A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's All About Electricity (and profit) Stoopid!

Broadwater is a small town on the Lower Richmond River that is dominated by it's sugar mill. Everyday day thousands of cars and trucks pass by it on the busy Pacific Highway.
In the late 1970's the industrial conglomerate CSR (Colonial Sugar Refining) decided it was no longer commercially interested its 3 mills in Northern New South Wales, Harwood on the Clarence River, Broadwater on the Richmond River and Condong on the Tweed River. The mills were bought by the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative Ltd i.e the farmers that grew the sugar. The business thrived (it's world class sugar due to the slower 2 year growing cycle) and was celebrated as an example of producers doing what a corporation couldn't, make a profit for them that actually did all the hard work!
At the turn of the century the Co-operative signed a deal with Delta Energy to turn and burn the sugar cane trash into steam/electricity; sounded great in the on going desperate times of climate change.
Well its all gone kaput as the price of renewable energy has bottomed out. Broadwater Co-Generation has gone into receivership to the tune of at least 50 million dollars but it is obviously a hell of a lot more as Condong was also converted into 'Co-Gen' as well. Should it be subsidised by the taxpayers? Was it a hare-brained scheme to begin with?
It is very hard to reconcile our collective desire to do the 'right thing' by our planet and our insatiable desire for electricity (and profit). Maybe it was worth a try but I wonder who will pay in the end?

I think this is called irony!

Click here for more posts on Skywatch Friday.


  1. Love your clear blue skies, Mark.

    As for who will pay...haha! I think you already know the answer. :)

  2. recall the Condong sugar mill from my teenage years

    ironical shot indeed :)

  3. We shall just have to wait till they find a room-temperature zero-resistance substance to feed our craving for electricity:-)
    And it may benefit from red wine, but it won't be from sugar.

  4. We lived for over 20 years without electricity, people just keep wanting more and more. Now we have solar power.

  5. It has been very windy here in Ohio yesterday and today. It is also very wet and cold. The leaves are falling. The sky is a dark winter gray color. I can't seem to stay warm.

    I enjoyed my visit to your blog.

    I lived without electricity for a long time while growing up.

  6. Beautifully taken!

    Sky Watch at my page, please come and see. Have a nice weekend!

  7. Keith when the crisis comes your blog tells me that you will not only be a survivor but people will look to you for ideas on how to move forward, I preach, you practise!
    Abe hope tomorrow is a nicer day!

  8. we were driving in Queensland and saw the sugarcane farm. Someday, the world will be wise, and use everything the cane plant produces.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...