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New sandpit

July 1st, 2011

Here’s a new sandpit for (non-nuclear) lengthy side discussion, rants on idees fixes and so on.

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  1. Ikonoclast
    July 4th, 2011 at 15:46 | #1

    Zero Carbon Australia have advanced a plan to produce all our stationary energy (electricity) via renewables by 2020. This plan has been costed and is both financially and logistically feasible according to ZCA’s figures. I suggest you read the synopsis paper at this site.

    http://beyondzeroemissions.org/zero-carbon-australia-2020

    It is quite astonishing how relatively modest the costs are (spread over ten years) compared to other major expenditures we make as a nation and take for granted. The annual cost each year for ten years would be about $37 billion per year which is less than we spend a year on recreation ($45 billion in 2003/2004).

    When replying, remember this is expressly NOT a nuclear sandpit as JQ said.

  2. Ikonoclast
    July 4th, 2011 at 16:23 | #2

    I ought to add this link. The IPCC thinks renewables can power the world by 2050. Hope this link aint too long.

    http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/renewables-can-power-world?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily

  3. John Quiggin
    July 5th, 2011 at 11:24 | #3

    I’ve been meaning for ages to do an analysis of the ZCA proposal. I think it relies too specifically on solar thermal, and not enough on energy efficiency, but the general point is sound nonetheless.

  4. Ikonoclast
    July 5th, 2011 at 15:28 | #4

    I was also intrigued to see that the per annum cost of this proposal was about the same as Australia spends on all forms of insurance. If we thought the risk of runaway or highly damaging climate change was probable under the full Business As Usual scenario, then doubling our insurance costs to avoid collapse of the biosphere’s capacity to support civilisation would seem to be a very reasonable investment. This argument meets the argument of “if we do it and noboby else does then it makes little difference”. I would counter that with “if we do it and prove it can be done then we pave the way for the world to do it”.

    The other intriguing aspect to me is that the logistics of the project are also far from daunting. ZCA demonstrate that Australia could meet the steel and concrete requirements very easily. The glass requirements could met by a combination of local and imported product or the establishment of two more glass production factories in Australia.

    Given these facts, it is clear that the main resistence to this proposal must come from coal interests for these reasons;

    1. Oil interests in Australia are relatively insubstantial especially with regard to stationary power generation.
    2. Gas interests would not be affected as gas has other assured markets and little role in stationary power generation in any case.
    3. Reduction and cessation in the domestic use of thermal coal would be the clear outcome.

    So essentially coal interests and their suborned lackeys in Parliament (like Julia Gillard) are holding our entire future to ransom. There is no other vested interest of any kind that would be adversely affected by this switch to renewables for stationary power generation. King Coal is the sole opposing vested interest. Many other industrial and workforce sectors indeed would benefit hugely from the renewables capital works program. Australian manufacturing would receive a huge boost and we would be tooling up and spooling up into the key industries and technologies of tomorrow.

  5. Fran Barlow
    July 11th, 2011 at 10:25 | #5

    I just thought I’d note this very interesting development over at BNC:

    Prof Brook’s latest directive as of yesterday:
    This is a website for people who are concerned about climate change, first and foremost. It is not set up to pander to any other subset, and frankly, if you don’t care about solving climate change (or at the very least if you’re not neutral on the matter), then BNC is not the website for you. If you are pro-nuclear but consider climate change to be some alarmist conspiracy, then you are welcome to frequent other energy blogs that are populated by denialists – there are plenty of them. Go ahead, it’s a free internet.

    Kudos …

  6. Fran Barlow
    July 11th, 2011 at 10:29 | #6

    @John Quiggin

    I’ll look forward to that. My impression of the ZCA proposal is that it is heroically optimistic much as I’d love it to be true.

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