Power failures

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 21-Sep-2017

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THIS week’s buzz about pumped hydro-electric storage and its merit as a potential saviour to Australia’s energy needs and the larger crisis we are embroiled in shows just how pathetic our leaders have been in managing this country’s energy needs and future.

Hydro-electric storage is not new, and while an Australian National University paper claims there are more than 22,000 sites across Australia capable of playing a role in generating enough hydroelectricity to power the nation, the question is why has this just become a thing?

ANU published its media release about this topic in early August. A quick search online shows there has been any number of articles and news stories about hydro storage in just the past three or four years.

The more alarming fact is little has been done or more importantly, achieved in this period.

The vast majority of us who stand to be impacted by this mess are not scientists, but we realise and accept we cannot just keep doing what we have been doing.

Our impact upon the planet we are mere custodians of has been nothing short of disgraceful, and for that we must all accept some share of the blame.

Our way of life and what we do contributes massive amounts of harmful pollution to the atmosphere.

Industries we rely upon are fuelled by our demand, and powered largely by toxic coal, a substance we can’t do without, and equally, a substance we cannot afford to keep relying upon.

For years now, renewable energy crusaders have preached its benefits and the need to implement different sources of energy and reduce our reliance upon coal.

The problem is, renewables are still only viewed as alternatives; they are not yet viewed or accepted as a broad practical solution.

But they need to be, and as a nation, Australia must do more to focus not just on managing and reducing demand, but also on delivering cleaner energy solutions that are reliable, affordable and practical.

It’s worth remembering last summer Bendigo came within a flick of the switch of being shut out of the power grid so that electricity could be provided to New South Wales.

Local industry leaders point to energy prices, and energy losses as significant problems for our business sector, trying to compete on a national and even global scale.

Simply put, if we don’t do something, if we don’t do the right thing, we will fall behind and we will pay a horrendous price for inaction and for a lack of vision.    

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