Sunday, May 12, 2013

Could we have have 100% renewable electricity?

Yes, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which has just released its draft results on whether Australia could run it's electricity supply off 100% renewable electricity by 2030 or 2050.

As noted here, this should kill off the idea that the intermittency of supply in renewable electricity prevents it from supplying all our electricity, especially in a country like Australia where we have good renewable energy resources. Some may remember that Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) released a report a couple of years ago that also outlined a plan for Australia to move to 100% renewables. One difference with the AEMO is that these are the people who manage the electricity market and so their conclusion that 100% renewables could provide reliable supply will probably carry more weight.

Similar to BZE the AEMO report sees an important role for solar thermal with molten salt storage and also biogass for helping to meet the meet peaks in electricity demand and to provide supply when there is little incoming solar and wind energy.

Obviously moving to 100% renewables isn't cheap, but as noted at Renew Economy, by 2050 most existing coal and gas fired power plants in Australia would need to be replaced anyway, so while the total cost may sound like a lot, it may not differ all that much from what would be spend over the next 40 years to maintain a fairly polluting power sector.

There are also a couple of interesting critisms of the report from Renew Economy, stating that the AEMO are likely overestimating the cost of renewables and ignoring a role for energy efficiency improvement in decreasing the actual amount of electricity required. Both of which would make 100% renewables cheaper and easier to obtain.

To learn more, you can find the draft report and executive summary here, as well as some good commentary here, here and here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

TTKD May 2013 meeting: Reinventing the Toilet!

Thursday May 16

7.15pm for a 7.30pm start

Kenmore Library Meeting Room

Also of note:

Moggill Market Stall:
TTKD will be holding a stall at Moggill Markets on Saturday 1 June – people are welcome to bring any surplus home grown produce to share. We will also have some native plants from Moggill Creek Catchment Group for sale at $2 each.

Healthy Waterways Awards:
Here is a link to the Healthy Waterways Awards people choice voting page. Please note, our August speaker, Matthew Fullerton is a nominee in the Young Adult Encouragement award, under the Individual and Lifestyle Group (voting closes 20 May).