Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

A Kimberley cattleman’s powerful argument for renewable energy

Arguments against renewable energy are rubbish, Harold Mitchell , The Age 23 June 17 “…….. More than 60 years later, I’m delighted to report that I have been free of power bills for some time at the cattle properties I’m involved with in the East Kimberley.

The three properties and the land controlled by our Aboriginal neighbours, whom we work with, cover 3.5 million acres. That’s an area almost half the size of Denmark.

Nine years ago, we installed a solar plant at a cost of $425,000, with the support of the Gillard government. This power generation system provides all the power for the homestead plus station hand accommodation. It also powers our sheds and workshops. It would cost just $90,000 to replace today. The new batteries are four times better than the original ones and give the property reliable supply 24/7.

The water is not hard to find in the East Kimberley. It’s no more than 20 metres underground. It’s one of the biggest groundwater supplies in Australia. But you need power to get it. In the old days we needed windmills augmented by diesel pumps. This entailed endless trips across a vast landscape to carry expensive fuel.

The case of our cattle properties proves we can live a modern life at a much lower cost and environmental impact.

Now it’s done by almost maintenance-free submersible pumps powered by solar panels. Five years ago, they cost $22,000; they now cost $7000.

And again, no electricity or fuel bill.

This modern approach to agriculture is made all the simpler because we don’t have to consult with a backbench to make things happen.

Our backbench is 45,000 head of cattle, which are happy with the current arrangements.

But in contrast, our hard-working Aboriginal neighbours are caught up in grossly out-of-date government policy. Their houses and farm operations get electrical power from huge diesel generators that cost the government $250,000 a year for fuel alone. If they had a solar system installed like ours, the government would get its money back in less than six months…….

The current gridlock of argument and political power plays is robbing our country of a sustainable future. We have to get beyond the election cycle and there are a few farmers in the East Kimberley who can show the way. http://www.theage.com.au/business/indigenous-australians-can-help-build-a-more-sustainable-future-20170622-gww3nj.html

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June 23, 2017 - Posted by | energy, Western Australia

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