Australian chief scientist advocates coal-fired power extensions 

Posted: September 6, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, government, ideology
Tags: , ,

Lots of coal in Australia

Some say the ‘soaring prices and increased black outs’ mentioned in the report are at least partly due to over-hasty substitution of fuel-powered generation by expensive and intermittent renewable energy, mainly wind and solar. Now the argument is that Australia needs early action to try and prevent the situation getting even more serious.

Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, believes the country would be better off extending the life of existing coal-fired power plants, rather than investing in clean coal technology, as PEI reports.

Finkel says the move would increase Australia’s energy security in an affordable manner.

He authored a report making 50 recommendations to address soaring prices and increased black outs, said building new ultra-super-critical coal plants would take eight years and carry much higher risks for potential investors.

But he said the owners of coal fired generators could be encouraged to spend A$600m-$700m on upgrading the plants to extend their life by another 10 years. “Investing in extending the life of existing coal generators is absolutely in line with our recommendations,” he said.

“There is a lot more generation coming into the market, wind and solar, and that’s good, we need more generation … but we also need to ensure that we have got that dispatchability,” he said.

“That can be provided by batteries but they’ve got limited capacity. It can be provided on a large-scale by pumped hydro but that takes years to build … all of those things take time.”

Continued here.

  1. karabar says:

    The bigger problem is that the “chief scientist” has no idea as to what science is.
    Neither does Finkel aware of the operation of the national electricity market.

  2. oldmanK says:

    Second problem: Are the plants, particularly ‘fired pressure vessels’ beyond life extension allowed by design code on which they are based? Normally 200,000 hours, plus 10% max. Provided ‘life depletion events’ have been tallied and factored in as well.

  3. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …Finkel says the move would increase Australia’s energy security in an affordable manner….

    He’s obviously a denier. Sack him!

  4. ivan says:

    The idiot would have been seen in a better light if he had insisted that new high efficiency coal fired plants be built and that the output from all coal fired plants takes preference.

    Oh, and all RETs and other green taxes be removed from coal based generators. That way the cost of electricity to the consumer falls rather than rises as with the unreliables usage setup at the moment.

  5. oldbrew says:

    ivan – he says new coal plants take a lot longer to build than upgrading existing ones, and time is short given existing power supply gremlins – thanks largely to ‘unreliables’.

  6. ivan says:

    oldbrew, I know that but the old generating boilers will soon reach their ‘end of life’ so what he is proposing is only a stop gap measure that should be used while new plants are being constructed – that way the unreliables take a back seat until they can compete on a level playing field, which will never happen.

    [reply] agree

  7. oldbrew says:

    Jo Nova: Electricity “Bill Shock” in Australia is so bad it will push up inflation figures

    It’s crisis time in Australia. Electricity bills have doubled, and the fallout is just starting to feed through to consumers. Not only does electricity cost more, but so will nearly everything else. Large businesses, economists, and miners are warning that Australians will be paying so much more it will push our inflation figures up.
    . . .
    The sole reason we destroyed our cheap power base is because we hope the weather will be nicer next century. We are doing this for our unborn great grandchildren, the same people who will be laughing at our primitive climate-alchemy, our bizarre superstition and delusional fixation that we can hold back the tide, stop floods and droughts and windy days.
    – – –
    Meanwhile renewables subsidy extortionists farmers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Date: 14/09/17 The Australian

    Former prime minister Tony Abbott:
    “We’ve got the absurd situation where we subsidise wind, allegedly to save the planet, and now we’re looking at subsidising coal to keep the lights on.”

    – – –
    Australia’s Massive Power Price Hike Caused by Intermittent Wind & Solar
    September 15, 2017 by stopthesethings

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