@Tim Brand. Thanks for the suggested questions. I’ll overlook the …

Comment on Council’s ambitious solar plan: 100% of what? by Kieran Finnane.

@Tim Brand. Thanks for the suggested questions. I’ll overlook the condescension. It’s not too late to follow up, of course. Maybe you would like to explain what you understand a virtual power plant to be and what the advantages are of it being integrated eventually with others.
I might also note that I had contact wth members of RePower Alice Springs this week ahead of publication, asking for their perspective on this plan. They said they “could not had add much at this time”.

Kieran Finnane Also Commented

Council’s ambitious solar plan: 100% of what?
Just so readers are clear, I did put to council, as follow-up questions, those suggested by Tim Brand in his first comment below, ie what does council mean by a virtual power plant and whether it would be able to be integrated with other such plants. Council has declined to answer at this early stage of the plan, as advised in yesterday’s UPDATE at the head of the article.
The focus of my earlier questions was on getting precision on the 100% coverage. The critical tone of the report was in response to the bureaucratic answer I received to this simple question. The tone was not directed to the possible virtual power plant, although Tim is right, my report lacked a definition of what is meant by this term. And with neither council nor Repower Alice Springs elucidating we would remain none the wiser.
I provide Wikipedia’s definition here: “A virtual power plant is a cloud-based [‘cloud’ being a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet] distributed power plant that aggregates the capacities of heterogeneous distributed energy resources for the purposes of enhancing power generation, as well as trading or selling power on the electricity market.”
An example, said to the world’s largest, is being developed in South Australia by Tesla and the SA Government. You can read about that here:
https://virtualpowerplant.sa.gov.au/
Hopefully, as council develops its plan, we will have more to report about a local example.


Recent Comments by Kieran Finnane

Dujuan’s moving story and its missing pieces
@ Elliat Rich: My review clearly accepts that Dujuan’s family love him. It gives space to his voice, both with direct quotes and an account of some of his experiences. He impressed me and touched me. And I feel strongly hopeful for him, given his many qualities and especially as his family seem to have found a way to help him stay safe and thrive.
However, the film asks more of its audience than empathetic and grateful witnessing. The campaign around it, which calls for specific ameliorating actions to some of the situations we see exposed in the film, makes that clear.
Even without it though, it would be a rather insouciant viewer, especially if they lived in Alice Springs, who would leave the cinema without wanting to think about what can be better done to support Dujuan and children like him. What changes might that require, in the schools, in the justice system, and more broadly, on the streets, in our neighbourhoods, in our families and our social relationships, in our politics?
My review argues that the film, for all its merits, avoids dealing with some parts of the picture that would be necessary to progress this thinking – important for the town right now, all of us, and most of all the children.


Dujuan’s moving story and its missing pieces
@Local1. The “televised violence” I refer to is indeed the scene described earlier in the article, occurring at Aranda House in December 2010, when Dylan Voller was 13 years old. The guard who physically restrained Voller in this scene was charged with aggravated assault and he was acquitted. That decision was appealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the appeal was dismissed. I reported in detail on this case in July 2016, ‘Actions of guard found to ensure “safety of Dylan Voller”’.

I stand by what I wrote at the time, that the acquittal “will not answer all of the questions the public have about this incident, including the non-legal question of whether this is any way to deal with a troubled youth no matter how provoking his behaviour”.

In the film review above, I use the term violence in its everyday meaning.


Cr Auricht: All the way with USA on fate of Assange
Some commenters are assuming that the Alice Springs Town Council has come to a decision to write to the Federal Government in support of repatriating Assange. The vote on a motion to do so will come at the end of the month meeting (February 24). The mood in the chamber on February 10, as reported, would not have delivered a majority in favour.


Doomsday Clock now 100 seconds to midnight
John Bell mis-characterises the concept of the Doomsday Clock. Its point is not to foretell the ‘End of the World’ but to focus minds on understanding the threats to life on Earth as we have known it and on doing something about them. The threats are not limited to climate change, as our excerpted article makes clear.
When the Clock was devised as a communications tool, it was seeking to avoid nuclear catastrophe. That threat is more potent than ever; again the article points to why.
While the Clock’s apocalyptic language possibly limits its usefulness in these cynical and highly polarised days, the evolution of the carefully considered assessments that have stood behind it over its seventy plus years are an important record of humankind’s ability to cooperate on dealing with existential threats, or not. The ‘100 seconds to midnight’ is a measure of this, of us.
Kieran Finnane, moderator, senior writer, Alice Springs News


War on Iran must be prevented
@ Interested Darwin Observer. The questionable legality of the US killing of Qassem Soleimani has been widely discussed in mainstream media, for example, the BBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times.
A key word in the debate, in international law, is ‘imminent’: were the future Iranian attack plans, that the US claimed to be deterring by the killing, imminent? If so, this could justify the use of lethal force. Under international law, that means the necessity to respond would have been “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation”. When the US began belatedly using the word ‘imminent’ to justify the action, it provided no evidence of any such overwhelming necessity, nor evidence even of a more loosely defined imminent threat.
The debate is not limited to IL considerations. There are also questions being asked, again in mainstream media, about whether the killing was justified under US law.
For these reasons the Alice Springs News, in its introduction to Mr Pilbrow’s comment, referred to the killing as “arguably illegal”.
I will leave it to others to take up the other points you make.
Kieran Finnane, moderator, senior writer, Alice Springs News.


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