Australia as Asia’s Clean Energy Service Provider

Australia really does have the capacity to generate far more solar power than we need, so why not make use of that awesome oversupply to this sunburned country?

Powering the world…

Having established the viability and usefulness of HVDC cable links to transmit power of very long distances, there is another opportunity for Australia. Connecting firstly to Indonesia and then to other South East Asian countries to provide clean energy generated in the north of Western Australia and Queensland.

We could move from supplying finite raw materials to sustainable raw energy.

Pan Asia Renewable power analysis [1]

If that sounds like a wild fantasy, then consider that the idea has already been discussed between Australian and Indonesian universities and politicians[2] and papers have been produced analyzing the viability of such a project.[3] These papers explore the problems of ocean depth between the countries[4], the expected power loss and the use of hydro stored energy to provide consistent power 24 hours a day. One goes into more depth on establishing a pan-Asia power network that would connect Australia to Northern China and Mongolia, with spurs to other countries.[5]

Pan Asia Network Connections [6]

 

100% Renewable Energy Future for Australia

There have been three major studies undertaken into the feasibility of a 100% renewable electricity future for Australia. All three confirm it is possible, but political willpower is still lacking as the fossil fuel industry lobby maintains a grip on government policy. The three studies were undertaken by a combination of universities and private industry that show a clear pathway for Australia to place itself at the forefront of global change.

Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan: University of Melbourne – Melbourne Energy Institute (previously Energy Research Institute) and Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) – Zero Carbon Australia Project. Simulation modeling of 100% renewable energy: University of New South Wales – Centre for Energy and Environment Markets (CEEM) and Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) 100 percent renewables study: Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

The AEMO study shows we could make the transition in 17 years, given significant attention and national focus.[1] The other studies propose faster and slower progression rates and demonstrate that the cost to consumers would not change greatly from current costs – thus escaping the external price rises on fossil fuels. Even if not complete after 17 years, getting past the 90% mark should be enough to escape

Australia’s Complementary Industries for the next Century: Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles and 3D Printing

Australia could place itself at the heart of the most important technology, intellectual property and service industries of the next century. This combination effect would provide a solid future for Australia domestically as well as placing it as a central provider for the global economy.

1. Renewable Energy

 

Still a developing field in 2015, it ceased being emerging technology by 2010. Strong investment in developing the practical technology in Australia would provide both the means to escape the energy trap as well as an example of how countries can navigate the change away from fossil fuel dependence into a new environment of distributed electricity generation and off-grid solutions.

Why Australia?

With Australia’s abundance of natural sources of energy, there is no excuse for the country to avoid its natural role in leading global development. In fact, Australian scientists have routinely been at the forefront of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, wave and tidal energy generation projects.

Why renewable energy?

Renewable energy generation is also the foundational change needed to shift the Australian economy away from its current reliance on fossil fuels. It is also the change needed to make electric vehicles a truly low carbon sustainable solution. Since

The Failure of the Nuclear Business Case

Risk Liability

The fundamental problem with the nuclear energy argument is not one of engineering or technology. A properly functioning nuclear plant emits no carbon and provides continuous baseload power. These are the two selling points of nuclear as opposed to fossil fuels. The problem is with the business case. Every nuclear power plant that has been constructed in the world today is grossly under insured. Insurance companies only cover minor accidents or issues that have a payout value between around US$300 million and $10 billion.[1] The two major accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima have and will costs over $200 billion each over thirty years.[2] Chernobyl still accounts for around 5% of total government spending for both Belarus and Ukraine.[3] The reason the governments have been left with the bill is that the government is the ‘insurer of last resort’. This means that if something goes catastrophically wrong with a nuclear power plant, the investors and operator let the government clean up the mess. The profits from operational years are left untouched. To put this another way, ‘Privatise the profits, socialize the losses’.

If this business case were given to private industry, they would laugh it at and choose