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more coal fired power stations for Australia? « Previous | |Next »
February 15, 2009

If it is a contest between carbon austerity and fossil-fuel energy then the latter will win hands down under Rudd Labor. More coal-fired stations will be built in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, even though the climate is nearing a tipping point. The rhetoric will be that emissions will be reduced, there will be soothing words new carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities, the new coal-fired power stations will be retrofited when technology become available.

GoldingGlobalwarming.jpg Matt Golding , True, a realistic green vision of future energy consumption would need to include coal in some capacity, and so a method must be found to render it less toxic by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The spin from the Rudd Government---others such as the UK + the US--- is that they are working on "clean coal" or that they will build power plants that are "capture-ready" in case technology is ever developed to capture all pollutants. The reality is that the Australian government only pretends to be green because coal interests have great power in Australia, as in the US.

Coal provides nearly 80 per cent of Australia's electricity need and the emissions from coal-dominated electricity generation rose 50 per cent between 1990 and 2004 and they have continued to rise since. with most of thencrease in emissions from coal-fired generators Geosequestration technology is the great hope for the coal industry, even though it cannot be fitted to existing coal power stations, only new ones.

Although geosequestration technology for coal power should be pursued in the longer term, without generating more power from natural gas and renewable sources there is no hope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:57 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

Australia is addicted to coal for power generation. With all the concern about climate change one would think that coal power, the highest emitter of greenhouse gases, would be on the ropes.

I've seen estimates of power consumption required to sequester carbon from coal-fired powerstations between 20% to 40% of generated power, but I cannot remember where. Anyone know better, or have thoughts of the implications, together with the percent of exports due to coal and the implications?

I have a vague recollection of the same thing Dave, but can't remember where.

It doesn't seem to be a terribly strong argument though, given that sequestration hasn't been invented yet.

I see that the Clean Energy Council, the renewable energy industry's peak body, has indicated that the Rudd Government's draft legislation would deliver only deliver 15% of total power generated in 20020 instead of the 20% target.

More backsliding by the Rudd Government on climate change under pressure from the big electricity users---aluminum and steel industries---and the Business Council of Australia.