Don Elder waxed poetic about the prospects for NZ coal this week at Solid Energy’s maiden annual meeting in Auckland.
We have more coal resource energy per capita than Saudi Arabia has oil. In a world of increasing demand, and increasingly constrained supply of energy, New Zealand is now the lucky country.
Sorry, Don, but New Zealand was always the lucky country, in energy resources and otherwise, long before the commodity price spike made Solid Energy’s ledger look good.
The truth is, coal is not last century’s energy source, but the 19th century’s energy source. It was dirty then and it is still dirty today. So obnoxious is coal that as early as 1306, King Edward I of England banned the burning of coal in London by everyone except blacksmiths. 700 years later and we still haven’t got the message. We are still looking to the past to solve the challenges of the present. I think Edward’s ruling would be just a pertinent today as it was in 1306. Eliminate all coal burning except for blacksmiths – in our case, NZ Steel.
Don’t look back Don, look forward. Instead of building a 1 Megawatt coal seam power plant, why not build a 1 Megawatt concentrated solar array? I promise I’ll leave my lilly pad to come and project manage the job for you. This GreenVolts CPV may not be the perfect choice for NZ conditions, but it is just one of many solar technologies that has reached the commercial stage:
The future is green, Don, not a sooty black. Don’t look back, look forward to a greener future.