Monday, August 25, 2008

Renewables a Mirage?

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused governments and media of spreading myths on the ability of “renewables” to supply Australia’s future electricity.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense” Mr Viv Forbes said there was no chance that wind, solar, hydro and geothermal could supply 20% of Australia’s electricity by 2020 without massive increases in electricity costs and severe damage to Australia’s industry and standard of living. “The belief that we can go further and eliminate coal from our energy supply is a dangerous delusion.”

Well worth a read.


Wand said...

An accurate summary. I would add some comments this paragraph:

This leaves geothermal – a totally unproven technology likely to have very high costs for exploration, development, transmission and water. It is worth investigating by people prepared to speculate their capital, but geothermal will not prevent the power brownouts on the horizon unless someone abandons the misguided “crucify carbon” campaign.

The locations for extracting geothermal (or hot dry rocks) energy are also remote. For example Geodynamics has their test location in South Australia somewhere in the Cooper Basin - which is a long way from any electrical transmission infrastructure. This type of energy is not very dilute: it is just dilute which means that only a 'limited' amount can be mined from a given area. To produce a geothermal power station equivalent to a modern coal fired power station would probably occupy an area several kilometres square with all the associated problems of coupling together an array of small power systems. And it would be far less efficient than existing coal fired power stations which is why the developers are trying all manner of additions to improve the efficiency. [I wish them all the best].

To summarise: None of the renewables is capable of providing reliable continuous energy and none is capable or providing energy on any scale. I repeat None -- Not one!

And another thing, as pointed out in the article: Natural gas and coal seam gas .. : they too will be crippled by Emissions Trading.

Correct as well as the actual production for those businesses that produce fugitive emission as part of their processes. (Aluminium, steel, cement, coal mining to name a few businesses but do include gas producers. Electricity producers and oil refineries will be just throttled on their total emissions).

Simply, emissions trading may be translated to national economic suicide over a number of years and it will be painful. And irrespective of how the politics develop between now and 2010, the whole thing has introduced a Sovereign Risk to Australia that will cause investment to move elsewhere. So it is already costing the nation and Emissions Trading is yet to start!

Now what was that crap about the costs of inaction being greater than the costs of action.

Wand said...

Slowly the Wong Penny will drop. And there will be more of these stories as the months go by. Another interesting time will be at the end of the year when the final design of the ETS is released with the ‘trajectory’ to ‘reduce’ emissions. Then, it is just possible that the alarm bells will become a siren as businesses factor in the cap with the ‘target’ reduction! Actually, I think it’s surprising that no one has raised this issue yet but perhaps that’s because people are waiting to see the final ‘design’ of the monster.

Fun times indeed for the subject Economy Destruction ED 1.01! BTW the prerequisite for ED 1.01 is Sovereign Risk Destruction SRD 1.01 which Wong will have completed this coming semester.

kae said...

Wand, I just hope you are right.

I did say a long while ago that there was a definite change in the air as people were realising that AGW/CC was a crock.

I hope it happens before we are trapped into throwing much more money at a non-existent problem.

The pollies who believe with unquestioning descipleship really should be getting a wake-up - but I'm not sure what that will be.

Those who are in high positions who don't believe in AGW/CC really should be speaking out NOW.

Anonymous said...

Wand, having met you I appreciate your affinity to the industry that you work with and understand.

How about you cajole the encumbants and use blogs like this and other mediums to blow the collective dust off the mantle piece. Best wishes Mehaul