Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Greens political guff

Frustrations with the Greens - again.

I am not a swinging green voter. Rather, I have voted green in every election since I joined the electoral roll in the late nineties. I have a lot of time for Bob Brown, and I think the party at large has provided benefit to Australia.

However, there have been a few instances lately where I've had cause to question my alegiences. This recent media release is one of them.

It is pure political guff, full of overstated and missleading information used to skew people's views and knowledge on the discussion of renewable energy.

The fact that renewable energy nameplate capacity for renewable energy has taken over that of nuclear plants is irrelevant - energy dispatched into the market it the key. Nameplate capacity is how much electricity a power plant, solar cell or wind farm could theoretically produce at maximum output. Energy dispactched is how much electricity is actually produces.

One of the biggest problems with renewable energy is that it cannot be relied on to produce anywhere near its nameplate capacity over a period. Solar panels, for example, don't work at night, and wind farms don't work when there is no wind. This reliability issue with why, when working out the total capacity of the National Electricity Market (NEM) in Australia, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) only allocates 20% of nameplate capacity of renewables. That is, it can only count on renewable energy sources to provide one fifth of thier nameplate capacities.

Nuclear however is 24/7. It can produce up to its nameplate capacity when needed, and turn down (with limitations) when not.

The key here is that the Greens are trying to paint renewables as something they are not - credible power sources that can be relied on, and sources that are comparable, or better to, nuclear.

The thing that really got the hair on the back of my neck up was the final paragraph where it was suggested that nuclear power could not operate without the subsidies it received from Governments around the world.

HELLOOOO, pot calling the kettle black.

Where is the mention of the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Tartget (LRET) Scheme and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). What about the solar feed-in tariffs? Without being subsidiesed by every energy user on the east coast of Australia, renewable energy is dead in the water. It's all over for it.

The frustrating thing is that there are some great things happening in renewable energy in Australia. We have a Government that is promoting renewable energy. Renewable energy is becoming more important in the Australian market. And, maybe, someday, renewable energy will become a viable alternative to coal, gas or nuclear power. But rather than focus on these positives, the Greens have used some spurious data and ilogical arguments to try and spin the situation.

How about the truth please?

I'm disapointed. I've come to expect this sort of crap from the Labor and Liberal parties, but it sadens me to see it come from the Green, a group that I had thought prided itself on honesty and integrity.