Political Guts

Geothermal, Nuclear Power and The Energy Crisis

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The Energy Crisis that isn't!

A little known fact is that Australia derives almost three quarters of its carbon emissions from coal fired power stations.  While we currently do not have firm Carbon Dioxide reduction targets set for 2020 or 2050, the figures being tossed around are in the order of a 20% to 40% reduction.  However, although carbon dioxide is not the pollutant global warming activists claim it is, IF we wanted to remove carbon soot from our skies from those power stations, it is possible within around 2 decades, in Australia.  The real pollution is in the other chemicals emitted by industry, including power generation.  The ETS proposed to reduce the so called "carbon pollution" is actually just a tax grab by a government with a huge deficit and an urgent need to collect as much cash as possible without being seen to be doing so.

Within a decade, we could eliminate over 70% of the carbon soot we now generate, if we wished.  We could also create more employment, and boost exports and value added exports at the same time.  If only we had the political will to make the decision.

The decision required would be to switch off the coal-fired power stations and replace them with a bank of geothermal power stations sitting on top of the geothermal hot spots in Central Australia, and instal new design small nuclear power plants in areas too far for electricity to be transported from the geothermal power stations.  Currently, the Geothermal power stations are likely to be located in the Heartbreak Corner region, near the borders of South Australia, NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory.  There is currently a pilot project under construction there, and results can be expected soon.  As the technology is already proven, the results might be more about working in this hostile region than the power generation technology.  However, further research may enable us to locate the power stations closer to centres of population to reduce power transmission losses, or to develop better methods of power transmission to bring power from this region to the rest of Australia.  Regardless, the new design nuclear power plants are already proven, reliable, have minimal waste compared to the old style and are eminently more safe!  The Chernobyl style of nuclear power station will never be built again for both the safety and efficiency reasons, even if you didn't take the extra cost of doing it the old way into account.

The research done into geothermal power generating opportunity shows that this is a viable alternative where the geography is suitable.  We already have the technology to build these power stations; we have a virtually unlimited energy supply in the hot rocks and we have a critical problem with pollution in a world that needs us to give it cleaner air to breathe.  So why not?  The technology already works in the North Island of New Zealand, at the Waikato geothermal power station, surely we can learn from our Kiwi cousins!  It won't work all over Australia, but it will work in some places and could open those places up!

There are also the other power generating options of wind, wave and river turbines, solar collection and even more technology that will probably come online in the next decade.  River based turbines in particular, I find an exciting concept, having as we do, a vast network of east coast rivers running through our most heavily populated regions, where the energy would be virtually free and unlimited! 

Alternative energy sources, on their own, are generally limited and expensive.  As part of a total plan, they can be a great supplementary power source.

The current thinking is that the loss of employment in the coal-fired power station areas and in coal mining industries would be catastrophic.  Very short sighted.  Lets look at it.

It will take at least 5 years to build the first large geothermal or nuclear power station and get it online.  Over that time and for a long time after, we will still need the coal-fired power stations.  There is currently a chronic shortage in the skilled industrial and heavy industry trained workforce in Australia.  In addition, we have the resource hungry regions of China and also India coming online, needing our coal.  Mining coal is a fact of life for hundreds of years yet.  However, that also provides us with other opportunities.  Our own need for increased power generation is also a factor to be considered.

We can still export coal, but we can value-add to our coal exports as well.  The development of “clean coal technology” is a value-add we could do here, researching what it would take to burn coal without the pollution effects it now has. 

Ideally, anywhere on the planet where geothermal power could be produced, could have a geothermal power station.  Other areas will need other energy sources to generate power, whether that was oil, coal or gas.  If we can supply at least some of those resources, plus the clean burning technology, we are well placed to actually increase export earnings and technology sales and employment in those fields.

The climate IS changing, although man is not the sole infuencing factor in climate change and AGW is not a serious issue.  However, since the earth cooled from a molten rock billions of years ago, the climate has been continually changing and according to the scientists, in about 4 billion years time, when our sun has become a giant "red dwarf" and cooked the earth to a crisp, no life will exist on earth any more.  However, while we are here, we really need to look after it, clean up our messes, and think of the next generation whenever we do something that can leave a trace.

A very real question that needs to be asked is: Do we still have global warming?  Records of the last decade suggest the planet is actually cooling, and therefore that climate change, which is happening naturally regardless of man's influence, and the cooling and warming cycles, are not linked to any great degree.  When the question of climate change comes up, yes, it is a factor to be considered. But it is not the same as global warming, which the evidence suggests has now reversed.

However, we need to understand that man is not the only source of carbon soot in our local skies.  Each year across Northern Australia, the open grasslands burn fiercely, and the smoke from those fires is more than equal to all the carbon soot production of the rest of the year from man made sources.  This is a natural phenomena that has been occurring since long before man arrived and is a part of the Australian climate cycle.


Look up this subject and all the methods of electricity generation on the internet.

Educate yourself in power generation of all sorts.  Be informed and aware of the truth of these issues.

Study Carbon Sequestration, learn what it is about, and whether or not you think or believe that the problems can be overcome in the timeframe that is necessary for it to be worthwhile in the battle against climate change.  Science now suggests it is an impossible dream, that could not be realised within decades, if ever, on a scale that will make a difference to the climate anyway, if Carbon Dioxide was actually the problem.

Learn about the ETS, and CPRS, and there is much information on them through this website.

The more you discuss and argue this topic of Climate Change, the more you will learn and have to contribute.  Learn the difference between Climate Change and Global Warming and Global Cooling.

Back to Energy & The Environment

Putting the pressure on our politicians and leaders, to take the decisions that need to be taken right now, to solve the problems we have, that we already know how to solve!