Aussie government slashes renewable target


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Abbott government has dramatically slashed the Australian renewable energy target, from 41,000 GWh / year, to 33,000 GWh / year. The leaked appointment of the new Wind Turbine Commissioner is also now official.

According to Sky News;

A bipartisan deal – agreed to last month after a lengthy political stalemate that hamstrung the clean energy sector – will slash the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000.

Labor and the Greens failed to scrap wood waste burning as a renewable source under the scheme after the government did a deal with four crossbenchers to establish a wind farm commissioner.

The commissioner will resolve complaints from concerned residents living near wind turbines.

The government believes the reduced target will address an oversupply of energy in the market and save consumers from possible price hikes had the larger target not been reached.

Mr Abbott believes wind farms, the main beneficiary of the target that requires 20 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewables by 2020, are ugly and noisy.

He has also questioned whether the turbines make people ill.

Read more:

The ongoing effort to contain Australia’s energy prices will be well received by Australian voters – lowering domestic energy prices was a key electoral manifesto pledge, which likely helped the Abbott government win the last election.

97 thoughts on “Aussie government slashes renewable target

  1. He has just put a nail in the money machine, why oh why these stupid greens don’t realize that they are a group of morons , want energy ? that whats in the earths core, go get it

    • George, you should realise that the Greens don’t want energy, they want Power. Subtle difference.

    • I think they are not morons but intelligent yet extremely dangerous people trying to sell their moronic ideology to the world, thus creating a new world order. Delusive do-gooders with vested interests.

      • The leaders are the dangerous ones, but most of the followers are just sheep-lke “head-line” readers that have been converted by the torrent of lies and distortions. They have been brain-washed into thinking that they are indeed saving the planet and have never looked beyond the headlines to find out what the real situation is.

      • Non Nomen Not do gooders by any stretch of the imagination. David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!: “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
        The reality is a group of megalomaniacs who have an aim that makes Hitler’s genocides look like a little pub punch up. The mistake is not to realise that when any founder writes his aims his followers will at some point take these for a real target to be achieved at all costs. It is possibly the only lesson from history that can be relied on without exception.

    • The Muppet Office doesn’t do U-turns as it just makes things up so it doesn’t look so bad when they are wrong.

    • @ Eliza 2:20 am, Are they still importing wood pellets from the USA and shutting down coal/gas fired power plants in the UK? And stopping fracking to get at these gas fields? Can we have an update on how they are using wind powered cargo ships to do that?( Sailboats). In Canada that info seems to be lost in our own version of the MSM ( as in CBC and CTV). We do keep seeing pictures of “wind” (bird) mills all over the UK. How true are those?

    • Eliza: The way I read it in the press was that the MO were pitching that the cooling would be in the order of 0.8 Deg C, whereas the warming would still continue in the order of 6 (SIX!) deg C by 2100. We are truly in the land of the La-Las

      • And for approaching 20 years there has been no heating apart from ‘modified’ data sets so they are going to run into trouble quite soon on this one.

    • Pity it’s only in the Express, which isn’t the most widely read or respected UK news sheet but at least it’s a start and it’s good to see terms like Maunder Minimum getting out there. But note the the Met office, true to form, denies that this will halt Global Warming!!. Still I suppose we can’t expect them to give up that easily.

      • Daily Mail has picked it up too. Strange article warning of a big freeze but only -0.8°c cooling, which anyway will be overwhelmed by 6°C heating.

  2. We have gone nearly two decades with rising levels of CO2 and flat temperatures or even declining temperatures. CO2 does not do what most people think it does. It is a horror for the poor that this CO2 delusion has led to policies that makes energy prices much higher. This makes heating your home in the winter much more expensive and also depresses economic competition due to the higher energy prices. Look at the situation Germany is in now.
    It is high time we all started walking back these dumb-ass laws and stop letting China have the playing field all to itself.

  3. Somehow a 25% cut in an very expensive renewables target sounds a bit limp if he really was elected on a cheap energy ticket.

  4. Carpetbaggers always flock to government-subsidised schemes. Solar, wind, wave, geothermal power installations are a prime example.

  5. But a Dutch court ruled the government has duty of care and cannot hide behind claims that the Netherlands is a small part of a world-wide process.
    De rechter zei dat in Nederland de CO2-reductie onder de 17 procent zou blijven, in weerwil van klimaatverdragen. Hij concludeerde dat klimaatverandering wordt veroorzaakt door uitstoot en dat dit ernstige gevaren met zich meebrengt, onder meer door de zeespiegelstijging en voor de voedselvoorziening. De overheid moet burgers hiertegen beschermen.
    The judge said that the CO2 reduction would stay below 17 percent in the Netherlands, in spite of climate treaties. HE concluded that climate change is caused by emissions and that this entails serious risks, including sea level rise and for food. The government should protect citizens against this.

    • Nonsense! Who would not be in favor of a few bills tossed for restoration of 17th-century windmills for historical purposes?

    • I had some jerk from the Government call me 20 years ago, trying to talk me into “a grant” for using a windmill on my farm to pump water for my stock. I told him he was “educated beyond his intelligence” and hung up on him.

    • I see we have an Abbott hater here today. What do you not like about democracy Simon? The LNP were elected on this policy, Abbott was just leader. The Abbott gubmint will suffer due to alarmists who have no clue that now fill Australia. You’ll have your chance in 2016 or sooner to “voice” your opinion.

      • No I wont…. I’m not Australian. But the guy has lost all integrity on the world stage. He’s a goneburger.

      • How can you critisise a man when you dont even live here, I do, I am not keen on the guy (not keen on any politician) but he is the only world leader to even look the other way on these issues, i get the impression he wants to do more but cant due to outside (overseas) diplomatic pressures. he is slowly chipping away at the green scam, one day he will be seen as a lone visionary on the worlds stage, Australia relies on supplying coal to China and India for the next 50 years or so, thats why he supports the coal industry, without coal and iron we will be reduced to …..nothing. As for embracing renewable technology, we cant compete with China in the design and manufacturing and living in South Australia (highest proportion of wind farms) I know that my electricity bill is one of the highest in the country and with the imminent closure of one of our coal fired power stations we wil be relying on the interconnector to the Victorian COAL fired power stations for our energy when the wind dont blow.

      • Stuart Jones
        If you think this man….

        is going to save Australia… Oh my goodness is all I can say.
        And I don’t have to live in Australia to know that clip is embarrassing on every level.

    • Not so simple Simon; Shorten Gillard Rudd (what a trinity of trough dwellers, sorry cant recall all the green drop-outs (or is that dropkicks?) i mean how many losers can you back before you realise their shortcomings, self-interest and subterfuge? Sorry, omitted apostrophe after ‘so’

      • That’ my point… Abbott is just another in a long line of Aussie PM losers. The guy has no chance from here.

    • Hmm. They always say that about the guy driving in the nails of the other guy’s coffin.

    • Sorry Simon, rational Liberal voters will flock back to the Abbott government from the dithering centre.
      They want all this green crap GONE, and TA is doing his darnedest in a tough situation to get it gone.
      Go TA. !!!!!

  6. It was announced in the Telegraph yesterday that David Cameron is reducing subsidies for wind farms and making planning permission for them more difficult. The more enlightened politicians realise that AGW is a scam, but cannot say so because the cry would go up that they are not qualified to say so, the science is settled, 97% consensus and all the other cr’p that is said under these circumstances. Hopefully the world will get more right of centre governments who think the same.

      • Stephen Richards:
        Yes, and don’t forget that his wife’s father is making a small fortune from windfarm subsidies.

      • Stephen
        I agree with richardscourtney, and additionally – do read Private Eye.
        I am a subscriber [not a shareholder] but they, too, have good articles.

  7. The Abbot government wanted to cut even more but that is politics. He achieved what was possible.

    • Blame the lunatic fringe voters who treat the Upper House elections as a joke. Well now is it really cool to vote for Clive and the twit from the “Really Nice Car party”?

      SSorry Sophie, I thought this spoofy song of yours was quite appropriate here

      • Mobihci:
        It is not the preferential system which is at fault as it is the fairest system available. It ensures that the candidate most preferred by the whole electorate wins. By contrast a first past the post system can see a person who is least liked by the whole electorate win the seat.
        The Senate voting was changed to allow Parties to allocate the preferences as an option – to make it more workable when there are a lot of candidates. Preferential voting is meant to be the voter filling in his preferences. So it was gamed by some smart people.
        But it can be fixed quite readily and still be workable.

      • regardless of the options, the preferential system lead to peoples votes going to the politicians to do with as they please, and nobody can be expected to be a mind reader. i know there are options such as filling out 100 boxes etc, but that is all just a show. this system is setup to remove power from public votes, and put it in the hands of the political party rooms. it is the most undemocratic system there is. couple that with forcing everyone to vote, even young people who just do not want to vote, and you end up with a system that is slanted to the left minor parties.

  8. Fuel tax going up. Increase in renewables still happening (despite lower target). Officially still agreeing that man made climate change is a problem and has many true believers in his cabinet. Still has a “Carbon reduction” plan.
    In short, don’t believe the spin. If you want to find a real advocate for sensible energy policy look at the LDP.

    • Turnbull is on the move for a takeover of the LNP leadership IMO and Abbott is trying to save his seat. Nothing like running the country for its people eh?

      • Turncoat has never been anything but “on the move (make?)” Still. I see him more as a pickpocket than a puncher – time will tell.

      • Liberals will vote informal rather than for Turnbull.
        They would prefer Labor to Turnbull, so that the Liberals cannot be blamed for the economic destruction that would occur in either case.

      • Andy, in Australia a PM is never elected by the voting public. He can only be PM if the party votes him leader and if the LNP wins at the next federal election.

  9. If Australia isn’t careful, they’ll be “othered” at the big year-end climate jamboree.

    • Abbott has tremendous integrity and courage. wish more leaders were like him. He should wear the scorn of the alarmist clowns like a badge of honor.

  10. It’s ironic that the so-called renewable “free” energy programs, such as in Ontario, actually push prices up.

  11. One or two generations from now, when government has become exhausted of the ability and will to continue the vast subsidies to wind power companies, abandoned and decrepit wind turbines that litter the landscape. Then they will be the target of a new push for government to fund “decommissioning” and cleanup. This is because wind power companies and their supporters never imagined that wind power was not economically “sustainable”. Thus they never made provision in their business model for the same reclamation and restoration of turbine sites in the same manner that companies operating open pit coal mines must do.
    For all the money we have blown to the wind with wind turbines, we could have entirely “walk-away-safe” nuclear power plants by now. The only thing that wind power leaves us with is the perpetual debt of all the money that government created out of thin air to pay for.

  12. I recall reading a comment here in Australia by someone who claimed nuclear power was finite and solar/wind power was infinite. Well, I thought, all energy is infinite IMO. What is finite is how we capture that source and put it to use.

    • We have enough uranium and thorium to support millions of years of nuclear power.
      The sun will last longer, but it do will eventually burn out.
      All things are finite.

  13. A one-third reduction in an already ridiculously high and meaningless goal is not really a “slash”, but one must start somewhere.
    Maybe we just need to redefine “renewable” energy sources to include fast breeder reactors. They make their own fuel, have zero C02 emissions, and produce base load power with very high availability over the lifetime of the plant. What’s not to like?

  14. God bless Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He is a bold man, not ashamed to proclaim his immense praise for coal – all this in an era when the greens and anti-fossil fuel activists demonise coal.
    Don’t be surprised Tony Abbott declares “COAL DAY” – an occasion for Australia, and other like minded nations, to celebrate coal’s immense contribution to humanity, for lifting mankind out of poverty and into this wonderful world we enjoy today, thanks to giving the world a source of cheap reliable energy.

    • Not quite. He seems to be buckling under the pressure from alarmists to “lead the way”. Here in Aus we are less than a year away from a federal election.

  15. Just in time for Paris 2015, UK, OZ, Germany, Canada … I’ve heard from a semi-reliable source that the House and Senate will pass a joint resolution, just before this year’s recess, that reminds the POTUS and the U.N. that there’s no such thing as a binding treaty in the U.S. until the Senate ratifies that treaty…
    the Paris trainwreck, now reaching warp speed …

    • The US House has passed a rebuke to Obama’s EPA’s CPP aka Coal Punishment Plan.
      The CPP (not to be confused with CPPP, although there are similarities), required all 50 states to enter conforming plans (shades of Obamacare state exchanges). The House bill passed with bipartisan support says states can opt out.
      And the whole shebang should wait until legal challenges are met. Both make sense, but Obama will veto.
      Even if vetoed, the fact that the US Congress does NOT agree with Obama’s climate ‘commitment’ should send a message that Obama’s promises are empty – the policy equivalent of kiting checks.
      80% chance the EPA plan is gutted by 2017: Either by courts overturning most or all of it, or by a new administration overturning it.

  16. Renewable wind and solar energy, not technology. Green wind and solar energy, not technology, not displacement. The value of these technologies should be assessed in context without ideological bias.

  17. “Clean” driver? Yes. Mostly. Except for, ironically, global warming. Clean energy? No. Bias bordering on prejudice, or perhaps profit.

  18. At least they are starting to wake up to the advantage of utility scale solar PV. The next learned lesson will come with community solar in place of rooftop, wind, and pack-o-lies solar CSP.

  19. If you wish to surrender your vote to a third party to do with as they wish, it is your prerogative. Personally, i don’t find any number of check boxes daunting. Although I didn’t go as far as my darling ex who most courteously collected every “how to vote sheet” at the polling place in Avalon.
    The look of hope on the faces was a joy to behold
    Especially in our uber safe Liberal electorate. I meant no serious disrespect for the “really nice car party”.
    My dad taught me to listen to every soapbox spruiker in the Domain on Sunday – It was part and parcel of being Australian.

  20. If you really want a laugh, cnxtim, rock up to the voting booth riding your bike. The look of joy on the faces of the green parties which then turns to disbelief when you ask for a Liberal vote flyer is a delight to behold.

  21. At last someone with the bravado to stand up to the Warmists. Abbott is Catholic so had better watch out for Pope Frank!!

  22. “Aussie government slashes renewable target”
    No worries. There are more targets where that one came from. They’re renewable.

  23. For the benefit of Australian and overseas readers who may be confused about the shenanigans around the Australian Mandated Renewable Target (RET) here is a potted history.
    In Australia the original Renewable Energy Target was set by the Coalition Government in 2001 at 9500 GWh per annum, to be reached by 2010. This was 5% of the expected electricity supply level for 2010. Note that this was in the light of the substantial apparent increase in global temperatures from 1979 to 1999.
    This was reviewed in 2004 (the Tambling Review) and the government decided to continue with the fixed target expressed in GWh, rather than change to a target increasing year by year.
    The Coalition Government lost power in 2007 to an ALP (Australian Labor Party) government which immediately decided to greatly augment the target. This quote is from the COAG Working Paper:
    “The Australian Government has committed to implementing an expanded national RET scheme that will:
    • ensure the equivalent of at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply—approximately
    60 000 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—is generated from renewable sources by 2020
    • increase the MRET to 45 000 GWh to ensure that together with the approximately 15 000 GWh of existing renewable capacity, Australia reaches the 20 per cent target by 2020
    • bring both the national MRET and existing state-based targets into a single national scheme
    • count only renewable energy towards the target and keep the same eligibility criteria as in the
    current MRET scheme
    • phase out the RET between 2020 and 2030 as emissions trading matures and prices become
    sufficient to ensure a RET is no longer required.
    • retain the eligibility of all renewable energy projects that have been approved under existing
    state-based schemes.”
    At about this time, State governments realised that while they had been keeping electricity prices down, their distribution networks had been starved of money, and were approaching a parlous state. As a result electricity charges were substantially increased. Demand had been rapidly increasing from about 167 TWh in 1999-2000 to about 207 TWh in 2006-2007. As a result of the increased charges the rate of increase of demand greatly slowed, and peaked in 2008-2009 at about 210 TWh. Since then it has fallen to about 195 TWh in 2013-2014 (last full year available on the National Energy Market Regulator website – The figures are my estimates from the graph.
    Legislation in 2009, at the peak of demand, upped the RET to 41 000 GWh by 2020. This was to be approximately 20% of demand.
    As a result of increased electricity prices (including for a short time the Carbon Price) and the closure of some industrial demand (aluminium smelters, oil refineries, etc) the mandated 41 000 GWh is now estimated to be about 26-27% of 2020 demand, so the target has been cut back to 33 000 GWh per annum. Still rather excessive, but not quite so bad as it would have been at 41 000!

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