When one hears about wonderful new Government Plans, Programs and Incentives, one must always look to see what the catch is. This is a Sad reality me thinks.
The fabulous news of the day – at least from Bob Brown’s perspective is the announcement that New South Wales and Queensland are going to build ‘Giant solar energy plants to run 100,000 homes’
The Sydney Morning Herald tells us: THE two giant new solar power plants slated for Moree in western NSW and Chinchilla in Queensland will mark the first time solar power in Australia is deployed on a scale large and reliable enough to rival coal as a source of ”baseload” energy.
Meanwhile News.com tells us: REGIONAL Queensland will be home to one of the biggest solar-gas power plants in the world under a $1.2 billion investment that will create hundreds of jobs.
The Solar Dawn project will use new Australian-pioneered technology and transform Chinchilla and the western downs into the nation’s mixed-energy capital.
OK so that begins the doublespeak —- it is a combined solar and gas power plant. I have not as yet seen any figures showing how much gas will be needed to assist the powering of this new plant. But gas, to me, means coming out of the ground. Is it possible this fact is being played down in all of the hype? One needs to drill for gas…. Dirty thing drilling, seems to me it creates pollution – not a nice green thing at all is it?
So what we have here is a new green energy-efficient power plant with a ‘gas’ backup system me thinks. As with most things solar, you still need a back up source of energy to ensure it does not stop working in times of crisis, or overnight etc.
I just located an ABC Rural article from 2009 which states: …the worlds first industrial sized hybrid gas-solar thermal power plant is being planned for Australia.
ERM Power will join forces with international engineering expert Siemens Energy, to build a 500 megawatt power station, in a location yet to be named in either Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia or northern Western Australia.
Of the 500 megawatts of power, 100 mw will come from solar thermal.
(so does the other 400 come from gas?)
Solar thermal power is produced by using mirrors to concentrate the sun onto troughs containing a solution which then becomes hot enough to generate steam to drive turbines.
We read that: The Chinchilla plant, which is slightly larger, uses solar thermal energy – concentrating the sun’s rays via mirrors on to a central point to generate huge amounts of heat.
Solar thermal energy is seen as more likely to replace base load coal and gas plants over the longer term.
The Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, said pressure from his party had brought the federal government to a position where it had to help fund the projects.
So they want to phase out coal and gas, but at the Chinchilla plant gas will be used (Green Doublespeak). I do not remember seeing any grand news headlines bragging about this being a gas and solar endeavor – the gas aspect I presume will be kept to a media minimal. Shhhh must not let on too much about how much pollution the ‘gas aspect’ might create.
One really wonder’s if this is a nice pay back from Julia – after all Bob has come out front and said “pressure from his party had brought the federal government to a position where it had to help fund the projects.”
I said it once before, sleep with The Devil and you will wake up in hell”. Julia needs the Greens to stay in power, only problem is we can now see who is really running the country. Bob gets what Bob wants and he does not even try to hide that fact any longer.
Another thing to consider is the eco impact of these so-called ‘green schemes to save Planet Earth. This massive project in Chinchilla…. what damage is it going to do to the local environment?
The law of unintended consequences may put wildlife advocates and global warming alarmists who promote renewable energy at each others throats as wind farms drive many avian species closer towards extinction.
Birds, bats and other critters are showing stress, distress and possible extinction due to wind farms. The birds aren’t the only victims, bats are falling victim to the wind turbines as well, only for them, it’s not getting chopped up that they have to worry about; the way the turbines kill them is truly horrific.
So my questions are will this huge new enterprise out in Chinchilla Queensland do any damage to the local environment? How much gas will be required to ‘drive’ the facility as a cofactor or backup? Where will this gas come from? One can only hope it is not from fracking (hydraulic fracturing), which in and of itself is causing great concern and pollution just about everywhere it is being employed. But whether the gas comes from hydraulic fracturing or from natural gas from other Australia sources, it still has to be mined – not exactly a green way of harvesting natural elements.
Underground Coal Gasification (UCG)
* Inflated, jargon-cluttered prose that fails to communicate clearly.