Australia’s green delusions: A diesel in the shed

A Diesel in the Shed.
You can have your solar panels
and your turbines on the hills;
You can use the warmth of sunshine
to reduce your heating bills.

You can dream you’re self-sufficient
as you weed your veggie bed;
As long as you make sure to keep
A diesel in the shed.

When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, Australia, we relied on green energy. Horses and human muscles provided motive power; firewood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water; and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, veggies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and gas for a small Ford utility.

Our life changed dramatically when we put a diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines, the cream separator, and an electricity generator, which charged 16 lead-acid 2-volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32-volt D.C. system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch.

There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days ‚Äì just a heavy crank handle. But all those efforts, all that noise, and all those fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean, silent “coal power by wire.” Suddenly, the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies.

In just one lifetime, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by clean, silent, ever ready electricity.

Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from coal, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era that kept a diesel in the shed.

Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, sawmills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power, and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood chip developments, and will probably celebrate when the last refinery closes.

Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently, a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy – they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and New South Wales. However, the overloaded Bass-link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently, their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).

South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction, they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However, wind power failed recently, and a storm tore down their lifeline-bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.

As some wag said:

Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?”
Answer: “Electricity.”

The U.K. has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the U.K. government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for U.K. electricity.

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    And all while GREENPEACE hollers and yells about Fossil Fuels like Diesel their ships ARCTIC SUNRISE and RAINBOW WARRIOR II still use Diesel to keep it sailing all over the world so they can make total pests of themselves and their zodiacs still use Gasoline(Also a Fossil Fuel)so they can further make Green-Pests of themselves and also they use eletricity in their HQ as well as at their homes of their grand exualted poo poo heads

    • Avatar

      JB

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      And when Greenpeace warriors can’t read instructions in their Rainbow Warrior they inadvertently spill hundreds of litres of fuel oil into the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    A diesel in the shed it not all new and is one of the reasons green energy is so expense. I have read articles telling of how fossil fuel power plants are on line ready to go for when the green power has a dip in supply. On line doesn’t mean sitting there, they can’t be brought up quickly enough. They have to idling like a car idles. The capital cost and maintenance is the same as if the fossil fuel power plant was the main power. In the case of “a diesel in the shed”, if is truly just in the shed, a black out would have to be suffered while this capacity was brought on line.

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    The generation and distribution of electricity has over a century of evolution behind it. Even Edison’s genius was over ruled by Tesla, we learn and progress. The Green power movement should regroup, give the taxpayers a break. Stop wasting money until they have a sensible workable system that meshes with the existing grid. Reading about the Green failures in the UK was depressing, obviously no one in power was defending the treasury.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Windturbines are hazerdous for Birds and Bats plus their terribly noisie and they break down or explode often solar energy is unreliable and eco-wackos are so bent out of shape they would make a bolt of lightning look streight

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    How is a bird supposed to navigate that bird blender field ?
    Why not just aim 100 shot guns in the air and shoot constantly whenever the wind blows ?
    The solution is for every bird blender installed approving politicians must put a tower in their back yards . End of problem .

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    We weren’t the first to install wind turbines and solar farms. The governments knew what would happen. They knew that this stuff doesn’t make business sense. They knew that rural residents wouldn’t allow it. They knew that fossil-fueled generators would be needed to back up the sun and wind.So they lied and forced it through, railroaded us. Now they apologize and try to smooth things out before the next election.

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