Mark Diesendorf: As renewable electricity continues to grow rapidly, the proponents of coal power in federal government and the media are claiming that our electricity system needs ‘dispatchable, baseload’ power stations. The federal government plans to obtain them either by forcibly extending the lifetimes of clapped-out old coal stations such as Liddell, or by building a new, taxpayer subsidised, coal station. This, the proponents claim, is necessary for maintaining the reliability of the generating system. This article acknowledges that we need genuinely dispatchable power stations to complement the growing capacity of variable renewable energy power stations (wind and solar PV) and argues that these can be provided by renewable energy technologies. It shows that coal and other baseload power stations cannot fill that role.
Renew Economy 22nd Aug 2018 read more »