News and events

Load shedding

I wasn’t affected by the heatwave power outages the other week, though I know people who were, and at one stage I got off the train heading for home to find a lot of the shops had lost power, with many shopkeepers having left early for the day, and the supermarket throwing out all of its refrigerated goods (though their frozen section was okay).

You have to love the spin that surrounds “load shedding”. Take for example this press release from power distributor Jemena (formerly Alinta):

Load-shedding involves taking customers off the network in order to reduce demand.

Ha! That’s a laugh. Talk about trying to make it sound positive.

No fellas. Demand didn’t reduce. The demand was still there. Those people being disconnected didn’t ask to be disconnected. They didn’t volunteer to shut down their fans, lights, air-conditioners and TVs. They still wanted power. It’s got nothing to do with demand. It’s a lack of supply.

Evidently all the government bravado about our big filthy coal-fired power stations having plenty of capacity to cope with demand (claims made before the load shedding commenced, obviously) were crap.

So, how about we get on with the job of better home designs to cope with the heat, getting more solar panels onto houses, and more wind and solar farms out there to get our increasingly harsh environment working for us, instead of against us… and commence phasing out the coal, so we can stop making it any worse than it already is.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Load shedding”

It’s simply unfathomable to me that we are not utilising solar power in homes and businesses. The government are so short sighted. On the one hand they bemoan the loss of jobs at the economic downturn, but there is a huge business opportunity around renewable energy, and the jobs it could create.

Add to that water tanks as mandatory in all homes for watering, flushing etc. That way we wouldn’t have to build the desal plant which presumably is only going to massively increase the demand of electricity.

The government couldn’t care less…lets face it. They’re hardly the experts, or ‘thinkers’. Money men who know nothing of the way electricity supply/demand actually works make decisions that affect the rest of us and nothing ever gets done.

ARRRRGH does my head in.

Gee Daniel, that was almost a rant. :-) But, hear, hear!

After almost 6 months since paying for the system, may solar panels were finally installed and tested last Monday. Then they were turned off. They have to stay off until an independent inspector checks the wiring cabinet. Unfortunately they are now all fuly employed in the recovery from the bush fires. Then she/he will turn them off again until City Power come and install the new SMART meter. I’ve been told they take around 3 months to arrive. So, my system should be ready for winter use, having bought it in Spring. I may have to take matters into my own hands . . .

And I laugh at the water target of 155L. Since installing a 5,000L water tank and connecting it to one toilet and the laundry, we are down to 64L per person per day for a family of 4. Not difficult! (OK, but our consumption has increased again since it hasn’t rained for 2 months . . .)

We need people power to lead, not government.

That is appalling. Yes, the same thing has happened here in summer. They call it “rolling blackouts”. But, yes, same thing. Not enough capacity to meet the need. It is INSANE to me that Australia doesn’t use the sun for energy on a wide basis. I think wind and solar power are really the way a great deal of us should be getting energy. I guess it’s a case of “if enough people scream and yell and get media coverage then the government may do something about it”. Or may not. Sadly there’s a lot of inertia in energy policies. People like Dr. David Suzuki are trying to educate us, the masses.

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