Sunday, August 30, 2009

Renewable Energy as an alternative to Coal Development

We know we cannot co-exist with coal mines, petrochemical plants and power stations. On the other hand we CAN co-exist with renewable energy, which would preserve our precious farmland, protect our environment, and safeguard our community.

To that end, FOF invited Trevor Berrill to come to Felton to look at the renewable energy potential. Trevor is one of Queensland's most respected Sustainable Energy Systems consultants.

After touring the Felton area on Saturday morning, Trevor gave a fascinating talk to around 60 people at Cambooya Bowls Club in the evening. Some of the key points are detailed below.

Trevor Berrill. Presentation - Cambooya 29 Aug 09
Only Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency provide immediate CO2 Reductions

We have RE & EE technologies now. We know how to use RE & EE, and it doesn’t cost the earth. Failing to use it may.

Current energy pathway is unsustainable –business as usual is no longer an option.

Costs of greenhouse response NOW will be small: about 1% of annual global GDP by 2050 (ref Stern).

Current World Energy Supply
Non renewable: 91%
Renewable: 9%

Global Renewable Energy Resource
15,000 x Current Energy Use

Solar Power
Qld Resource: MASSIVE
Require < 23 x 23 km to meet all current Qld electricity demand.

Qld Resource - 10TWh/yr at <10c/kWh = 20% current demand (CSIRO 2007).

“Clean” Coal
• Oxymoron - inherently ‘dirty fuel’
• Pollution – costly
• Limited resource life
• Inefficient conversion
• Nimbyism
• 1000 yrs Waste Disposal and Storage problems– beyond civilisations
• Future hidden & external costs

There is NO clean coal technology available NOW

Energy Efficiency
Transport: Of the fuel used by a car, 80% heats the engine, 19% moves the weight of the car, 1% moves the weight of the driver.

Lighting: An incandescent lightbulb powered by electricity from a coal-fired power station uses only 2% of the energy in the coal. 98% is lost.

Direct Local Jobs per Unit of Electricity Generated
Coal electricity + coal mining - 1job.
Wind power with 50% Australian content 2–3 jobs(ref Diesendorf).

Strong Sustainable Energy Policy for Qld
• Set a 40% renewable energy target by 2020.

• Set a target of a 10 percent annual reduction in energy consumption to 2020.

• Undertake energy, material waste and water audits of all homes and businesses.

• Remove market barriers to the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

• Apply Polluter Pays Principle - Stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry.

• Ensure that all new developments apply best practice environmental design.

• Provide rebates for retrofitting existing homes with Sustainable Energy and efficient water technologies.

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