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CSIRO and Australia grid industry association roadmap to 100% clean energy by 2050

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  • CSIRO and Australia grid industry association roadmap to 100% clean energy by 2050

    I hope this isn't too touchy a subject, but people were asking how in the heck one could
    practically get to 100% clean energy, and I ran across a fresh roadmap from utilities
    and the science community in Australia about how they see it:

    http://www.energynetworks.com.au/ele...cepts-report-0

    I was surprised to see so many utilities lining up behind the idea.
    17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

  • #2
    The problem with reports is that it is sometimes hard to know what the truth is.

    If Australia is working toward that 100% clean energy goal then why is Adani Enterprises moving forward to develop a new coal mine.

    Here is another article concerning Pakistan that will continue to expand it's use of coal to produce electricity.

    My fear is that while some countries may do whatever it takes to stop using coal other countries will just continue to do what they want. I see no joint effort by the world to follow any plan to reduce CO2 which is why I feel the US should not go bankrupt following a fools errand.
    Last edited by SunEagle; 12-09-2016, 01:40 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DanKegel View Post
      I hope this isn't too touchy a subject, but people were asking how in the heck one could
      practically get to 100% clean energy, and I ran across a fresh roadmap from utilities
      and the science community in Australia about how they see it:
      There's a very important term in there: zero NET emissions. This allows them a lot of wiggle room. In other words, they could get to 2050 and still be operating large coal base load plants and say "but we planted a million trees in the desert, and they absorb CO2, so we have zero NET emissions."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
        There's a very important term in there: zero NET emissions. This allows them a lot of wiggle room. In other words, they could get to 2050 and still be operating large coal base load plants and say "but we planted a million trees in the desert, and they absorb CO2, so we have zero NET emissions."
        If I read it correctly, the paper says it's plausible to project zero emissions in the grid, zero use of coal, and 40% electrification of transport, by 2050.
        I don't think it relies on funky offsets.
        17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
          If Australia is working toward that 100% clean energy goal then why is Adani Enterprises moving forward to develop a new coal mine.
          I suspect it's because that company has misjudged the market, and they're going to regret it later. But that same company just opened the world's largest PV farm (648 MW, in Tamil Nadu), so they're not completely clueless

          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
          My fear is that while some countries may do whatever it takes to stop using coal other countries will just continue to do what they want. I see no joint effort by the world to follow any plan to reduce CO2 which is why I feel the US should not go bankrupt following a fools errand.
          If you'll have a look at the report, it expects energy costs to go *down* as a result of the transition... and of course it will reduce the indirect costs from anthropogenic climate change / ocean acidification.

          As for a joint effort by the world, did you miss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement ? That got ratified extremely quickly, and most countries are on board. I suppose you'll say "that's just talk, nobody will actually do anything", but India, China, and Europe -- and until Trump, the US -- are all actively working on those goals.
          17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DanKegel View Post

            I suspect it's because that company has misjudged the market, and they're going to regret it later. But that same company just opened the world's largest PV farm (648 MW, in Tamil Nadu), so they're not completely clueless



            If you'll have a look at the report, it expects energy costs to go *down* as a result of the transition... and of course it will reduce the indirect costs from anthropogenic climate change / ocean acidification.

            As for a joint effort by the world, did you miss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement ? That got ratified extremely quickly, and most countries are on board. I suppose you'll say "that's just talk, nobody will actually do anything", but India, China, and Europe -- and until Trump, the US -- are all actively working on those goals.
            The problem is that energy costs keep going up so that the POCO's can afford (so they say) to install CO2 controls or retire older coal plants and install RE.

            Look what is happening in Nevada.

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            • #7
              I don't think anything in that Nevada post has to do with co2 emissions, does it?

              Well, maybe it does, see http://lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jun...ng-shift-coal/

              In any case, the benefits from reducing both conventional pollution (e.g. mercury, fly ash) and co2-emissions-caused climate change are likely to outweigh the cost of switching from coal to natural gas or some other cleanish fuel.
              Last edited by DanKegel; 12-09-2016, 03:34 PM.
              17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DanKegel View Post
                I don't think anything in that Nevada post has to do with co2 emissions, does it?

                Well, maybe it does, see http://lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jun...ng-shift-coal/

                In any case, the benefits from reducing both conventional pollution (e.g. mercury, fly ash) and co2-emissions-caused climate change are likely to outweigh the cost of switching from coal to natural gas or some other cleanish fuel.
                I have no issue with reducing or eliminating the pollution such as mercury and acids. But I still feel that instead of shutting down the coal industry we should be developing technology that makes it cleaner which should not only produce jobs locally in the US but will able to sell the more efficient technology to other countries that will be relying on coal power generation for decades to come.

                Why close the door to solving the pollution problem then to think if we stop every one else will. It isn't like treaties signed by world governments have been followed 100% in the past? Why do you think countries that need coal power will actually stop using it because of a paper they may have signed in Paris?

                If you want to mitigate something then find a way to clean it up that can be used by everyone instead of not using something and hope others will blindly follow you.

                I am sorry Dan but I have less faith in other countries then you that they will work together toward something instead of just working for themselves.

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                • #9
                  Another issue I see is that while you feel there will always be some type of back up power from peakers, I say that the cost to keep those units around and working will be too high and put companies out of business. That will reduce the number of power generation plants in some areas that will be needed should the weather turn against the RE producing plants.

                  Look at the gas fired plant in LA. With more and more RE who is going to produce electricity using fossil fuel. And please don't tell me that you all will get it 100% from wind, solar and batteries. That is not going to happen.

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                  • #10
                    More-polluting power plants becoming more expensive than less-polluting power plants isn't the worst problem in the world. It's an example of getting the incentives right, I think.

                    As for how to get to 100% clean power, well, that's the subject of this thread. Did you read the report yet?

                    17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                      I am sorry Dan but I have less faith in other countries then you that they will work together toward something instead of just working for themselves.
                      Preventing climate change and ocean acidification is in their own interests, though.

                      What to do about governments -- like Trump's -- that don't pull their own weight is a problem, true. But it's not a reason to give up and forget about the future.
                      17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DanKegel View Post
                        More-polluting power plants becoming more expensive than less-polluting power plants isn't the worst problem in the world. It's an example of getting the incentives right, I think.

                        As for how to get to 100% clean power, well, that's the subject of this thread. Did you read the report yet?
                        Yes I read the report but unless there is a major breakthrough in a couple of those technologies or the inclusion of nuclear power generation I feel the author is overestimating the possibilities of hitting that 100% goal.

                        The trick is to always have 110% power generation available for those days that RE is not. You can't have 100GW of power plants just sitting there waiting for those rainy or windless days to provide power. The companies that own that type of generation will go chapter 11 like the gas plant in LA. To cover RE the other forms of power generation has to stay profitable. The one closing in LA is just the tip of the ice burg.

                        I know you don't believe what I am saying but I guess that is something we just need to agree to disagree.

                        Maybe if you had any experience in the power generating area you might understand a little better how much it is a balancing act to keep the lights on.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                          If Australia is working toward that 100% clean energy goal then why is Adani Enterprises moving forward to develop a new coal mine.
                          Interesting subject, as the early Australian lead-acid EV pioneers quickly pointed out the irony of just moving the problem around so people don't notice. Ie, the "well to wheel" concept, or in this case "mine to wheel". As long as it isn't in my state or territory, I must be green.

                          Since these pioneers who have for the most part retired, there are fresh new green faces upon which to play the old shell-game of moving fossil fuels, fracking, and so forth around so it can be hidden from view / oversight.

                          It's our kid's problem anyway right? Keep those carbon molecules burning - it won't affect me. <sarcasm mode off>.



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                            The trick is to always have 110% power generation available for those days that RE is not. You can't have 100GW of power plants just sitting there waiting for those rainy or windless days to provide power. The companies that own that type of generation will go chapter 11 like the gas plant in LA. To cover RE the other forms of power generation has to stay profitable.
                            All true, and given that the report was written by grid operators, I think they had exactly that in mind.
                            17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DanKegel View Post
                              All true, and given that the report was written by grid operators, I think they had exactly that in mind.
                              I think what they had in mind was a propaganda piece. "Hey, look! The utility is moving on their own to all renewables. It says so right here. We don't need those new utility laws after all!"

                              It would be great to see more renewables in the grid. 100% simply isn't practical; it's not even a good goal, because getting that last 10 - 20 - 40% to be renewable is going to be far more costly, dirtier and more damaging overall than using cleaner conventional systems (like nuclear.) I'd be all for a goal of, say, 33-33-33% where 33% is renewable, 33% is next generation nuclear and 33% is fast startup combined cycle natural gas. That would be far more practical, cleaner overall, and cheaper.

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