I don't intend to dip into this thread again (yet here I am...). Anyway I thought I'd throw this Australian article by Alan Moran into your debate -
Australia has seen electricity prices double since 2015 and the once reliable supply is now suspect. From enjoying the world’s lowest cost electricity a decade ago, Australia now has among the most expensive.
The main cause has been subsidies and regulatory favours to renewable energy — chiefly wind — that have forced the closure of reliable coal-fired generators, particularly Northern in South Australia and Hazelwood in Victoria. Without these subsidies, costing about $5 billion a year, there would be no wind or solar. Not only are customers and taxpayers slugged with the subsidy costs but the outcome also has been to raise prices and reduce reliability.
A new Australian coal plant would produce electricity at about $50 a megawatt hour. A new wind farm can produce electricity, at best, at $110/MWh and its present subsidy is about $85/MWh. Solar is about twice the cost of wind.
Consumers who cannot get off the grid are the ones who are being forced to stump up with these ridiculous subsidies... it's a continuation of the war on the poorer half in this country under the smokescreen of a 'green' future.
Welcome back Don, again!
The article http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-first-large-scale-solar-storage-plant-connected-to-grid-69396/
was interesting but for those who read it will notice how much "others" money was required to make the project get off the ground, I think it was 1/3 subsidy. AGL and another company owned by Saudi's are going replace around 5% of Liddel with around $500m subsidy on solar.
The trouble with wind and solar, is that people see the installed cost per MW is lower than coal. No one talks about the supply cost (not sure of technical term), but that's the cost of supplying power when the users want it, not when its windy or sunny, which for wind/PV requires battery/pumped hydro/Gas Turbine back up for when the wind or sun doesn't shine. How much is the PM's Snowy 2.0 project going to cost per MW? and its just pumped hydro, it doesn't actually add any new generation so it cannot on its own replace coal.
If it costs $50MWh for coal, so be it, but at least the lights stay on 24/7/365. A modern coal fired power station will have significant reduction in emissions over what happens now, especially in Vic.
Roll out wind/PV solar all you like and I'll even lease the land, but the subsidies need to stop to before we dig ourselves into a energy black hole. Meanwhile some of the rest of the world is buying our coal, gas and uranium to build power stations to feed industry stolen from us because the "lucky country" is no longer so energised.