Australia is facing a “national emergency” of extremely high power prices due to green energy, according to an Aussie senator.
One Nation Sen. Malcolm Roberts, a former coal miner, claimed 60,000 households in the state of New South Wales needed government help to keep their electricity on due to the expense of green energy. He called for the government to scrap renewable energy targets (RET) scheme.
— Sen. Malcolm Roberts (@SenatorMRoberts) July 24, 2017
Electricity prices rose to 200 cents per kilowatt-hour during a widespread power outage last September. That’s roughly 20 times more expensive than the average U.S. power price.
The average Australian currently pays about 25 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity, according to parliamentary research. Major businesses in South Australia have already threatened to suspend operations entirely until the price of power comes down.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has blamed high power prices on South Australia “distorting the national energy market” by putting too much emphasis on generating electricity from wind farms.
The Australian state invested heavily in solar and wind power, but those power sources were incredibly expensive and placed a massive strain on the state’s power grid.
“This has been very much a Labor obsession, to set these heroic renewable energy targets,” Turnbull told a radio station in October. “They assume that they can change the composition of the energy mix and that energy security will always be there and the lights will stay on, and that has been brought into question.”
High prices aren’t the only reason to be worried about green energy in Australia: The country is also risking blackout.
Officials concluded that “violent fluctuations” in the supply of wind power caused a blackout affecting 1.7 million people in South Australia in September. The Australian Energy Market Operator blamed the blackout on a wind farm that suddenly stopped providing 200 megawatts of power, destabilizing the grid.
Despite the blackout, South Australia wants to invest another $100 million into green energy.
Unstable wind power likely caused other state power grids to cut off energy flow to South Australia, collapsing the grid. For a moment, the state looked more like North Korea than Australia.
Independent experts believe the ability of an electrical grid to absorb green energy becomes increasingly more difficult at scale. South Australia’s reliance on wind power makes large blackouts more likely because the amount of electricity generated by a wind turbine is very intermittent and doesn’t coincide with the times of day when power is most needed.
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