Changing to renewable energy is one of the steps that must be taken to
reduce our emissions.
In my state, South Australia, around
40% of our
electricity is generated renewably and most of this is wind power.
This and the fact that the last coal-fired power stations
are about to be closed down shows what could be achieved right now in the
remainder of Australia, if there was the will to act.
|Sunset at a wind farm
|Wattle Point, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Wind and solar power complement each other – the sun may be shining
when the wind is not blowing and vice-versa – and wind power is the
cheapest form of renewable energy.
(That may change, solar is catching up.)
The pro-fossil fuel and anti-wind power lobbies in Australia have been
successful in producing a wide-spread and almost entirely undeserved mistrust
of wind power.
Problems from wind power
Yes, wind turbines produce some
sound and that
sound annoys some people.
Others don't like to look at wind turbines.
Building a wind farm, like building anything else, does cause some damage to
land and takes a little land away from agricultural or pastural production.
I have listed the real problems of wind power
on this site.
Wind turbines do not make anybody
sick, they do not significantly
Problems from burning fossil fuels
How do those few problems compare to the
millions of deaths worldwide each
the air pollution due to burning coal and the damage the coal industry does
to our land, our water resources, our atmosphere and our oceans?
The best that can be said about oil and gas is that they are probably not
quite as damaging as coal.
has passed its day, if it ever had a day;
it is more expensive than wind power, there are significant dangers, the
long-lasting waste is an unresolved problem, it is not renewable and it is
A power station that cannot increase or decrease its output to match
changing demand is of lower value than one that can.
The cost of decommissioning a nuclear power station at the end of its life
is horrendous, and who wants to live anywhere near a nuclear power station?
People demand cheap energy, the environment demands clean energy.
Wind, solar, well-designed hydro and biomass are currently the only
options that fill both demands.
Biomass is limited by the amount that can be produced from the land and
water supply we have available to us; hydro is limited by the available
rivers that are suitable; wind and solar are almost unlimited (except for
limits imposed by the ignorance and fear that come largely from misinformation
that I try to dispel).