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Future Energy Pathways

Discussion in 'Intros & Off Topic' started by MrConservative, Oct 8, 2018.

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  1. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This thread is to discuss future energy solutions and policies including the relationship between energy and national security.
     
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  2. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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  3. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Hydro works if there’s enough mountains and rain or snow but we are not Norway.
    Currently, Snowy hydro produces between 15% x 20% of the national energy markets needs. Tasmania hydro can boost this figure to what, 40%? I don’t know but it still leaves around 60 % of requirements being met by coal well into the future.

    The only way this can be replaced is by low emission coal or by nuclear given today’s technology.
    Most of the advocates for renewables always concentrate on how their personal power requirements can be replaced and for that solar and wind is a no brainer but over 60% of the national consumption is used by industry, one alu smelter, Tomago in NSW uses 30% of the states power, how does that get replaced when the power is needed 24/7?
    It’s all very well to feel righteous by filling ones roof with solar panels as the green left would have us but it simply fails to understand, and offers no solution to the national energy reduction problem.
     
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  4. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Do they have a cable from Tasmania to the mainland? In NZ we have one going from the South Island (where most hydro production is) to the North Island (where most population is). Moer than once us South Islanders have wanted to cut the cable and let the north drift away :D Hydro accounts for more than half of NZ's electricity generation requirements and would be larger but for resistance to more drowned valleys etc.
    I think that, particularly in Australia's case, fission based nuclear electricity generation will have to happen because demand is far outstripping supply and the burning of carbon based fuels to provide generating capability will prove to be unsustainable, both politically and economically. I think that environmentally, nuclear fission based electricity generation is more sustainable than carbon fuel based electricity generation, because even given the half life of the radioactive materials, they would have significant less impact upon the planet than a wholesale planetary wide climate change event that has the potential to be an extinction level event. The green lefties don't see that because their dialectal political construct is unable to comprehend micro, meso and macro temporal and spatial scales simultaneously, if at all, and that comprehension is what is absolutely necessary to understanding what we face, not some PC political rhetoric. BTW that applies to both sides of the CC debate.
     
  5. tonnyc

    tonnyc Member

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    @ngatimozart Yes, there is a cable connecting Tasmania to the Australian mainland. IIRC it has just been completed this year.

    Ran across a study last week that examines using small modular reactors for small islands. Jeju (South Korea), Tenerife (Spain), and Tasmania (Australia) were examined. The possibility of using the SMR for Tasmania's normal use and the dam as a giant battery for peak demand for both Tasmania and Australia was mentioned.

    I think the study also came up that the scenario becomes feasible if nuclear power can get below US$80/MWh for Tasmania (Jeju and Tenerife have higher amount). Which they technically can. South Korea and Chinese nuclear power can get below $60/MWh. But this has less to do with the actual cost of the tech but rather on the long run commitment. Every time a protest or a lawsuit manages to stall construction, financing cost goes up because the interest keep getting applied, and the interest rate inches up too, because now the lenders get worried that the project will get canceled.

    Anyway, over in Indonesia I have been telling anyone who cares to listen that we need nuclear energy. Despite the supposed abundance of renewable energy in Indonesia, it's still insufficient for the projected 300-320 million people in 2050. As domestic fossil fuel resources run out, the country will start importing LNG and eventually medium quality coal. Indonesia already import massive amount of oil. The predicted massive dependence on energy import will a huge weak point in national security. Even nuclear power will not be able to prevent this, but at least it can reduce it.

    Australia's situation is... Dysfunctional. Sorry. The Australian Liberal Party doesn't seem to have a coherent policy at the moment. The Labor Party, like it or not, is at least coherent. But when they get into power they will roll back ALP's policies and though I am not a fan of ALP either, the thing with energy policy is that there has to be a consistent long term policy. Short term fixes like the diesel power plant and Tesla battery does well in addressing small short term problems but is insufficient for handling long term problems like sustainability and security.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  6. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Why I state fission based nuclear generation is because I believe that at some stage controllable fusion based nuclear technology will become available and the only byproduct from that is pure water. I remember quite well the Fleischmann and Pons cold fusion debacle of 1989 and whilst such an approach is still researched today, it is not mainstream science. However as history has shown studies of phenomenon have advanced from being something so mysterious that they are of the Gods to what they actually are; part of nature and science is the methodology used for such study and to formulate a valid and logical explanation. Science is a far more rigorous and logical system than any, previously used or current, religious or folk belief system, because of its continual testing of all theories. So given that history I am confident that one day we will have safe operational fusion reactors worldwide. When is another story.
     
  7. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    Where do large battery plants like Tesla,s come into the equation ? ,
     
  8. tonnyc

    tonnyc Member

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    They are useful for stabilizing very short term fluctuations that are measured in seconds or minutes. It gives the diesel/natural gas generators time to ramp up. Without it, they will have to be "hot but idle", which costs quite a bit.