Wasting water to waste electricity

All of last century’s ways of making electricity use vast amounts of water. That water would be better used in agriculture, as town water, or as free-flowing streams.

Coal, gas, and nuclear power plants all produce huge amounts of waste heat. In a picture of a power plant, all you see is the biggest part of it: the cooling tower. These towers don’t generate electricity. All they do is evaporate water to get rid of the giant amount of waste heat produced.

“Waste heat” is exactly that. When you burn coal you liberate a great deal of chemical energy, of which less than a third can be converted to electricity. Most of the energy in coal is immediately, unavoidably, forever wasted.

Worse than that, it takes a great deal of water to get rid of it. Coal-fired power plants waste huge amounts of water to help do the job they do best, which is wasting the energy in fossil fuels.

Queensland has had long, desperate droughts in the past, and we’ll have more in the future. Do we want the next drought to bring even greater conflict over water resources? Do you want to rely on politicians to decide whether we should have food, or town water, or electricity?

The water needed for agriculture and urban use is the same water obsolete power plants boil off as waste. We need to protect our extremely variable water supply for its valuable and productive uses. We need to stop wasting water to make electricity the way our grandparents did.

Solar and wind-generated electricity use no water at all. None.

We have world-class solar resources. Almost every household and business can now choose to supply most of its own electricity, at a cost lower than grid-supplied electricity will ever be able to match.

But Queensland’s LNP government remains committed to selling—excuse me, “leasing”—our coal-fired grid. To prop up the value of that decaying asset, the current government takes every possible step to delay and deter the installation of solar electricity systems.

Are you happy to spend ever more taxpayer money to prop up an expiring industry so it can carry on wasting water to deliver over-priced electricity? It’s time to think again.

Think it through. Vote Green.