PROFESSOR Roberta Ryan, pictured, thinks that "people will do the right thing" in regard to cutting down on their energy consumption as they do with their water consumption. She also advocates a "reserve capacity" in power generation, so we can draw on those reserves just as we draw on dam water during peak usage times ("Save on power, like water", Herald, 15/6).
We can store power by means of dams (pumped hydro) and big batteries. We can also have extra power station standby capacity with stockpiles of extra fuel. Households can have extra solar panels and big capacity storage batteries to cope with winter heating. But all this is for the future. At present we have unreliable coal-burning power stations that have not been properly maintained, and renewables that have yet to fill the gap. We need more reliable power station generating capacity, and a grid carrying capacity to get us through peak demand periods.
In all eastern states, artificial retail and wholesale markets for power have been set up. The idea was that these markets would harness competition to drive down prices to consumers. But, instead, I believe that these markets have just added to complexity and cost for both producers and consumers. No longer do consumers just pay their monthly power bill to their local provider. They must "shop around" and select "packages", or end up paying more. For their part, suppliers have to design packages and market them to consumers.
When the Australian National Energy Market (AEM) and the Energy Market Operator (AEMO) were set up in 2009, supplier operations became more complicated and costly. All suppliers have to now bid to supply power to the grid, on a minute by minute basis. This adds to their cost of administration.
Recently, with the cold snap and rising cost of fuel, power generation has struggled to keep up with demand. Power suppliers have been called on to increase generation. But they are inclined to increase profits by "gaming" the system: "revise their market availability" and hold out for a higher price per MWH. Because the system was not working, last week, the AEMO stopped the market operation and required generators to generate what is required at a set price per MWH. We are all waiting to see if we have outages and blackouts.
What a mess. So much easier when the government owned power generation, and consumers paid their monthly power bills. The government was held accountable by the public through the ballot box.
Western Australia doesn't have these problems. All power stations are owned by the government. It irons out fluctuation in the wholesale price of power, so WA consumers can rest easy. WA consumers can also rest easy about their gas bills, since WA's gas producers must set aside 15 per cent of their gas for domestic use at set prices.
IN response to Lesley Walker, ("Delay is only inviting disaster", Letters, 15/6), reporting that 200 international bodies say that "human influence is the dominant cause of recent global warming" is irrelevant.
Science is determined by the facts from experiment, measurement, and observation and not from opinion polls of corporate executives. If you were educated in science, you would know that science is never "settled" let alone "absolutely and terrifyingly".
An association of geologists saying they are "non-committal" on the subject isn't an endorsement of a human-caused warming but more likely a wish to avoid annoyance from noisy activists. Quoting Australian bushfire stats means little.
People should be aware that such fires are as much about land-use and forest management as they're about the weather. The temperature anomaly compared to the 1979-2000 average, as reported, on May 21, by the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, was southern hemisphere -0.4, northern hemisphere +0.4, Antarctica -2.1, and the world 0 (zero) degrees C. Even Lesley Walker should see that those figures indicate little or no warming this century.
I'm sorry and I understand that it is confronting. But it is time to focus on, and deal with, factual reality rather than activist ideology.
ACCORDING to the experts, who I assume are paid for their opinion, it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when, Newcastle has a container terminal. All that is left is a matter of where.
Over 40 years ago the Stockton bridge was built with sensible foresight at an enormous height to allow shipping passage up the Hunter River to Hexham where ships were once built.
The Hunter River on the northern side at Hexham is largely undeveloped with enough level industrial land for a container terminal. Considering the traffic upheaval a container terminal at Mayfield would create, the Hexham location ticks all the right boxes.
Hexham on the northern side of the Hunter River, has no residential roads, houses or places of interest, with a short unrestricted road to the Pacific and New England Highways this intersection already has traffic lights and turning lanes making it the most logical location.
I reckon if it comes to where, this location is far more suitable than even the Port Botany location, as not being part of the Port of Newcastle, compensation to Port Botany may not be required, if this location is not suitable, surely we deserve an explanation why.
By freeing up the Mayfield ex-BHP site for much needed recreational and sporting venues, even an international car racing circuit on the outer perimeter, with trees and fauna to offset an industrial harbour, this would be a win for Newcastle; a win for a shipping container; a win for motor sport and the prosperity it brings, but best of all a win for common sense.
MAC Maguire, (Short Takes, 11/6), I've noticed that those who lean to the right definitely have a tendency to use alternative facts, as well as a tendency to attempt to rewrite history.
A prime example being the regularly spouted claim that Labor are apparently terrible economic managers, despite Australia avoiding the GFC in 2008, and having the best performing economy in the world in 2009, 2011, 2012.
Another example is the common claim about how well the economy was doing under the Morrison government, despite the climbing interest rates, the stagnant wage growth, and the 5.1 per cent inflation that was much higher than the then treasurer Josh Frydenberg ever predicted.
Strangely though, even the most imaginative spin doctors can't seem to list any actual achievements from the Morrison government.
READING Nell McGill, Liberal candidate for Shortland's letter, ("Let's keep Labor accountable", Letters, 28/5), regarding promises made in the run up to the election where she wrote "for the past nine years the people of the Hunter have elected representatives from the opposition benches without demanding large investments and funding for the community." Really? We've been trying to make the Liberals accountable all those years to no avail. Maybe it was time for a change.
JOHN Arnold, being a big fan of renewable energy you obviously wouldn't mind having the coastline of Port Stephens, in particular Anna Bay, used for wind turbines. A couple of hundred of these monstrosities would be great for your property value. Or are you like the Teals, we won't see wind turbines in their electorates or on the Manly peninsula? So bring on nuclear power. We are a big country, the people of the electorates that voted for change think Strathfield is the outback. Go nuclear and let's stop emissions. A few ICBM nuclear deterrents would be handy as well. Australia will be taking knives to the gunfight when it comes to China.
IN November last year the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) reported that electricity costs will fall across Australia and continue to fall in 2023-24. Queensland to decrease by 10 per cent, NSW by 4 per cent, ACT increase by 4 per cent, Victoria to decrease by 8 per cent. In 2024 households will pay $77 less for electricity across Australia. They say "this illustrates how integrating renewables in a smart way makes it possible to have both lower emissions and lower costs for consumers". Exactly the opposite is happening. The AEMC must live in an alternate universe together with the others sipping lattes in Sydney. Blackouts will soon become the norm. No internet, no ATMs, no lights.
VERY condescending treatment of Kathryn Bow, Peter Devey ("Climate change not about faith", Letters, 8/6), when you have no idea of her knowledge of climate change. She may well have read The Climate Cure, Tim Flannery's excellent book on the subject. Easy to read and providing broad coverage, but with a host of references for anyone who wants more detail. You should try it as you still don't seem to understand global warming drives greater extremes of climate change, including both highs and lows of temperature.
I MUST confess I miss the point of the TV commercial by Allianz saying that you can reduce your car insurance premium by increasing your excess. All insurance companies offer this option on almost all types of policies with a few exceptions such as green slips and workers compensation. It is well known that the higher the excess, the lower the premium and the lower the excess the higher the premium. As I see it Allianz is just stating the obvious, as I said the point of this commercial evades me.
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