Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

WHILE Joyce Ed­berg's push against fos­sil fu­els is, on the face of it, laud­able (Move away from fos­sil fuel, Gazette, Au­gust 19, we should not for­get that up un­til now, the "sus­tain­able" fuel op­tion (wind and so­lar) is still a pipe dream.

All the hand-wring­ing about fos­sil fu­els be­ing bad for the en­vi­ron­ment sounds good but the re­al­ity is fos­sil fu­els (par­tic­u­larly gas and po­ten­tially nu­clear) will be the main­stay of our base-load elec­tric­ity sup­ply for decades to come.

The re­cent sham­bles in South Aus­tralia, where the La­bor gov­ern­ment fool­ishly forced the clo­sure of gas power sta­tions be­cause of a fun­da­men­tally flawed pol­icy of us­ing wind and power, demon­strated how the re­new­ables just do not cut the mus­tard.

With 44 per cent of SA pow­ered by wind and so­lar, guess what hap­pened when the clouds came and the wind stopped.

SA ran out of power and it is now de­mand­ing bet­ter con­nec­tions with the other states to sup­ply emer­gency power across the bor­ders when the re­new­ables stop.

That was af­ter it pleaded with the own­ers of a moth­balled gas power plant to restart it to cover the mas­sive "re­new­able" elec­tric­ity short­fall.

All is not roses in the re­new­able in­dus­try; it can­not do the job of pro­vid­ing con­sis­tent, sta­ble power, and call­ing for the shun­ning of fos­sil fuel gen­er­a­tion and in­vest­ment is pop­ulist rhetoric.

Some funds must be used to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of our fos­sil fuel gen­er­a­tors be­fore truly sta­ble and vi­able stor­age sys­tems such as Vana­dium bat­ter­ies can pro­vide a re­li­able backup power sup­ply, un­achiev­able with wind and so­laronly sys­tems. AL­WYN AD­KINS, Kens­ing­ton.

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