Earlier this week the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) advised there could well be power blackouts in the upcoming summer, especially in Victoria. They predict there could be one million households affected by rolling stoppages. These predictions already take into account AEMO’s Summer Readiness plan, which includes getting commitments from large consumers to cut back their usage on extreme weather days.
If the predicted return to full service of the Loy Yang power station, closed for repairs, does not occur by mid December, or the return to service of Origin’s Mortdale plant predicted before Xmas, things could be much worse.
In September 2016 South Australia was hit by severe storms, destroying power transmission lines. At the time the fossil fuel industry mocked South Australia’s reliance on renewable energy, but the blackouts were not caused by lack of power, compromised distribution networks caused them. If some of the predictions are correct, Victoria will have blackouts this summer, and they will be caused by failure of fossil fuel generators to provide electricity. The one thing they claim supremacy in. Of course Victorian, NSW and Federal Energy Ministers are blaming each other instead of addressing the issues.
Today, Kylie Porter, the executive director of Global Compact Network Australia, is advising how business is preparing for Climate Change. This preparation includes making wise investment decisions. She is very clear, big business is not putting shareholders funds at risk with investments in coal-mines and power generation, which are seen as potential stranded assets. She strongly refuted any suggestions that investment decisions were made on political motives, we are talking multinational companies here, and they know the risks of fossil fuels and no longer want a part of them.
The only people playing politics on Global warming are our politicians, who should not be blaming others for their own shortcomings.
Here in the West, we are in a far better position, not perfect, but much better.
Yesterday, Hon Bill Johnson MLA opened the 19.25 megawatt Badgingarra solar farm, to compliment the Badgingarra wind farm. This precinct also has the Emu Downs solar and wind facilities. Today the WA Premier announced a package to expand the emergency services vehicle manufacturing industry in Collie. So in two days Western Australia has expanded its renewable energy capacity, and assisted the old coal town of Collie reinvent itself. Also today the State Government announced support for Carbon Farming in rural WA.
Global Warming will not wait for our politicians to catch up, we have to act now. Along the Eastern Seaboard policy makers are in policy paralysis. Fortunately this week there has been a glimmer of hope here in WA. I eagerly await the outcome from the WA Climate Change Discussion Paper.