With fingers burnt, pockets holed, and wallets lightened, the renewable energy boondoggles unravel:
It seemed a good idea at the time. Renewable energy is produced by nature and is freely available, so why not make its use mandatory? What could go wrong, after all Greenpeace and our many experts tell us that in a few years’ time, if not now technology will make it cheaper than all that coal derived electricity with its smokestacks belching
None of these friends of the rent-seekers advocate the logical corollary of their favored power source becoming competitive i.e. abandon the subsidies altogether. That would be a step towards consistency beyond the value of the free lunch.
But the feast is drawing to a close. Bulgaria, Europe’s poorest country, had been a pacesetter in renewable installations, achieving its 2020 16 per cent renewable target by 2013 because the subsidies were so generous. The resultant high prices forced the government to resign but it was re-elected – the alternative being the former Communist Party – and proceeded to announce a price reduction financed by expropriating the (Czech owned) distribution company.
Bulgaria is not the only EU country to start reneging on the wind and solar renewable contracts with their inevitable high price tags. Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Rumania and Greece have all also pared their support.
Spain started taxing the regulatory boosted profits of existing suppliers and limiting their operational hours of subsidy; Czech Republic’s measures included the introduction of a retrospective 25 per cent “solar tax”; in 2013, Rumania halved its subsidy to existing renewable plant.
In Australia, the government has not even accepted the tepid recommendations of the Warburton report which just called for a rollback in NEW installations. However, the general recognition that there is no bottomless pit to finance these boondoggles and uncertainty about government intentions is freezing new investment. And the Minister has discretion under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Act) and its Regulations to specify that no generation shortfall charges need be levied for individual years thus undercutting what was previously seen as a certain source of subsidy.
Except NSW and Victoria, where the Labor left have given in to Union demands:
[…] The log of claims … would give the union a veto over the employment of outside contractors, the introductions of new technology, and changes to rosters…
Victoria’s firefighting agencies would also be required to pay for an annual Global Forum on Climate Change and Emergency Services.
|Read the whole shocking thing.|