Carbon tax a win for Bioenergy, Wave and Wind energy producers
AUDIO Carbon tax winners: clean energy producers http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3540351.htm ABC Radio The World Today, 6 July 12, “….entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector are excited by what the carbon price will bring. Those already in the solar, wind and hydro power field are confident about the commercial future of their clean energy systems in the new low-carbon economy……
EMILY BOURKE: Edwina Beveridge if I can begin with you, you run a
pretty big pig farm near the New South Wales town of Young. You’ve
built a methane digestion system for your property. Can you give us a
snapshot of that project?
EDWINA BEVERIDGE: To start with normally methane is released into the
atmosphere from the anaerobic decomposition of pig manure in settling
ponds. Our methane digestion system captures this gas under a pond
cover and burns the methane. The methane gas when it’s burnt is
converted to carbon dioxide. Methane is 21 times worse than carbon
dioxide for the atmosphere.
To set up this system we built two dams at our two different sites.
The biggest dam holds 15 megalitres, it’s over 100 metres long and 40
metres wide, five metres deep – that’s a lot of pig manure. Then we’ve
put a pond cover over the top of that where we capture the methane. We
pipe it up to our generators. It’s actually a converted diesel engine
which is coupled to a generator. We have three of these 80 kilowatt
generators. They’re all computer controlled, they even sends us text
messages when it stops. My husband’s quite happy to get up and check
the generators in the middle of the night but still manages not to
hear our kids.
From that generator we supply all of our own electricity and have
about 50 per cent of it excess that we sell back to the grid. …..
EDWINA BEVERIDGE: We used to pay about $17,000 a month in energy
costs. We’re now getting paid about $3,000 a month. I still get
excited every time the invoice arrives telling us we’re being paid.
… We’ve been generating our own electricity for three months now and
there is nothing nicer than being paid for electricity rather than
EMILY BOURKE: Ali Baghaei, you are a pioneer of ocean wave technology
and you are about to cross the so-called valley of death from research
into development of your prototype. Can you outline that technology
and how you would compare it to say other renewable sources?
ALI BAGHAEI: Sure, our technology basically uses the swell of the
ocean. In a simple term is a box with rectangle cross section. This
box is L-shaped, two-third of it sits on the water and a third of it
sticks out of water. The top bit is open and on top of that sits a
turbine. The bit which is underwater basically is facing the wave or
swell of the ocean, and as the water enters that box with the water
level fluctuating, going up and down inside the vertical column of the
box, it compresses the air at high velocity and volume through an air
turbine. And turbine spins turning the generator thereby producing
electricity which will be taken to shore via a soft sea cable. …..
The technology is called Oscillating Water Column Technology because
is oscillation of the sea really that is generating the electricity.
And we are proud that we own all the 28 patents which we have
generated in Sydney and internationally registered it.
EMILY BOURKE: Steve Davy, you’re at the big end of town with Hydro
Tasmania. Can you give us a sense of the scale of your wind and water
operations and where you’re looking to expand?
STEVE DAVY: Hydro Tasmania produces nine terawatt hours of electrical
energy a year from hydro resources, so that’s about 4 per cent of the
electricity used in Australia. And in addition we own a wind farm at
Woolnorth that produces about 400 gigawatt hours, so that’s another 5
per cent production. And we are building a wind farm in north-west
Tasmania called Musselroe which will generate another 500 gigawatt
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