How does this work?

In Tasmania most of our Eletricity comes Via a Hydro Electric program state wide. This is good I guess for the Environment, as it negates the need for coal fired power stations etc… The climate down here fluctuates from beautiful summer days to very cold winters, and many people run electric heating and wood fires. Due to the Pine Plantations there is always a large amount of fire wood for a price.

Recently like in other years Hydro Tasmania has needed to import power via Basslink from Victoria. This is safety net for Hydro. If the electricity in storage becomes low they simply import it across Bass Strait for a price of course.

A few months ago Hydro cried poor, stating the rising costs of importing power and generating their power was leaving the company in a position of near loss. The Government powers agreed and our energy cost was increased. Fair enough people thought, what many people don’t know is they already pay far more than their Mainland counterparts, they are told it is cheap and therefore believe it, sheep I think.

After this revelation from Hydro Tas, you would have thought they would be putting their energy into increase production through their own system, updating equipment, ensuring everything was in excellent running order and reopening the hydro plants they have closed, to boost their energy output to the storage units.

Well any reasonable person would think so. An increase in costs means an increase in profit and this money should go back into the company to lift productivity to insure a service to customers. In Tasmania you can only use Hydro Tas as there is no other supplier.

But this is not the case at all.

Even as the company once again cries poor stating they are spending $11 million per month due to lower than required rain fall, They are talking of investing in renewable energy’s with the money they say they dont have.

Here is the news report from the ABC

Hydro looking at $400m worth of projects to increase power generation by 10pc

Posted Thu May 1, 2008 4:02pm AEST

Hydro Tasmania hopes to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to increase its power output by 10 per cent.

By increasing generation, the state-owned company can provide enough electricity for an extra 100,000 homes.

The company is investigating 400 million dollars’ worth of projects, including mini hydro generators and refurbishing existing infrastructure, to improve efficiency.

Hydro has also set itself the target of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2012.

The chief executive Vince Hawksworth says the continuing drought means it is already a difficult time for Hydro.

“We’re also thinking carefully about how we make more use of what rain does occur, and that’s what the 1,000 gigawatt hours project is about,” he said.

“It’s about taking the rain that does come and making better use of it than we do today.”

Mr Hawksworth says a range of technology will be used to increase output, including on wind-powered turbines.

“We’re putting some new technology in that allows us to get more wind into the system that we would have otherwise.”

The Premier, Paul Lennon, says the project has one goal.

“To get better efficiencies out of the existing Hydro System.”

“What that means in practical terms is enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes in Tasmania.”

The Government is also considering another equity transfer from Transend to Hydro Tasmania.

Very commendable this project is. Good on them for going green or at least thinking about it, however and whenit comes to Tasmania there is always a However, A few months ago a windfarm proposed as to be built by a private company was knocked on the head. The two wind farms currently in Tasmania are:

Huxley HIll sponsored by Hydro Tasmania and Woolnorth sponsored by Roaring 40’s and you guessed it Hydro Tas.

The fact that many Windfarms have been stopped, stating environmental concerns such as endangering birds and wildlife this argument is not holding water when the State Government and their power station which wishes to build their own windfarm.

It is quite amazing how many problems seem to disappear, endangered animals and birds, human health issues, air and water quality issues, dont seem to be a problem when it comes to Hydro Tas, or Gunns Logging or many others.

Perhaps one day the People of Tasmania will see exactly what is happening to their/our beautiful state before it is ruined beyond repair. But I seriously doubt that will happen in the near future.

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