22 November 2011

Renewables are the way of the future

John Hunwick writes: Re. Friday's Editorial. On Friday Crikey reported that the International Energy Agency (which has denied for years that there was any energy problem in the foreseeable future) has now woken up in a funk and realised that we are in a desperate situation. Renewables are the way of the future.

Mark Duffett (yesterday, comments) demands that Martin Ferguson’s support for coal and nuclear is the better option than the one offered by Christine Milne. But Ferguson maintains, of all things, that renewables are too expensive. He obviously has no idea of economics and how costs change with development. In case he missed it (from "Richard Farmer's chunky bits":

"David Crane, the CEO of one of America’s largest electric utilities that produces power for some 20 million US households with over 90% of it coming from natural gas and coal:

"We believe that in the next 3 to 5 years you’ll be able to get power cheaper from the roof of your house than from the grid. Solar is going to go from this thing that right now is like .1 percent of the market to 20 to 30 percent of the overall electricity mix. That’s huge ... If you go back about four years to where the price of solar modulars were, the prices have been cut in half in the last four years. I predict that the price of solar modules will be cut in half again in the next two years…"

Unless we ignore the unsubstantiated arguments of Ferguson and supporters like Duffett, we will rapidly enter a phase of change that may occur too quickly and be too costly to reverse.




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