Monday, September 17, 2012

Repowering Port Augusta

In the South Australian town of Port Augusta, the coal-fired plant is reaching the end of its days. The question is whether to replace it with a gas-fired one, or with a solar thermal power station.

Though the final decision will probably be made by politicians, the locals decided to have their say by having a town vote. And in typical country Australia style, they used the local sports scoreboard to tally up the votes.

Clearly the people are heavily in favour of solar, with a score of 4053 to 43. Not surprising that the people want to move away from burning fossil fuels - the area has a lung cancer rate 50% higher than average. Or the vote might reflect the safety of solar, or that it doesn't affect the town's water.

Even the local council is behind it - possibly because of all the local jobs it would bring (many more than coal or gas).

It seems to be the obvious solution. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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