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No More Overseas Travel? - Running out of oil? 9-Nov-2007 At 3:22:33 PM Dom
The nuclear issue is an interesting one. I'm sure there are alot of people out, I'm sure, thinking that renewable energy sources can play the same role that nuclear power would in the Australian energy mix, and they're right. The problem is there are increased costs to be paid for the use of these technologies. Base load power should be able to be purchased for $30-$40 MWh depending on the state (prices are about 70-100% higher than that at the moment because the base load generators are gaming the market - I'll save that rant for another time). Obviously the aim of introducing renewables in the mix is to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions; so, if all of our coal and gas fired generation was replaced with wind\solar\geothermal the price of electricity could be expected to rise to $120-$150 MWh even after the cost offsets such as Renewable Energy Certificates are factored in to the calc.

Every time I think about this subject, and I think about it alot, I always get stuck on the prisoners’ dilemma (made famous in the movie A Brilliant Mind):

Two prisoners have been called in for questioning by police and are housed in cells at opposite ends of the station so they can't know what the other is doing. Each prisoner is faced with a choice; they can confess or not confess.
If they both choose 'confess' they both get 5 years in jail
If they both choose 'not confess' they both get 2 years in jail
But if one (either one) chooses to 'confess' and the other chooses 'not confess' then the confessor gets 1 year and the confessee gets 10 years

If that made no sense check wiki out:'s_dilemma

The whole premise behind it is that you can do better IN THE SHORT RUN by cheating.

If every nation decided to abide by a Kyoto style agreement then there will be an incentive to 'cheat' and emit more thus providing the cheaters nation with an increase in wealth. So while it is possible for political leaders to mandate the use of clean energy technology I think it is very unlike to happen until the average Australian starts to see some adverse impacts of global warming\carbon emissions. This is simply because people enjoy running the air con over right through summer and only seeing a $500 bill at the end of it. Why would they vote for a policy that will take Plasma screens out of their lounge rooms?

Just to put air con in to prospective too... I was at a talkfest a few years ago when a senior manager for a very large energy retail in Victoria said that air con (residential and commercial combined) makes up 70% of the energy that they sell...

So if you want clean energy you've got to be prepared to pay for it (nationally speaking). Its ok for the single office Johnny on 50k a year to say they'd be prepared to pay for it but what about the fitter and turner in Horsham on 29k who’s providing for 2 kids and a wife at home? No. Government intervention in to the WORKINGS of the market is not the answer here. Government is simply there to provide guidance to the private sector, to lay in place a framework in which Australians are free to operate in any way we see fit.

The answer is you. I wonder how many peoples homes are powered by 100% green energy sources. Every energy retailer in Australia now offers a green product... get on the phone and ask them about it.

This is a rambling post but... ya know.

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