Letter to the Editor: Simple renewable energy solution

DEAR News Of The Area,

OUR government appears desperate to reach its emission targets by 2030 and no matter where you sit with renewable energy there is great concern about the concerted push towards wind turbines, particularly those offshore projects which are predicted to play a very large part of the plan to reduce our carbon emissions.

Fact 1: Most of these projects are at least seven to ten years away and the feasibility studies have barely begun and community opposition to some of those projected areas is mounting and will be controversial.

Concerns over whale migrations, fisheries and the loss of natural seascapes are all valid.

By 2030 the cost of offshore wind generated electricity estimated by the CSIRO particularly in relation to floating turbines will be between two and four times more than that of a land turbine.

So, the suggestion that offshore wind generated electricity might be cheaper is unlikely.

Fact 2: Australia has eighteen coal fired power stations.

China has 1142 with 326 under construction or in a pre-plan phase.

Australia is the 2nd largest exporter of coal in the world so even if we cut our own coal usage it’s unlikely we will stop exports any time soon so let’s face it, climate change driven by Australia’s coal fired power stations is not the issue here.

A simpler solution: There are around 3.3 million houses in NSW and less than 900,000 currently have solar.

If every house in the State had a 2.5 kilowatt system installed (cost around $10,000 per house) that would mean 6.6 gigawatts generated so we could replace the three Hunter valley coal fired power stations the Feds want to shut and we wouldn’t need the 5 gigawatt floating turbines suggested for the Hunter.

The power generation would also be owned by Australians instead of overseas interests which is what would happen with the offshore turbines.

We could then have micro grids set up with large community batteries so should there be a natural disaster such as a flood or fire like that experienced recently in South Australia where thousands of houses dependent upon the grid and its large transmission lines have lost power for weeks due to collapsing power pylons.

Community power makes a lot of sense, particularly with extreme weather events increasing.

OK, so if the Feds funded it that would cost $24 billion, a lot of dosh but given they have pumped $14 billion already into Snowy hydro and not 1 KW has come out and it’s still four years away from completion this could be seen as a more immediate and practical move towards their 2030 goal.

As Albo said recently when quizzed on the Hunter turbines: “It’s all about jobs”.

Well, there would be lots of jobs for Aussies fitting rooftop solar to two million houses.

Not many jobs for us in floating turbines which will all be made offshore.

Add another thousand hectares of panels to the PFAS affected land around the airport, that’s another 1 gigawatt so 7.7 gigawatts of renewables all before 2030 and no loss of fishing ground, no dead whales from ship strike (I couldn’t help notice Bowen is backing off the SA areas due to Blue Whales), no industrialisation of our coastal waters and community protection with microgrids.

Come on Labor, back us Aussies!

Imagine Cruises.

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