THURSDAY 25 JULY, 2013 |
Clouds Gather For A Solar Port Augusta (For Now)
Alinta Energy's application to the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for funding
for a feasibility study relating to solar thermal power has been rejected.
Alinta was to fully investigate solar thermal and hybrid options for its
coal-fired Northern Power Station and Playford B Power Station in Port Augusta,
South Australia. The prospect of making the switch to renewables received
overwhelming thumbs up from the Port Augusta community; which has been plagued
by health issues over the years.
According to AdelaideNow
Alinta Energy has said it will explore potential opportunities "as
technologies continue to mature and the policy environment becomes more
The situation at Port Augusta isn't just a Port Augusta issue. The power
generated there isn't just consumed locally and its two plants have in the past
been responsible 50% of South Australia's electricity related emissions. While
the Playford B Power Station has been mothballed, Northern Power Station is
still producing power six months a year.
When it was running, Playford B power station was the dirtiest in the country
per unit of energy produced according to Greens MLC Mark Parnell.
The fact that both plants are to be replaced has provided a golden opportunity
to make the switch to renewables; an opportunity that appears to have been lost
' was released in 2012 by non-profit think-tank Beyond Zero
Emissions (BZE), the group stated that if gas generation should be used to
replace the plants, it would hold South Australia hostage to volatile gas prices
and increase South Australia’s dependence on unconventional and emissions
Port Augusta Council chief executive Greg Perkin commented that the decision is
a blow not only for Port Augusta's future but Australia's as well and vowed to
make it an issue during the lead-up to the Federal election.
There's no doubt that if the City's previous firebrand Mayor, Joy
, was still alive; she would have some choice words to share about the
situation. Mayor Baluch was a driving force behind the push to rid the area of
coal fired power and a staunch solar supporter.
Other news for Thursday 25 July, 2013
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services