Australia needs to make a decision
I LOVED working at the Collinsville Power Station from 1975 and was awed by the precision engineering and construction, and enormously powerful machines.
In 1986 I visited a power station in West Germany that was the first to start retrofitting Flue Gas Desulphurisation plants to their coal fired units to reduce acid rain that was eroding buildings and monuments, and killing trees and lakes over Europe.
Health records showed that the removal of the sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the air had unexpected benefits, as infant mortality rates fell in direct relationship with reductions in SO2.
Most developed countries have mandated FGD along with developing countries like China, yet Australia does not have any regulations to remove SO2 from coal power stations which is externalising the environmental and health costs o nto our communities.
Carbon dioxide and toxic emissions cannot be economically removed from coal. The CSIRO estimated in 2014 that the cost to replace buildings exposed to bushfires, inland flooding and storm surges caused by climate change at
$1.4 trillion by 2100, with ecosystem and health costs even higher. These are some of the reasons why there is a transition to renewable energy.
The science and economics of power are complex and quality analysis is critically important.
The strategy by some activists, industry lobbyists and politicians to sow confusion and muddy the waters is very unhelpful to say the least.
Many communities have a dependency on fossil fuel industries and planning for transitions to more advanced technologies is vital.
It is essential for good governance and decision making that all the costs and benefits are considered – it is an irresponsible and fatally flawed strategy to try to ignore reality. — Garry Reed