Mark Latham slams solar power as an 'irresponsible experiment' and claims it powered ZERO per cent of the grid after heavy rains left 150,000 ......
Feb. 11, 2020
Mark Latham has slammed solar energy and claims it did nothing to help after the heaviest downpour in 30 years sparked widespread power outages.
The One Nation New South Wales leader blasted the renewable resource on Tuesday after severe wet weather battered New South Wales over the weekend.
He said 'solar bottoms out' and is the 'most irresponsible' public policy 'experiment' in Australia's history.
'When it does rain, it shows how ineffective solar panels can be,' Mr Latham wrote on Facebook.
'Currently in NSW, the energy grid is being powered up 93% by Black Coal, 4% hydro, 2% wind and ZERO solar.
'In truth, renewables are the wildest, most irresponsible experiment in the history of Australian public policy.'
Data from the Australian Energy Market Operator appears to support Latham's claim solar power played almost no role during the height of the deluge on Sunday afternoon.
At 6am on Sunday morning, according to the AEMO data , solar energy in New South Wales represented zero per cent of fuel usage.
Black coal usage sat at 83 per cent, with solar power generating 0MWh towards the state's consumption.
Later on in the day though, the data shows an increase in solar power usage to six per cent at 1pm and three per cent at 5pm as the storm continued to lash Sydney and surrounding regions.
The AEMO also pointed out their fuel mix graph did not include any power 'generated by rooftop solar' as it 'exists behind the meter'.
The NSW government has also reported the use of solar, wind and bioenergy power has more than doubled from four to nine per cent between 2013 and 2017.
Utility and large commercial solar operations - those over 100kW - have also shown large growth in that time period, according to a report by the state government.
In 2017, large operations generated 400MW of the state's solar output per year.
Total solar growth across all scales has grown nine-fold from 200MW per year in 2010 to 1800MW per year in 2017, the report said.
Solar advocacy body Solar Citizens told Daily Mail Australia in response to the politician's comments the Australians were tired of 'people like Mark Latham playing petty politics with energy'.
'It's time to get on with the transition to clean low cost fuels like wind and solar. Millions of Australian households investing in solar panels can't be wrong,' the body's national director Ellen Roberts said.
'Renewables enable a more stable energy supply during extreme weather events.
'Community microgrids, connecting local renewable energy sources, will mean that towns and communities to keep their electricity supply even if poles and wires are impacted by storms and fires.'
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