Aussie Farmers Demand Compensation for the new Green Electricity Grid

Essay by Eric Worrall

Farmers are queuing for their share of the NSW government’s green grid expansion spending spree, by demanding compensation for any power line lines which cross their land.

Farmers want compensation for $1.2 billion renewable energy transmission lines across properties

ABC Rural / By David ClaughtonHamish Cole, and Sally Bryant
Posted Fri 10 Jun 2022 at 2:02pm

A NSW government promise to invest $1.2 billion for renewable energy transmission over the next ten years has been welcomed by the Nature Conservation Council (NCC), but farmers are worried about the impact on agriculture and how they will be compensated.

Key points:

  • The NSW Government promises $1.2b to fast track transmission lines for renewables
  • The Nature Conservation Council is supporting the push to renewables to address climate change
  • Farmers want compensation if their land is affected

NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean says the Transmission Acceleration Facility will fast-track the Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) needed to replace existing power stations as they close by funding the development stages of transmission and other infrastructure.

“We want to make sure that every family and business across NSW has access to the cheapest and most reliable form of energy,” he said.

“That’s exactly why we’re spending $1.2 billion to make sure we can get our wind and solar power connected into the system.”

Chris Gambian from the NCC wants the lines to go underground in key sensitive areas like Alpine National Park, but argues the shift to clean energy is fundamentally good for the environment.

“One of the best things we can do to move away from dirty fossil fuels is invest in clean renewable energy,” he said.

Read more:

Don’t underestimate the cost blowout such demands for compensation might cause.

People who make an effort can extract some serious danegeld from the bureaucrats who want access to their land, who pay up just to make the objectors go away and stop making their lives a misery. Its not their money, so what do the bureaucrats care?

I’ve seen this first hand – one of my relatives was an artiste when it came to making life miserable for bureaucrats who wanted his land, he showed me his correspondence and very generous settlement offers, usually with tears of laughter in his eyes. He eventually extracted several times the value of all his land + a new $100,000 driveway from the bureaucrats, in return for giving up a few thin, barely noticeable strips of land. So I’ve seen for myself how far a farmer shakedown of bureaucrats can be taken.

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June 12, 2022 10:12 am

A blight in production and distribution. A progressive risk from recovery to reclamation to climate, environment, and ecology. An unreliable/intermittent source of unsynchronized energy with “benefits”.

June 12, 2022 10:18 am

” …….. cheapest and most reliable form of energy.”

That’ll be coal, oil and gas, then.

Can the farmers not rent the land on which the pylons stand to the owners of the pylons so as to get an annual income?

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Oldseadog
June 12, 2022 10:52 am

The claim that wind and solar is the cheapest and most reliable form of energy is just a lie, isn’t it?

Cripes, Australia is finding out right now just how ‘reliable’ their electricity grid is without FF generation. Even the politicians who have been calling for an end to ‘dirty’ FF generation want it back online to shore up the system.

Although, come to think of it, wind/solar is pretty reliable – you can rely on it being useless when there’s no wind/sun.

David Wojick
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 12, 2022 12:16 pm

Yes, so obviously false it is a lie. There is no affordable way to make wind and solar reliable except with matching thermal capacity. The required redundancy is 100%, so very expensive but at least feasible.

Bryan A
Reply to  David Wojick
June 12, 2022 3:23 pm

The only thing “Cheap” about Wind and Solar is their Fuel Source. Factoring that out they become far more expensive or else subsidies wouldn’t be unnecessary to create a “Level Playing Field” with established energy sources. As far as reliability goes, you can “RELY” on Solar to be unproductive between 4pm and 9am with ZERO generation at night. Likewise, the other Goldilocks Energy Source is reliable to be unavailable during Hot Summer days under Blocking High Pressure zones as the wind dies down (sometimes for weeks) and ditto for Blocking High winter days when similar windless cold weather is occurring.

Reply to  Bryan A
June 12, 2022 3:32 pm

Right you are, Bryan! Everything else about “renewables” is beyond expensive.

Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 12, 2022 1:59 pm

Kalifornia is adding retired FF plants back to the mix ensure the lights (air conditioning, really) stay on this summer.

I guess rolling black outs aren’t as popular as you would think.

Reply to  ex-KaliforniaKook
June 12, 2022 3:34 pm

The Land of Fruits and Nuts has long experience with the rolling blackouts, but I have been hearing that Barackistan (formerly known as “The Land Of Lincoln”) is due for such this summer. So far it has been quite cool here, but that is due to change next week, or so I am told.

Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 12, 2022 4:50 pm

Solar renewable energy is not viable with photovoltaic converters in darkness, at the Twilight fringe, and progressive angles.

Wind renewable energy is not viable with turbines “windmills” outside of an operational window and climate.

Then there is the environmentally-friendly storage, or rather lack thereof, and demand side of the equation for the “new” or novel Green blight.

John in Oz
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 12, 2022 5:24 pm

Look at any electricity plan on offer to see that ‘green’ energy options are always more expensive.

E.g. from Origin:
GreenPowerUsage Charge
25% $0.65 weekly
For $0.65 per week 25% of your electricity usage is matched with electricity from Government accredited GreenPower sources
50% $0.014 per unit of usage
For 1.40 cents/kWh 50% of your electricity usage is matched with electricity from Government accredited GreenPower sources
100% $0.028 per unit of usage
For 2.80 cents/kWh 100% of your electricity usage will be matched with electricity from Government accredited wind GreenPower

R Terrell
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
June 16, 2022 10:57 am

Yep, you can rely on it to fail you, just when you need it the most! Like, at night, during storms, and when it’s the hottest! No amount of ‘storage’ is going to offset THAT!

Reply to  Oldseadog
June 12, 2022 10:58 am

I’m with you on the income stream idea, Oldseadog, except my thought for the charge was $1/foot of line/day.

Now that could provide some amusement. The bureaucrats would have the lines zigging and zagging down every public road to avoid crossing any farmer’s field. “See? We saved the ratepayers a lot of money with our crafty plan.”

We could bet on how much that would increase the length of the transmission lines. I’d set the over/under at 5 times the length of a straight through power line.

Reply to  Oldseadog
June 12, 2022 11:04 am

When I read

“We want to make sure that every family and business across NSW has access to the cheapest and most reliable form of energy,”

My first thought was that the next part of the sentence should have been:

“and we are going to accomplish this by installing the most expensive and unreliable forms of energy generation available.”

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Oldseadog
June 12, 2022 12:16 pm

That’s what they do – they grant a ‘wayleave

Certainly it can be a one-off payment but unless the farmer is desperate for cash, it will be an index linked annual payment = effectively renting the ground on which the poles and pylons stand.
OK you say, they have a minimal footprint but it is the ‘awkward factor’ of the things, especially when you’re piloting very large machines in the fields where they are
Heaven forbid you crash a 30 tonne tractor trailer combo into one of the fuggaz and knock one of the wires down, let alone the entire pile.

Thus, the farmer will need insurance against such eventuality and so, the Gravy Train gathers ever more momentum and passengers, all safe in the knowledge that Government is paying.
And as everyone knows, all Governments always have infinite amounts of money.

win win win for everyone…

Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 13, 2022 4:20 am

Yes, Peta, wayleave is what is done in GB but my question is can / do they do it in Aus?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Oldseadog
June 13, 2022 6:54 am

Ex UK PM David Cameron’s father- in- law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, reportedly receives around £500,000 pa in rent for two wind farms on his country estate

June 12, 2022 10:49 am

Just the cost of doing business. I would say good luck to the farmers but that cost will be passed on to the people. How many more of these boondoggles will it take before they realize they’re chasing a dream and give up? Wait for appropriate storage ….. then do the sun and wind energy if it’s affordable and practical.

David Wojick
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2022 12:21 pm

The required storage is so huge that it is unlikely to ever be affordable. Here is a simple calculation for solar:

Old Man Winter
Reply to  David Wojick
June 12, 2022 1:58 pm

Like an iceberg, the biggest danger’s the part they kept well hidden that will sink the
renewable ship. Thanks for the expose!

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  markl
June 13, 2022 5:44 am

We have it. It’s called coal.

June 12, 2022 11:09 am

by demanding compensation for any power line lines which cross their land”

Of course they do, and always have. And of course their case is justified, and they get it. And yet the land is criss-crossed with major power lines. Nothing new here.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
June 12, 2022 2:14 pm

Given the recent election, the cult leaders can always counter with a fake national
emergency and/or pass eminent domain laws, if they don’t exist. Friendly judges could also
help. It could get dicey!

Reply to  Eric Worrall
June 12, 2022 3:07 pm

I read that in South Africa, the thieves are very adept at stealing the entire transmission line !

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
June 12, 2022 5:08 pm

Protestors of a 400KW DC line that ran 400+ miles from Bismarck, ND to the
Twin Cities in MN toppled towers & shot out insulators back in the 1970s. What
ticked off the farmers the most is that the line zig-zagged to avoid wetlands &
went over good farmland instead.

One guy I knew worked security at night which he couldn’t mention to anyone.
When he opened the truck door, the interior lights didn’t come on. It was that nasty!

Rich Lambert
June 12, 2022 11:51 am

I don’t know about Australia but it is normal that property owners in the USA are compensated for the utility right-of-ways that cross their property whether above or below ground.

June 12, 2022 1:22 pm

“We want to make sure that every family and business across NSW has limited access to the most expensive and most unreliable form of energy,”

June 12, 2022 1:24 pm

Do not get too greedy, do not make it personal.
Govt. Plan B:
Seize a desired path through eminent domain. Build the road.
Give the owner a one-time takings fee.
Put the power line on the road’s right-of-way.

Reply to  TonyL
June 12, 2022 3:09 pm

Governments in Australia are adept at stealing land through expropriation at a pittance.

Bruce Cobb
June 12, 2022 1:24 pm

Sheesh! Everybody wants a piece of the “saving the planet” pie. It’s as if they themselves aren’t denizens of the planet. How rude.

June 12, 2022 1:41 pm

There won’t be any need for such power lines, BoJo is going to sell you some ‘oven ready’ mini nukes made by RR, as he promised to the UK the other day. Another thing for you to look forward is visit of the future king to aussieland and meeting the PM Albanese. I’m sure they’ll get on like two old buddies in Rwanda, hopefully words ‘republic’ & ‘refugees’ will not enter conversation.

Reply to  Vuk
June 12, 2022 4:07 pm

An electromagnetic storm from the sun could knock out large over land power lines. Australia is a good candidate for Thorium Liquid Salts cooled nuclear reactors…..such reactors can be smaller and closer to the customers…..and provide cheap abundant electricity….even little or no CO2 – not that it is important.

June 12, 2022 1:46 pm

A comparative cost / compensation example might be the Victorian government’s 2009 (?) compulsory acquisition of easements through farm properties for their Goulburn River to Melbourne water pipe.

The biggest cost to this government was that it cost them government at the next election.

The deciding parliamentary seat was the one the leader of the pipeline rejection campaign ran for, and won.

So governments, take heed about the possible consequences of ramming through compulsory land thoroughfares.

No matter how “noble” you reckon your cause is.

Chris Hanley
June 12, 2022 2:33 pm

Solar PV needs a daily exposure of 12-20 megajoules per square metre (MJ/m2/day) to generate electricity.
Not much solar electricity being generated in the past month across much of southern Australia.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
June 12, 2022 3:12 pm

Pretty much nothing along the entire east coast except for increased sufferance of SADS !

June 12, 2022 2:59 pm

Matt Kean, “We want to make sure that every family and business across NSW has access to the cheapest and most reliable form of energy,” he said.

Well that rules out wind and solar.

June 12, 2022 3:30 pm

Makes sense to me, but I figured they would want compensation for the lack of power sure to ensue.

Just like I’d like to demand compensation for the economic disaster being forced upon American consumers.

Tony Taylor
June 12, 2022 4:56 pm

Am I right in assuming that in the US if there’s oil or minerals under your land you own it, but in Australia you don’t?

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Tony Taylor
June 12, 2022 5:52 pm

All minerals and oil found in Australia is automatically own by ‘the Crown’ i.e. by the state.

Reply to  Tony Taylor
June 12, 2022 6:50 pm

Tony, in the U.S., mineral rights can be bought and sold separately from surface ownership.

When they are separated, there are legal agreements about how, if it ever comes about, the owner of the mineral rights can access those minerals, compensation, perhaps shared royalties, etc. There are all sorts of agreements.

If you buy land in the U.S., it’s always smart to verify you are getting both surface and mineral rights.

Reply to  H.R.
June 12, 2022 7:47 pm

I believe Canada may also have enduring rights to sub-surface resources that aren’t automatically assigned to a property purchaser.

This may be different from Province to Province.

June 12, 2022 5:38 pm

Matt Kean is a green fool that speaks with forked tongue. He is a LINO, the contemptuous term Australians use for Liberal in Name Only. For the rest of the world, the Liberals are our conservative party. Labor is the leftie party, Democrat equivalent.

If Matt Kean is so keen to have Australians pay the lowest possible power costs, then why is he deliberately pushing up the price by facilitating further the strains on our grid from the impossibles ie solar and wind and not moving immediately to encourage our national government, now Labor, to overturn Australia’s legislative ban on nuclear energy.

The man is utterly contemptible.

Reply to  Quilter52
June 12, 2022 8:34 pm

Matt Kean is scientific illiterate. He has zero knowledge of chemistry and physics and is a disgrace to the Liberal Party. His day of reckoning will come at the next NSW state election in 2023 when the Liberals will be swept from power. Go woke go broke!

Geoff Sherrington
June 12, 2022 8:33 pm

Australian land grabs by governments were quite a sock to us in the 1970s. We had discovered a major, new global uranium resource. We had been granted many proper, legitimate Exploration Licences and Mining Leases in the region. Then the Feds proclaimed it would all become the huge Kakadu national park, and later the United Nations stepped in with world heritage classification. This created the order that no operations for the recovery of mineral were permitted in the region. Apart from a couple of tiny, excluded areas that became mines like Ranger One, this was the fate of 7,700 sq miles, or 20,000 sq km, of typical Top End scrub land, a rare, rich mineral resource locked up by bureaucracy.
There was no compensation. There was not even a genuine attempt at negotiation.
So, I am on the side of the farmers and their rights to use land without the disruption of power lines.
Since compensation means no more than handing out taxpayer money, the community loses while the bureaucrats continue getting paid to do more transfers of other peoples’ money. Geoff S

June 13, 2022 1:40 am

Those uppity farmers getting in the way of changing the climate need a damn good thrashing with Greenonomics-
‘Laughing stock’: New Zealand to tax sheep and livestock for ‘belching and flatulence’ (

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