PETER Devey, ("Costly gamble on renewables", Letters, 15/7), expresses doubt that renewable energy has reduced power prices, but when additional renewables generation coming on line recently coincided with reduced demand due to COVID-19 the renewable market penetration increased, dropping wholesale power prices by around 25 per cent.
The Australian Energy Marketing Commission is predicting wholesale power prices will continue to drop as renewables increase.
The latest CSIRO Gencost report predicts, by 2030, renewables with eight hours storage will be $40-$80 per MWH and coal $80-120 per MWH.
While wind and solar capacity factors mean their overall generation is well below their maximum generating capacity, this is compensated for in the original design.
The main problem with the figures Peter presents is they don't consider investments are assessed on their lifetime costs.
Renewable generators are simple processes that require less maintenance and operating costs than complex coal plants, and don't share their copious water use, but the main advantage they have over coal plants are their free energy sources.
Peter's $3 billion coal plant generating 1000MW 24/7 would incur annual coal costs of around $3.7 billion at current coal prices, about $42 per MWH.
Even the respected International Energy Agency, historically a strong supporter of fossil fuels, has recognised in its latest report that renewables will dominate the future energy markets for both economic and urgent environmental reasons.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
Sport shouldn't be priority
FRANK Matzanke, (Short Takes, 15/7), you have a disturbingly bias pro-NRL mindset. It is dangerous to the wellbeing of the community.
In an era where most people see the life and death industry (medical professional and the police) as some of the most important workforces in our community, saving us from potential COVID Sydneysiders that everyone but yourself knows have come to Newcastle for holidays, a horse event and the Tszyu fight and would obviously try to get into footy games.
You have put the mere entertainment industry above these much more valuable health and welfare professions.
Most of these entertainers would themselves acknowledge doctors, nurses and police are much more important and some events have to be cancelled to help these professions and the community.
Glen Wilson, Cardiff
Dangerous to make assumptions
FRANK Matzanke, I am sorry that you think that I have a very selfish and a miserable outlook.
Yes, there may be thousands of people who are employed by the NRL, but there are thousands of other people out in the community that are out of work due to this COVID-19 lockdown.
My selfish attitude comes from not wanting the COVID-19 free air in the Hunter Valley region to be overrun with the virus that is running rampant around the Sydney/Wollongong and Central Coast lockdown districts.
If that is selfish, so be it. As for you saying about me being miserable (wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable), you do not even know me.
Have you made these assumptions because I said that I was glad that the third State of Origin was moved from Newcastle.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
If you read the Herald 15/7, Adz Carter agrees with me as he states "it's beyond me why such a risky proposal was ever considered for our city in the first place even though we have zero COVID-19 cases. Is Mr Carter selfish and miserable as well?
I must admit that I am a rugby union supporter, and go along with the Shute Shield Competition being shut down until sometime next month or until the pandemic improves.
The SRU has not made a decision to move the competition out of Sydney to the regional areas.
Why has the NRL made the decision to move all the teams to Queensland and continue on with the competition?
I can not see all these cashed up players being good little boys and staying within their bubbles and not causing trouble somewhere in around the Gold Coast region.
They will be up there for some time, weeks on end, look at what happened with the Queensland Origin side in a one-week bubble.
This pandemic is not going away soon. Let us all wake up, get vaccinated, mask up, do as we are told and watch the other sport that is on TV. I did not even agree with the Australia-France rugby test match going ahead in Queensland.Stay safe.
Stewart James, Thornton
Less grandstanding, more action
I HAVE no real understanding of how a virus works. I feel however it will be a miracle if Gladys, with these lockdowns, can control the spread.
A highly infectious virus, where a fair "chunk" of those who get it, will not even know they have it, presents a real problem.
To think they will all automatically get COVID tests would be a bit of wishful thinking.
As I understand, when you have the test you have to isolate until you get the result.
Plus, in many cases waiting in long queues to undergo a not so pleasant experience will not encourage people to adhere.
I believe some people with very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all will be reluctant to get tested for those very reasons.
Vaccines at this time seem to be the only solution, so until everybody has had the vaccine or the opportunity at least to have the vaccine then we should be prepared for the continuation of a restricted life.
Politicians on all sides should stop the "grandstanding" and "political point scoring".
Just get the job done.
Brynley Hill, Black Hill
I simply must peak up
DAN Kirkpatrick is incorrect to say baseload is the minimum amount of electricity a coal-fired power station needs to generate before it has to be turned off.
Baseload is the demand for electricity minus the morning and evening peak demands. The most cost-effective power stations generated at high output as much as was possible and these stations contained the largest generators but they were also the poorest for load change capability. They generated the 'baseload'.
The peak demands were met by bringing hydro-electric and small coal-fired power stations on line with their more flexible load changing capable generating plant.
Mark Fetscher, Charlestown
I'VE lived in The Terrace 46 years not once in my life have I ever heard it called Ray Tay. We live in clown world.
Mick Porter, Raymond Terrace
NOW that "Golden Girl" Gladys has suffered her coup de grace, and the Liberal bestowed "gold standard'' is now somewhere out the back of Bourke, what for us now? Same incompetence, same mistakes, more business and livelihoods going to the wall? ScoMo now blames medical experts for the failed vaccination rollout. Who next will carry the blame for this mob's sorry shameful performance? Should we have been a Labor state, we would be carrying the label "backside of the country".
Gary Hayward, Cardiff
JUST over 79 years ago, the Japanese I-21 was able to shell wherever they liked in Newcastle Harbour, from 8 kilometres off the coast. Now, if an aggressive foreign power was to come along, with shells or more likely medium range missiles, repeating that attack, it would be much worse, with the combination of the diesel (Herald, 16/7), $40 million in grants for port diesel tanks), and ammonium nitrate storages, conveniently located on Kooragang Island.
Bruce Jensen, New Lambton
YOU have to laugh and shake your head at Liberal Party voters telling the Australian Labor Party to change leaders. Thanks, but no thanks, for the advice.
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
IF you isolate because you think it's the right thing to do and you don't tell the government that you are self isolating, will you be paid or reimbursed from your employer? Will you be patted on the back by government health officials? Or will you be fined and condemned because the state doesn't know where you are?
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
CURRENTLY there seems to be some in the Newcastle region pushing for higher wages. Perhaps some should ponder Mark Twain's: "Some who are not paid what they're worth ought to be glad"?
Howard Hutchins, Chirnside Park, Vic
THERE is a biblical passage, "Ye shall know them by their fruits", that the Prime Minister may be familiar with. The source of infection in Australia has consistently been quarantine failure, and each failure has cost us billions of dollars and untold misery. The Commonwealth has had 18 months to set up secure, purpose built quarantine facilities and has comprehensively failed. What a bitter harvest Morrison is responsible for, and will be known for, right up until the next election.
David Perkins, Reid, ACT
ASSESSMENTS coming from many overseas countries and organisations regarding Australia's contribution to dealing with human-induced climate change are far from complimentary. Some assessments are, in fact, quite embarrassing. It is now time for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show by action, and not just by well chosen words, that he is totally serious about countering climate change.