Renewable energy is the future - get used to it

In reading Ewan McDonald's letter about questioning solar farms (Country News, February 9) he could have been a respondent to the previous letter with the headline ‘MDBA cherry-picks history to suit itself'.

Mr McDonald is reading from yesterday’s news.

Renewable energy is here to stay, and engaging with renewables on farms gives diversity of income for farmers.

For example, the Neoen solar farm at Wahgunyah (370,000 solar panels) powers Melbourne’s trams, and the farm has panels on elevated axles to follow the sun.

The elevated structure allows sheep to graze underneath. On this farm, the sheep previously had no summer shade, but now they are happier and healthier and so more profitable than before.

This is a win-win for farmers. This is the new economy.

Subsidised renewables? You bet. It’s the Renewable Energy Target, and that’s what governments should do with our taxes.

The fossil fuel industry is also subsidised at every turn, like most of our national infrastructure.

Coal power is subsidised, but there is also the $10 million given to the aged NSW Vales Point coal-fired power station last year, to prop up its dirty life span, just for starters. And the owner is a big donor to the Liberal Party.

The International Energy Agency found that early 2020 renewables were cheaper than fossil fuels for energy.

The gulf continues to widen favouring cheap, reliable green power.

Coal can’t compete on price, and can’t compete on emissions.

The investment world is responding to the science and the urgent need to cut emissions.

Insurance, banks and companies are quitting investment in fossil fuels because that will give a chance at a future where we don’t all cook each summer, if we don’t burn.

The royal commission into last summer’s protracted bushfires concluded that we can expect big fires more often, and up to three times the intensity.

There's climate change in action, and fossil fuel blindness helps no-one. You can’t escape the science.

The National Farmers’ Federation has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and the AIG and the BCA. Farmers for Climate Action have raised the bar even higher, with net zero emissions by 2030.

This is the ambition that drives an exciting future, and they are doing it now.

If there is a white elephant in the room, Ewan, it's the gas-led recovery concept.

Or that coal-fired power can ever be clean, or be cheap again.

A renewable future is being accountable to our grandchildren. Would you choose otherwise?

Peter Lockyer