A stroppy staffer emails “Your piece in today’s Crikey strongly
suggests the Albanese motion at NSW State Conference was just
anti-nukes. Wrong.”

“The motion included a lot of comments re other energy sources,
including gas and clean coal… In the interests of balance and fairness,
I suggest you let your readers know the full story. Perhaps even
suggest they get the release at our new website.”

A pleasure – but how are we going to ensure that we’re not left in the
dark about where we’re going to get out power supplies from?

The NSW government will soon have to tackle a serious tightening in the
state’s electricity supply. The present peak demand growth in NSW
requires an increase of about 350MW a year in supply capacity. The
National Energy Market and the capacity to transfer power between
states means that this is a national problem – or at least one with the
potential to affect that vast majority of the nation’s population who
live in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

There’s an interesting green-tinged debate about the mixed price
signals we send out to consumers about the true cost of energy and
water. Petrol, it argues, is cheaper than bottled water, electricity
for a typical home costs a few dollars a day and water less – creating
no incentive to reduce our energy and water usage.

That’s demand management – but what about supply? Where can we get
power from? Around 90% of NSW’s power comes from coal. But if coal is
suddenly dirty, how will those “other energy sources” measure up – and
what do they mean for costs and the economy?

Why not have a look at the NSW Energy Directions Green Paper over the weekend so we can talk more about this later?