Renewable energy has its place, but to rely totally on solar and wind power is skating on thin ice. Germany tried it and found it was trying to draw an undrawable bow.
China is building about 1000 coal-fired plants, and India about 350. Even Japan is now looking into clean burn coal technology.
Mr Hunter says renewable energy is cheaper than coal. Then why is it subsidised?
Really, the only sensible solution is nuclear. The death toll from nuclear issues (ignoring Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were legitimate acts of war) throughout history is low. Chernobyl’s death toll was only 45. More die annually in airline crashes than the nuclear industry. With modern reactor technology, nuclear seems to tick all the boxes.
Overseas, coal seems to have a rosy future, while we dabble in a part-time system that cannot fulfil what it promises.
If I had a choice between expensive and unreliable renewable power and cheap, reliable and base-load capable coal (or nuclear) power, I would always choose the latter.
I can remember when coal power was 6-8c/kWh cheaper than green energy. Unfortunately, we do not have that choice now. Australia’s greenhouse emissions comprise only a small percentage of the world’s total. Our reduction (to zero) would have no effect at all. We need a reliable, base-load capable power generation system which runs 24/7.
As the Germans found out, renewable power falls short of what it promises. It might be fine for a homestead out in the donga, but not for heavy industry.
Kym Bray, Port Victoria