Australian news, and some related international items

Natural gas can play a role in move to renewable energy

Diesendorf also supports “a limited role for gas, because renewable energy is not yet ready to take over all of gas’s roles”.

Replace Hazelwood with gas? Green Left Weekly, June 5, 2010 By Ben Courtice “.., Environment Victoria has taken up the campaign with enthusiasm. A report for EV by energy market analysts Green Energy Markets (GEM) has provided one plan for replacing Hazelwood. Launching the report, GEM director Ric Brazzale said: “By combining new renewable energy with efficient gas and energy efficiency measures we can cut Hazelwood’s annual emissions of 16.2 million tonnes to 1.8 million tonnes, which would reduce Victoria’s emissions by 12% annually, as well as freeing up 27 billion litres of water for other uses.”

Two possible scenarios are examined in the report. They say either 1180 or 970 megawatts of gas plants should replace Hazelwood. Reliance on gas would decline over time as energy efficiency measures slowly replace 25% of Hazelwood’s current output. The rest would be taken up by 1500MW of renewable generation (mostly wind) — running at a typical 30% of capacity.But there is significant dissent to the advocacy of gas. And there is an alternative plan on its way….

Strategic uses of gas?

Clearly, gas use is expanding dramatically. Renewable energy expert and author, Dr Mark Diesendorf, told GLW: “I agree with others that we must resist the wholesale replacement of coal-fired power stations with gas.”

However, Diesendorf also supports “a limited role for gas, because renewable energy is not yet ready to take over all of gas’s roles”. In particular, areas where Diesendorf believes renewables are not yet ready include “back-up/booster for solar hot water, solar thermal power and wind power”.

He said: “The highest priority must be to stop the construction of new coal-fired power stations and to shut down dinosaurs such as Hazelwood ASAP. I don’t see a problem if the environment movement advocates a mix of energy efficiency, gas and renewable electricity to replace coal.”

Natural gas and the climate movement | Green Left Weekly

June 7, 2010 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, Victoria | , , , , , ,

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