Wednesday, 21 August 2013

2.5 Hour Debate - Two Weeks of Energy from Wind

I came across an interesting story via the Yes2Renewables blog yesterday:
"The Coalition candidate for Corangamite Sarah Henderson‘s support for renewable energy is in question as it was revealed she endorses Ted Baillieu’s controversial anti-wind farm laws."
Specifically, an article in the Surf Coast Times stated that:
"In relation to the state government’s two kilometre buffer zone on wind farm development, Ms Henderson said she was in favour. “I actually think the policy on wind is a very good one, because wind was dividing so many rural communities.”"
Yes2Renewables do a good job pointing out that community opposition to wind farms is often overblown - we're exposed to an unrepresentative sample, because news outlets (and anti-wind campaigners) tend to amplify conflict. A happy community is the biggest threat to anti-wind campaigners.

Something else that's often forgotten is the contribution of renewable energy, in the simple terms of how much energy they contribute to the grid. I recently wrote about this for Renew Economy - during science week, wind supplied 47% of South Australia's electricity needs. It's not always that high (sometimes it's lower, and sometimes it's higher), but it's a good example of how the successes of wind energy are often ignored.

Falling in that period was the night of the candidates debate, at which Sarah Henderson made her comments supporting Victoria's astonishingly draconian wind energy setback laws. The event was held on the 13th of August, at 19:30 AEST - let's assume it ran until 10pm. We can chart wind generation against the estimated average power consumption of Corangamite (north and south), and Melbourne (inner, Southbank, Docklands and 'Remainder'):

Clique to embiggen
Or, for a slightly prettier version:

I've shaded in the debate period red in the first version. If you sum the energy produced during the red period, it adds up to 1,989 megawatt hours. Corangamite (North and South) consumes ~121 megawatts hours of energy per day, so, using the power produced by Victorian wind farms during the debate, you could power Corangamite for more than a fortnight.

Just sayin'.

Raw data here

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Did you factor in any of the hot air generated during the debate? Pity some of that couldn't have been put to the grid!

    (Have to add, Ketan, your posts are usually guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.)