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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Skipping 19th century tech

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Robin Harrison, Binna Burra

Colin Clarke’s concern for rural Indian children unable to access centralised power grids does him credit but, like their problems with accessing telephone landlines, it’s being solved with 21st-century technology.

Most of India is without landlines and they are sidestepping that technology and going straight to mobiles. Similarly most of India without access to centralised fossil-fuel power grids are sidestepping that technology and going straight to distributed renewable generation.

If Colin cares to do the research he will find the need for redundant 19th century technology is reducing in both India and China so there’s no need to destroy the Great Artesian Basin and/or the Great Barrier Reef in order to create what will shortly be a stranded asset.Welcome to the 21st century, Colin.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Robin, India faces an overcapcity of coal powered stations but much of that relates to financial problems in inneficent state generators brought about by widespread electricity theft, lack of metering and corrupt metering. Middle class people who can afford to do so are going around the poor service and supply problems by installing solar. With better governace of distribution a sharp increase in production and demand would be likely for cheap legal coal-powered power and that would be enormously benficial to its economy and to its efforts to reduce poverty.

    Lack of access to cheap legal power leaves poorer third world people using dangerous cables to steal power or generating heat light and by candles, kerosine, wood and charcoal which are more expensive, less effcient, generate greater overall and point of use pollution, can cause respiratory problems and are a fire hazard. It leads companies and wealthy people having to use inneficent and expenive backup diesel generators during the many blackouts and brown outs, and leads to dispruptions in production.

    While we hope Indians like Australians might in the future meet their energy needs by sustainable power; in the interim, and again as in Australia low income people pay for poorly structured electricty systems. By its exports Australia can help India make the interim transition from dangerous and polluting traditional energy sources to relatively clean and much safer coal power.

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