‘Move to clean energy’, says Anglesea resident

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Although US aluminium giant Alcoa recently announced the closure of its Point Henry smelter in Geelong, the fate of its Anglesea coal mine and power station remains uncertain.

Friends of the Earth analysis shows retirement of the Anglesea coal power station can occur without a noticeable impact on power prices. Given that the coal plant was built to power the smelter, there’s no social licence to operate as a stand-alone generator.

In kind, concerned resident Regina Gleeson highlights the adverse health risks facing those in proximity to coal-fired plant in a letter published by The Age:

Carbon monoxide has hospitalised 19 firefighters who were at the three-kilometre fire at Hazelwood power station (The Age, 17/2). It underscores the daily assault experienced by people who live near coalmines and coal-fired power stations in the Latrobe Valley and Surf Coast. Situation normal is elevated levels of sulphur dioxide, with Hazelwood emitting 12 million kilograms a year and Alcoa Anglesea emitting 35 million kilograms a year.

The World Health Organisation and United States Environmental Protection Agency have concluded there is no safe level of exposure to sulphur dioxide. It exacerbates asthma and increases lung disease, hospital admissions and emergency department attendances. Also, arsenic, mercury, fluorine, cadmium, lead, selenium and zinc are released with coal combustion. Fine dust is inhaled into the lungs and causes long-term damage. Coalmining and power generation are dangerous. We should transition to clean renewable energy. Continue reading “‘Move to clean energy’, says Anglesea resident”

No need for polluting Alcoa coal plant

ImageEnvironment group Friends of the Earth say there’s no need for Alcoa to be granted a license to generate electricity at their Anglesea coal power plant. Rather, the plant that came online in the 1960s should be retired—delivering public health and climate change benefits for Victorians.

The current state of the energy market makes the retirement of the coal power plant possible. There’s now an oversupply of fossil fuel generators in the energy system.

The oversupply is due to decreasing electricity demand from increased energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar and wind farms coming online.

In its application, Alcoa says the impacts of not granting the license on electricity prices and reliability must be considered. Removing 150 megawatts of polluting coal power is really a drop in the ocean in terms of power prices. The impact of rejecting Alcoa’s generation license on electricity prices would be virtually undetectable.

Retiring the Alcoa coal power station will barely affect power prices, yet will deliver benefits for the local community who are sick of pollution spewing over their community. It will also deliver sizable carbon emissions savings and help Victorians address climate change. Continue reading “No need for polluting Alcoa coal plant”

Why are renewable energy projects being killed off by the Napthine govt?

After appearing in The Geelong Advertiser expressing concern about the Napthine government’s energy policy–which has killed of another renewable energy project in the Geelong/Surf Coast region–Yes 2 Renewables received the following letter from Geelong and Surf Coast locals, Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson.

Aidt and Gleeson make a forceful argument about the need for the state government to support renewables and act on climate change:

Why is it decision makers in Australia think it is important to spend millions of dollars on building new and bigger roads, while investing in renewable energy, which can lead to improved health and a safer climate, is not important?

The seriousness of the threat which climate change presents has recently been emphasised by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their Fifth Assessment Report shows there’s is a planetary emergency. Why on earth are the politicians who have been elected to take responsibility for our safety and well-being not thinking  that these risks of climate calamity described by science should be dealt with immediately and with full force? Continue reading “Why are renewable energy projects being killed off by the Napthine govt?”

Listening Post: Y2R in Geelong

By Simon Ross, Y2R volunteer.

Geelong stall 2On Sunday June 2nd, Yes 2 Renewables campaigners Lan and Simon headed to the Belmont Markets in Geelong in blustery conditions and set up a Y2R listening post. The aim: to gauge public opinion on local renewable energy developments.

What did we find? A couple of enquirers had strong opinions on noise generated by wind turbines, however the majority of stall visitors were happy to sign Y2R’s petition calling on Premier Napthine to lift the restrictions on wind energy development and stop Coal Seam Gas extraction, despite the bad weather! One signatory from ‘down the coast’ said he loved wind energy so much he was planning on building some on his own property (not too coastal we hope!). Continue reading “Listening Post: Y2R in Geelong”

How far is 2km? Across the coalmine!

If you stand on Fraser Avenue at the back of Anglesea, you can’t see the coal mine that is a few hundred metres to your north. It’s behind the low coastal scrublands and of course, a big hole in the ground is hard to notice until you stumble right upon it. But it’s undeniably there. If you live in Anglesea, there might appear to be little you can do about the coal mine and power station. It has been there since 1961, and owner Alcoa is seeking a 50 year extension of it’s original lease and an extension of the … Continue reading How far is 2km? Across the coalmine!

Anglesea mine expansion fears

While the Victorian government moves to close off wind development on the Bellarine and Surf Coast, they are doing nothing to halt open cut coal mining. What energy source would you prefer in your back yard? From the Geelong Advertiser, journalist Carmel Christensen. ENVIRONMENTALISTS have demanded Alcoa and the State Government come clean on any plans to expand the Anglesea coal mine into heritage-listed heathland. The two parties are currently locked in confidential negotiations that will extend the company’s lease of the power station by an additional 50 years. Alcoa spokesman Brendan Foran said with talks in progress he could … Continue reading Anglesea mine expansion fears

‘Geo-power plant set for Alcoa land’

ALCOA has signed an agreement to host a controversial geothermal power plant on the company’s Surf Coast coal mine land, according to a spokesperson. But the spokesperson said Alcoa was as yet unable to say whether the agreement with Greenearth Energy could allow the aluminium giant to close its coal-fired power plant near Anglesea. The spokesperson called the agreement a “zero-emission power investment” for Alcoa. “We are interested in looking at energy sources all the way around the world that are renewable, as we are using renewable energy in Iceland now.” The spokesperson said the Greenearth project could deliver a … Continue reading ‘Geo-power plant set for Alcoa land’