Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

An Indian view of climate change, and where it led me

By Don Aitkin - posted Monday, 12 August 2019


Okay, what about Germany, the great leader in alternative electricity policy? Coal provides 45 per cent, renewables about 32 per cent, with nuclear power stations still providing power, despite the decision to close all plants. Germany has its own coal reserves, but buys in power from elsewhere in Europe when it needs to. Not a fair comparison.

All right, let's go to Canada, which really is unusual. Hydro provides 59 per cent of electricity, then nuclear (15 per cent), fossil fuels 19 per cent, with coal only 9 per cent, and non-hydro renewables at 7 per cent. Alberta and Saskatchewan have oil and gas, and use them in their power production. But the other provinces do not. The Canadian situation is strikingly different not only to Australia, but to the other nations I have listed here. But then Canada has abundant water, and we don't, at all. But we do have abundant coal.

A final journey takes us to Botswana, arguably the least corrupt state in sub-Saharan Africa. There is one supplier, the Botswana Power Corporation, which produces electricity from coal, at about half the desired consumption. It can get more power from South Africa, which has its own problems with under-capacity, so Botswana gets blackouts, too. It has its own coal reserves too, but getting them out is not easy for a poor country.

Advertisement

So there you are. On the face of it, you use what you can when you can afford to, in terms of the production of electricity. That is, until you have to deal with renewables. What things will be like in 2037, when I will have passed on or awaiting a royal congratulation, I have no idea. But coal will still be important in the mix, I think.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. Page 2
  4. All

This article was first published on Don Aitkin.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

26 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Don Aitkin has been an academic and vice-chancellor. His latest book, Moving On, was published in 2016.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Don Aitkin

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 26 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy