These islands may be on opposite sides of the Earth, but they became poster children for environmentalists campaigning for countries to ditch fossil fuels. The fact remains that Tasmania and El Hierro saw their energy sectors become costly failures after going green, according to the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER) published Thursday.
“One of the biggest reasons that natural gas, oil, and coal are the world’s most-used energy resources is because they are incredibly reliable,” Daniel Simmons, vice president for policy at IER, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “By the same token, wind struggles to compete with conventional fuels because it is inherently unreliable.”
Tasmania, off Australia’s southern coast, has generated most of its electricity from hydropower and other green energy sources for more than a century. The island currently has 30 hydropower stations, supported by three wind farms. However, these sources proved to be unreliable due to weather, mismanagement, and technical issues. To make matters worse, the cable which allowed Tasmania to purchase electricity from Australia broke in December.
“Hydropower is an important part of our energy mix, but Tasmania’s energy crisis shows that even hydro can suffer from an extended period of adverse weather,” Simmons said.
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands off North Africa’s coast, replaced its diesel power plant with a hybrid wind power and pumped hydro storage system worth $94 million.
El Hierro was supposed to be the poster child for 100 percent green energy. The island, located in the Spanish Canary Islands, replaced its diesel power plant with a hybrid wind power and pumped hydro storage system worth $94 million in 2014. The system has only been active since June of 2015.
The IER analysis estimates that it would take 84 years for El Hierro’s wind and hydropower system to simply payback its capital costs.
“Using ‘100% renewables’ is great for PR, but bad for people who suffer the consequences: higher energy costs and less reliable power,” Simmons concluded.
Posted by The Daily Caller.