand electricity. They think of electricity as a commodity when it is, in fact, a service — like eating at a restaurant.

The price we pay for the luxury of eating out isn’t just the cost of the ingredients most of which which, like solar panels and wind turbines, have declined for decades.

Rather, the price of services like eating out and electricity reflect the cost not only of a few ingredients but also their preparation and delivery.

This is a problem of bias, not just energy illiteracy. Normally skeptical journalists routinely give renewables a pass. The reason isn’t because they don’t know how to report critically on energy — they do regularly when it comes to non-renewable energy sources — but rather because they don’t want to.

That could — and should — change. Reporters have an obligation to report accurately and fairly on all issues they cover, especially ones as important as energy and the environment.

A good start would be for them to investigate why, if solar and wind are so cheap, they are making electricity so expensive.

 

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment.”

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive? | Forbes

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See also :

Energy Poverty related :

Energiewende Fail related :

World Coal-Fired Power Surge related :

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ECONOMIC Fantasy: Battery ‘Solution’ to Intermittent Wind & Solar Would Cost $Trillions

“Those fantasists claiming that we’re heartbeat away from running entirely on sunshine and breezes, need to keep up the line about giant batteries being the simple solution to a glaring problem. Except, that they will never put a number on what their purportedly quick and simple fix might cost. And that’s because the number is in the many $trillions, as detailed by Francis Menton below.”

AND on the third day BILLIONS became TRILLIONS! Taxpayers hard-earned money sacrificed at the alter of “climate change” all to try to create some kind of perfect climate nirvana.

Out-of-control…

STOP THESE THINGS

It took the proletariat a nanosecond to work out that wind power can, and will never, work as a meaningful power generation source.

Graphs like the one above – depicting the entire output of every wind turbine connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid (spread across four states, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia) – quickly gave the game away.

Challenged with the inherent unreliability and obvious intermittency of wind power, those pushing it have been reduced to chanting mantras about mega-batteries saving the day.

The way they tell it, it’s as if they simply left grid-scale battery storage off their shopping lists – like some muddle-headed shopper returning home without milk and bread – and all they needed to do was pop back to the shops to collect some.

A bargain struck by economic vandals: $150,000,000 for 4 minute’s power.

The world’s largest battery cuts a lonely figure in a paddock…

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HOW Green Central Planning And Big Government Has Destroyed Australia’s Electricity Market

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett

“Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” – James Hansen (The Godfather of global warming alarmism and former NASA climate chief)

Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” – Top Google engineers

***

AUSTRALIA’S once key economic advantage and proud boast of having the cheapest power prices in the world has been sacrificed at the altar of climate change by its politicians’ obsession with global warming theory and subsequent mad rush into large-scale unreliable ‘energy’ sources – wind and solar.

BIPARTISAN appeasement to the UN climate gods has come at a major cost to Australian businesses and households, now exposed to some of the highest power prices in the world, South Australia officially the highest.

 

JUST as socialist central planning failed miserably before it was replaced by free market economies, green central planning will have to be discarded before Australia will see a return to energy security and competitive pricing.

TWO must read articles via the IPA and Australian columnist Chris Kenny, exposing the entirely man-made energy crisis that is crippling industry and eroding the living standards of everyday Australian’s…


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The Destruction By Government Of Australia’s Electricity Market

Throughout the western world over the last 20-30 years in particular, we have witnessed the tightening hand of the state, which has become ever more bold in insisting where and how we live, who we can work for or employ, what we can say and think, whose car we can get into, whose home we can stay in, and what we’re allowed to put into our mouths.

But these remarks are about how government intervention has destroyed the electricity market in Australia and throughout much of the western world, and what it means for personal and economic liberty, now and in the future.

Let me start by outlining what a market should be, and how it should work with electricity.

A real market is simply a place where consumers and producers meet, and agree on a price and means to satisfy consumer demand.

A real electricity market is one open to all fuel technologies – coal, gas, uranium, wind, water or the sun. Where producers compete to grow market share and increase their profit based on efficient production, with all consumers – household and business – the winners.

Read the rest of this entry »


ENERGY Regulator Report : Hazelwood Coal Plant Shutdown Drives Record Power Price Surge

wholesale electricity prices soaring

WELCOME to the Australia! The lucky country with the world’s cheapest energy sources that now boasts the world’s highest electricity prices!

ENERGY rationing has always been a key feature of the Left’s misanthropic agenda of depopulation deindustrialisation, enforced through punitive emissions controls, protected by the indisputable cloak of ‘climate change’ – the emotionally powered eco-cause engineered by the environmental movement in the 1970’s who realised that doing something about supposed catastrophic man-made global warming would play to quite a number of the Left’s social agendas.

STANFORD University and Royal Society’s resident global warming alarmist and population freak Paul R. Ehrlich spelled out the deindustrialisation objective with this attack on energy in 1976:

Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun
.”

– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University/Royal Society

EHRLICH also wanted to poison black African’s in order to fight climate change. But, we’ll leave that conversation for another day. Ahem.

*

FORMER Australian PM Julia Gillard, who implemented Australia’s ill-fated 2011 carbon tax, was open in expressing its core function to drive substantial changes in patterns of energy production and energy use.’

GILLARD’S ideology synonymous with another well known eco-doomsayer and the creator, fabricator and proponent of global warming – UNEP’s founding father Maurice Strong:

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” – Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

*

IN 2016, Victoria’s premier Dan Andrews took his State one step closer to Ehrlich and U.N. Strong’s energy-free utopia, with the closure of Hazelwood coal-fired power station, culling 22% of Victoria’s cheap, reliable energy supply and flipping the state from a power exporter to an importer.

COAL-fired power plant closures have become the order of the day for Australia’s virtue-signalling and global warming theory-obsessed political class who think that destroying the country’s industrial heartland, and imposing crippling energy-poverty on its citizens is a worthwhile price to pay for “saving the planet”.

THE result:

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Green’ Energy Fail: How Ideology Destroyed Australia’s Once Cheap & Reliable Power Supply

“UNDER the guise of saving the country from so-called ‘climate change’ (which was previously known as ‘global warming’, until the evidence ceased to support that little theory), Federal and State governments have all created Soviet-era quotas, mandates and targets. The Federal government fuelled the fire by guaranteeing $60 billion worth of subsidies to wind and large-scale solar under its Large-Scale RET; the cost of which is all borne by Australian power consumers.”

STOP THESE THINGS

Wrecking a power market and a power grid is a piece of cake: just add massively subsidised, unreliable and intermittent wind and solar.

Ontario, Denmark and Germany provide pertinent examples.

But there’s none better than Australia, particularly because it’s blessed with abundant coal, gas and uranium reserves, the envy of the World.

Hijacked by renewables rent-seekers and infiltrated by eco-zealots, all levels of Australian government are complicit in its power pricing and supply calamity.

Under the guise of saving the country from so-called ‘climate change’ (which was previously known as ‘global warming’, until the evidence ceased to support that little theory), Federal and State governments have all created Soviet-era quotas, mandates and targets. The Federal government fuelled the fire by guaranteeing $60 billion worth of subsidies to wind and large-scale solar under its Large-Scale RET; the cost of which is all borne by Australian power consumers.

That subsidised…

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WESTERN Nations, Driven By A Global Agenda Of Climate Alarmism, Are Destroying Their Industries With Carbon Taxes And Promotion Of Expensive, Intermittent Green Energy

green-agenda

 

ANTHROPOGENIC “climate change”, and the control of carbon dioxide (energy) has deep roots in a radical, yet gravely misguided campaign to reduce the world’s population.

GLOBAL warming aka climate change has little to do with the “environment” or “saving the planet”. Rather, its roots lie in a misanthropic agenda engineered by the environmental movement in the mid 1970’s, who realised that doing something about “global warming” would play to quite a number of the Lefts social agendas.

THE goal was advanced, most notably, by The Club Of Rome (Environmental consultants to the UN) – a group of mainly European scientists and academics, who used computer modelling to warn that the world would run out of finite resources if population growth were left unchecked.

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill.. the real enemy, then, is humanity itself.” – Club Of Rome

THE Club Of Rome’s 1972 environmental best-seller “The Limits To Growth”, examined five variables in the original model: world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production and resource depletion.

NOT surprisingly, the study predicted a dire future for mankind unless we ‘act now’:

aaaaaa

AROUND the same time, influential anthropologist and president of the American Medical Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Margaret Mead, gathered together like-minded anti-population hoaxsters at her 1975, North Carolina conference, “The Atmosphere: Endangered and Endangering”. Mead’s star recruits were climate scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak George Woodwell and former AAAS head, John Holdren (Barack Obama’s Science and Technology Czar). All three of them disciples of Malthusian catastrophist Paul Ehrlich, author of the “The Population Bomb”.

THE conference concluded that human-produced carbon dioxide would fry the planet, melt the ice caps, and destroy human life. The idea being to sow enough fear of man-made climate change to force global cutbacks in industrial activity and halt Third World development.

WE are given clues as to the motives of this extreme agenda from various statements by prominent environmental ‘icons’…

Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun
.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

The Earth has cancer
and the cancer is Man
.”
– Club of Rome,
premier environmental think-tank,
consultants to the United Nations

If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of
saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
an ecologically sound society under socialism.
I don’t think it is possible under capitalism

– Judi Bari,
principal organiser of Earth First

We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of
economic and environmental policy.

– Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
bring about justice and equality in the world
.”
– Christine Stewart,
former Canadian Minister of the Environment

“In Searching For A New Enemy To Unite Us, We Came Up With The Threat Of Global Warming” – Club of Rome,
premier environmental think-tank,
consultants to the United Nations

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” – Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

*

VIV Forbes on how the control of population growth and people’s lifestyles manifests today through the control of energy supply…

The “zero-emissions” zealots want to force us backwards down the energy ladder to the days of human, animal and solar power. They oppose the main thing that sets us apart from all other species – the use of fire from explosives, coal, oil, gas or nuclear power.

They have yet to explain how our massive fleet of planes, trains, tractors, harvesters, trucks, road trains, container-ships and submarines will be powered and lubricated by windmills, treadmills, windlasses, solar energy, distilled whiskey and water wheels.

Western nations, driven by a global agenda of climate alarmism, are destroying their profitable industries with carbon taxes; and their promotion of expensive, intermittent green energy is pushing us back down the energy ladder; and our competitors in Asia are climbing the energy ladder as quickly as they can. At the same time, the enormous waste of public money on government promotion of the climate industry has created a global fiscal mess.

Unless reversed, this wasteful de-energising policy will drive much of the world’s population back to the poverty and famines which often prevailed in the past. Some see the inevitable de-population this would cause as a desirable goal.

READ the whole post here: Falling Down the Energy Ladder | US Issues

JO Nova on how the radical environmental movement has succeeded in the implementation of draconian climate change policy that has created an era of energy poverty that is destroying western economies and hurting the poor…

Electricity prices declined for forty years. Obviously that had to stop.

Here’s is the last 65 years of Australian electricity prices — indexed and adjusted for inflation. During the coal boom, Australian electricity prices declined decade after decade.  As renewables and national energy bureaucracies grew, so did the price of electricity. Must be a coincidence…

Today all the hard-won masterful efficiency gains of the fifties, sixties and seventies have effectively been reversed in full.

indexed-real-consumer-electricity-prices 1955-2018a

For most of the 20th Century the Australian grid was hotch potch of separate state grids and mini grids. (South Australia was only connected in 1990). In 1998 the NEM (National Energy Market) began, a feat that finally made bad management possible on a large scale. Though after decades of efficiency gains, Australians would have to wait years to see new higher “world leading” prices. For the first years of the NEM prices stayed around $30/MWh.

But sooner or later  a national system is a sitting duck for one small mind to come along and truly muck things up.

Please spread this graph far and wide.

Thanks to a Dr Michael Crawford who did the original, excellent graph.

Electricity prices fell for forty years in Australia, then renewables came… « JoNova

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WITHOUT Access To Massive Taxpayer Subsidies There Would Be No “Green Energy Revolution”

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ONE of the great propaganda lines of the climate change industry is the boom in ‘green energy jobs’ meme.

TAKE this example out of The Daily Advertiser:

Renewable energy: powering Australia in more ways than one

NO one would deny that job creation is a good thing especially in regional centres and remote locations in Australia. Areas with often high rates of unemployment and limited opportunity.

BUT, where the ‘green energy jobs’ argument falls down is not only in the longevity of the  full-time jobs available after installation, but in the fact that these jobs are a direct result of green central planning. Green jobs are like ‘Fiat money’ – a currency without intrinsic value established as money, often by government regulation.

WITHOUT massive government subsidies, estimated at $60 BILLION by 2030 under the Australian government’s RET (Renewable Energy Target), their would be no ‘green’ jobs as advertised by The Daily Advertiser. The private sector simply will not invest in weather-dependent ‘energy’ sources when in competition with cheap, efficient, reliable base-load sources like coal and gas on a dollar-for-dollar or subsidy-equalised basis.

Warren Buffet sums it up nicely:

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett

TELLINGLY, the piece by James Wright (chief executive officer of the Future Business Council) in The Daily Advertiser not once mentions the private sector as a direct player in the ‘green jobs boom’. His argument relies solely on government and politicians:

Policy uncertainty due to ongoing internal squabbles in the Federal Government is strangling the growth of this sector…”

“If politicians could simply commit to a modest and achievable 50 per cent renewable energy target, this would create 28,000 new jobs…”

“we can’t let backwards politics spoil this once in a generation opportunity…”

BEWARE The Big Government Blob!

WE only have to look at Germany’s €TRILLION green energy disaster – Energiewende – that has trashed the German economy, destroyed her industrial heartland and left hundreds of thousands of German’s disconnected from the grid, unable to pay their power bills.

GREEN central planning like economic planning of failed socialist regimes gone by is doomed for failure. Market distorting policies that pick winners only work until the money runs out.

THIS is the intrinsic problem faced when big government and statist green central planning displaces the commercial sector. Market mechanisms are eliminated, the very mechanisms that promote checks and balances and ensure accountability to make sure stuff works.

THE “green” energy revolution with its touted “green jobs” is largely survived by rent-seeking corporations entering the “save the planet” sector in pursuit of the lucrative government funds, grants and subsidies on offer, supported pro bono by the virtue-signalling, “save the planet” mainstream media.

GREEN JOBS?

WHAT is set to be Australia’s largest wind farm will provide only 20 full-time jobs once it goes into ­operation next year…

Australia’s biggest wind farm to generate just 20 full-time jobs

“Renewables are a welcome part of the energy mix but they don’t sustain long-term jobs or provide baseload power,” said Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.

“Renewables are a welcome part of the energy mix but they don’t sustain long-term jobs or provide baseload power,” said Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.

What is set to be Australia’s largest wind farm will provide only 20 full-time jobs once it goes into ­operation next year.

Construction started yesterday on AGL’s $850 million ­Coopers Gap wind farm at Cooranga North, 250km west of Brisbane, 10 years after it was proposed. The state government, which is committed to a 50-50 split between renewable energy and fossil fuel energy production by 2030, has endorsed the project, with Energy Minister Anthony Lynham turning the first sod.

Two hundred jobs will be created during construction of the 123-turbine, 453 megawatt facility, which will provide enough power for 260,000 homes.

—-

During the election campaign in November, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spruiked her clean energy policy at the under-­construction Clare Valley Solar Farm in north Queensland — a project that will employ up to 350 people during construction, but offer only five to 10 jobs once ­operational.

Australia’s biggest wind farm to generate just 20 full-time jobs | The Australian

PUFF PIECE ADVICE

ADVICE to marketers of the unreliable-energy jobs ‘revolution’. May I suggest lobbying the private sector and extolling the virtues of so-called “cheap, clean and green” energy to them, rather than writing propaganda, puff pieces in the daily rags and insulting the intelligence of your audience…the ones who now have to pay the highest power prices in the world thanks to the unreliable energy ‘revolution’!

DO let me know if any private sector orgs will take up an investment opportunity in the unreliabels sector without access to the $60 Billion taxpayer-funded RET…

H/t 

Unreliable-Energy-Hell Australia related :

 

ENERGIEWENDE Related :