Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Priorities all wrong

Letter to Editor #10, "The Advertiser", (Adelaide), Wed 30th September, 2009
230 words; by Allan Taylor of Hove.

Winter rains have now almost filled our Adelaide Hills nine reservoirs.

The city water supply is roughly 60% Adelaide Hills catchment and 40% pumped from the River Murray.

Premier Mike Rann has arrogantly ignored all opposition to the proposed Port Stanvac 100 Gigalitre desalination plant, said to now cost 1.8 billion dollars with an estimated annual running cost of 75 million. It seems SA is committed to this huge unnecessary expenditure.

Greens MP Mark Parnell has done an excellent job explaining to Government that the sensible way ahead is to further develop storm water recycling and aquifer supply. The real problem is the horrendous waste of potable water being used for non-potable use, such as watering the garden, domestic washing and flushing toilets etc. Probably 90% of expensive desalinated water will not actually be used for drinking and so is wasted.

To put this in perspective, Mexico City with a population of 20 million and rainfall 700mm/year gets its water supply from aquifers in the Mexico Basin. No desalination plant is needed there.

This is mismanagement on an enormous scale. Combine this with the proposed Railyards Hospital (another 1.7 billion dollars) which is unwanted by the doctors who prefer extension of the existing hospital, plus the miserable refusal to replace the Magill Youth Training Center ( a back flip now on this) and it is clear the Government has got its priorities wrong.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nuclear Advantage (2)

Letter to the Editor #9, "The Independent Weekly" (Adelaide)
27 Sept 2009, (194 words).
by Allan Taylor of Hove.

The professor of climate change at Adelaide University, Barry Brook, is promoting nuclear power in Australia, and so too is Ziggy Switkowski, chairman of the Australian Nuclear and Science Technology Association.

However, Premier Mike Rann maintains his opposition to a nuclear plant in SA, but encourages the expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine to produce uranium for export. Both State and Federal Labor are promoting renewable energy for our future and seem not at all interested in the nuclear option.

Labor’s recently passed Renewable Energy Target bill specifies 20% electricity being generated from renewables by 2020. Both Ziggy and Prof. Brook say that this is impossible and suggest the alternative of nuclear power with no greenhouse gas emissions.

It would be more sensible to develop nuclear power in SA rather than waste money on unnecessary and expensive renewable energy (wind, solar and geothermal). Prof Brook also says that there is no evidence to show that existing wind farms in SA have caused any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Top priority in any energy plan is security of supply. The optimum mix is most likely one third each of electricity supplied from coal, gas and nuclear sources.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A lot of hot air

Letter to the Editor #8 "The Advertiser" (Adelaide), Tues 22 Sept., 2009
(89 words)
by Allan Taylor

Nothing will be decided at the UN sponsored Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December (thank goodness) but maximum time will be spent arguing at what luxury resort next year's conference will be held. Our PM Kevin Rudd will no doubt suggest Brisbane

On the supposed evils of greenhouse gases they all publicly agree, but they choose to ignore the miracle of how atmospheric CO2 is causing the global warming that isn't happening. Such a useless and glorious bureaucratic junket would be funny if it wasn't financed by our tax money.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Nuclear Future

Letter to the Editor #7 "The Australian" 14th September 2009 (103 words)
by Allan Taylor of Adelaide SA

The Energy Supply Association of Australia lists 15,000 MW of natural gas-fueled power stations either under development or planned across the country ("Energy boom job bonanza", 12-13/09.

It says that new gas-fired plants will be needed to support intermittent supply from wind farms expected to gain the lion's share of RET investment.

Why build the wind farms in the first place? They are uneconomic, a bird hazard, a potential fire hazard and an unsightly blot on the landscape.

No mention is made of starting a nuclear power industry. Forget about renewable energy and obsolete windmills. The money saved is better put towards our nuclear future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Costly misdirection

Letter to the Editor # 6, The Advertiser (Adelaide) 15th September 2009
(206 words) ; by Allan Taylor of Hove.

Business SA CEO, Peter Vaughan, says that narrow minded thinking and an inflated bureaucracy are holding SA back. How true it is.

The Rann Labor Government is to blame for a costly misdirection of the economy.
For example, water management: the commitment to building a desalination plant costing $1.8 billion when the emphasis should have been on storm water capture and recycling in order to reduce the draw on the River Murray.

The wastage of potable water on non-potable use is horrendous. Aquifer supply of potable water needs further exploration. Even the Greens advocate this approach.

Mike Rann’s religious promoting of renewable energy will continue to push our electricity costs sky high.

It is madness to build wind farms which are uneconomic at the best of times and only serve to destabilize the national grid with their intermittent and variable dribble of electricity.
SA would be better off if all present wind farms were demolished.

The zero attention to the future role of nuclear power industry in SA shows how out of touch with reality is Mike Rann. The planned expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine is estimated to require another 650 MW of power, plus now we have to power a desalination plant costing $75 million per year to run.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Windmill idea ludicrous

Letter to the Editor #5 "The Guardian Messenger" (Adelaide) 9th September 2009 (112 words)
by Allan Taylor of Hove.

WHAT madness is this proposed State Government $295,000 project, to trial four wind turbines for one year at the Somerton Surf Life Saving Club, and, hopefully, save the club $2000 to $3000 on electricity?

That's a 100 year pay back!

Recent independent consultant's review of all Australian wind farms show they are a complete waste of money, uneconomic even when the wind blows, a bird hazard, a potential fire risk, noise pollutant and are an ugly blot on the landscape.

The idea of installing windmills in a residential area is ludicrous. I suggest the Government's Sustainability and Climate Change office relocate the project, and themselves, to Heard Island, which is near Antarctica.
PS: This experimental windmill project of Premier Mike Rann has now been cancelled due to the many objections of the local residents. Its location is about 2 kms from where I live. I like to think that my letter helped in this decision.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nuclear debate is long overdue

Letter to the Editor #4, "Sunday Mail" (Adelaide), 6 Sept., 2009, (188 words)
awarded "Letter of the Week"
by Allan Taylor

Our State MP for Bright, Chloe Fox, wants to open up the nuclear power debate and so too do the Young Liberals. Both leaders Mike Rann and Isobel Redman don't want this to happen, probably because they are uncertain how the cards will fall with regard to votes.

The nuclear power debate is long overdue. Australia is seen by the world's major powers as a backward third world country with regard to nuclear technology.

I note that Chloe Fox has spent some years working in France. She knows that this country generates 80% of its electricity from 60 nuclear power stations and is a world leader in nuclear power technology. France exports electricity to neighbouring countries (Spain and Denmark) which to their misfortune have taken the Green Path and promote windmills.

Mike Rann, we don't want wind farms in South Australia. They are an ugly blot on the landscape. They are a very inefficient and costly way to generate electricity, plus being a fire hazard and bird hazard. Get rid of them.

It seems that Premier Rann has a lot to learn from "Bright" Chloe Fox.