Cross Post: Brendan Pearson Why is Australia the only place in Asia where HELE coal generation isn’t clean?

The central organising principle of the Finkel review is the adoption of a technology neutral approach to energy policy. Although that is an important step forward, the review falls short of its own guiding principle in two fundamental respects.

First, the review describes itself as a “once in a generation” opportunity to develop a reliable, low emissions energy system. Then it studiously ignores the only zero emissions baseload energy source available – nuclear power. That’s despite the fact that more than half the world’s population live in countries that have access to nuclear power. The review team justifies this on the basis there is no point recommending options that are politically difficult. In other words, the once in a generation review has missed a once in a generation opportunity to prod Australia’s major political parties into a genuine and comprehensive technology neutral approach.

Second, the review implies that new High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) coal generation does not qualify as “clean energy”. There are at least three reasons why this is a flawed presumption, with potentially adverse consequences for the cost and reliability of Australia’s energy system.

First, the emissions baseline adopted in the review’s modelling is completely arbitrary – it is high enough to include open cycle gas generation and just low enough to exclude new coal generation. The reality is that new super-efficient coal generation has played a fundamental role in reducing global CO2 emissions over recent decades.

In our case, replacing Hazelwood with a new HELE plant would bring CO2 emissions savings of more than 50 per cent. Similar savings would be achieved with HELE replacements for the Yallourn plant in the Latrobe Valley and the Liddell plant in NSW, due for retirement over the next decade. A new state-of-the-art plant has been proposed for north Queensland that would help remedy their energy shortfall and high energy costs.

We would simply be emulating the efforts of dozens of countries to meet their Paris climate targets.

Germany is building new low emissions coal plants that can ramp up and down to integrate with intermittent renewables. Japan, the pioneer of HELE technology, has plans for an additional 45 coal plants. China has built 400 new units to replace old, polluting plants and has plans for hundreds more.

A recent IEA Clean Coal Centre report noted that China’s recent embrace of HELE technology had reduced its emissions footprint by 450 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. Meanwhile India has more than 600 plants planned and South-East Asia is building dozens of plants over the next decade.

In other words, if the government adopts the implicit Finkel review baseline, the only country in East Asia that doesn’t regard new super-efficient coal plants as clean energy will be Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter.

The Finkel review counters that its recommendations do not prohibit or even discourage new coal-fired generation in Australia. On this logic, the Renewable Energy Target did not disadvantage coal and gas generation either. The problem is the empirical evidence does not support this proposition – over the last eight years of the operation of the RET not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit was built.

And is it really plausible that an Australian government, of any political stripe, will support new power generation – of any kind – if it does not meet the government’s own (arbitrary) classification of “clean energy”. A related point is that any emissions baseline should take account of the fact that Australia’s wind and solar farms only produce energy about one-third of the time and need to be backed up by coal or gas. There is no zero emissions renewable energy. Some say batteries are the answer. Maybe. That said, it was only a year ago that the Chief Scientist warned that if you took all the batteries from all the mobile phones, laptops and cars and used them as a back-up global energy system you would have nine seconds of power.

The bottom line is cost. New coal generation is the cheapest energy option around and it is the most reliable. That’s as true in Australia as it is in East Asia where 1250 new HELE units are under construction or planned. This technology is not subject to the vagaries of volatile gas markets or that of the weather. As the old coal plants are retired over the next decade, a singular reliance on gas markets and renewables with batteries or pumped hydro is quite a risk play on our industrial base.

The best, more affordable and reliable energy mix is a balanced one with contributions from gas, renewables, new HELE coal, and later from carbon capture and storage as well as (eventually) nuclear. To get there we need a genuine and comprehensive technology neutral approach.

The Finkel review has made a valuable contribution to this objective but with a couple of important exceptions.

Brendan Pearson is chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia. This op-ed first appeared in the Financial Review.

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66 Responses to Cross Post: Brendan Pearson Why is Australia the only place in Asia where HELE coal generation isn’t clean?

  1. Zyconoclast

    Where arse clowns dominate (I’m looking at you Frydenberg) HELE struggles.

  2. Rayvic

    It is surprising that Brendan Pearson considers ‘carbon capture and storage’ as practical technology. Can he name the power stations where this has been used satisfactorily?

  3. RobK

    A good critique. If the CO2 issue really needs to be addressed then pushing some nuclear early makes a lot of sense since it will take a little while to gain expertise and it will take the heat out of the renewballs racket and those wanky wind mills and abhorrent thermal solar furnaces. Lets stick with known, proven technologies while we look at pie in the sky stuff at our leisure.

  4. Robber Baron

    Suicide is the best way to describe Australia’s energy policy.

  5. “The best, more affordable and reliable energy mix is…”

    Coal with coal…and maybe some coal.

    Seriously, what is this about energy “mix” and carbon capture storage? Why mess up coal power with a “mix” and why waste energy (hence coal) burying “carbon”. Don’t mix, don’t bury. Modernise and extend coal usage!

    Wind is great for pumping, solar handy away from the grid. Nukes would be very handy if we didn’t have centuries supply of the best Permian Black. (Maybe SA can go nuke. They’d better do something.)

    I might add that our greatest resource lies in abundance along the Sydney-Gunnedah-Bowen Basin and thus does not have to be carted through the Strait of Hormuz (the little stretch of water which can cause global panic within 24 hours of being blocked).

    For Oz, coal doesn’t involve pipeline wars, sea lane wars or territory wars. In such a naughty world, that matters.

    Big Oil has donated to the War on Coal and gone all tree-huggy because it knows coal is just so up for-the-job. That’s how good coal is. Big Oil hates coal like Coke hates Pepsi.

    Coal is domestic, unlike the masses of diesel consumed by South Australia when the wind don’t blow and they can’t bludge spare (brown) coal power off the Vics. All those gennies people are snapping up in green states? They run on diesel, hence Strait of Hormuz etc etc.

    Just do the coal, in nice new plants. Okay?

  6. Zyconoclast

    Just do the coal, in nice new plants.

    👍

  7. RobK

    We have plenty of nuclear resources too and it could do with some support. It will slot-in where the coal isn’t. Plenty to go round, extend the resources.

  8. Yohan

    The Finkel review has made a valuable contribution to this objective but with a couple of important exceptions.

    Come on, call a spade a spade. This Finkel report was deliberately written to exclude coal. Which means it was ideologically motivated and should be thrown out.

  9. mareeS

    Australia. What happened? And how did we let it happen?

    Boy oh boy, there is trouble ahead.

  10. wal1957

    Yohan @ 2:47 “Come on, call a spade a spade. This Finkel report was deliberately written to exclude coal. Which means it was ideologically motivated and should be thrown out.”

    Spot on there Yohan, with the exception that others have pointed out…Why the hell did they not even consider nuclear?

    This country’s politicians have all been ‘de-nutted’, no balls and no brains.

    Forgot to mention, have you heard the latest joke going around…
    apparently our energy costs, and therefore our bills are going to decrease… HAHAHAHA

  11. GD

    Just do the coal, in nice new plants.

    Absolutely, mosomoso!
    Fat chance that’s going to happen though.

  12. struth

    The UN has decreed that only the air in western countries causes climate change.
    Funny about that.
    Once we truly understand that the reason Abbott had to go was that he wasn’t one of the UN’s people then we get that Malcom and Skeletor are.
    They are scum not dumb.
    They are not pandering to green voters.
    They are pandering to the UN.
    They are traitors working for a foreign power.
    An anti western globalist socialist corrupted evil.

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    The review team justifies this on the basis there is no point recommending options that are politically difficult.

    I assume that another of the “politically difficult” options is hydroelectricity. Dams and generators. We have a range of mountains which stretches from western Victoria to northern Queensland. Why isn’t Finkel recommending a massive dam building effort?

    I think we all know the answer.

  14. struth

    Australia has more wealth generating and power generating resources than any other country on earth.
    What it doesn’t have is an excuse.

  15. This constant discussion over targets and percentages only deflects the conversation away from the real issue.
    The notion that CO2 is for some reason to be avoided is pure nonsense.
    The hoax that has been perpetrated is the sole reason that the advantage Australia had at the turn of the 21st century, of abundant, reliable, and affordable energy has been destroyed in order to satisfy a fairy tale.
    Nero fiddled while Rome burned. In the same way the gullible, the stupid, and the ignorant continue the attack on one of the three materials essential for life of any kind on this orb.

  16. john constantine

    Their united nations, struth, cannot be directly referred to in conversation with swinging voters.

    The massive propaganda blitz that has cemented in public perception that anybody objecting to the way global totalitarianism has occupied the united nations is a ‘black helicopter, gun nut conspiracy theorist’ was an effort that has made the left billions.

    There are work arounds, depending on your audience.

    “Global centerlink”

    “worldwide vicroads”

    Universal council bin inspectors”.

    Parking ticket inspectors

    The list goes on, but if anybody got on waleeds show and mentions the united nations, waleed would denounce them as nutters to his fans.

    [waleed supports the united nations, and he supports the invasion of west papua, funny that.]

  17. struth

    Well somebody should do that with a few answers for waleed and a few more questions.
    What is his stand on homosexuality?
    Why is it the UN believes only westrrn airspace causes global warming?
    If it really is a problem, allowing countries that aren’t western to do as they please while receiving western money and exploding in coal power production proves it isn’t.
    It really is too simple to see.
    People that aren’t looking don’t find what is purposely hidden.
    Being called names by the left is irrelevant.
    That is easily beaten with the truth and clear thinking.

  18. Bruce

    There is a fair swag of high-grade uranium ore under the Northern Territory.

    The amount of coal under Queensland is utterly staggering.

    Ultimately, all is political.

    Whoever controls, (by whatever means), the generation of, and connection to, electricity in this dire penal colony, has a gun ( metaphorically and if needed, literally) to the heads of the much-abused and studiously benighted populace.

    As for this notion of “carbon (dioxide) capture and underground sequestration: Anyone with a working knowledge of high-shool chemistry and geology should be very wary.

    The process is akin to the loudly condemned “fracking. Use a HUGE amoune of energy to force gaseos Carbon Dioxide into “holes” in the ground. “Permeable” rocks, you say? What is closely associated with such features? WATER. Thus the creation of underground deposits of the rather weak Carbonic acid. The same carbonic acid that slowly, but inexorably dissolves limestone, forming pretty caves, etc. Apply the sorts of pressures rrquired to force and holds all this CO2 down there and reaction rates will increase.

    Any “disinterested “ rock doctors out there who would care to riff on the potential consequences?

    The black irony is also that in western Queensland we have teams of people drilling holes to EXTRACT Carbon dioxide from deep underground, for industrial use. MUCH cheaper than extracting it from the atmosphere. Where do people think the gas in the pale-green bottles connected to their beer “temp-rite” comes from?

    Then again, how much CO2 is produced by the fermentation processes used by all the beer and wine makers globally? And vented straight into the atmosphere!

    “Carbon-neutral” beer? Barley, wheat, rice and hops to absorb the CO2 and make MORE beer!

  19. Baldrick

    Just do the coal, in nice new plants.

    Whilst the RET survives and taxpayers are subsidising Renewballs, nobody is going to build a nice new coal plant where companies are penalised for digging up and then burning coal to the point where it is uneconomically viable. Nobody.

  20. Bear Necessities

    The Finkel review has made a valuable contribution to this objective but with a couple of important exceptions.

    Such double talk at the end shows why the conservative side of politics always loses. They want to get along and have a seat at the table irrespective of the outcome. They would eat a turd burger and ask for more if it meant remaining at the table.

    Shivers in search of spines!

  21. C.L.

    “The best, more affordable and reliable energy mix is…”
    ———————
    Coal with coal…and maybe some coal.

    Seriously, what is this about energy “mix” and carbon capture storage? Why mess up coal power with a “mix” and why waste energy (hence coal) burying “carbon”. Don’t mix, don’t bury. Modernise and extend coal usage!

    Indeed. Why acknowledge this premise, which is not only false but which started the crazy campaign against coal in the first place? Australian conservatives always seem to breathe life into the ideas they’re trying to overcome by paying undue and self-weakening deference to expedient leftist premises. They seem to think this will bolster the recrudescence of sanity but, in fact, it only bolsters the craziness.

  22. john constantine

    Their finkel review progresses the necessary overthrow of the Anglosphere and the necessary climate justice wealth transfer to the high birthrate cannon fodder plantation countries under the sway of the global totalitarian left.

    Remember there are 60 million people on the move, 30 million of them children, and if we do not meekly submit to Stalinism and climate justice right now, they will simply breed up until the cost of climate justice is even higher.

    Stopping the boats didn’t stop the movement of people, just backlogged it so it will spurt under pressure once released again.

    Failing to dynamite the coal plants right now, just means the left will have to dynamite them all at once, as soon as the shorten foundation can sign the thirty year unbreakable contracts for the insiders to do ruinables to replace them.

  23. duncanm

    The fact we’re not a world leader in nuclear energy continues to astound me, and confirms just how stupid and short-sighted our population, politicians and leading public servants (I’m looking at you, chief scientists) are.

    We have the fuel, geology for waste storage, vast expanses of open unusable country, raw materials to process (Bauxite, Iron ore), education systems, stable political and legal systems.. the list goes on.

    It just confirms we are the lazy and stupid country.

  24. duncanm

    and why

    (eventually) nuclear

    .

    We could buy and off-the-shelf US reactor for pittance and have the nexessary infrastructure for refuelling and storage ready by the time its required.

    That’s if we ignore all the greens and rent seekers.

    I’m sure the government has enough control over parts of the country (eg; Woomera) to lock out any shenanigans.

    But we can’t — it would take a time of Badgery’s proportion to work out where to even put the thing.

  25. Tel

    Delingpole is at is again. Yet another climate research ship can’t prove global warming… because the ice keeps getting in the way. Incapable of learning.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/13/delingpole-ship-of-fools-iii-global-warming-study-cancelled-because-of-unprecedented-ice/

    Should be coming up time for another claim of navigating the Northwest Passage.

  26. Roger

    First, the emissions baseline adopted in the review’s modelling is completely arbitrary – it is high enough to include open cycle gas generation and just low enough to exclude new coal generation.

    No, it’s not “completely arbitrary” at all.

    That was always the goal – get rid of coal.

    The only hope is a party room revolt against this idiocy.

    That should involve the defenestration of Turnbull and Frydenberg.

  27. Fulcrum

    Similar questions are why do few of our politicians defend people of colour (whjte) , people of faith (christians) , people of gender (heterosexuals) and people who value the interests of the majority.

  28. 132andBush

    Brendan Pearson!
    As others have noted, your last sentences are a spineless, tacit acknowledgement of something you MUST know is not true.
    You are no doubt a smart man and you must know in 20 years (or less) time these “crucifixes” of the CAGW religion polluting our landscapes will be standing, broken, in mute testimony to the western worlds utter stupidity.
    You and other smart people like you know this, you must know this, yet onward you cower, too spineless to say what needs to be said.
    It’s only the economic and social future of this once great country at stake, after all, so no biggie.

    People will have to start dying during power outages before the “smart” people get the collective spine to speak out.

  29. nerblnob

    Cleaner coal power stations was always the best way for Australia to reduce its CO2 emissions, if there was any sense in such an aim.

    If the media really was into reducing CO2 and if they understood science (not “The Science” , anyone who uses that term is a fucking moron) they would acknowledge that.

    Like Bruce says, Carbon Capture is all about drilling holes and injecting gas under pressure.

    It’s not necessarily any more dangerous than any other industrial process, but then again neither is fracking and the morons believe that will unleash the devils of Doom.

    Gas, hydrocarbon gas that is, is stored by this method all over the world. Safer than overground tanks.
    I’ve drilled or worked on dozens of gas storage wells near Alkmaar, Salzburg, Madrid, Milan … and I believe there are a bunch near Port Campbell.

    I’m still waiting for the Carbon Capture drilling boom. Only wells I know of are off a few of Norwegian platforms, and those fuckers have got money to burn. Mostly what I hear is waffle. Promise to do a few CC wells and we’ll let you drill some real producers. Big Oil is right behind it for the drilling rights that come with it.

  30. nerblnob

    People will have to start dying during power outages

    One had to assume they have already.

    Caused by privatisation, didn’t you know?

  31. Tel, that link humorously calls Chris Turney “Chris Turkey”.
    I assume it’s intentional.

  32. RobK

    Roxby downs might be a good site for a modular nuke reactor.

  33. nerblnob

    Roxby downs might be a good site for a modular nuke reactor

    As far as I know, you need lotsa water.

  34. .

    RobK
    #2412000, posted on June 14, 2017 at 9:23 am
    Roxby downs might be a good site for a modular nuke reactor.

    Garbage. France is littered with nuke sites and no one whinges about three headed Frenchmen.

  35. Rebel with cause

    If your energy plan doesn’t end with Australia having the cheapest electricity in the world then you simply aren’t trying.

  36. EvilElvis

    Carbon, carbon, carbon…

    Can anyone explain why we are doing this please?

    It seems there has been a new invention of a square wheel, it doesn’t seem to work now, but! If we slash the round tires on all the fossil fueled trucks doing the lugging then it might work! Nope, square wheel still not working. Let’s set the round tired trucks on fire now! Not quite there yet, but the square wheel appears to be gaining. Now! Let’s drag the driver out of these prehistoric, round wheeled, expensive, subsidised, environment destroyers and shoot him! Hmmmm, we may be on a level footing now…

    A politician needs to explain what the proposed outcome of this folly is. A generalised ‘lower carbon emissions’ answer is not even remotely acceptable for the amount of taxpayer funds going to this rubbish, let alone the destruction of a perfectly functioning energy supply system hobbled by the introduction of parasitic new comers.

  37. Bruce of Newcastle

    It turns out that Finkel’s wind-farms-plus-batteries model emits vast amounts of CO2:

    New Study: Large CO2 Emissions From Batteries Of Electric Cars

    IVL, the Swedish Environment Institute has, on behalf of the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency, investigated the climate impact of lithium-ion batteries from a life-cycle perspective. Batteries for electric cars were included in the study. Lisbeth Dahllöf and Mia Romare have produced a meta-analysis, that is, a review and compilation of existing studies.

    The report shows that battery manufacturing leads to high CO2 emissions. For each kilowatt-hour storage capacity in the battery, emissions of 150 to 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent are generated, already in the factory.

    So if you provided 24 hours of battery back up to 1 GW of wind farms (at 25% average efficiency) you would be putting up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere just in manufacturing the batteries.

    I think 24 hours of backup would be insufficient given the propensity for calm weather extending for several days at a time.

    Since those batteries would last about 8-10 years, you’d be net emitting another 1.2 million tonnes when they were replaced. At a vast cost.

    Then add all the CO2 emitted by the open cycle gas turbines and CCGTs which back up the wind farm when the wind isn’t blowing and you wonder just how much CO2 is really being saved?

  38. jupes

    In other words, if the government adopts the implicit Finkel review baseline, the only country in East Asia that doesn’t regard new super-efficient coal plants as clean energy will be Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter.

    Fuck. Me. Dead.

  39. RobK

    I suggested roxby for its industrial base, it mines the stuff. It would have some prior expertise and presumably acceptance of the technology. It is vulnerable to unstable supply. It is very reliant on industrial grade electricity to generate wealth. As to the cooling requirements that’s a technical issue which may or may not be a problem in this case. Other forms of dispatchable power would need fuel to be brought in.

  40. cohenite

    Until the fossils and nuclear power sources start saying the truth that alarmism is a bunch of confected, unscientific crap articles like this are merely a sheen on a big turd. So far the coal/oil companies have been gutless on this issue.

    The best analysis on why carbon capture is bullshit is here:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8408

    This is also worth reading:

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/clean-coal-and-gassy-money-and-wasted.html

  41. jupes

    … low emissions … “clean energy” … renewables … climate targets … carbon …

    Your language is terrible Mr Pearson. Stop using the left’s propaganda terms.

    A couple of interviews on Sky over the last couple of days showed how it is done. Malcolm Roberts called so called ‘renewables’ intermittants. A much more accurate term I would think.

    And when Peta Credlin referred to “clean energy” last night, Terry McCrann pulled her up and explained that CO2 is not dirty. Credlin apologised (though let’s see if she continues to do it).

    If you are going to fight the left on this, and let’s hope you will, then stop making any concessions to them, especially on language.

  42. RobK

    BoN,
    Good find on the batteries, the counter would be:”but with 4000 cycle life you’re still 3700 odd cycles in front” or “the manufacturing consists is about 7% of the CO2 equivalent”. All that aside, batteries won’t save the day in any economic way unless some major breakthrough occurs.

  43. H B Bear

    Just the latest installment from the Tweedledum and Tweedledumer Uniparty.

    Waffles goes Left to scoop up all those non-existent voters of the centre-Left just itching to vote Lieboral while Peanut Head, who knows he can never allow a bipartisan energy policy to emerge, continues to chase the Greens to the hard-Left and ensure Albo and Plibersak might still have a job in three years time.

    Meanwhile the Uniparty feeds out BS modelling of lower energy prices in 10 or 20 years time when every knows the lived reality is a doubling or trebling of prices with no end in sight.

  44. Leo G

    The problem is the empirical evidence does not support this proposition – over the last eight years of the operation of the RET not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit was built.

    The problem is … empirical evidence never does support ideological propositions.
    The symptom is that “over the last eight years of the operation of the RET not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit was built”.
    The cause is the ideological proscriptions of decision makers.
    The cure involves replacing the decision makers.

  45. AH

    The government shouldn’t be deciding the energy source. Let consumers decide. If consumers want to pay extra for renewables, let them. Perhaps they have other priorities, so let them choose coal if they wish.

    If climate change is truly a concern of the general public, then most consumers would choose renewable energy. Voluntarily.

    If you are a person to whom climate change is important, wouldn’t you voluntarily pay extra for electricity? Why would you seek to elect to government that would coerce you to do that if you were going to do it yourself?

    The push to coerce people demonstrates that the people doing the pushing do not have confidence that the general population would voluntarily take action.

    If the will for voluntary action is not there, then the will to be coerced is surely not there. Therefore there is not public support for coercive policy on climate change. The RET, CET, Carbon Tax, CEFC, etc. are all coercive policy. If people were allowed to act voluntarily these things would not be happening.

  46. Diogenes

    I think that nice Mr Adams got it right :

    http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-05-14

    The economics modelling must be the achilles heel in this debate

  47. john constantine

    Their finkel review is just to greenlight them to sign up to international treaties that empower the united nations to become the Universal Centerlink, funded by the Anglosphere taxpayer. Thus funding the international globalist left to run peasant countries as puppy farms to breed their half starved, wide eyed welfare herds.

  48. .

    RobK
    #2412027, posted on June 14, 2017 at 9:50 am
    I suggested roxby for its industrial base, it mines the stuff. It would have some prior expertise and presumably acceptance of the technology. It is vulnerable to unstable supply. It is very reliant on industrial grade electricity to generate wealth. As to the cooling requirements that’s a technical issue which may or may not be a problem in this case. Other forms of dispatchable power would need fuel to be brought in.

    Actually that is a good idea, organic growth etc. Once it is up and running, it would require no other input.

    It is actually tragically comical that nuke mines in Australia cannot power themselves on their own fuel they are mining.

  49. RobK

    What if finkel had stepped back a pace, evaluated how we’d go with known HELE and nukes, then speculated about intermittents batteries and the like for after 2050, if the CO2 anxiety is still there.

  50. duncanm

    As far as nuclear goes — obviously fuel comes from somewhere like Roxy, but its needs processing, and really a power station consumes very little (in mass) fuel, so fuel transport costs are probably minimal. Security may be more of an issue.

    Power sites should have:
    – stable geology (pretty much the whole of Oz, FFS)
    – cooling water (maybe this can be done with our big squifers.. but they might be a bit too hard and lead to corrosion issues)
    – near the consumer; aluminium smelters, etc. So near their sources
    – not too distant from the population/general consumer.

    http://aluminium.org.au/images/alu-map-employment.jpg

    SW WA looks like a spot to provide power for both Perth and smelting, FNQ and NT look like the ideal spots for export aluminium centres, which have their own nearby nukes. Lotsa space, stable geology, closer to SE Asia shipping, plenty of water if you build a dam or two to last the dry season, close to the main bauxite sites.

  51. duncanm

    ‘squifer’ – I like it, but I think I meant ‘aquifer’

  52. duncanm

    Brendan is right – if Finkel was a real scientist, he would have considered nuclear.

    From an objective engineering standpoint, it wins hands down.

    Its up to the (spineless) government to conclude that it would be political suicide or not.

  53. Once we accept that the whole CAGW scam is just that, a scam, then the Finkel review makes sense.
    It’s not now nor ever was about the climate.

  54. Leigh Lowe

    The central organising principle of the Finkel review is the adoption of a technology neutral approach to energy policy. Although that is an important step forward, the review falls short of its own guiding principle in two fundamental respects.

    I must have missed the bit where he advocates neutrality by removing all subsidies and (cough) “price signals” (ie taxes) from all forms of generation.

  55. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Its up to the (spineless) government to conclude that it would be political suicide or not.

    And there lies the rub, government should govern for the people not for itself.

  56. classical_hero

    Talk about being agile and innovative.

  57. Bruce of Newcastle

    Hehe…LinkedIn had just now suggested that I might like to apply for a job as “Program Leader – Grids & Renewable Energy Integration, CSIRO · Newcastle, Australia”.

    Why yes, LinkedIn, that would be an excellent job.
    I could seriously help Australia in that role. The plan I propose would be to:

    1. Dynamite all wind turbines
    2. Build a modern coal plant in each state

    Somehow I think my application for the position would be unsuccessful.

  58. notaluvvie

    Maybe because Australia is not in Asia? Ever heard of the Wallace Line? Although these days it’s hard to tell, especially in those areas where housing prices are being pushed through the roof.

  59. Richard

    mosomoso
    #2411868, posted on June 14, 2017 at 1:34 am
    “The best, more affordable and reliable energy mix is…”

    As a Gunnedah coalminer, I say thank you.
    As we load out between 15 and 20 trains a day, I do think of all the happy people keeping warm and turning their lights on in Japan and Korea. I also think of how sad we are, afraid to use this fantastic resource ourselves.

  60. Helen

    Just like mines have to have decommissioning and reparation budgets, do wind farms also? Is that cost added into the cost of power as well as the construction and maintenance costs?

  61. Dr Faustus

    Brendan is right – if Finkel was a real scientist, he would have considered nuclear.

    He did.

    In Australia, the establishment of nuclear power would require broad community consultation and the development of a social and legal licence. There is a strong awareness of the potential hazards associated with nuclear power plant operation, including the potential for the release of radioactive materials.

    Any development will require a significant amount of time to overcome social, legal, economic and technical barriers.

    Large, traditional nuclear power plants are limited to large-scale applications, which the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation notes makes it “difficult to envisage [traditional nuclear power plants] being established on the NEM given current grid structure”.

    Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a more flexible technology, with faster construction and delivery times. SMRs have a smaller generating capacity (up to 300 MW), and are designed to allow for modular construction. SMRs are also expected to have a strong safety case based on their smaller size and factory construction. The reactors are capable of providing dispatchable and synchronous electricity, benefiting system security. Projects underway internationally include in the United States, where the design of modules with the capacity to provide 50 MW of electricity each are undergoing licence review. The first SMR plant under this project is expected to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. The UK Government has launched a competitive program to identify the best value SMR.

  62. duncanm

    In Australia, the establishment of nuclear power would require broad community consultation and the development of a social and legal licence. There is a strong awareness of the potential hazards associated with nuclear power plant operation, including the potential for the release of radioactive materials.

    Any development will require a significant amount of time to overcome social, legal, economic and technical barriers.

    and at that point, he gave up?

  63. Dr Faustus

    and at that point, he gave up?

    Yes.

  64. Natural Instinct

    I NOW have no faith that any political party will even try to get my electricity costs down.
    Can only see price increases from now to eternity. Already at 31 cents/kWhr ($23,350 per annum)
    .
    So…just got off the phone with the third solar panel installer to get a quote for 12kW system (determined by roof size and stuff). Hopefully invoiced by June 30, and then I will look at every green subsidy/encouragement/incentive I can find and apply.
    .
    Why do it?
    Well they (them, the elites, the greenies, governments, wind proponents, solar salesmen, battery salesmen AND THE LIBERALS) are going to do everything in their power to fleece me, as I can’t relocate the business or change from electricity. A sitting duck waiting to be fleeced (1) so that domestic tariffs can be kept low (20c/kWhr) and fool the masses.
    The irony is that I will be forced to “green power” because the cost of “normal power” has been artificially inflated so much that it makes sense (selfish, and stuff Australia sense), you know it does.
    .
    Note (1) excuse the mixed metaphor.
    .
    P.S. When I started work in 1980 we operated on a BHP coal mine that paid 2c/kWhr and and charged us (a subbie) 4c/kWhr. So in 37 years we have destroyed Australia’s global comparative adavantage – go figure.

  65. Dr Fred Lenin

    If all the PC idiots in SE Asia were lined up end to end they wouldnt go far the two of them would be embarrassed, the Australian PC idiots would probably go half way to the moon , they dont finance frauds in SEAsia no work,no eat .

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