For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Richard Feynman

Consultant Dan

13 May 2011

What to read today: renewable energy, climate politics, ephemera

Here are my best reads for today, with an emphasis on the Australian Budget, which was delivered on Tuesday by Treasurer Wayne Swan.

  • Michelle Grattan at the Age gives the Labor government credit for winding back “middle class” welfare" for families earning $150,000+ and blames former Liberal PM John Howard for inaugurating the handouts

  • Peter Hartcher at the Sydney Morning Herald says that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott failed to deliver a proper budget reply and instead gave an election stump speech

  • Andrew Probyn at the West Australian largely agrees with Hartcher

  • Refugee advocate Tanveer Ahmed comes out with support for the new Malaysia-Australia refugee deal

  • I was in a story on ABC yesterday that is highly critical of the solar program cuts in the Budget and which puts pressure on Energy Minister Martin Ferguson

In other news

Ever since I joined the Board of Hepburn Wind, Australia’s first community wind farm, I watch out for articles about how to build community support for wind. The best resource I know of is Energy Self Reliant States.

  • This post argues that when communities have ownership, control and financial investment in wind farms, then anti-wind opposition melts away.

CleanTechnica is a great source of cleantech commentary and news. One of the key campaigns from the big polluters which our sector has to counter is that high amounts of wind generation cause problems for the electricity grid.

  • This rather technical article rebuts the anti-wind points very well and explains that the intermittency of wind generation is simply a grid design factor to be managed not an obstacle to be feared.

  • The latest claim from the anti-wind movement is that the turbines create life-threatening health impacts on locals. Dr George Crisp of Doctors for the Environment finds the evidence unconvincing.

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