Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

In the interests of their fossil fuel backers, Liberal Party attacks wind energy

Is Rowan looking after the interests of his constituents, or of the fossil fuel industry? He is correct, as I understand it, in pointing out that there are times when the generated wind power loads the SA grid to its limit, and that there will be a need for more interconnection between SA and the eastern states if wind power is to expand much further. However, the Liberal Party’s systematic attacks on sustainable energy and support for the fossil fuel industry in its campaign to stop the rise in sustainable energy shows a complete abandonment of ethical standards…

More Coalition attacks on wind power and renewables, Independent Australia, 08 Mar 2012  Liberal MP Rowan Ramsay is yet another Coalition MP keen to promote fossil fuels over renewables — especially wind. Environmentalist Dave Clarke responds to a speech Ramsay made recently attacking wind power projects in South Australia. Rowan Ramsey gave a speech in the Australian Parliament in mid-February 2012, which was biased against wind power. In this speech he made a number of claims and inferences that were questionable at best and false at worst.

Rowan claims that he is very concerned with the high level of wind power in SA destabilising the grid. Isn’t it curious that an opposition back-bench member of Parliament should be more concerned about the stability of the state power grid than with economic development in his own electorate? (I live in the same region as Rowan’s electorate and as far as I can tell the power grid is quite stable.)

He implied that wind farms caused ill-health. There is no scientifically acceptable evidence that wind turbines cause sickness.

He questioned the sustainability of the wind farms in Grey. The implication here is that he believes the fossil-fuelled power stations in Grey are more sustainable than the sustainable energy installations! What sort of Orwellian double-think is this? There is no evidence at all that wind power is unsustainable; if it was we would see abandonment of wind power somewhere in the world — we are not seeing this in any country. I believe that wind energy is the fastest growing form of electricity generation world-wide; certainly it is the fastest growing form of sustainable energy.

He all but said that wind power is unreliable; this is quite false, wind turbines have a reliability of around 99%. What he might have meant was that the wind is variable and wind power is available only when the wind blows. Of course this neglects the fact that the wind is predictable and therefore the amount of electricity generated by any wind farm will also be predictable…. On the other hand, Rowan talked of coal or gas as 100 per cent reliable sources of power. He might be surprised to learn that their availability, due to shut downs for maintenance or breakdown, is actually around 85%.

Rowan implied that wind power produces power spikes, without any evidence to support of his claim. In fact there are strict operating requirements that any generator must meet in order to avoid unacceptable voltage rises. Indeed, I believe in SA there are particularly stringent requirements that only apply to wind farms. … Rowan talked about ‘long-term threats to agriculture‘ and mentioned problems with aerial spraying as one of the implications of wind farm development. He did not give any evidence that there were any real threats to agriculture. …

Rowan talked about destabilization of the grid due to wind power, but did not give any evidence that there had been any. More than 20% of SA’s power comes from wind farms and so far as I can tell, the power grid is as stable and reliable as it ever has been; ……

I have no doubt that the rise of renewable energy, wind power in particular, is causing problems to the fossil fuel fired power stations. The companies who run the latter do not like having to cut their generation (and profits) to make room on the grid for wind power. It is these same power stations that are among the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in Australia.

Is Rowan looking after the interests of his constituents, or of the fossil fuel industry? He is correct, as I understand it, in pointing out that there are times when the generated wind power loads the SA grid to its limit, and that there will be a need for more interconnection between SA and the eastern states if wind power is to expand much further. However, the Liberal Party’s systematic attacks on sustainable energy and support for the fossil fuel industry in its campaign to stop the rise in sustainable energy shows a complete abandonment of ethical standards…..    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/more-coalition-attacks-on-wind-power-and-renewables/

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March 12, 2012 - Posted by | politics, South Australia, wind | ,

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