The ACT government's oft repeated claim that 100 per cent of the ACT's electricity is from renewable sources has been contradicted by, of all people, its energy minister, Shane Rattenbury.
On ABC News Radio, June 17, he said what numerous correspondents have pointed out in these pages for several years; that the ACT does not consume, but pays for the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity. "But on a day to day basis we are connected into the grid," he said.
Figures from Evoenergy show about 91 per cent of the ACT's 2020-21 electricity consumption was drawn from the National Electricity Market. About nine per cent came from large-scale and small-scale renewable energy sources. Of the 91 per cent from the national market, about 70 per cent is produced by burning fossil fuel.
Last year ACT electricity prices increased by about 12 per cent because of the government's long-term power purchase agreements with renewable sources. This included a 50 per cent reduction in payments for power from small rooftop providers.
Mr Rattenbury was careful not to say the ACT's lower retail electricity prices were because of its contracts with renewable providers. "It is for a number of reasons," he said. Perhaps he knows that for about 50 years ACT retail electricity prices have been lower than in NSW largely because of lower transmission costs.
Having conceded electricity used in the ACT is from the same sources as in NSW, Mr Rattenbury might suggest the Greens remove from their website the claim the tram runs on 100 per cent renewable electricity. This is not to argue against renewable electricity but to ask the government not to mislead its serfs about the source of their electricity.
I wonder how returned service veterans would feel about Adam Bandt's refusal to stand in front of the Australian flag? I wonder how the families of fallen soldiers would feel? I also wonder how wounded veterans would feel.
If I was any one of these I would be thoroughly insulted to see the flag being treated in this manner.
Michael Lane's claims about renewables (Letters, June 20) illustrate that well known aphorism: "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Of course renewables are "energy collecting systems". What they do is convert wind energy and solar power into electricity, and they do it very efficiently. We need more renewables, not less - including up to 27 more gigawatts of wind - so we can wean ourselves off coal and gas fired power stations.
This is not just for energy security, but to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change.
And we also need more storage and transmission lines, including inter-connectors between states. Storage can be in the form of batteries or pumped hydro. The latter doesn't need the rain to fall - it just uses the same water that is pumped uphill when prices are low, and allowed to flow downhill through turbines when more electricity is needed.
Snowy 2.0 will provide seven days of storage when built.
Batteries can be at household, community or grid-scale and provide instant back-up. The Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, built over four years ago, was the world's first big battery. It was so successful in providing stability to the grid and saving taxpayers money that an additional 50 megawatts was added in 2020.
Green hydrogen (made by electrolysing water using renewable energy) will become an important part of the energy mix. When used in fuel cells it can produce electricity, but it is more likely to be directed to fertiliser production and transportation.
As for nuclear, forget it. It is too expensive and cannot be brought online in the time-scale needed to decarbonise our energy system.
Ian Morison' letter on energy (Letters, June 20) reminds me of a science class in my first year of high school. The proposition was: " ... what would happen to the ambient temperature in a closed room if a refrigerator was left running with the door open?" In those days, the freezer was a small uninsulated compartment inside the main compartment.
Answer: The temperature would be reduced near the floor adjacent to the refrigerator and increased near the ceiling adjacent to the refrigerator. This would create convection currents and the average temperature in the room would be increased.
The last Senate seat (in WA ) went to Labor's Fatima Payman. So we have the delightful prospect in the Senate of Fatima with her Muslim hijab sitting with Pauline Hanson who mocked Muslims by wearing hijab in the Senate a few years ago.
Fatima was eight years old when she and her parents fled Afghanistan. At 27 she is the third youngest Senator in history. Also, according to election analyst Antony Green, Fatima's win gives Labor plus the Greens a majority of 38 seats. When you include Pocock that's 39 seats presumably.
Conservatives in the Senate can't block progressive legislation. With democracies under threat around the world Australia's national election result is an inspiration to progressives.
The letters pages seem to be full of bitterness from Coalition supporters over losing the election. One even went so far as to claim "fawning and grovelling" was an unappealing feature of the first Labor-led national cabinet meeting (Letters, June 21), as if it had any relevance to the election outcome.
Or maybe it did. We all remember the prolonged and megaphone-level blame shifting following the Morrison-led national cabinet meetings. It was backed by furious attacks by the then Treasurer on the Victorian government and by Morrison himself on the WA and Queensland leaders.
Voters showed they would rather have harmony than disharmony and collaboration rather than aggression.
What the Coalition has to do, if it possibly can under Dutton, is to genuinely assess the real reasons it lost office and set about comprehensively reforming itself so that it wins back the disaffected who left their ranks.
Labor has already shown signs at least that it recognises the need to do the same. If it doesn't, the voters will be back in three years to show what they think. The same warning applies, even more so, to the Coalition.
My American friends adore Australian wildlife and love to travel here They are appalled to hear that NSW has appointed John Barilaro as Trade Commissioner to New York.
This is the politician who was prepared to bring down his own government to support developers over koalas. He pushed through laws to crush pygmy possums to death under feral brumby hooves.
So much for the New York tourist trade.
In 2021 the ACT Young Liberals chose then MP Kevin Andrews as the motivational speaker for their annual mid-winter ball, and a lump of Adani coal for the event's fundraising auction.
The new Deputy Opposition leader Sussan Ley is now steering a broader ACT party fundraiser out of the smouldering embers of the federal election, reportedly advising members that the focus will be on "... directing our efforts to winning the next ACT Election, and winning back the ACT Senate seat at the next federal election".
This will be difficult given that the right-wing ACT Young Liberals still have a lot to learn and digest ("Canberra Liberals are decidedly worse off without Seselja", canberratimes.com.au, June 21).
They are saddled with an historic and quite public dependency on Zed Seselja and his close conservative Coalition colleagues, particularly Michael Sukkar and Amanda Stoker.
All of these people lost much political shine and credibility after May 21.
Regardless of whether the Young Liberals eschew this week's party event or sit in the corner and simply gnash their teeth about their crumbling power base, they are a still a millstone around the neck of ACT Liberals who seek to emerge from the political wilderness.
Irrespective of the number of senators the ACT should have compared with other Australian jurisdictions, how many ACT voters know that when it comes to the inevitable referendum on an indigenous voice to parliament votes in the ACT will be largely irrelevant?
This is because to pass a referendum needs a double majority - first a majority of voters in a majority of states must vote in favour and then there must be an overall national majority in favour.
Any votes cast in the ACT will only come into play in the event there is a very narrow overall majority against a proposal despite four states' populations favouring it.
To add to the Clean Energy Council's tips for keeping warm and energy costs down, I would like to suggest wearing an 'oodie. This is a wearable blanket and is incredibly warm.
There is one important step in redressing the "Misconceptions hindering donations" (June 19, p10). Find out your blood group first. Only nine per cent of the population have mine. Late one Saturday night in 1986, it helped save the life of a newly-born baby. Giving blood is that important. Always.
I was pleased to see Grace Tame has been listed inter alia as "One of the remarkable women stepping up to the plate to change Australia" (Sunday Canberra Times, June 19, p8) and is "unshackled by cultural norms and social expectations". She is admirably suited to give demonstrations of how not to be ill-mannered towards one's host at social functions.
The lights are going out all over Australia. We shall not see them lit again fully until the COVID pandemic is completely understood.
Ian Warden? A suburb called Kyrgios? To paraphrase John McEnroe "you cannot be syrios".
Isn't it amazing that after an "exhaustive, competitive and highly rigorous global talent search" for new NSW senior trade and investment commissioners the ideal candidate for the US was recently "discovered" in our backyard. Think of the time and money that could've been saved if we'd looked there first.
When does a vigilante become a mercenary?
Re Ian Morison (Letters, June 20). As a scientist I can assure him climate scientists do not interpret "hot spells as clear proof of global warming". They know "hot spells" and "cold spells" represent short-term weather variability. Scientists do not "push a particular point of view (opinion) ahead of impartiality". Their conclusions are based on accumulated consistent evidence.
Without wanting to belittle the issue currently in the news regarding transgender athletes, what saddened me was a statement in the news about swimmers' careers. It's a funny world we live in when someone can make a living by swimming up and down a pool.
Surely the Labor government we elected to replace the draconian Coalition government of Morrison and Co is not about to abandon Julian Assange? This, above all else, is about supporting whistle blowers and freedom of the press. He cannot be left to die in the hands of the CIA.
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