Sorry RTT, but making imputations about the intelligence and/or education of people who disagree with you is evidence of an emotional attachment to a position. I didn't use the word "agenda", which would connote a lack of disclosure; I said "hobby horse", by which I meant an irrational obsession with criticising RE.
This is a good article from the lefty-warmist-greenie-Marxist ABC about the myth of "base load" as a justification for ongoing coal plant operation. The essence of it is that the need for "base load" is a symptom of a grid designed around constant generation, rather than the other way around.
The following people are quoted:
Anthony Vassallo: PhD Chemistry
Glenn Platt: CSIRO Energy Research Director
Andrew Blakers: I'll let his engineering research speak for itself
Mark Diesendorf: Honours in Physics and PhD Applied Maths
Dr Diesendorf also has a more in-depth explanation of his feasibility modelling:
Our latest peer-reviewed paper, currently in press in Energy Policy journal, compares the economics of two new alternative hypothetical generation systems for 2030: 100% renewable electricity versus an “efficient” fossil-fuelled system. Both systems have commercially available technologies and both satisfy the NEM reliability criterion. However, the renewable energy system has zero greenhouse gas emissions while the efficient fossil scenario has high emissions and water use and so would be unacceptable in environmental terms.
I will happily send the paper in question as a PDF to you or anyone else if you do not have a library susbscription to access it. PM me.
For what it's worth, my personal view is that 100% RE/gas is not an ideal solution, simply because of the difficulty of making a stable transition. It was a physicist who convinced me that fission thermal generation offers an acceptable compromise between emissions reduction and grid design, but I am also pragmatic enough to realise that it's not a political reality in Australia in the near further. (There's also the silent issue of industrial heat - 45% of global energy use, all of it fossil-powered, and no RE alternative, but modular nuclear may be a sustainable solution.)
I'm not making assumptions about peoples intelligence, what I've been trying to say on this post and previous is lets talk facts, yet all I get from too many is motherhood statements about why RE is gods greatest gift and similar. Show me the facts, thats all I ask and when I do that, oh I have agenda or riding a horse or what ever crap.
You want to talk RE, lets talk RE and leave the BS and personal attacks out of it. I've said that many times now, but know, more comments about hobby horses.
Regarding that link to the ABC
I totally agree, there are other ways. Have I ever said there isn't? However what I have said is what is the cost and in some cases ignore the cost what about practicality of such a solution?"No single one does all the job... You probably need a mix of hydro, which may include off-river pumped hydro, and possibly open-cycle-gas turbines," he says."For those of us who work in the field, this is very straightforward now. But the barriers aren't primarily technological."Professor Blakers agrees. He says that Australia's energy future lies in solar and wind, with pumped hydro as a balancing source."Pumped hydro is 100-year-old technology, completely off the shelf, and importantly you can get these pumped-hydro sites built before 2022," he says.
Lets look at the national resource options in the SE corner.
- Wind, mostly in the SW Vic and SA, intermittent, predictable but not when you need it
- Solar, available during the day, mostly alines with peak, but not for the rest of the 15-18h.
- So to make a reliable grid you need large scale battery (hydro or chemical) AND Open Cycle Gas which has a lower efficency than black coal and nearly double the price.
Chemical Battery, I think most people agree chemical battery technology is a decade or more away from being taken seriously for large scale grid supply.
Pumped Hydro, if its so practical and feasible in the SE corner, why is it still pending?
The economics for Snowy 2.0 rely coal power stations being closed and limited similar competition to ensure a large differential price between pumping and generation and even then over 50 years it fails to pay for itself. Don't take my word for it, read the reports!
Basically to achieve much of what was said in the ABC article the following need to be "gifted" to the NEM
- SNOWY 2.0
- 2nd Bass Link
- Upgrading of some of Tassie hydro systems to pump back
- HV link connecting SA and NSW
- and a number of other pumped hydro projects
- Large scale Open Cycle power station roll out.
and even then, you still need 50% of the coal power stations or similar.
Snowy 2.0 is 2000MW, the SE corner needs 7-8 of them to replace the coal fired power stations.
Basically we continue to need Bass Load generation (doesn't equal coal, but is the cheapest and most practical for Australia) for decades to come because the alternative technology simply does not exist!
I've also always said nothing wrong with wind, but it needs to be paired with hydro or similar, especially as the wind farm generation capacity grows beyond 10-20% of the grid. Look it up, 20-25% is considered max (depending on existing mix) before it starts to add significant cost to grid operation. By forcing the wind farms to align themselves with despatchable power ie hydro and/or open cycle gas, you won't have repeats of last few days as Wind output continues to grow.
You say you support nuclear, so do I. But considering the current focus on wind and solar and the mindset that these will do the job, the country has no chance in hell in allowing any nuclear project to go.