Friday, July 8, 2011

Dr Gideon Polya: 100% renewable energy by 2020 for Australia

Dr Gideon Polya: 100% renewable energy by 2020 for Australia.

1. As analyzed by Professor Schellnhuber (see B1), Australia needs to get to 0% CO2 emissions by about 2020 but it is quite clear that there is bipartisan agreement for a policy of increasing Australia’s domestic plus Exported GHG pollution i.e. 5% off 2000 level by 2020 coupled with a huge increase in coal and LNG exports and in unaddressed agricultural GHG pollution. Australia’s stationary energy production is responsible for about 30% of Australia’s total GHG pollution (however the exact proportion needs to be re-assessed because of recent re-assessments from the World Bank that global livestock production contributes over 51% of total annual global GHG pollution). It is clearly possible for Australia and other countries to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2020 - 2030 as set out below. [1, 2, 3].

2. Professor Mark Z. Jacobson (Stanford University) and Mark A. Delucchi have set out a plan for 100% renewable energy for the world by 2030 using renewables such as wind, concentrated solar thermal, wave, tidal and geothermal energy. [4].

3, Professor David McKay FRS (Physics Department, Cambridge University and energy adviser to the UK Government) has set out a plan for renewable energy for the UK. Unlike Australia, the UK has limited solar energy resources and would have to tighten its belt energy-wise or import solar energy form North Africa. [5].

4. A scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia has been set out by top electrical engineer Professor Peter Seligman (a major player in development of the bionic ear. Professor Seligman’s scheme involves involving wind, solar thermal, other energy sources, hydrological energy storage (in dams on the Nullabor Plain in Southern Australia), a HV AC and HV DC electricity transmission grid and a cost over 20 years of $253 billion. [6].

5. An important group of science-informed climate activists is Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) that in mid-2010 released an important and much-acclaimed plan for 100% renewable stationary energy for Australia by 2020 (Zero Carbon Australia by 2020, ZCA 2020). The BZE ZCA2020 Plan involves 40% wind energy, 60% concentrated solar thermal (CST) with molten salts energy storage for 24/7 baseload power, biomass and hydroelectric backup (for days of no wind and low sunshine) and a HV DC and HC AC national power grid. The BZE scheme was costed at $370 billion over 10 years, with roughly half spent on CST, one quarter on wind and one quarter on the national electricity grid. [7].

6. Another variant that could notionally give huge renewable energy for Australia by 2020 equivalent to 80% of its predicted 2020 energy needs [8] would be 80% wind energy with hydrological (or other) energy storage and other energy for 24/7 operation, noting that wind power installation is about 3-fold cheaper than solar thermal power installation [9]. Thus ignoring cost-increasing energy storage and transmission grid costs and cost-decreasing economies of scale for a 2- to10-fold size increase, here are 2 similar cost estimates for installation of wind power for 80% of Australia’s projected 325,000 GWh of annual electrical energy by 2020: (1) 90,000 MW capacity, 260,000 GWh/year, $200 billion/10 years (10-fold scale-up from GL Garrad Hassan, [44]) and (2) 96,000 MW, 260,000 GWh/year, $144 billion (2-fold scale-up of BZE’s Wind Power proposal [7]).

7. All kinds of renewable energy mixes can be envisaged for 100% renewable energy by 2020 for Australia using existing commercial technologies coupled with major increases in energy efficiency and in particular renewable energy-based electrification of public and private transport and indeed substantial elimination of private transport [6, 7. 11]. Note that wave, tidal, geothermal and cheaper solar PV technologies are in development [46, 47]. Australia spends $12 billion yearly on Carbon Subsidies (see A5), $20 billion yearly on gambling and $40 billion per year on insurance as compared to the estimated cost of $14-20 billion per year for an 80% wind energy component of our projected energy needs by 2020 (see C6). [7].

8. Unfortunately, the major parties in Australia are committed to coal and gas exports and to the convenient falsehood that a coal burning to gas burning transition would be “cleaner” greenhouse gas-wise – this egregious falsehood is analyzed in the next section [14-17]. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) Bill passed by the Australian Parliament (August 2009) sets a target of “20% renewable energy by 2020” and measures this by allotting 1 Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) per 1 MWh (megawatt hour = million watt hour) of renewable electricity generated and put into the grid. However what can be regarded as renewable energy (clean energy) under the legislation includes a number of clearly non-renewable components, most notoriously “Phantom renewable energy” or “fake accountant’s renewable energy” (whereby 5 RECs are issued for every 1 MWh of solar or wind electricity put into the power grid) and natural gas (methane) e.g. Coal (C ) -, oil ( (CH2)n) - or gas (CH4) -based electricity for electric hot water (clearly non-renewable energy), gas (CH4) -based or other carbon (C)-based electricity for solar hot water (clearly non-renewable energy), methane gas (CH4) from coal seams (clearly non-renewable energy), and methane gas (CH4) from land-fill (clearly non-renewable energy). This is an absurd and indeed counterproductive way to tackle Australia’s world-leading annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution. [14, 15, 18]

[1]. Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), Conclusion, Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan Synopsis, p17, July 2010: .

2. Gideon Polya, “Australia’s “5% off 2000 GHG pollution by 2020” endangers Australia, Humanity and the Biosphere”, YVCAG: .

3. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: .

4. Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, “A path to sustainable energy by 2030”, Scientific American, November 2009, pp 58 – 65: .

5. David McKay, “Sustainable energy without the hot air”, UIT, Cambridge, UK: .

6.Peter Seligman, “Australian sustainable energy – by the numbers”, Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne , 2010: .

7. Beyond Zero Emissions Zero (BZE), Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 Report (BZE ZCA2020 Report), 2010: .

8. ABARE: .

9. Infigen: .

10. GL Garrad Hassan: .

11. Martin Mahy, “Hydrogen minibuses” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics”, pp250-256, edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007.

12. Mark Diesendorf, “A sustainable energy future for Australia”, in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics”, pp242-249, edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007.

13. John Veevers, “The Innamincka hit fractured rocl project” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics”, pp236-241, edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007.

14. Gideon Polya, “Australia absurdly declares methane burning clean and renewable”, Countercurrents, 26 August 2009: .

15. Gideon Polya, “Gas is dirty energy & may be dirtier than coal - Oz Labor’s "gas is clean energy" means Put Labor Last”, Bellaciao, 10 June 2010: .

16. “Gulf oil & gas disaster, lobbyists, Obama & huge threat of natural gas (methane) to Humanity & Biosphere”, Bellaciao, 19 June 2010: .

17. “Resource to stop gas-fired power plants, fossil fuel burning, GHG pollution & man-made climate change”, Bellaciao, 27 February 2011: .

18. Gideon Polya, “Carbon Price & Climate Change Action Fact Sheet for leading per capita greenhouse gas polluter Australia”, Bellaciao, 14 March 2011: .

No comments:

Post a Comment