Ill wind blowing for green energy
Telegraph.co.uk reports that Denmark, “the world’s most windfarm-intensive country, is turning against the turbines”.
The report says:
Denmark, the great windfarm pioneer, where some of the most interesting changes are taking shape. In 1980, the Danish government was Europe’s first to bring in large-scale subsidies – on which, just as in Britain, the wind industry depends.
The results have been dramatic. According to the Danish Wind Energy Association, there are more than four thousand onshore turbines – two-thirds more than Britain – in a country a fifth the size. Nowhere else has more turbines per head, and Denmark is also a global centre of wind turbine manufacturing – with Vestas, the world’s leading turbine firm, based in the country.
Unfortunately, Danish electricity bills have been almost as dramatically affected as the Danish landscape. Thanks in part to the windfarm subsidies, Danes pay some of Europe’s highest energy tariffs – on average, more than twice those in Britain. Under public pressure, Denmark’s ruling Left Party is curbing the handouts to the wind industry.
Boswell: carbon tax will try to rescue Australia’s renewable energy program
News of European green energy woes comes as today, Nationals Senator Ron Boswell predicts the rapid introduction of a carbon tax by the Labor/Greens government to try to rescue the chronically troubled renewable energy program in Australia.
According to Senator Boswell, the price of Renewable Energy Certificates has collapsed to well below the $40-$50 needed to provide investor confidence in wind farms – which represent the Labor/Green government’s only real hope of reaching its 20% plus target by 2020.
Certificates have been trading at $30.
Several reasons are cited for the latest collapse.
One is the forced removal of major certificate buyers – the NSW power retailers – from the market as Labor’s broke state government prepares to privatise the industry. Another is that major consumers of RECs have entered into long term contracts at low prices to protect themselves from potentially higher priced certificates for years. The third is a continuing flood of RECs onto the market pushed by a vast range of state and federal subsidies for domestic roof-top solar panels and water heaters.
Senator Boswell said the former Gillard government set up bureaucratic firewalls to try to slow the flow of RECs onto the market from some roof-top systems, but had been only partly successful, with some industry players now suggesting a bank of 30 million RECs in the market by the end of this year.
Previous industry predictions were that this volume of low priced certificates would take years to flush through the system, further delaying the viability of wind farms, and putting the 20 per cent plus renewables target by 2020 out of reach.
Senator Boswell said the government needed to find a way to quickly shrink the differential between the price of power from conventional and renewable sources to boost the price of RECs and make long term investment in wind farms attractive.
He said he feared the Labor/Green alliance would take the easy way out and introduce a carbon tax, as proposed by the Greens.
Senator Boswell said this would drive up power prices that would impact on households and businesses across the board, hitting primary and secondary exporting industries hard.