The changes in government policy to mitigate
climate change (anthropogenic global warming) has a cost. This cost is born by every man woman and child in Australia. From science research and business grants, to wind and solar subsidies and infrastructure costs, to the eventual carbon tax. What is the actual cost to Australians.
Our current “Clean Energy Future” policy is based solely on the summary reports from the UN IPCC stating that “the earth’s current warming is accelerating and is unprecedented”. In addition to this the IPCC and it’s supporters have stated, the evidence is clear and the debate is over. Here is just one example which makes those statements complete nonsense. The resultant projections based on C02 greenhouse theory have been shown to have no relationship to reality over the last 20+ years.
Government subsidies for renewable energy sources (mainly wind and solar) amounted to $326 mil in 2009. This amounts to over $37,000 of subsidy per gigawatt hour generated.
Here in South Australia our electricity prices have increased 30% in the last 10 years. Currently about $68 per year on each bill is directly attributable to subsidised green energy initiatives. We will also see this year further increases directly related to the increase in the amount paid for solar feed in tariffs. The FIT will no doubt be passed onto all consumers.
$90 million is the official figure that it is going to be passed on to South Australian homes every year to compensate for the solar feed in tariffs, however this could easily be a conservative figure. This years increase just for the FIT subsidy will be on average $50 per household.
New South Wales has increased a whopping 70+% over the last 10 years, with the promise of a further 16% to 18% rise due this current period from REC’s and solar feed in tariffs. They have more solar panels than any other state.
Northern Territory used to have the most expensive electricity in Australia. I personally remember paying twice as much in Darwin than in Adelaide (in 1999/2000). Now they are the cheapest, and why? Possibly because NT’s FIT is only 19 cents per Kwh (with only about a thousand households having solar panels) and they do not have any wind farms.
It is absolutely no coincidence that South Australia has the most expensive electricity. Along with over ten thousand solar panel installations, South Australia has more wind farms feeding into the grid than all the other states put together. fifteen farms in operation generating roughly 20% of S.A.’s power at a huge extra cost.
It seems that where ever “green” energy is in popular use, the electricity prices are the highest. This is certainly not a coincidence. In Europe, Germany has a very large solar scheme with FIT subsidies. Here is an excerpt from Reason. “Unsurprisingly, Germany has the second-highest electricity prices in Europe. (Denmark, another heavy green energy subsidizer, is first.) Currently, this green energy surcharge is 3.59 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. Each year, this surcharge adds up to €200 more in electric bills”. The future success of Germany’s economy is actually in doubt, caused directly due to their green energy policies.
“The German government spent $130 billion on solar energy in an attempt to transform its energy production and use by becoming the “photovoltaic world champion.” How has that worked out? As Bjorn Lomborg writes for Slate, solar energy now accounts for a whopping 0.3% of Germany’s total power consumption after that $130 billion infusion, and forces Germans to pay far more than their Continental counterparts for their energy”. See HotAir for full update.
The projection of further increases in Australia from from Solar Choice is a 37% rise by 2014. This is on top of the increases we have already had to bare over the last 10 years. This translates to a further $1,000 increase for a full year (based on a current $700 per qtr electricity bill).
What we do not see however is the direct subsidies and grants paid to businesses and other organisations which come directly from our taxes. For example many organisations like “Dirtgirlworld Productions, and Nature Conservation Council of NSW have received $150,000 and 211,000 respectfully. The CSIRO received a $6 million grant in 2011 for climate change study while the Bom last year received more than $10 million for climate change research. See here for details. This money could have been spent on health, tax cuts or on any other area which could have benefited Australians. For example the NSW government Climate Change fund alone is budgeted for $700 million.
The IPA reported in 2009 that the total cost to the Australian economy for mitigating climate change is currently estimated at $1.8 billion annually. This is also before our apparently, “much needed” Carbon Tax.
More recently Peter Lang has analysed what we would pay for zero emissions of C02 using only renewable energy sources (the ultimate goal of the Greens). The amounts are staggering. Seven times more than we currently pay for electricity! So a current $700 per qtr bill would balloon out to $4900 per quarter.
So the immediate noticeable cost of climate change on the people of Australia is a doubling of the cost of electricity in 12 years. So for a $400 per qtr bill ($1,600 py) in 2002, you will be paying $3,200 per year by 2014. You do the math on your own bill. If the Greens get their way with 1oo% renewable energy a $2800 p/a bill will be a whopping $20,000 per year. In addition to this the Co2 abatement programs will be 13 times the initial carbon price. This will cost the country an extra cool trillion dollars per year.
We have been sold a dud that can only harm! This is all cost with no economic value irrespective of what anyone says about so called green jobs or C02 induced global warming (ie no warming over the last 14 years and counting).
The evidence for C02 global warming is not clear. It is not unprecedented, and based on recent evidence is most likely not our fault. The IPCC is clearly presenting unproven (dis-proven?) theory as fact. Subsidising expensive forms of power generation will not help us. Wind and solar will never be competitive on their own compared to the (upto 50 times more) energy dense coal, gas, and uranium. Not now, not ever.
How much is it going to cost you and your family now and into the future? Can you afford to allow these government policies to continue?
I will leave you with one more thought.
‘There can be few other cases in the history of modern economies where governments have taken action deliberately to increase the costs of production in their economies on the scale being contemplated with the Renewable Energy proposal. In the past, those societies that have rejected lower costs have been condemned to economic decline and in many cases a loss of sovereignty. Historically, such was the fate of the Ottoman Empire and a looming repetition of this in the case of China was observed by key nineteenth century Japanese politicians. This led to the Meiji Restoration with the recognition that Japan needed to aggressively accept the least costly production methods of the western world or become a backward, foreign controlled state”. (IPA report 2009).
UPDATE : August 2012
South Australian residential electricity rates will have just about doubled in just five years (97% increase).
See here for why.