Great sentiments expressed in the Editorial ‘Fracking nonsense. Solar’s the solution’. In just two weeks Australia’s largest solar utility power station will begin construction at Kerang near Swan Hill. This will be a 30MW photovoltaic station and will employ 40 local people in construction and five permanent employees to run it, providing much needed jobs to a region which has been in a downturn due to extended droughts and the high Australian dollar.
Even better news is that there is another 30MW station planned and an even larger one rumoured to be 250MW on the drawing board in the area. Together with wind power, these will guarantee lower wholesale prices of electricity to the grid as has been the case in South Australia, where wind and solar account for over 30 per cent of the state’s power supply. With regards to CSG, farmers in many parts of Germany produce the same “natural gas” – methane from their animal waste from anaerobic digesters which they sell into a gas grid. Farmers engaged in this business now expect about 10 per cent of their income to be from the sale of methane. The CSG industry must be resisted if we want to continue producing high quality food and fibre. The threat of contamination with carcinogenic and extremely harmful compounds will be the greatest turn-off to consumers that one can imagine and make our food unsaleable.
Dan Caffrey (Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group), Traralgon.