The Democratic Labour Party’s Senator John Madigan last week unleashed a blistering and misinformed attack on renewable energy’s performance during the recent heatwave.
A press release from Senator Madigan’s office stated in part:
“What is the point of relying on an energy source to heat and cool your home if they won’t work once the mercury rises? We need power the most during times of extreme temperature, yet our increasing reliability on renewables lets us down.”
The Clean Energy Council says the Senator was directing his anger at the wrong target.
“Clean energy technologies such as solar power and solar hot water made a big difference in helping the state’s electricity system cope with near-record demand,” said the CEC’s Acting Policy Director Tim Sonnreich.
“This is a case of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target helping households to take pressure off our electricity system as a whole – while also reducing their individual power bills through these technologies.”
Mr Sonnreich pointed out the massive Loy Yang A coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley suffered unexpected outages as a result of the heat.
“Wind farms and solar households are made up of thousands of independent generators, so a fault in one makes almost no difference.”
Mr. Sonnreich said that without rooftop solar panels and solar hot water systems acting to reduce the demand from large-scale power stations, it is very likely that Victoria would have set a new record for power use and would also have been subject to increased outages.
National solar provider Energy Matters is expecting increase in interest in solar power systems as a result of the heatwave as home-owners realise the substantial increase in power bills they will face as a result of power-hungry air conditioners. The company has also just released consumer insights showing solar power to be Australia’s best-performing investment.