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Large scale solar moving forward

By johnboy 6 December 2011 77

Simon Corbell is celebrating getting the nod from the Legislative Assembly to ramp up solar power generation in Canberra.

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, has today welcomed in-principal support from the ACT Legislative Assembly, for legislation which will allow large-scale solar facilities to be rolled out across the ACT.

“The Government’s legislation proposes to allow large-scale solar facilities to access the feed-in tariff, which is an Australian first, that will encourage more companies to consider the ACT as a base for their renewable energy installations,” Mr Corbell said.

“The ACT Labor Government is working hard to make Canberra Australia’s solar capital and this legislation is the next step to ensure that this becomes a reality.”

The new solar energy auction bill will support the development of up to 210 MW of large-scale renewable energy generation. The first release of 40 MW capacity will reduce emissions by around 850,000 tonnes over its 20 year life.

Mr Corbell said that this legislation, if passed later this week, could see at least two major commercial solar facilities constructed in the ACT which would be capable of powering approximately 7000 homes.

“These potential solar facilities could provide as much as 14% of the minimum electricity demand of the ACT which would assist in reducing carbon emissions and take the ACT closer to carbon neutrality by 2060.”

The large-scale auction process will require companies to provide a detailed proposal to the ACT Government on how they propose to provide large amounts of renewable energy to the community at the lowest cost to Canberrans.

UPDATE: In reply the Liberals’ Zed Seselja is not impressed:

“As we have come to expect from ACT Labor, this large-scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all,” Mr Seselja said today.

“ACT Labor hasn’t explained the cost of this latest scheme, and all we have to work with is the government’s stated estimate of $225 per household per year for its small, medium and large scale solar feed-in tariff. Based on previous form from ACT Labor this estimate could blow out.

“How can the Assembly agree to a 210mW scheme which hasn’t been costed, and would be run by a government which so appallingly managed the 30mW scheme?

“Under this previous scheme, the allocated funding was used so quickly that it was retrospectively cut in the dead of night, the effects of which are still being felt across the solar industry.

“Under this proposed scheme, interstate businesses will be able to set up large-scale solar farms in New South Wales and hundreds of kilometres away from Canberra and receive the ACT funding. This scheme, together with the 40 per cent target will create the absurd situation where Canberrans will fund renewable energy generation in New South Wales and in doing so, enable New South Wales to emit more.

Further Update: Simon Corbell is punching on:

The Canberra Liberals have highlighted their hypocrisy on renewable energy policy and have been caught out in their opposition to Labor’s large scale generation proposal today, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said.

Mr Corbell said it has been revealed, the Canberra Liberals proposed the development of a solar power station as the “cornerstone” of their 2008 election Climate Change policy.

In a policy document dated 10 October 2008, just days before the 2008 Election, Zed Seselja committed the Liberal Party to:

” The immediate commencement of a project to develop of (sic) Solar Power Plant at the heart of a Renewable Energy Park.” (p.1, Cleaning up our ACT – Leadership on Climate Change policy document)

Mr Seselja now says that the Canberra Liberals will not support Large Scale Solar legislation because:

“… this large scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all…” (Media Release ‘Latest Solar Scheme an expensive way to do nothing’6 December 2011)


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Large scale solar moving forward
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Diggety 1:33 am 08 Dec 11

“Keep dreaming. It just isn’t going to happen.”- OpenYourMind

If I were to take your position on our energy future, I would agree. I would also agree with your attitude if Australia (and indeed the ACT) was not deserving of a first world energy supply.

“ Even if your arguments were valid, which they aren’t,” -OpenYourMind

See below. But I’d wish you actually took the time to identify them and provide evidence to their invalidity.

“ the fact is that the previous message that was told over and over was that Chernobyl was Russian, old and crap and it wouldn’t happen in the West. It happened in a modern industrialised country like Japan. Sure Fukushima may have been old tech,” -OpenYourMind

If you’d bothered to look, like I asked you to do before commenting- and you claim to work in science, therefore I presume you can understand the mountains of info available- you’d notice that these scenarios are physically impossible[1,2].

Integral Fast Reactors (IFR) and even all GenIII (running for 30+ years) reactors combined, have a far lower accident/mortality rate than all other renewable forms of power generation/W.

“ but that’s not relevant to the real argument, and I’m not talking about the scientific one, I’m talking about the emotive argument. That alone will stop nuclear in its tracks.” –OpenYourMind

And this is the problem. We have anonymous comments from people with usernames such as “OpenYourMind” shutting down rational scientific endeavours to remedy our climate and resource crisis with emotional appeal. As I said, have a look over the facts before making a emotional opinion, it can’t hurt!

“There’e also the economic argument.” -OpenYourMind

If you were arguing for our carbon emission or resource depletion rate to continue on an unsustainable path, I’d agree. But the only substantial, peer-reviewed literature available for Australia’s case, makes it quite economically clear that nuclear energy is the most cost effective energy cost/W[1]

“You all complain about subsidies to solar,” –OpenYourMind

I do yes, but i complain from a personal view. Not much to do with nuclear or renewable from a technological point of view. Of which, I won’t bore you with because it is not my highest priority in this discussion.

“how much subsidy do you think our Governments would need to provide to underwrite that kind of risk.” -OpenYourMind

I can’t be sure, granted (of IFR). It is often stated by nuclear proponents that “nuclear can’t be
insured”, which of course is not true.

“ I get the science of nuclear energy, in fact I work in science.” –OpenYouMind

Great. Now update your information, please! IFR’s are new to a lot of people who ‘get’ the science of nuclear energy, it is simply a matter of brushing up your education, and scrutinizing pertinent information, rather than that of 40 years ago.

“What you are all missing is the ridiculousness of your statements such as build one in Canberra. Hell, it took us half a decade to build the GDE. Setting up a nuclear power industry in Australia would be one of the most expensive undertakings our country has ever embarked on. Expensive and risky.” -OpenYourMind

Expensive? No. Unless of course you commission the same spastics to complete a task as simple as the GDE, or spend silly amounts of perfectly good AU currency on solar farms which don’t have any real benefit- unless of course it was a fly-by image you were after, which I’m sure is priceless. On which case, well done! Until a few years time when those interstate friends you were so willing to impress are scratching their heads at the lack of cost-benefit analysis you were so willing to avoid to make you *feel good*, on someone else’s money.

Don’t lecture me about costs whilst supporting climate change action (and presumably avoiding financial meltdown) when you are willing to support this solar farm.

I never said we’d have one in CBR. Although if we did, you wouldn’t notice much- they are quite small.

Risky? No. You need to read up the technology I asked you to look at. If we follow through with your logic, humans would never harnessed fire.

“Even the most modern plant can’t assure 100% safety. There’s so many risks that just can’t be easily mitigated.” -OpenYourMind

Nothing that I know of can ensure 100% safety. We can only evaluate risk on probability. The NEA confirms the probability of IFR reactors (feeding all forms of electrical energy to the WHOLE WORLD) that there is a 1/430,000 year probability of a IFR sodium liquid coolant exploding. And even in this case, the reactor (through it’s inherent reactor design) does not cause a meltdown or anything like the kind of hazardous flux we see in cases like Fukushima (which casue zero deaths, and likely no ongoing health affects.)

“Now all of this silly talk of nuclear lies in the shadow of ever cheaper renewable energy options. Take a look at the price per kW of solar and you’ll see how solar may well have already dropped below nuclear (especially true nuclear) cost.” –OpenYourMind

I have discussed this with you before, we can’t rely on renewable energy. I have a PhD in solar energy, and have been in solar industry and academia for years. I also take a close interest in our energy future. Solar, wind and geothermal cannot feasibly sustain either our current or projected energy with any realistic attempts at significantly lowering our GHG fottprints or reducing out dependence on finite resources.

Nuclear is no threat to renewable energy- it is a support. There is no ‘silver bullet’, The reality is we either choose a combination of fossil-fuel/renewable OR nuclear/renewable. That is why (combined with key advantages of new nuclear) so many environmentalists, energy experts and engineers are starting to agree with IFR’s.

The only real blockade is politicians and uninformed people. I just hope with a username like OpenYourMind, you come around quicker than most.

[1] http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=6572843
[2] http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=6151427
[2] Energy Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 305-313

Note: If you’d like any more response on any points raise, OpenYourMind, just ask. If you can’t access the papers I reference, or would like more, go to the library or ask me and I’ll send them to you. If you’d like confirmation of my claimed credentials, ask johnboy to confirm for you.

Stevian 10:39 pm 07 Dec 11

Bramina said :

Diggety said :

poetix said :

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Nuclear power, it’s green, renewable, doesn’t pollute, provides base load power, cheap and is safe. What more could you want?

Pinnocchio, what a long nose you have

OpenYourMind 10:37 pm 07 Dec 11

Keep dreaming. It just isn’t going to happen. Even if your arguments were valid, which they aren’t, the fact is that the previous message that was told over and over was that Chernobyl was Russian, old and crap and it wouldn’t happen in the West. It happened in a modern industrialised country like Japan. Sure Fukushima may have been old tech, but that’s not relevant to the real argument, and I’m not talking about the scientific one, I’m talking about the emotive argument. That alone will stop nuclear in its tracks.

There’e also the economic argument. Think about this. Shoreham plant in New York state was built but never commissioned as it was a victim of poor timing – 3 mile island etc. It was a $5billion white elephant. You all complain about subsidies to solar, how much subsidy do you think our Governments would need to provide to underwrite that kind of risk. I get the science of nuclear energy, in fact I work in science. What you are all missing is the ridiculousness of your statements such as build one in Canberra. Hell, it took us half a decade to build the GDE. Setting up a nuclear power industry in Australia would be one of the most expensive undertakings our country has ever embarked on. Expensive and risky.

Nuclear is simply a terrible financial proposition – and that was before Fukushima. How many more safety checks and balances would a new plant need, how much more red tape, how many more protests. Someone mentioned France – well France had a recent break-in where Greenpeace almost walked through the security thus demonstrating the vulnerability of these plants.

Even the most modern plant can’t assure 100% safety. There’s so many risks that just can’t be easily mitigated. They are usually the outlandish ones, but Fukushima showed how a poor chain reaction (pun intended) of events can create an almost unmanageable catastrophe. Recent riots in London have demonstrated how quickly stable states can fluctuate in unanticipated ways.

Now all of this silly talk of nuclear lies in the shadow of ever cheaper renewable energy options. Take a look at the price per kW of solar and you’ll see how solar may well have already dropped below nuclear (especially true nuclear) cost.

Bramina 8:29 pm 07 Dec 11

Diggety said :

poetix said :

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Nuclear power, it’s green, renewable, doesn’t pollute, provides base load power, cheap and is safe. What more could you want?

Diggety 7:52 pm 07 Dec 11

Diggety said :

OpenYourMind said :

As I’ve said in previous posts, nuclear is a poor choice in pretty much every way. It’s sucha stupid idea that even Americans have realised it’s stupid! If for no other reason, the real cost of any kind of nuclear solution in Australia would make green energy look like chump change.

But more importantly, it just won’t happen, it’s a big glowing green hot potato that no self respecting politician would put their name to any time in the near future. Fukushima has assured us of that.

Please update your information of GenIV reactor technology before commenting on any Australian nuclear future.

The reason I limit to GenIV is that by the time we are in a position to plan nuclear power, GenIV will be the:
– least cost (in $ and CO2)
– least hazardous (by that I mean waste)
– safest (including solar, geothermal and wind)
– most efficient (of any known consumable electrical energy source)
– least resource dependent
– least land dependent
– least water dependent
– least politically sensitive
– least environmentally damaging

Australia is already behind on this. Why?

farnarkler 7:50 pm 07 Dec 11

The French, Belgians, Swedes and Swiss have been using nuclear power plants successfully for years. As with anything, there is a risk of something going wrong but I’m sure a nuclear powerplant could fuel Canberra’s electricity requirements well. They’d just have to make sure it was built 15km West of the city. And we’re not particularly prone to even moderate earthquakes.

Diggety 7:26 pm 07 Dec 11

OpenYourMind said :

As I’ve said in previous posts, nuclear is a poor choice in pretty much every way. It’s sucha stupid idea that even Americans have realised it’s stupid! If for no other reason, the real cost of any kind of nuclear solution in Australia would make green energy look like chump change.

But more importantly, it just won’t happen, it’s a big glowing green hot potato that no self respecting politician would put their name to any time in the near future. Fukushima has assured us of that.

Please update your information of GenIV reactor technology before commenting on any Australian nuclear future.

Even once prominent anti-nuclear activists have changed their minds. It’s only really those willing to stick their head in the sands and ignore science, environmental issues, resource issues and economics opposed to it.

(Please)

Diggety 6:35 pm 07 Dec 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Diggety said :

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Rightly or wrongly, I think Japan has Fukushima’d any real chance of serious nuclear debate in this country for at least 20 years.

Sad, but true.

Even though any nuclear power options Australia would commission make the Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents a physical impossibility.

Politics…

OpenYourMind 6:16 pm 07 Dec 11

As I’ve said in previous posts, nuclear is a poor choice in pretty much every way. It’s sucha stupid idea that even Americans have realised it’s stupid! If for no other reason, the real cost of any kind of nuclear solution in Australia would make green energy look like chump change.

But more importantly, it just won’t happen, it’s a big glowing green hot potato that no self respecting politician would put their name to any time in the near future. Fukushima has assured us of that.

Holden Caulfield 5:31 pm 07 Dec 11

Diggety said :

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Rightly or wrongly, I think Japan has Fukushima’d any real chance of serious nuclear debate in this country for at least 20 years.

cranky 4:52 pm 07 Dec 11

#9

Hear, hear

Diggety 2:33 pm 07 Dec 11

poetix said :

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Classified 12:00 pm 07 Dec 11

poetix said :

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

I certainly am.

Diggety 11:26 am 07 Dec 11

poetix said :

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

I know you weren’t asking me, but ‘yes’ again.

poetix 10:53 am 07 Dec 11

Stevian said :

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

So are you both supporting nuclear power as an option?

Stevian 10:34 am 07 Dec 11

steveu said :

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

That’s heresy, surely. Common sense, but heresy

wildturkeycanoe 10:29 am 07 Dec 11

This is just as absurd as the ideas being proposed to enable the A.C.T to be carbon neutral by 2060. If our energy dollars go interstate, or overseas, at a cost much more than elsewhere then business and energy users will simply change where they buy. What’s to stop all Canberran’s changing to an interstate energy provider who charges less because it’s not green energy? Nothing, unless the government makes it illegal [not likely though, with free enterprise and the like]. Unless the costs of paying for this solar energy come from direct taxation through means that we cannot escape such as rates, you will see the A.C.T become less carbon friendly and not the other way.
In any case, I’ve done some maths…
The cost of purchasing the 210MW of solar panels alone [no other components, just the panels] is $123 million.
The area required to produce this amount of solar power is 210,000 sq/metres. At current A.C.T land prices that would be $99.393 million.
That total is over $220 million.
At the current feed in tarriff, which at wholesale prices is around $25/MWh, over 20 years you would reap $136 million.
So, over the lifespan of your solar installation you’d LOSE $64million give or take a bit.
Well worthwhile if you ask me, if you have that kind of money, and can find the land to stick it on.
No wonder it will go interstate.
[These figures were researched on the net, stuck together with a bit of glue and I don’t have a master’s degree in numerology. If anyone wishes to add or amend any of these figures, get a job with the government and make somesense of it all]

Diggety 11:12 pm 06 Dec 11

Was Zed meaning milliwatt (mW) or megawatt (MW)?

steveu 7:12 pm 06 Dec 11

To be honest with you I would feel better if we reduced our dependence on fossil fuels from the middle east…

Solidarity 3:22 pm 06 Dec 11

I wonder how many emissions we could reduce by simply not creating the panels in the first place?

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