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Solar power station for Canberra?

By Mr Evil - 18 March 2008 44

The Australian is reporting that Comrade Stanhope are looking at the feasibility of constructing a solar power station in the ACT.

Story online here

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to get the inmates of the new gaol to act like hamsters and run around in a huge wheel all day long?

At least this news might keep Foskey happy?

What’s Your opinion?

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44 Responses to
Solar power station for Canberra?
Thumper 9:27 am 19 Mar 08

Myth- that the technology is available to do all this.

It may be in the future, but the cost is extremely prohibitive and at this stage cannot be justified given the returns.

And what has Roaring Forties, wind power and biomass resources got to do with solar power?

um, nothing at all.

Maybe in the future, all of these can contribute to over all power needs, but not yet.

Besides, wind power has reached it’s zenith. The propellor cannot be developed any further. Wind power I’m afraid will always remain an ancillary power source.

Mælinar 9:21 am 19 Mar 08

MYTH Number One: Solar energy can only heat water.

Solar (renewable) energy includes the production of electricity and heat directly from solar radiation for many applications. It also includes the utilisation of indirect forms of solar energy like the power of the wind and water and all forms of energy from biomass (plant and animal material).

Designing your house to use solar energy passively can provide 60%-100% of your heating and cooling requirements.
Photovoltaics (solar cells), wind generators and hydro can supply electricity for any use.
Biomass fuels include wood, alcohol, and methane for heating, electricity generation or transportation.

MYTH Number Five: There isn’t enough solar energy to maintain our current lifestyle.


There is 25 times the yearly energy needs of Australia and New Zealand falling on those land areas on an average day.
The southern coastline of Australia and New Zealand is in the “Roaring Forties”, one of the best wind regimes in the world.
Biomass resources (vegetable matter including waste and specifically grown energy crops) could sustainably supply all of Australia and New Zealand’s liquid fuels without interfering with food and fibre production from arable land.

and a spare one

MYTH Number Six: To collect enough solar energy requires large arrays of collectors tying up a vast land area.


There is sufficient roof space on homes alone to produce the total electricity requirements of Australia and New Zealand using existing photovoltaic technology.
Wind generators occupy only a small space for the tower with the rest of the land area being available for agricultural uses.
Solar supply allows decentralisation and the use of small modules which can be accurately matched to the load and which minimise electricity distribution line losses.

Tempestas 9:16 am 19 Mar 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

… I love the inmates on a huge wheel idea.

And as an additonal energy saving we make them go faster in winter to cut the heating costs and boost power output for the rest of us.

Then the inmates can feel they are finally making a contribution.

Thumper 9:14 am 19 Mar 08

Enough sunlight falls on Australia in one day to supply power for 25 years using current technology

Um, in a word, no. Solar is simply not viable at this stage. The technology simply isn’t there.

It can warm the water for your shower or your spa, but it cannot run a city, nor a house for that matter. As I said, the technology simply is not there.

In time, with R&D, it may be able to, indeed, I hope so. But at this stage, It simply can’t.

I do believe, however, that CSIRO have been working on a new generation of solar panels that greatly boosts the capacity of solar cells.

Maybe this new generation of solar power, when developed, will prove to be the panacea we are looking for in alternative energy.

As I mentioned, I hope so.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:52 am 19 Mar 08

Solar isn’t viable – yet. I love the inmates on a huge wheel idea.

Mælinar 8:51 am 19 Mar 08

Enough sunlight falls on Australia in one day to supply power for 25 years using current technology. I suggest the naysayers may want to check out those apples.

As circulated around my workplace this morning – Stanhope cant even manage picking up all the glass/pet/aluminium (mostly alcoholic) drink bottles on the side of the road, do we really expect him to be capable of this ?

Maybe he should take control of a lesser task – like picking up the smoke butts around town, in order to establish a bit of faith in his capabilities.

Thumper 8:08 am 19 Mar 08

Solar is not yet viable. It’s a simple, but sad fact of life. If we could see massive R&D go towards solar power, then, in the near future, it may be the path to take.

However, at this stage I would suggest this is all spin and no substance from Stanhope.

Scott 2:50 am 19 Mar 08

How about we send a certain (education) minister into the furnace, I’m sure that he would go ‘poof’ rather than fizzle.

bigred 9:19 pm 18 Mar 08

I smell an election coming on. This is an entirely cynical political move. Chicanery. Great distraction and thye don’t have to actually build anything.

Tempestas 8:27 pm 18 Mar 08

If it can be viable then why not. Always thought that the dish at ANU could be well used elsewhere.
Inmates in wheel could be amusing, just reminds me of that Conan movie though.

I thought nuclear needs massive population density to ever justify the absolutely mountainous upfront cost.

shiny flu 7:28 pm 18 Mar 08

I second inmates in wheel.

Mr Evil 7:09 pm 18 Mar 08

I’d feel safer having a recumbant bicycle factory next door to my house!

el 7:02 pm 18 Mar 08

BANANA principle.

See also – NIMBY.

They can build it near my house.

Mr Evil 6:55 pm 18 Mar 08

But slighty unpopular?

el 6:25 pm 18 Mar 08

A nuclear power plant would be more efficient.

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