The state of our State is distressing.
I prefer not to air political stuff on my blog if I can help it. Today is an exception. It’s getting ridiculous, downright embarrassing and – there are many genuine concerns about the state of our State. Not to mention the ability of our illustrious leaders to provide quality, well thought out leadership that doesn’t bankrupt us again. We’re still paying for the last one.
Power supply is a hot topic here in South Australia at the moment. Debate is raging as politicians scramble to gain brownie points to undo the damage created from previously badly thought through scrambles to gain yet more brownie points. Meanwhile our state is hurtling faster than the speed of sound towards ever increasing difficulties in
- supplying enough electricity to meet demand – oh the misery of cooking by candle power while slowly melting
- ensuring water availability – oh the misery of not enough at the price of gold
- providing health services – oh the misery of a brand new yet to be opened ‘state of the art’ hospital that has more flaws than you can poke a stick at
- maintaining roads and underground pipes that burst – oh the misery of never-ending band-aid fixes
Andrew Bolt, a political commentator in our local paper today asked a very pertinent question: Why are our politicians putting coal-fired power stations out of business without anything ready to take their place?
Coal fired generators have been closed down due to global warming policies. Since then South Australia has become so dangerously dependant on unreliable wind power that it has twice suffered massive blackouts – one when the winds blew too hard and wind farms tripped the whole system, and the other when the winds didn’t blow at all.
The plan now is to build the world’s largest battery at a cost of more than AUD 100 million. But there is a problem. It can only generate 100MW of power. Enough for a couple of hours. On a hot day South Australia needs more than 3000 and for more than a few paltry hours.
So sum up, to pretend to fix what they pretend is a global warming crisis, our politicians have forced shut our coal-fired generators without first making sure we’d have enough electricity to keep going.
Now they offer hugely expensive schemes they pretend will fix what they pretend they didn’t break.
Please pretend to thank them.
The Retired Husband (TRH) has taken
pen to hand to the keyboard and aired his concerns publicly. He wrote a letter to the Have Your Say Letters in our local rag, The Advertiser. It got published last week. Yes – TRH is now a PA (Published Author)! Here is what he had to say-
Think it through
‘So here go our disaster twins, Jay and Tom, with their cure for the shocking state of our electricity supply.
These two are saying how they are making our state greener. Or are we transferring our carbon footprint merely to other parts of the world? Together with our livelihoods.
Let’s take wind generation. Each wind turbine has about 420kg of rare earths. China has 96% of world resources. Mining a ton of rare earths produces a ton of radioactive waste. Don’t forget tons of steel and the chemicals to make carbon fibre blades and many, many cubic metres of concrete, the manufacture of which produces vast amounts of carbon.
So we are transferring horrific pollution overseas as most of the components are imported. Huge tracts of land are mined in China to mine rare earths. And don’t forget that we need to replace each one after 20 – 25 years.
What about rooftop solar ? Panels contain aluminium, various silicones, cadmium, tellurium etc. They degrade at the rate of 1 per cent a year, so only produce rated power for 12 months, if one keeps them clean. Again most of the materials come from overseas and we are transferring the pollution to these countries.
Next, batteries. These probably are the worst of all. How many tons of chemical-loaded batteries do we need for 100MW for about four minutes to run the state – with limited lifespan, deteriorating capacity, from day one? And currently Australia does not have recycling capacity and only 70% of this tonnage can be recycled.
I did not list all of the polluting materials to these generator types, as it would consume far too much space. But we really need to be informed about the positives and the negatives. For example, what ends up being a net gain for a wind generator after 20years when we need to replace it? Is it really worth the pain?
Lastly, SA and the rest of the country are bleeding jobs, partly due to electricity costs and reliability, and government policies (state and federal) of buying the cheapest overseas product.
So by all means work at doing things in a better and cleaner fashion, but please consider how it’s done.’
Oooops – I’ve gone and done what I said I wouldn’t!
I just want reliable services within budget. Kinda like how TRH and I run our household.
End of rant.
© Raili Tanska