Queensland cuts back on Green Schemes
By Eco Guy
5:13am 28th March 2012
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has ordered Anna Bligh’s husband to begin dismantling green energy programs he helped create, we examine what this will do.
According to The Australian Peter Campbell has ordered Anna Bligh's husband to dismantle all the green energy programs he created since 2007. To quote Peter Campbell:
"We want him to unravel those programs ‘cause he’s the bloke who set them up"
Now on the face of it this sounds like a horror story for green development; but I think its exactly what is needed, not only in Queensland but nationally - why?
Well, to start with, too many of the 'Green Programs' that have been set up have been fundamentally flawed when looked at from a total return on investment perspective:
- Solar Power Rebates & associated 'take up' initiatives. Basically many many millions have gone into installing a power source that provides power totally out of sync with when the peek usage occurs (5pm to 7pm). Add to that the fact that technology in this space is constantly evolving and being refined, improving efficiencies whilst lowering cost of entry through scales of production and it ends up with all the current solar installations quickly becoming worthless white elephants.. Then if you add in the inherent difficulties of feeding the power back into the grid (more higher capacity cabling required) whilst maintaining supply regulation (frequency sync issues) and it comes as no surprise that decentralized power generation is much more expensive than centralized..
- Wind turbines. This whole business is basically dishonest. Anybody who quotes and cost analysis's a wind farm's generation ability as its maximum 100% utilization when everybody in the business knows that they are lucky to get 15% does not deserve being told the time of day yet be responsible for many many millions of grants and public monies.
- Geothermal. This sounds like a good idea, but the trouble is you can only set up geothermal energy extraction where there is geothermal activity strong enough - unfortunately that does not correlate well with where the energy consumption would be. ideally you also want the waste heat reused in a secondary process (say heating homes) - this is why it makes so much sense in Greenland..
Basically a lot of the Green schemes for which this money (roughly one billion per annum!) were being directed to are not that green in the cold light of day. They do not stand up to the financial practicality test which all green schemes should pass prior to funding.
As for green schemes worth considering:
- Dams for electricity generation. This has a triple benefit of providing electricity, water and flood relief. Also the water could be used for fish farming, helping reduce demands on wild fish stocks.
- A true white goods energy consumption rating scheme. Target all those phantom load devices and make it clear at the point of sale.
- Improved public transport. If public transport can be make a viable alternative to the car, then it will help reduce congestion as well.
Now this need not be hard, in fact I think the hardest thing has been done and thats shutting down the schemes which are contributing to the problem rather than being part of the solution for the people and the environment.
Well done Mr Newman!