Victoria faces global warming power shortages


A report commissioned by the Victorian Government anticipated that the strain of population growth on the power system was likely to result in brownouts, blackouts, system failures and increased water shortages, according to The Sydney Morning Herald(19/5/2007, p. 4).

CSIRO predicts rough times ahead: The report was prepared by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in conjunction with the consultant Maunsell Australia and the law firm Phillips Fox. It highlighted the existing market concerns and soaring futures prices, warning "The strain on the [power] system as the population grows and more people install air-conditioners could result in brownouts or blackouts and system failures."

The water crisis: The report also expected that water shortages experienced by Snowy Hydro and coal-fired plants in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley were likely to worsen. Three Victorian coal-fired power stations, Loy Yang A, Loy Yang B and Yallourn W, were already receiving an annual water entitlement from the Government equivalent to 20 per cent of Melbourne’s entire annual water use. The extreme water shortages had forced them to buy additional water elsewhere to maintain capacity. Queensland had also been severely affected by water shortages. On 16 May 2007, Rio Tinto announced that it was cutting 160 jobs at its Tarong coalmine due to a water shortage which had forced Tarong Energy to reduce power generation by 70 per cent.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 19/5/2007, p. 4

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