Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s anti-wind farm zealots are getting crazier

Lunar right go crazy over “genocidal” wind turbines and solar power, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath on 2 May 2017 Conservatives are not giving up fossil fuel power without a fight – and a solid dose of extremist remarks.

In the US, we have Donald Trump extolling the virtues of “clean coal” – a product that doesn’t actually exist. In Australia we have deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce saying that Australia has a “moral” duty to export coal to provide power to the poor in India. And on Murdoch media, we have got the lunar right railing against “genocidal” wind turbines.

Of course, not all is lost. The CSIRO and the network owners recognise that 100 per cent renewable energy is eminently possible by 2050, and it will be significantly cheaper too. But, they say, we need to reframe market rules and policies now.

The new head of the Australian Energy market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, is in full agreement. She says the transition to a cheaper, cleaner, smarter and more reliable grid is inevitable, and is going to happen a lot quicker than anyone things. And it will be centred around consumers.

On the right however, they don’t understand the significance of “clean”, and simply don’t accept that renewables could provide a cheaper, smarter and more reliable grid than their preferred coal, gas and nuclear plants.

“If you want clean power, go nuclear,” proclaimed Joyce on the ABC Q&A program on Monday, after railing about protests against the Adani coal mine.

And on the subject of coal, Joyce went from “economic pragmatist” to moral theorist:

“I’m going to be a complete economic pragmatist. We have to make sure this economy works. We have to export dollars. One of our largest exports is coal,” he said. “We have to realise we have a moral responsibility to other people in other nations to keep their lights on.”

Er, no, if the poor in India want access to electricity, then solar is their answer. To use coal, they need to connect to the grid, and in Australia we have seen how expensive that can be. So-called cheap coal is now delivered to the doorstep with a mark-up of nearly 1,000 per cent. The old centralised grid is outdated and undercut by new technologies.

And at the large-scale, imported coal cannot compete in any case. Large-scale solar costs are tumbling. The India energy minister insists, and has said this repeatedly, that he wants Indian to be done with coal imports within a few years.

Pixyish Goyal even wants the country to go “full electric” for vehicles by 2030,  and the latest government data suggests that India added twice as much renewable energy capacity than thermal capacity over the last 12 months.

But Joyce seems quite moderate when compared with the right wing commentators hosted on the Murdoch media, in print and on air. On the Bolt report, Rowan Dean was having a good laugh with the host about genocidal wind turbines:…….


May 3, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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