A solar farm to produce 60 mega watts of power, enough for 9,900 homes, is on the drawing board for Gumlu, a tiny hamlet near Bowen in North Queensland.
The proposed site is at 24 Lands Road and comprises 828 acres (330Ha).
It has preliminary approval for the export of 20MW into a 66 kilo volt power line on the land, but according to the project engineer it will suit 60MW with batteries.
The cost of solar technology has fallen 90 per cent since 2009. Better and cheaper batteries will be available in 18 months. There will be 198,000 photovoltaic solar panels on a north south axis tracking the sun. The panels will cover 247 acres (100Ha) and a two Lot subdivision is proposed with a house and cottage on each.
Rob Gordon of R J Gordon Solar Consultants is the project manager. He said there is widespread public acceptance that the need to change to clean energy is urgent. He said that this is an idea whose time has come, and everyone knows it except some of our politicians.
Mr Gordon said that we can change to 100 per cent clean energy within nine years or earlier. We only have to want to do it. Canberra will have 100 per cent clean energy within four years.
He said that business as usual is no longer feasible if we have a shred of concern for our kids, our grandkids and their grandkids.
“Privatisation has been a failure all around the world, and shops and factories are closing because of high power costs, contrary to the promise of cheaper power,” Mr Gordon said.
“The German government sets electricity prices and universities are free; we can do the same.
“Unfettered global warming will devastate fish species globally.
“The party's over. We can quickly equal the sustainability of the Northern European countries and indeed become the global leader. At present we are the most polluting people on earth on a per capita basis. Canada, Saudi Arabia and the USA round off the top four.
“The late professor of Biology at Sydney University, Charles Birch, wrote 'Confronting the Future - Australia and the world over the next 100 years' in 1975, 42 years ago. He said that if we don't change our polluting lifestyle by 1990, the planet will be ruined beyond repair.
“Every time we start a fossil fuelled motor or turn on a switch we are adding to the misery of our kids and grandkids and their generations world wide.
“There will be massive extinctions and the nation must be put on a war footing right now to save what is possible to be saved.
He is critical of the notion that we are not the problem because we produce ‘only’ 1.4 per cent of global pollution.
“This is living in ignorance and denial, with head embedded firmly in sand,” he said.
“No-one has a right to pollute. We mammals have been part of nature's balance for millions of years. This attitude is akin to being in a sinking ship and refusing to help with the bailing out because we only caused a small part of the hole in the bottom.”