Sixty eight metres.
It was late in the day in Jordan when I took this photo. The indefinite photo is of fourteen blades for new wind turbines being erected in the hills near Petra, Jordan. There were at least six similar piles in the port, along with all the other bits needed to bolt together in the coming weeks. Jordan has embraced wind power.
When you see a wind farm the blades for a turbine look to move too slowly to generate any electricity. Take our trip. Our bus drove through the mountains and we saw the lazy blades. As our bus drove they appeared to us on corners. They looked no more than 20 feet long. Given there were no trees or land marks to accurately estimate their size it was impossible for us to do so. My photo doesn’t really help either. It was only when a blade was damaged on its route to a new turbine in Tasmania last week I understood. I read it was sixty-eight metres long. At that point I realised how powerful these machines really are. Their gear box generators are very sophisticated machines indeed.
We are very fortunate to be able to say we have had many world trips. In recent years we have noticed solar electricity generation is commonplace. Solar farms have hundreds of panels sitting on thousands of hectares all facing the sun. Many of these farms have panels able to follow the sun as it moves across the sky each day. These collect even more power than the fixed panels.
BBC radio advised, at the weekend, millions of pounds had been allocated to develop wave and tide electricity generated systems in Scotland. A similar program has spent millions more dollars in Western Australia, since 2010, without immediate success. The company is attempting to raise further capital and appears to be breaking through with this technology despite the hardships of a difficult investment environment.
One of the most brilliant sources of renewable energy is hydro electricity. Once sufficient water has been stored in a dam electricity generation can be increased at the turn of a tap. It has the benefit of being pumped to the place it started in times of low demand and do it all again in peak periods.
These Technologies are each derided, in my community, as being unsatisfactory. What happens when the wind stops? The sun doesn’t shine at night. The sea hasn’t got a ripple on it. This stuff is ok but it fluctuates too much. And one criticism I almost have to agree to is, we haven’t had rain for weeks. Australia is one of the driest continents in the world. Our rivers, but one system, are short and they flow to the sea in irregular gushes of water. This year is just another year of drought for about a third of the Land mass. Many towns will run out of water before Christmas if the predictions are true. Even dams cannot hold water without it raining somewhere in the catchment.
The critics want us to consider uranium powered plants. (I will come back to them.) The most toxic debate is in regard to our coal fired plants. Australian’s balance of payments depends more on coal and gas sales than it does for anything else these days. Once we rode to prosperity on the sheep’s back selling wool. No longer. It is coal. Coal. Let’s build a bigger, deeper mine. We must sell coal to the unfortunate developing nations because we are denying them the prosperity they deserve, and we do so especially if we deny them coal fired generators.
It is all rubbish. They know it – yet they persist because we are run by cartels of lobbyists all acting for their industry. Why? It is because the major political party accepts huge donations at our expense thus denying us the opportunity of transitioning to alternate power sources. This mindset will take great resolution to improve our situation.
You do not have to be a Rhodes scholar to know why. Particularly if you apply your mind to why the lobby groups have all the power.
Big companies have valueless assets when we move to alternative energy. Therefore they are acting like the bullies they are.
We have the benefit of a 100 mega watt battery pack in South Australia. This Tesla system was built in under 100 days and has possibly paid for itself already by instantly releasing energy into the grid on demand. Our aged coal fired plants are not as quick to kick in and the Tesla system Is used to fill the gap until it does.
The problem with this is Lithium batteries are expensive. They do not last long before they are depleted and they require us sourcing rare earths to manufacture. Fortunately in South Australia we have another alternate public company with the ability to store the over supply of alternative energy produced until it is needed on demand. And, hardly anyone knows about it. If the little public company was better funded and allowed to develop as necessary then we would not have a power imbalance, ever, just using renewable energy.
The little SA company could be swallowed and be gone anytime if one of the majors decided to buy them out. The shareholder might actually think an above value offer attractive and in no time all reference to it would be forgotten. The amount needed is so small the shareholders of the major wouldn’t notice the cost. Once bought the startling new technology would be shelved. This is the danger of big money When it is used to eliminate competition.
I do not want that. I want people to invest in this gamble because it is good for the globe. I want people to write to their politicians and demand they offer it grants. I want them to treat it as an investment in the future of mankind. I also want you to read to the end and I will tell you the name of the company. It is not paying any dividends to its current supporters because it is reinvesting in growth. Without growth it, it will simply die. It shouldn’t.
As background I have outlined the dangers alternate energy faces. It is intermittent without battery backup. The batteries currently used have limited recovery. I have not read enough, yet my limited knowledge tells me, it is all less than 30% efficient. That is why this company deserves to grow. The directors cannot write about it like this without trouble from market regulators. I have nothing to gain at all but what I see is, it is as a good idea in need of support. Together, all people have much to lose if we continue to burn fossil fuel. If we turn to uranium it is worse. It will take too long to build the plants needed. The other reason, and the best reason, is spelt out in two words. Fukushima and Chenobyl.
The company- Look for the company 1414 on the Australian stock exchange.