Which of Simon’s pathways to carbon neutrality do you prefer? [With poll]

johnboy 5 December 2011 24

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Simon Corbell has announced his proposed pathways to the promised carbon neutrality of 2060.

The options are:

    Pathway1: involves the use of renewable energy as the main strategy for achieving emissions reductions. The purchase of a small component carbon offsets is also included, as current modelling indicates that switching to renewable energy for the total ACT electricity supply will be insufficient to meet the 2020 reduction target. The cost of this proposal per capita in 2020 is $216.32 and per tonne of CO2-e abatement $39.00;

    Pathway 2: involves reductions in GHG emissions from building energy efficiency, sustainable transport and waste recovery with the remaining emissions reductions achieved through switching approximately two thirds of the ACT’s electricity supply to renewable energy. The cost of this proposal per capita in 2020 is $12.20 and per tonne of CO2-e abatement is $2.26;

    Pathway 3: is a modification of pathway 2, involving energy produced through installation of gas fired electricity generation rather than renewable energy. Reductions are still achieved from building energy efficiency, sustainable transport and waste recovery under this pathway. Carbon offsets are proposed as gas is a lower emission, not zero emission, technology. The cost of this proposal per capita in 2020 is $(82.99) ( a net benefit) and per tonne of CO2-e abatement -$15.38 ( a net benefit);

    Pathway 4: Similar to pathways 2 and 3, reduction in GHG emissions are achieved from building energy efficiency, sustainable transport and waste recovery. This pathway proposes the purchase of carbon offsets rather than pursuing changes in electricity generation to achieve the targets. The cost of this proposal per capita in 2020 is ($82.99), (a net benefit), and per tonne of CO2-e abatement -$7.24, also a net benefit; and,

    Pathway 5: This pathway proposes the purchase of carbon offsets to achieve the 2020 emissions reduction target in its entirety. The cost of this proposal per capita in 2020 is $131.80 and per tonne of CO2-e abatement $25.00.

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24 Responses to Which of Simon’s pathways to carbon neutrality do you prefer? [With poll]
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I-filed I-filed 6:27 pm 15 Dec 11

How does the ACT Government propose to make the Canberra Glassworks carbon neutral? Their power consumption is phenomenal – and I believe they use imported glass from the USA and Germany and very little recycled glass. Glass is a very beautiful material – but I can’t see a justification for pouring ACT residents’ tax revenue, resources and money into offsetting such a massive carbon wastrel. If there’s a powerful argument to spend outlandish resources on art glass, let’s hear it.

wallabyted wallabyted 4:33 pm 15 Dec 11

Buckets of money get spent on policing and speed cameras to reduce the road toll (with debatable results), yet on another arm of the clean energy debate the climate change skeptics conveniently ignore – or deliberately forget – that vehicle emissions are responsible for more than double the annual road toll of deaths in Australia. This was even voiced by a Federal Liberal MP during question time debates on carbon reduction initiatives.
What are these lives worth ? Can we really justify spending money to prevent “accidents” when we blatantly allow the fossil fuel industry to poison twice as many people with exhaust fumes ? Or should we be spending at least twice as much to move to cleaner transportation ? I like my car as much as anyone, but I would much prefer the ACT government force car dealers to sell a percentage of emission free vehicles as they already do in so many places overseas (yes I know of the Miev and the Leaf but these do not accommodate a family). I doubt most Australians would realise even China is ahead of Australia with regard to government programs to encourage the uptake of clean energy alternatives. I applaud Corbell’s motives but Im not sure his advisors are really with it, have they even bothered to properly compare the cost of the GAS powered station with equivalent solar installations ? Solar is cheaper as soon as you look beyond one government term – but their constituents are all only around for the short term aren’t we (at least in the eyes of politicians) ?

wotsinaname wotsinaname 10:12 am 09 Dec 11

Which of Simon’s Pathways do I prefer? None of the above….

Pathway 3, with a net benefit of $83 per person looks very good.

Two issues that arise from the plan:
1. The ACT has passed legislation to build large-scale solar power stations with 210 MW of generating capacity. Is this “Pathway 6”, and do we need it?
2. Sydney City is introducing distributed gas power generation, so that “waste heat” can be used to provide heating and cooling (“Tri-generation”). ( http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/environment/EnergyAndEmissions/GreenDecentralisedEnergy.asp ) The result is a dramatic increase in efficiency compared to a large 240 MW gas power station – 85 per cent of energy in the gas fuel is used instead of only about 50% for the large power station. “Tri-generation” / Distributed gas power generation is NOT one of the Five Pathways in the ACT Plan.

The CSIRO has developed a technology to the commercial-ready stage that adds solar energy to gas. (Solar thermal reforming of methane + water: http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Energy-Transformed-Flagship/SolarGas.aspx ). The benefit is that “SolarGas™” embodies 25% more energy, storing solar energy for use whenever it is needed. Combine this technology with the approach being taken by Sydney City (that it borrowed from London) to achieve the best outcome (least-cost, greatest efficiency) that current technology has to offer.

We can only hope that bids for the ACT’s Large-scale solar power system include the CSIRO SolarGas™ technology.

2604 2604 7:21 pm 06 Dec 11

Thumper said :

p1 said :

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

I never did figure out why these two didn’t happen 30 years ago? We had solar hot water when I was a kid, and double glazing is everywhere in colder climates. While it would add some costs to new houses, a suitably long phase in period, and the economies of scale of it being compulsory would negate that (not to mention the cost saving over time….).

So does anyone know why it has never happened?

Much easier to ban plastic bags than to actually do anything worthwhile.

I’d like to see massive government subsidies for solar hot water, double glazing, water tanks, etc so that people can retrofit their houses and really make a difference to energy consumption.

On top of that all new buildings should be fitted out with the above.

Yes, it will cost a lot of money but the result regarding the environment and consumption should outweigh the intial outlay in a fairly short time, one would think.

Oh that’s right, it will cost money

We discussed this a couple of weeks ago. The issue is that the windows cost so much, and that natural gas heating costs so little, that it isn’t worth the expense. In econo-nerd speak, the return on investment doesn’t justify the initial capital outlay of purchasing the windows. That much money stuck in an ING direct account would almost certainly generate enough interest not only to pay your entire heating bill, but to offset all your household cabon emissions using a service like Greenfleet.

My 2c on the OP: pathway 3 or 4. If the environmental outcomes of each pathway are equal, we should go for the cheapest one.

Classified Classified 12:23 pm 06 Dec 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Classified said :

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

People already think housing is expensive, and this will just make it worse.

What was the first home buyer grant at its peak? $15-20K IIRC. Probably in the ballpark for the cost of the upgrades to glazing and hot water being spoken about I guess.

Having said that, isn’t the solar industry currently dealing with the fallout of an sector that reached breaking point due to government subsidies?

The FHBG definitely pushed the market up. Bear in mind that bringing an additional $15k to the table means that you could borrow a further $60k or more.

Also, mandating $10k or more worth of additional cost in a new home has two effects: first, it pushes up the price on a new home, second it pushes up the price of existing homes as more people (the ones who don’t want to pay more for the new home) compete to purchase existing stock.

FWIW, I’m a definite supporter of useful environmental action. The problem, though, is that people don’t realise how much all this stuff costs. It’s easy to want to save the environment when you have plenty of money, not so much when you’re closer to the poverty line.

chewy14 chewy14 12:13 pm 06 Dec 11

p1 said :

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

I never did figure out why these two didn’t happen 30 years ago? We had solar hot water when I was a kid, and double glazing is everywhere in colder climates. While it would add some costs to new houses, a suitably long phase in period, and the economies of scale of it being compulsory would negate that (not to mention the cost saving over time….).

So does anyone know why it has never happened?

We have energy ratings:
http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/design_build/siting/energy_ratings

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:50 am 06 Dec 11

Classified said :

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

People already think housing is expensive, and this will just make it worse.

What was the first home buyer grant at its peak? $15-20K IIRC. Probably in the ballpark for the cost of the upgrades to glazing and hot water being spoken about I guess.

Having said that, isn’t the solar industry currently dealing with the fallout of an sector that reached breaking point due to government subsidies?

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:44 am 06 Dec 11

BicycleCanberra said :

Holden Caulfield said :

I’ll take the pathway with no cyclists please.

that pathway does not exist. ‘he he ha ha ha ‘

Sorry to go off-topic, but…

Let’s start by ignoring the geographical and population density issues in the sample provided. Based on that video a pathway without cyclists does exist, for the most part. Can’t see that you’d be getting too many people objecting to, where possible, having a path for cyclists, a path for pedestrians and a road for motorised vehicles. Sure, where there are shared zones the majority of attitudes in Australia might need a touch up, but on the evidence you have provided that seems to be the minority anyway.

I’m quite happy to do my part in sharing the road with cyclists. I don’t want to hit, hurt, injure any other road user as much as they don’t want be hit, hurt or injured. But IMO asking motorists and cyclists to use the same patch of road only ever designed for car/vehicle use is a bit like putting a cat and mouse in a confined space and complaining that the mouse always comes off second best.

Ergo, what else should one expect with such a flawed starting position?

Classified Classified 11:40 am 06 Dec 11

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

People already think housing is expensive, and this will just make it worse.

p1 p1 10:45 am 06 Dec 11

Thumper said :

Much easier to ban plastic bags than to actually do anything worthwhile….

Sadly, I suspect the Home Insulation Installer Free Money Program ruined this kinda thing for everyone.

Perhaps they could change the first home buyers bonus so that you only get it if the house has solar hot water? The difference in cost between a solar system and a non solar system is a lot less then the bonus?

Thumper Thumper 10:18 am 06 Dec 11

p1 said :

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

I never did figure out why these two didn’t happen 30 years ago? We had solar hot water when I was a kid, and double glazing is everywhere in colder climates. While it would add some costs to new houses, a suitably long phase in period, and the economies of scale of it being compulsory would negate that (not to mention the cost saving over time….).

So does anyone know why it has never happened?

Much easier to ban plastic bags than to actually do anything worthwhile.

I’d like to see massive government subsidies for solar hot water, double glazing, water tanks, etc so that people can retrofit their houses and really make a difference to energy consumption.

On top of that all new buildings should be fitted out with the above.

Yes, it will cost a lot of money but the result regarding the environment and consumption should outweigh the intial outlay in a fairly short time, one would think.

Oh that’s right, it will cost money

p1 p1 9:48 am 06 Dec 11

damien haas said :

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

I never did figure out why these two didn’t happen 30 years ago? We had solar hot water when I was a kid, and double glazing is everywhere in colder climates. While it would add some costs to new houses, a suitably long phase in period, and the economies of scale of it being compulsory would negate that (not to mention the cost saving over time….).

So does anyone know why it has never happened?

damien haas damien haas 8:57 am 06 Dec 11

2060 – Wow. I guess when Nowaste 2010 was announced that date seemed a fair way off as well.

Good intentions are one thing, but actions are another.

Closing local schools means that people have to drive their kids, to another school, or they must take the bus, instead of walking.

Building roads instead of building public transport infrastructure.

Buying more and bigger buses instead of using light rail.

Not mandating double glazing or solar hot water for new constructions.

This is just a short list from about 30 seconds of thinking.

Diggety Diggety 10:32 pm 05 Dec 11

Diggety said :

I like the fact that Simon is seeking public comment, although I’d prefer this area seek consultation with reality.

Why do politicians seek public comment on such things? Does what people think make any difference to what the best option is? Don’t they have departments full of experts that they could get a better answer by consulting?

This is the age of Aquarius apparently. Or some sh!t like that.

This whole rigmarole is a good example of how Left wing decision making works- promise something based on technological impossibilities for a purpose of no benefit, using someone else’s money that you’re unlikely to be able to be back.

I say let the Left take control and screw everything up as a demonstration of why we should never take them seriously again (as if Europe is not a good example right now).

Enjoy yourselves.

breda breda 9:47 pm 05 Dec 11

All of Simon’s pathways are like those like those leading to the Withywindle – they all lead downwards and to a bad end.

And, if he seriously believes that any of this crap will do anything other than punish the public for zero outcomes, he is delusional.

Bramina Bramina 9:18 pm 05 Dec 11

Erg0 said :

Is there any particular reason that we wouldn’t just go for the cheapest option if the outcome is the same?

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Diggety said :

I like the fact that Simon is seeking public comment, although I’d prefer this area seek consultation with reality.

Why do politicians seek public comment on such things? Does what people think make any difference to what the best option is? Don’t they have departments full of experts that they could get a better answer by consulting?

fromthecapital fromthecapital 3:59 pm 05 Dec 11

BicycleCanberra said :

Holden Caulfield said :

I’ll take the pathway with no cyclists please.

that pathway does not exist. ‘he he ha ha ha ‘

Not many obese people there!

Diggety Diggety 3:19 pm 05 Dec 11

BicycleCanberra said :

given that $1 billion has been spent on roads in the last ten years and will be spending another $150 million for the next 5 years

Perhaps you should start paying for that?

Diggety Diggety 3:14 pm 05 Dec 11

I like the fact that Simon is seeking public comment, although I’d prefer this area seek consultation with reality.

Each option proposed has inherent flaws in logic and technological capability. Also, the premise on which it is based is superficial, rather than comprehensive solution.

BicycleCanberra BicycleCanberra 3:12 pm 05 Dec 11

Holden Caulfield said :

I’ll take the pathway with no cyclists please.

that pathway does not exist. ‘he he ha ha ha ‘

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