"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, March 8, 2010

How to get carbon-free power in Australia - Ignore Reality!

The Green Left Weekly has a plan for Australia to be carbon free by 2020. We simply have to change over from nasty coal power to solar and wind power with a 60/40 per cent ratio with a little bit of hydro thrown in and we would all be living in Green Utopia in harmony with Gaia.

The energy report summary says Australia’s energy needs could be met with concentrated solar thermal power with molten salt heat storage (60%) and wind power (40%). Backup power could be provided by existing hydroelectric power and special power plants that burn currently unused crop residue.

Big gains in energy efficiency would also be needed. The extensive insulation of all commercial and residential buildings and the rollout of heat pump space heating are two important measures. Also, about $90 billion would be needed over the decade to upgrade Australia’s aging electricity transmission system.
Reality check - it has been overcast for the past week in Southeast Queensland and much of Eastern Australia and winds have been low so planned solar and wind power would be unavailable. Under the new Greens system the lights would be out for most the last week.  There is always hydro-electric power of course, which need dams which are routinely opposed by the Green Left - sort of a Catch 22 situation.
This whole approach by the Greens is strictly Loony Tunes and is based on complete ignorance of the operative requirements of a power grid.

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