"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Zero Emissions Plan Equates to Zero Common Sense!

Zero Emissions has released a blueprint for converting Australia to a zero carbon electricity grid by 2020 in a scheme touting the bankrupt Spanish experience as an example and committed alarmists and the left media are salivating at the prospect of pushing Australia down the same path all for the costs of a few cups of coffee ( this sort of KISS analogy appeals to the latte set who are the only ones likely to believe this malarkey).
The ZCA plan presents a carefully considered analysis of the energy technologies, industrial capacity, and investment required to repower Australia. The report shows that Australia can replace fossil-fuel baseload electricity using commercially available renewable energy technology, with the additional investment required equal to about one cup of coffee per person per day over the ten year transition. Our researchers have found that a 60/40 mix of concentrated solar thermal power and large-scale wind developments combined with an upgraded grid and comprehensive energy efficiency measures can reliably supply Australia's electricity needs.

Power stations are really glorified kettles. 
This probably is indicative of the power system knowledge of the authors but again this is only to convince the true believers.
 You need an energy source to boil water, so the steam can turn a turbine. Coal-fired power stations do this by burning coal. Nuclear power stations use nuclear fission. Solar thermal power stations concentrate the sun's rays and store this energy as heat, to be used for boiling water day or night. Torresol Energy's Gemasolar plant under construction in Spain will deliver power 24 hours a day with the same baseload production characteristics as a conventional coal plant. Next time you hear someone say that the sun doesn't shine at night, tell them it doesn't matter.

As one who has spent a deal of time in System Control Centres I have news for these people who want to make my power availability a game of weather roulette - solar plants DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT run 24/7 year in , year out as the much-maligned coal and nuclear plants do. The recent wind generation experience in the UK when no power was generated during the coldest winter spell should be required study for these snake-oil salesmen.
Australia is a sun soaked continent, yet the great potential to power our economy from solar sources is unrealised. It should shock Australians that there is currently no operating baseload solar power anywhere in our wide brown land.
I'm not shocked - before the green loonie fringe became involved in trying to interfere with sensible power policies most of the decisions on energy were made on engineering and proper cost-benefit analyses and pie-in-the -sky solar schemes were not considered because they do not make sense.
Even though Australia has the best solar resources of any developed country, it is Spain who has 800 Megawatts equivalent of operating solar thermal plants and $20 billion worth of projects in the pipeline to 2013.
These blokes obviously do not read the newspapers - Spain is in the hands of the EU receivers largely because they tried to implement the same stupid energy policies being promoted here. They probably were also told it  would only cost a few cups of coffee only to find they had mortgaged the next generation's future for an ideology that does not work. I note that this report was done with pro-bono work so at least the writers were paid what it is worth.

1 comment:

  1. I read on an 'old slate' that Tim Flannery had got into Rudd's pocket for a $90 million grant to find out if it is hot enough in the middle of the earth to solve the World's energy 'crises'. I understand that Harrison Ford has been co-opted for the search.
    Solar and wind are out the solution is coming from where the sun does not shine!!

    Central Queensland