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Carbon policy indecision creates ‘investment strike’ in renewables in Australia

May 27, 2017

By Paul Homewood

h/t Patsy Lacey

The BBC article about record solar power, that I posted on earlier, contained the usual whinge about cuts in support for solar (translation – subsidies).

Hannah Martin, head of energy for Greenpeace in the UK, said: "Today’s new record is a reminder of what the UK could achieve if our government reversed its cuts to support for solar.

"All around the world, solar power keeps beating new records as costs come down and power generation goes up."

As I have repeatedly pointed out, why do they need subsidising, when the costs are claimed to be so low.

According to the Guardian report below, solar cannot even stand on its own two feet in Australia:


The uncertainty of Australia’s carbon policy is causing reduced investment, including in renewable energy, regulators have told a parliamentary committee.

Officials from the Australian Energy Market Commission told the standing committee on the environment and energy on Friday that an emissions intensity scheme was the best solution to end uncertainty because it was technology neutral and could respond to variables such as high gas prices.

The evidence echoes the warning of Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, that investment has stalled and his support for an EIS in a preliminary report before his major review of Australia’s climate policy, which he is due to complete by mid 2017.

Labor and the Greens have said the evidence shows increased power prices are not leading to investment to improve supply or manage demand because of an “investment strike” caused by government policies.

Anne Pearson, the chief executive of the AEMC, said the electricity sector was in transition and needed policy certainty for investment decisions.

“That certainty won’t come until there’s some certainty in emissions policy,” she said.

A senior director, Richard Owens, said the AEMC tried to drive investment but “we seem to be seeing there’s a lot of uncertainty for businesses”. That would last “until they know what policy on climate change will be adopted to meet 2030 and 2050 targets”.

If you are thinking of entering the market for solar power and storage, a large-scale solar provider, or pumped hydro, or as a gas power station … it’s very hard to know if you’ll make money [until emissions policy is decided].”


If solar power cannot make money in Australia’s sunshine, it never will in Britain.

  1. May 27, 2017 3:38 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again – anybody wanting to connect an uncontrollable, asynchronous and unreliable generator to the grid should also provide an equal capacity of a controllable, synchronous generator so that stability can be guaranteed.

  2. sean2829 permalink
    May 27, 2017 5:22 pm

    This whole article centered on policy “certainty”. With renewables, those are code words for guaranteed profitability.

  3. AlecM permalink
    May 27, 2017 6:04 pm

    Down Under says it all………..

  4. tom0mason permalink
    May 27, 2017 6:57 pm

    “All around the world, solar power keeps beating new records as costs come down and power generation goes up.”

    So that everyone around the world can have a little power but only during daylight hours !

    • HotScot permalink
      May 27, 2017 9:54 pm

      Fantastic business opportunity though.

      Imagine how many people all the window cleaning companies can employ to wash solar panels every week.

      And I’ll bet it turns into an essential, government subsidised industry. Just like everything else the left supports.

      Then we’ll have degree courses in ‘non-crystalline amorphous solid maintenance’, which will also be subsidised.

      That will spawn papers on “Erectile dysfunction. It’s relationship to the injudicious non-deployment of curtains by grannies”. Which will also be subsidised.

      And of course, the Guardian headline “Roaming ukulele minstrels with silly expressions threaten world peace”.

      Climbing ladders will be banned altogether under H&S regulations, and anyone brandishing a ukulele will be shot on sight.

      The solar industry will spiral into decline and the greens will demand we use an entirely natural resource instead of relying on invasive technology for energy, so we should burn coal.

      I kid you not. I am a Michael Mann generated prediction, returned from the future, to warn you all of the unintended consequences of smug, lefty green, virtue signalling.

      And here you all though I was just a daft Sweaty Sock.

  5. rwoollaston permalink
    May 27, 2017 8:40 pm

    As I’ve said before, solar panels installed in the UK take more (fossil fuelled) energy to produce than they generate in their lifetime so make zero environmental sense.

    Generation will go up as capacity is increased.

    Land usage isn’t measured.

    It makes no sense to talk about costs when solar farms are heavily subsidised via energy strike prices.

    It really is like something out of Alice in Wonderland!

    • John, UK permalink
      May 28, 2017 6:33 am

      Have you got any reference to any work supprting your point re solar panels in Uk and failure to cover energy costs of production please? I have a friend who has asked me this on more than one occasion and I would like to be able to quote a reliable source.

  6. roger permalink
    May 27, 2017 10:14 pm

    The outage that caused BA’s computer failure today and resulted in world wide cancellations of B A flights all day is a timely indication to the government of just one small part of the catastrophe that awaits and which they alone have engineered and for which they will be held responsible.
    There should be no doubt in May’s mind that her support at the G7 for the continuation of this dangerous policy and her pleading with The Donald for his agreement will be remembered when every facet of UK life that needs power is ripped away

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 28, 2017 4:00 pm

      If May and her dumb party don’t do something about replacing our participation in the Single European Sky then BA won’t need their flight booking systems. The all round incompetence of our politicians knows no bounds.

  7. May 29, 2017 12:23 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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