WEDNESDAY 15 SEPTEMBER, 2010 |
Queensland Plans To Import 'Green' Electricity From PNG
A Queensland plan to import "green" power into the state from Papua
New Guinea has been questioned by national solar solutions provider, Energy
Announced this morning by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, the proposed Wabo Hydroelectricity Project
would see electricity from the Wabo hydro facility in Papua New Guinea exported
to Queensland through a proposed undersea transmission line through the Torres Strait that will
connect to the National Electricity Grid at Townsville.
Premier Bligh says the major potential benefits include long-term affordable baseload renewable electricity for Far North and
North West Queensland; the opening up of a range of industry, renewable energy and other development
options; and increased employment
associated with the construction of a multi-billion dollar transmission line.
The Premier also says a decrease in Queensland’s carbon footprint of up to 8 million tonnes of
greenhouse gas emissions annually would result from the project.
Sylvester has questioned the project.
"Premier Bligh is a great supporter of renewable energy and we certainly applaud
that; however, this is an awful lot of investment that could be channelled into
more home grown renewable energy solutions, providing even more employment and
bolstering Australia's energy independence while also realising equivalent
carbon emission reductions."
Mr. Sylvester points towards Ernst & Young's recent Renewable
Energy Attractiveness Index
which shows Australia remains ranked at number
"Australia has an absolutely massive pool of renewable energy resources -
we should be ranked no.1 in the world, not 12 and I don't think we'll get there
by outsourcing electricity generation outside our shores, however green it is.
In addition, Papua New Guinea's somewhat unstable political climate makes this a
somewhat risky project in my opinion."
Aside from investment, energy security and political issues, Mr. Sylvester also
wonders about the efficiency of such a project.
"The enemy of any transmission line technology is line loss. The further
the distance from the point of generation to the point of consumption, the more
electricity is lost; usually as heat. Transmission and distribution losses in
the USA and UK are around 7% and I assume it would be similar in
"To reduce line loss, you generate electricity as close to the point of
consumption as possible, for example, via rooftop solar
- it doesn't get much closer than that. Given Queensland's
substantial solar resources, and our own company's interests aside, surely
increased focus on solar power would be more beneficial and would certainly see
the Premier's goals of Queensland being Australia's solar state realised."
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