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Old 08-20-2009, 02:14 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Default Australian Govt plays favourites - Geothermal might miss out on funding

The article below explores the possibility that Australian Hot Rock Energy players might be disadvantaged with the new Renewable Energy target that on the surface at least seems designed to push funds towards Solar, Wind and Hydro. Solar and Wind are not base load and provide erratic performance as described below.....

If the above is true it is a curious position for our Govt. to take. Germany and Denmark have found that wind power is a very expensive option and due to it not being a reliable source of energy it has actually contributed to green house emmissions as back-up gas and coal generators have to be kept idling and re-starting them is a "dirty" process.

"There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone)."

"Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery.

Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character. On the negative side of the environmental ledger are adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines on birdlife and other forms of wildlife, farm animals, wetlands and viewsheds." read more

The story below explores the Australian situation.

TONY EASTLEY: Environmental groups say the renewable energy sector can now invest with certainty thanks to the deal struck by the Government and Opposition to pass the renewable energy target.

But the geothermal sector which produces power from heating water pumped through deep underground rocks says it's been left out in the cold.

David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: Environmental and industry groups agree, the renewable energy target or RET may not be perfect but they're glad it looks like it will finally come into law.

Matthew Warren is the chief executive of the Clean Energy Council.

MATTHEW WARREN: We are relieved to see it finally pass and we can begin sort of deploying and developing technologies behind it.

DAVID MARK: Under the proposed legislation electricity retailers will need to buy certificates so that by 2020 about 20 per cent of Australia's energy will come from renewables.

John Connor is the chief executive of the Climate Institute.

JOHN CONNOR: So that creates a market for renewable energy and one which will provide some $20 billion of investment into these technologies and over 26,000 jobs by some estimates that we've made.

DAVID MARK: The electricity can come from any part of the renewable energy sector but it's the established technologies - wind, hydro and solar - which are expected to pick up most of the renewable energy certificates.

Other so-called emerging technologies like geothermal or hot rocks, wave and biomass aren't commercially viable as yet.

Until this week the Opposition had joined that sector in calling for a quarter of the RET to be set aside for the emerging technologies but thanks to yesterday's negotiations between the Opposition and the Government the emerging technologies get no special treatment.

Susan Jeanes is the chief executive of the Australian Geothermal Association.

SUSAN JEANES: The whole process failed to acknowledge the benefits that we have to contribute to the long term energy supply system. Geothermal energy for instance is the only emerging base load technology. We are the ones that are going to have to be in place ready to replace coal projects as they come out of the market. We don't have anything like those long term signals to shoot towards now.

DAVID MARK: But Susan Jeanes, surely the market should decide if geothermal is a method of producing electricity that is cost effective, won't people buy into it?

SUSAN JEANES: Absolutely the market has to decide but governments design the markets and they have designed this market specifically to exclude us.

DAVID MARK: But that's not how others see it. The Clean Energy Council represents some of the biggest emerging technology companies but its CEO Matthew Warren says the RET shouldn't be about picking winners.

MATTHEW WARREN: Designing bans or carve-outs for those discreet technologies sounds like a great idea but we just don't think it works in practice and we don't think it is the right way of solving the problem.

It is by nature uncertain so it’s silly to describe this as being a contest between technologies. It’s about getting those to the market, all those technologies to the market as fast as we can.

TONY EASTLEY: The CEO of the Clean Energy Council Matthew Warren ending David Mark's report.
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base load reneables, dumb government, geothermal, hot rock energy

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