Sunday, December 15, 2013

Green electricity is TOO COSTLY for Africa (and Australia)


In today's "The Australian" newspaper there is an interesting article by environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg about the huge extra cost of providing electricity from wind farms and solar plants, compared to conventional power stations using coal. In South Africa coal powers 90% of electricity at a cost to the consumer of US 9 cents per kWh. It is easy and cheap to cut coal (particulate) pollution by 90% or more with scrubbers. CO2 emissions are considered to be beneficial to humanity and the biosphere.

However, in some other African countries, using a mix of hydro, gas and oil, in the grid/population centers in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya the cost will likely be 25 cents per kWh. Lomborg concludes that for the forseeable future, electricity will be generated by burning fossil fuels.

Hydroelectric power stations are by far the best source of renewable energy and for some lucky mountainous countries hydro is the main power source eg New Zealand, Norway etc. However, South Australia where I live has no hydroelectric power stations, and has been UNfortunate to experience a decade of Labor Governments hell bent on making the State the leader of renewable energy in Australia. True, we have the most wind farms of any state (26 or more) and also the highest domestic cost of electricity at 31 cents per kWh because of this stupid eco-religious goal. The state elections are due in 3 month's time (March). Let's toss out this inept Labor Government of Premier Jay Weatherill and replace it with a Liberal Government that will STOP the wind farms and aid in development of our coal, gas and uranium resources for domestic power production. Merry Xmas from Allano