|Graph source: CEDEX Report
Then there is the
Coalition federal government whose idea of energy innovation is trying to get a little more life out of the dead horse that is the
coal industry, at the
same time seeming to do all they can to
condemn the world to acidification of the oceans and climate catastrophe.
In mid 2016 the South Australian Liberal opposition (and the Murdoch media) were blaming the high wholesale electricity prices on the state's wind and solar power, ignoring what experts were saying about exceptionally high spot prices in all eastern states (graph on the right) and the causes of high electricity prices in South Australia being high gas prices (gas was used to generate the state's non-renewable power) and delays in upgrading an interstate electricity connector due to weather.
The CEDEX Report July 2016 contained the graph shown on the right.
It shows that SA's spot prices are very similar to those of other eastern
Mining giant BHP Billiton owns the copper and gold mine at Olympic Dam in
South Australia's far north that has been operating since 1987 and has
taken power from the eastern Australian power grid continually since that
The mine is a major consumer of power and is located in an area that has
the best solar power potential of anywhere in Australia connected to the
grid by a high-capacity power line.
So what has BHP done about harnessing the huge potential of solar power at
Olympic Dam? Nothing at all.
In July 2016 they were complaining about the high cost of grid electricity.
Of course they need lots of power around the clock, not just during daylight
hours, so a solar thermal power station with storage would be ideal.
If BHP was innovative they could use the mined out parts of their Olympic
Dam mine for the development of a
pumped-hydro system to store energy.
BHP Billiton is a
major miner of metallurgical and thermal coal, perhaps this makes
them blind to the possibilities of renewable energy.
Come on BHP, see if you can join the progressive part of the world and kick
the fossil fuel habbit.