THE march of ‘green energy’ continues, but it is not green at all.
Solar energy is very dilute, so solar collectors cover huge areas of flat arable land, stealing farmland, starving wild herbs and grasses of sunlight and creating ‘solar deserts’.
Wind turbines steal energy from winds which often bring moisture from the ocean. These walls of turbines create rain shadows, producing more rain near the turbines and more droughts down-wind. Turbines work best along ridge lines where soaring birds such as eagles seek thermals. The birds are chopped up by the whirling scythes, and so are bats. Turbines annoy neighbours with noise and they increase bushfire risk. If they are offshore, less moisture-bearing wind and less rain reaches the land.
Now the green dreamers want to use Australia’s precious water to manufacture hydrogen for export to Asia in a round-robin electrolytic process that consumes far more energy than it can ever produce.
Electrolysis consumes nine tons of water plus heaps of electricity to make one ton of hydrogen. This processed water is not recovered until the hydrogen is burned (unlike water in steam turbines where most water is reused and some escapes to the atmosphere via cooling towers).
Hydrogen is a low-energy explosive gas. Collecting, storing and exporting it will be a hazardous business and producing it will consume masses of Australian water and electricity to generate trendy ‘green’ fuel for Asia. Burning this fuel will release pure Australian water into polluted Asian skies. But the Australian Government is funding hydrogen speculation with $70million.
Green energy isn’t green. It has a huge cost in rare metals; it creates toxic waste problems; solar panels create solar deserts; turbines chop birds and steal wind and rain from inland areas; and now they want to steal fresh water and energy to export low-energy explosive hydrogen.
In contrast, coal is fossil sunshine. Burning it releases new energy for industry and its combustion products bring great benefits for the green world – water vapour, carbon dioxide plant food, and valuable plant micro-nutrients.
Why export our sunshine, wind and fresh water via hydrogen while leaving our abundant fossil sunshine locked underground as ‘politically stranded assets’?
This article, with illustrations, can be downloaded here.