Well, firstly, let me be honest - I'm not sure of the situation in Australia 'cause I haven't been following it, but I have been following the situation in Europe since I live in Ireland. So I'll confine my answer to Germany and Denmark ...
The EU member states signed up to emissions targets in an attempt to reduce our CO2 output. Those targets are legally binding and there are financial penalties for states if they fail to meet them. The imposition of these emissions targets have broad public support across the EU member states.
Germany and Denmark wanted to be 'first adopters' of some of the alternative means of generating energy, particularly solar and wind. There were good reasons for this. Germany is one of the largest economies in the world, and that economic success is largely built on engineering. So Germany was trying to become a world-leader in the development and installation of 'green technology', trying to produce that technology, sell it to international markets, etc. Denmark was trying to do the same, particularly in wind power.
The problem that both countries faced was this - how do you fundamentally restructure your energy portfolio when it's been based on fossil fuels (and nuclear in the case of Germany) for decades? The solution they introduced was three-fold. Firstly, they wanted to try to encourage the use of renewables so they introduced schemes whereby producers of renewable energy could sell energy back to the grid. What happened in Germany is that solar cells appeared everywhere and people started selling power back to the grid from houses and industry. The second thing they did was penalize companies generating power by traditional means. Energy from renewables had priority in terms of usage, which basically meant that energy companies were paying for the power generated from those renewables at a wholesale rate that was higher than the actual cost of production. The third thing they did was introduce subsidies to help fund the roll out of the renewable energy. So you had this strange situation where:
a) some people were making money by installing renewables and selling power to the grid
b) energy companies were paying more for power, not less, as more and more energy from renewables became available and they had to pay the wholesale pricing
c) the subsidies and increased costs to energy companies were passed on to the public who saw their bills rise
So the situation in Germany and Denmark was due to Government policy and implementation, not the technology itself (I'll come back to that in a moment). It was, and is, a complete mess. In both cases there was a side effect. Energy producers looked at the cost of new gas fired stations and decided, in this artificial economic climate, the costs couldn't be justified. So they didn't bother. This left Germany and Denmark short of capacity. The situation in Germany was made worse by the decision not to renew their nuclear capacity, which I personally think was one of the stupidest decisions made by that nation (just look at France!).
Now, to answer your question directly, despite the fact that Germany and Denmark messed it up through their policy decisions (the current strategy is to try to abolish the subsidies on the grounds that renewables should be economically viable on their own), they did manage to show that a lot of the criticism of renewables is rubbish.
Both nations managed, successfully, to incorporate renewables into their grids. The grid problems they have is not due to renewables but due to their reduced capacity through the economic penalties for fossil fuels. Both nations showed that contrary to the belief that renewables were intermittent and unreliable, they were able to generate significant fractions of their power using those technologies. The tech wasn't the problem. Their stupid implementation was.