Bill shock debacle: Solar rooftop subsidies in Australia doubling, will cost $1.3 billion this year, $160 per household

And we wonder why electricity bills are rising?

Many Australians don’t realize that those without solar panels pay are forced to pay for those who do through their electricity bills.  That pain point is about to launch itself above the horizon and into public view. For those readers with solar panels (there is a lot) this is not about you, this is about the system. Our badly managed grid is now so obscenely inefficient and expensive, droves of people are installing solar panels because they feel they have no choice.

Tony Abbott says “Australians are paying too much for our emissions obsession”.

NSW MP Craig Kelly: “It’s effectively a reverse Robin Hood scheme where we are ­increasing the electricity prices on the poor to reduce electricity ­prices for the rich.”

As Jo says: We could have put that billion into a new hospital. Instead we put magic squares on our houses, hoping to get nicer weather.

Solar Subsidies must end

The Clean Energy Regulator has released figures showing that more than 1057 megawatts of ­capacity was installed last year, equating to 3.5 million solar ­panels being fixed to rooftops.

Industry analysis obtained by The Australian reveals the cost of small-scale technology certificates — created to increase the incentive to install rooftop solar — shows the value of the sub­sidies was $500 million last year.

The solar industry is expecting the subsidy to increase to about $1.3bn this year….

 – Joe Kelly,  The Australian

With 8 million households that works out as $100 extra added onto electricity bills this year — on top of the $60 per household we paid last year for solar subsidies. That will be $160 total per household, just for solar subsidies, this year alone.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott is demanding action… [he] led a chorus of ­Coalition backbenchers urging the government to end the small-scale renewable energy scheme, with Liberal MP Craig Kelly declaring the policy was more economically damaging than the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme.

“Australians are paying far too much for our emissions obsession. Government must end subsidies for new renewables,” Mr Abbott said yesterday.

Nationals senator John Williams said the policy forced struggling families to subsidise rich people’s solar installations.

Mr Kelly, chairman of the ­Coalition backbench committee for energy and the environment, said the government should halve the maximum certificate price to $20, followed by another ­halving in its value next year ­before it is phased out a decade early in 2020.

 When people find out just how expensive, toxic and pointless this is, there will be a riot.

The Minister Josh Frydenberg talks about ancient history and promises Santa is coming:

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Australian Energy Market Commission had found the average cost to households over the past five years was about $29 a year, with the price peaking in 2012 at $44 for the year. “The AEMC forecasts residential electricity prices will fall over the next two years as renewable energy, including small-scale solar supported by the Renewable Energy Target, enters the system,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy calls this a “right wing push” to slash “incentives”

Don’t threaten the cash cow! In parasite-language  a subsidy is not a subsidy, it’s an “incentive”. A sensible request not to force the poor to pay for the rich is labeled an ideological “right wing” push.  And when you don’t have an answer, blame the Murdoch media for standing up for poor consumers.

After the namecalling, the claim that rooftop solar is helpful:

Criticism of the small-scale solar scheme invariably ignore the considerable benefits of having such a large amount of rooftop solar in the grid.

Network owners and operators in all states have highlighted how rooftop solar has reduced and deferred the events of peak demand, thereby reducing the cost of wholesale electricity because there is less need for peaking plant and less opportunity to trade on scarcity.

Nice theory, shame about the facts. Wholesale electricity prices aren’t cheaper, they doubled.  For the total cost of all the solar panels, and batteries, and now the Snowy Money Scheme we could have built a new cheap coal plant. The fact is that when Australians didn’t have much solar power, they had cheap electricity.

… rooftop solar is more popular than it has ever been – including when some state governments offered overly-generous feed-in tariffs in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Rooftop solar is only popular because people are struggling to afford electricity any other way.  They don’t realize where the solar rebate comes from.

One in five houses have solar panels. What happens if we all got solar?

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Total subsidies for wind and solar is more like $5 billion or  $600 per household.

Madness.

 

 

h/t Pat

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March 13, 2018 at 01:36AM

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