Coal production and use is a very significant contributor to Greenhouse Gas concerns. Unfortunately for Australia it remains a millstone around the country's neck. And the reason is easy to see. We are the world's largest exporter of the stuff and have been for about 20 years, in fact it is our single largest export, worth over $24 billion AUD. And at home it provides a source of fiscally cheap electricity. But ever so slowly it is dawning on people that it's environmentally very costly. Could this be why in recent weeks the state of NSW has been carpet bombing TV screens with commercials for their Green Power scheme, with a young girl cavorting beneath wind turbines. Since it was first introduced back in 2003 as "a world-first" in greenhouse gas reductions, the program is said to have cut GHG emissions by 31 million tonnes, or as they say, equal to "taking 7 million cars off our roads for a year." At this time NSW gets about 6% of its electricity from renewables. The plan now is to get the state to the point where 15% of electricity is renewably generated by 2020, assuming the goal of 10% by 2010 can be first achieved. Mandatory targets have been proscribed for energy retailers, but the person on the street is also encouraged to purchase 'GreenPower' from their provider, or change to another provider who offers a better deal. The website is quite clear to follow. But will it be enough? In 2004 the Australian Greenhouse Office reported that NSW had shown just a 1.2% reduction in GHG emissions since 1990. Yet the same government behind the GreenPower push has been actively pursuing yet another coal mine for the state. Well, it was until a few months ago, when a court ruled against it on climate change grounds. ::GreenPower NSW.
GreenPower - 15% Renewable Energy by 2020
Coal production and use is a very significant contributor to Greenhouse Gas concerns. Unfortunately for Australia it remains a millstone around the country's neck. And the reason is easy to see. We are the world's largest exporter of the stuff and