Solar no easy energy fix

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Solar-panels-energy Photo by Bob Wilson

Solar energy is great – we’ve got eight panels on the roof, a hot water system and a portable panel in the caravan. Pretty useless on Thursday, though, with ex-cyclone Debbie sending heavy rain our way. It would be great if we’d had a battery bank under the house to store the energy from the sunny weeks we’ve been having.

But battery bank technology is yet to become affordable for the 1.6 million Aussies who have solar PV panels.

I recently wrote about Australia’s troubled National Energy Network. We cited economist Professor John Quiggin, who suggested governments buy back the power grid and give the people what they want: cheap and reliable energy. Continue reading “Solar no easy energy fix”

Government buyback could solve power crisis

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Wilpena Pound solar/diesel power station SA Photo by Bob Wilson

“If you’ve got money in your pocket and a switch on the wall, we’ll keep your dirty lights on.” So goes a song by American alt-country singers Darryl Scott and Tim O’Brien about coal mining and power generation.

Their album Memories and Moments includes a version of John Prine’s Paradise, which remains the definitive song about the downsides of coal mining.

That seemed a noteworthy way to introduce the potentially dry topic of energy, be it coal-fired, hydro, nuclear or solar/wind power. Continue reading “Government buyback could solve power crisis”