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The Forum > Article Comments > Iím a conservative in the energy business and here's why coal is dead > Comments

Iím a conservative in the energy business and here's why coal is dead : Comments

By Huon Hoogesteger, published 10/10/2017

Energy prices arenít high because of 'wishful thinking' and 'green religion' - theyíre high because of too little thinking and the wrong kind of religion.

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Goodness, There is still a light at the end of the tunnel.
Not abbott`s tunnel though, that is black and full of dead coal.
Posted by ateday, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:58:11 PM
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Quite a compelling article.

Increased use of solar and wind (WITH home or community battery storage) may be the major solution. Prices dropping is key.
Posted by plantagenet, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 1:14:35 PM
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Light at the end of the tunnel?

Nope, just the headlamp of a steaming express, destination economic ruin, thundering in our direction.

Aluminium smelters running on renewables? Not wind, too intermittent, with the average being 6 hours generation time in 24.

And you're talking about a process that needs continuous energy for far longer than that. around 24hrs continuous?

Hydro works, always providing enduring droughts don't worsen and they could! The achilles heel could be transmission lines that sometimes don't cope with strong winds, neither do windmills!

So yes to hydro with some backup! Solar power just not consistently reliable enough without really big battery backup, or pumped hydro etc. All needing vulnerable/expensive transmission lines and interconnectors!

The obvious answer stares us in the face.

Mass produced, factory built thorium reactors that use liquid fluoride salt, that also act as the separate coolant. And connected to smaller turbines that'll run on compressed/superheated CO2.

Can be trucked virtually anywhere to meet demand, and a few kilograms of thorium enough fuel for 100 years?

Nothing comes close in build or running costs/reliability. And as we tool up and export these around the country, that build cost comes exponentially down! Moreover they can be paralleled to meet increased or any foreseeable demand!

And yes I'm still an algae advocate as a much better source of liquid fuel. And an industry to not only save the Murray Darling. But have it prosper beyond comparison!

It's not either either but all of the above Has!

Politicians past and present, are obsessed with winning and blame shifting! Virtually to the exclusion of all else!

And as they win that stupidity personified game! The whole of Australia loses!

Has. Q: What did the stroke victim, completely paralysed down his left side say to the Doc?
A: I'm always alright!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 10 October 2017 3:26:34 PM
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Same old argument. World Coal's ERoEI has declined to about 10.
That is why the US is taking the tops off mountains.
That is why China is closing mines and has stopped the building of
some coal fired stations. It is becoming more dependant on imports.
The lucky country struck it rich again as our coal is cheap and plentiful.

Note there is one catch 22 that the pro renewables will NEVER answer.
How much bigger the solar and wind and battery backup has to be to
cope with, say 5 overcast still days ?
I will tell you, apply M = X(S+W+B)* N+1 where
M = installation size
X = the size of plant to supply one days electricity.
N = the number of overcast still days for which you plan to cater.
S W B = size of solar, wind & battery.
You have to recharge your now much larger battery on the first sunny
day and hope like hell that it is windy that night.
The size of the solar has to be about twice the size in winter than summer.
This is the reason why we will eventually go nuclear, uranium and/or thorium.
The cost to achieve 24/7 guaranteed electricity with solar and wind
is far too expensive and based on a guess of how many overcast still days.
That is why the pro renewables will not discuss that problem.
Have you ever heard it discussed in all the discussions that have been
waffled about on TV ? Q&A last night was typical.
A collection of technical idiots.
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:16:50 PM
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Aidan's throwaway line, that Iceland powers three aluminium smelters with "renewables", is misleading.

Yes, Iceland does power three smelters, other energy-intensive industries and domestic use - with hydro (73 per cent) and geothermal (27 per cent). Fossil fuels (mainly oil), wind and solar produce near as dammit to zero.

Hydro and geothermal (Iceland and its volcanos sit on the conjunction of two tectonic plates and the country has massive snow fields) are Iceland's competitive advantages. Coal is Australia's.

If the Left want Australia to become 100 per cent reliant on renewables, like Iceland, all we need is a dozen or so active volcanos and lots of high, perennially snow-covered mountains.

Not even the Prime Dunce is suggesting that.
Posted by calwest, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:52:11 PM
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thanks Tony Abbott for dragging the Liberals a little bit back to the way of sanity. Keep up the good work.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:56:14 PM
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