16.3 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Oh what to do?

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Is hydrogen part of a sustainable energy future?

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen. For starters, it’s abundant. Hydrogen can store excess renewable power. When liquified, it’s more energy intense than fossil alternatives. In a fuel cell, it can generate electricity. When it’s burned, the only by-product is water.

Belongi Spit

John Lazarus, Byron Bay An update on proposed development of the Belongil Spit site, for the information particularly of those...

Create the opportunity for everyone to follow their dreams

Local dance group Sprung!! is an integrated dance theatre that has built a community program that creates space for...

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.

Ballina Shire for the next 4 years: time to have your say

The Ballina Shire Council’s Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2021/22 - 2024/25 will be on exhibition until the 28th of May with provisions for public feedback. 

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Charles MacFarland, Ewingsdale

I’m glad that Matthew Lambourne picked up on one of my pessimistic statements about what to do about climate change.

I wanted to promote practical discussions, instead of emotional outbreaks, and his article does this very well, discussing electricity storage.

He cites the Tesla battery in South Australia, which is great, but it is also a good example of how big the problem is. It stores 129 megawatt-hours at a cost of $100 million. As he says, ‘Australia needs about 450 GWh of storage to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity system’, so we would need 3,500 of those batteries. Do the maths.

Pumped hydro sites are also very promising, but at what cost? Currently they average around $200 per kilowatt-hour, so they would cost around 90 billion dollars.

What about the cost of the renewables themselves? A typical power plant produces about 1000 megawatts, and a solar plant of this size costs about two billion dollars. To replace our coal plants, we would need about 30 such plants (or other renewable plants of equal size).

This sort of investment is probably possible for Australia, if we can generate the political will. But what about India? They will need about 500 such plants in the next decade (according to the MIT Technology Review) just to keep up with increasing demand (because of population increase and rising standards of living).China and the US will need even more. Is that likely?

In Australia, we could stop carbon emissions from cars if everyone bought an electric (cost perhaps $35,000) and built a solar fixture to charge it (perhaps $10,000?). Ten million cars would cost $450 billion, nearly as much as the annual federal budget.

Demanding action from politicians is a good start, but we also need to change our lives through and through.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.