Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

To 17 September – nuclear and climate news

It’s all sounding a bit same-same: nuclear posturing from Kim Jong Un and from Donald Trump. Trouble is – in our atmosphere of “nuclear brink fatigue’, it still IS getting closer to the nuclear brink.

I don’t know about you, but in my patch, Australia, well you just wouldn’t know that from Sept 20, the 10-page treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons will be open for signatures from any UN member state. No media coverage. It’s as if the thought of nuclear war just doesn’t matter. Hell, it could even be an acceptable idea, nowadays. Or maybe not.

Same-same on climate, too.  But again, not really, as the planet’s weather patterns change inexorably,  glaciers melt, and mainstream media covers the subject less than ever.

AUSTRALIA

Don’t get me wrong –  I’m all for  homosexuals having the same rights as anybody else, to choose the possible misery of marriage.  And I have already voted “YES”. But I wish that the media could also cover climate and the nuclear danger.

Whether or not Trump is sane, Australia will follow him into nuclear war.– Australian politicians’ mindless backing of Trump.

Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) Black and White celebrate the 20 year anniversary of their continuing  campaign – keeping Australia nuclear free. Another liberal MP (Jane Prentice, Queensland) sucked in by the nuclear lobby. South Australia’s naval defence interests aiming for nuclear submarines, eventually?

Increasing risk of losing Great Barrier Reef.

ENERGY.  Australian government aims to get rid of Renewable Energy Target.  National Party  rallies against Clean Energy Target plan. What Audrey Zibelman and the Australian Energy Market Operator actually did advise the government.  Turnbull government grossly misuses report by Australian Energy Market Operator. Energy Security Board Chair says that properly managing Australia’s energy demand would remove the need for new power plants. Massive jump in solar energy roll-out means scarcity fears unfounded: council.

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

At Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) Black and White celebrate their campaign – keeping Australia nuclear free

Celebrating 20 years of helping Australia stay nuclear free  Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. SBS NITV, By Paddy Gibson, Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Institute UTS 15 SEP 2017

This weekend in Adelaide, Kaurna country, anti-nuclear campaigners from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance will hold their annual conference to debrief and strategise for the struggles ahead.

At the core of Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) are Aboriginal people living with nuclear projects on their lands, including uranium mines and the toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s, and others trying to stop new uranium mines or nuclear waste dumps being imposed on their country.

This year’s conference will celebrate 20 years since the network was founded in 1997 in Alice Springs, originally as the Alliance Against Uranium.

The initial meeting was an initiative of Mirarr people and their organisation Gundjeihmi, who were cranking up a major campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine, along with environment groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Friends of the Earth and other Traditional Owners. At the time, the Howard government was looking to massively expand Australia’s uranium exports. There was a wealth of experience in Aboriginal communities across the country, who suffer the brunt of this industry and people wanted to come together to fight back. There were growing opportunities to connect with wider civil society groups who shared a deep concern about uranium and recognised the central importance of supporting Aboriginal struggles for country.

Over the past 20 years, the ANFA network has provided vital support to many campaigns, from the victory at Jabiluka, to the battles for compensation for victims of nuclear weapons testing, to numerous struggles against new uranium mines and exploration projects. Lessons from the successful fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, a victory achieved in 2004 after a national campaign led by the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, inspired a decade of resistance that eventually stopped a nuclear dump been established in the Northern Territory, despite attempts at multiple sites. International solidarity with other Indigenous peoples, and all peoples, dealing with similar threats, has also been central to ANFA’s practice.

Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. This year’s conference will deal with new moves to establish a waste dump in South Australia, being fiercely resisted by Adnyamathanha people whose country in the Flinders Ranges is under threat. Also up for discussion is the ongoing attempt to expand existing uranium mines and establish new ones, including the recent indication by the WA Labor government that it would push ahead with uranium mines in that state, in contravention of clear election commitments and the wishes of Traditional Owners. The growing threat of nuclear war, and the urgent need to rehabilitate country already badly damaged, are also on the agenda.

Below [on original] is a collection of statements from participants in ANFA over the last twenty years, taken from a report produced to celebrate “twenty years of radioactive resistance”.

These statements all demonstrate the importance of Aboriginal connection to country as a driving force behind the network, along with the power that comes from building networks of solidarity across society.

……more  at http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2017/09/15/celebrating-20-years-helping-australia-stay-nuclear-free

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Time that the world revived the stigma previously attached to the idea of nuclear war

In the shadow of Fat Man and Little Boy: how the stigma of nuclear war was unravelled, https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2017/sep/15/in-the-shadow-of-fat-man-and-little-boy-how-the-stigma-of-nuclear-war-was-unravelled

Dr Becky Alexis-Martin is a senior Research Fellow in Nuclear Geography, University of Southampton, UK.

Dr Stephanie Malin is an assistant Professor of Environmental Sociology, Colorado State University, USA.

Dr Kristen Iversen is a professor of English, University of Cincinnati, USA.

Dr Kathleen Sullivan is Director of Hibakusha Stories, New York, USA.

Dr Mwenza Blell is a lecturer in Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK. 15 Sept 17 

Atomic bombs ‘Fat Man’ and ‘Little Boy’ exploded over Nagasaki and Hiroshima 72 years ago creating a lasting nuclear taboo – until now. What has changed?”……..Thanks to President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, our generation’s own volatile Fat Man and Little Boy, the sensible norms of restraint and careful diplomacy that have previously surrounded nuclear deterrence proliferation and use are now under stress. President Donald Trump seems indifferent to social norms, and behaves without rationality. He made several public statements, via Twitter and traditional media, that glamorise the use and increased production of nuclear weapons. All while his administration slashes budgets and slashes programs designed to protect communities from the well-documented risks that come from producing nuclear weapons. Trump has ostracized himself from international leadership nearly every turn, including NATO and G-20 summits, isolating himself from democratic world leaders, and aligning himself more with leaders of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. He has divided America, twisting the knife into historical wounds of racism and civil rights abuses, as well as upending environmental protection, denying climate change and proposing a tax regime that will create persistent poverty – to name a few examples.

North Korea is currently basking in its own nuclear disruption, finally gaining the place that it feels it deserves in the geopolitical arena – for all the wrong reasons. Like a child who learns to gain attention for bad behaviour, Kim relishes this moment. However, there is a tragic legacy behind his trumped-up attempts at power. Poverty and human rights violations are experienced by many North Koreans, and there is a dark legacy of Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace programme that originally took nuclear technology to South East Asia in the hopeful 1960s. We mustn’t forget the human beings who live in North Korea, and the way that UN sanctions are already affecting their lives.

The bickering across Twitter has escalated, and the sheer ubiquity of Trump and Kim’s threats have to some extent re-legitimised the use of nuclear weapons to ‘solve’ conflict rather than deter such “fire and fury” that might bring to an end life as we know it. Indeed, recent research suggests that a limited use of nuclear weapons could disrupt the climate in such a way that would radically alter food production, and in turn lead to global famine.

Trump needs to cut the sass, to scale back his inflammatory and impulsive rants, and to start engaging in the nuclear debate with much greater sensitivity. We want the most peaceful resolution that is now possible, to prevent further escalation of conflict. We do not want stumble into nuclear war, a risk that exists beyond bellicose displays of power. The current hot-threat engagement is not just a security issue, but a massive humanitarian one too. Kim starves his own people in the pursuit of nuclear defence technology. Trump and Kim’s verbally violent exchange is as serious as North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons. It could have devastating future implications if the stigma of nuclear weapons is not restored. The people of the supposed democracy of the USA and the totalitarian state of North Korea both seem powerless to change the behaviour of their leaders.

However, international attitudes are more progressive. The stigma of nuclear deterrence has not been lost on the majority of nations, 122 of whom endorsed a nuclear weapon ban treaty that seeks to prohibit the development, production, possession, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. The BAN treaty is likely to enter into force on 20 September 2017, when it opens for signatures at the United Nations in New York. Although no nuclear possessor nation supports this treaty, they understand that the BAN will re-stigmatize nuclear weapons and re-invigorate public debate and action for nuclear abolition.

Our taboos are a greater reflection of our global society and ethics.. What does it say about us at this point in history, if we let the taboo of the unspeakable horror of nuclear warfare disappear? We cannot uninvent the bomb, so we need to rethink and redesign the rules of de-escalation and disarmament, if we are to avoid the fallout of nuclear conflict.

September 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

When Adelaide got hit by Maralinga nuclear radiation fallout

Fallout map from the day Adelaide got hit hard, 11 Oct 1956 …

I was luckily living elsewhere at the time, in NSW … I do remember having bad nose bleeds … we moved to Adelaide a few years later so many of my school and uni and work and sport mates and their mothers were in the thick of the fallout from the British bomb test called Buffalo 3 .. and there are many sad stories of retarded siblings and congenital cardiac issues and early cancers.

QUOTE:
In 1956 a series of atomic tests were carried out in the far north of the state at Maralinga, including the dropping of a bomb from a plane on October 11th, with devastating impacts on nearby Aboriginal communities.

Australian Atomic Confessions [Full Documentary]

Retired academic Roger Cross’s book “Fallout” focuses on the drift of radiation many hundred kilometres south of the site to Adelaide.

“Fortunately for South Australia it was rather a small bomb, but it was dropped from a Valiant Bomber and was designed to explode in the air which it did do,” Mr Cross told Ian Henschke on 891 ABC Adelaide mornings.

“Part of the cloud blew south towards Adelaide and the minor cloud then blew east as it was supposed to across largely uninhabitated areas towards the towns of Sydney and Brisbane and exit Australia between those two cities.

“But the main part of the cloud actually blew down south towards Adelaide and there was great controversy about that,” he said.

Mr Cross says this wasn’t admitted to at the time, causing great controversy.

He says authorities didn’t realise a man called Hedley Marston who was involved with the tests, checking thyroids of sheep and cattle around the area, also set up a secret experiment at the CSIRO building in Adelaide.

Mr Marston recorded a level of 98 thousand counts per hundred seconds the day after the bomb had been dropped.

“The average count in Adelaide at that time was between 40 and 60 counts per hundred seconds,” said Mr Cross.

Mr Marston also carried out some tests on sheep just south and north of Adelaide, finding elevated levels of radiation material in the sheep that were on pasture but not in others that had eaten hay cut the year before.

“This was a very elegant experiment because by luck he had a control, he had this group of sheep that were penned under cover that were just eating hay from previous harvests.”

Mr Cross says Hedley Marston was concerned about strontium 90 in particular and it getting into milk and then being consumed by young children and pregnant women.

Silent Storm atomic testing in Australia

Anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott entered medical school in Adelaide in 1956 and told Ian Henschke there was no mention of a possible health impact of the tests, and she is not aware of a study of the human population following that test.

“We the population of Adelaide were kept in ignorance and for that I feel very bad about that as a doctor.”

She says you would have to test all the population exposed to radiation throughout their entire life and compare it to people who were not exposed to know if the incidence of cancer was high.

“My prediction is definitely I’m sure it was but we don’t have any evidence.

“Adelaide got a hell of a fallout, and I must say as a young medical student not being taught about that I have deep resentment that the public was not informed about it,” said Dr Caldicott.

(Quote from http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/03/21/3169570.htm )

(Map is a detail from https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/…/allowable-lifetime-…/ )

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | history, reference, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power on its way out, as renewables rise –  World Nuclear Industry Report,

Renewable Energy Industry Hotting Up as World Goes Cold on Nuclear Power https://sputniknews.com/environment/201709151057423093-nuclear-energy-industry-decline/Nuclear power is on its way out the world over, with its global share of energy generation declining and construction of just one new nuclear reactor being undertaken in 2017. Renewable energy seems poised to take its place as the energy source of the future.

Nuclear power is in a state of terminal decline, with construction of just one new nuclear reactor being undertaken in 2017, according to the World Nuclear Industry Report, an annual study of the sector that analyzes data on capacity, production and construction of nuclear reactors around the world.

Once vaunted as the future of energy production, nuclear power has suffered an unceremonious fall from grace since the 1960s — to the point the report suggests it will be phased out entirely in due course.

The number of nuclear reactors under construction has diminished for the fourth consecutive year, falling from 68 in 2013 to 53 in 2017 — and the report’s authors suspect projects are often ongoing purely because of uncertainty and inertia in the industry.

Russia and the US shut down reactorsin 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the first half of 2017. There are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year — eight projects have been under construction for a decade or more, of which three for over 30 years. In January, there were 17 reactors scheduled for startup before the end of the years, although as of mid-2017, but two of these units had started up and 11 were delayed until at least 2018.

The industry’s financial crisis may play a role in the failure of projects to get off the ground on schedule — after the discovery of massive losses over its nuclear construction projects, Toshiba filed for bankruptcy of its US subsidiary Westinghouse, the largest nuclear power builder in history, and industry giant AREVA has accumulated US$12.3 billion in losses since 2011.

Nonetheless, nuclear power’s global share of electricity generation has only declined meagerly (-0.2 percent), to 10.5 percent in 2017, with five countries producing 70 percent of total nuclear energy in the world — although in 1996, this figure stood at 18 percent. The two largest producers, the US and France, account for half total production.

By contrast, wind power output grew by 16 percent and solar by 30 percent in 2016. Wind power increased generation by 132 TWh, solar by 77 TWh, respectively 3.8 times and 2.2 times more than nuclear’s 35 TWh. Renewables represented 62 percent of global power generating capacity additions, and rnewable energy auctions achieved record low prices at and below US$30/ MWh in Chile, Mexico, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and the US. Average generating costs of amortized nuclear power plants in the US were US$35.5 in 2015.

The fall in costs for renewable energies has attracted significant investment, with over US$240 billion  invested in renewable energies compared to only about US$10 billion in the nuclear sector.

Look East

Nonetheless, the report highlights that China is a notable exception to the overall anti-nuclear trend — in 2016, the world’s nuclear production increased by 1.4 percent due to a 23 percent increase in Beijing’s production, and China is “the only country” to persist in building a “significant number” of nuclear reactors. Of the world’s remaining nuclear reactors under construction, 20 are sited in China, although 11 are behind schedule.

Still, the Chinese exception could also be nearing its end, given in 2017 no nuclear reactor was built in the country, although the report acknowledges it’s “too early” to draw concrete conclusions.

The two biggest issues with nuclear energy are set-up costs for production, and dealing with resultant waste. Every few years, a portion of a nuclear power station’s spent fuel — composed of uranium that failed to fission, the products of fission, and plutonium — is removed from the reactor to be stored in water, which both cools it and blocks its radiation. This decay can take up to hundreds of thousands of years, however.

September 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Saying goodbye to coral reefs

If we continue to have warm summers like we had in ’16 and this year, the next one could wipe out the remaining coral. Now, I don’t want to sound doomsday, but that’s where we’re at right now. It’s still a wonderful place to visit. But if we continue on this trajectory it won’t be, very soon – within our lifetime. I think that this is the wake-up call that we need. If losing the Great Barrier Reef isn’t serious stuff, what is?

Farewelling coral reefs The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton, 16 Sept 17  We hear much about trying to contain temperature rises to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Why is that the magic number?

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg The 2-degree guardrail came out of the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. When you looked at how ecosystems were responding, you got into an unmanageable area at 2 degrees above the pre-industrial period, which was where the CO2 concentration had been stable for a long time. The trajectory we’re on today could raise temperatures by as much as 5 or 6 degrees on history.

One of the problems with 2 degrees is that generally people have the idea that it’s a guardrail. You go up to the edge of 2 degrees and look over it and see where you don’t want to go and it’s all very safe here. But it’s more like a slippery slope. Things get progressively worse until they become unmanageable. At the latest Conference of the Parties, the UNFCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ] governing framework started to say, “well actually we want to keep things well below 2 degrees, and hopefully aim for 1.5 in the long term”.

KM And where are we now? Continue reading

September 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Glaciers worldwide are in retreat

Glacial melt will wreck ecosystems http://climatenewsnetwork.net/glacial-melt-wreck-ecosystems/?utm_source=Climate+News+Network&utm_campaign=4bffebee1d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_09_15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1198ea8936-4bffebee1d-38798465 by Tim Radford The alarming rate of glacial shrinkage worldwide threatens our current way of life, from biodiversity to tourism, hydropower to clean water supply.

Glaciers cover one-tenth of the planet’s land surface – but not for much longer.

Glaciers worldwide are in retreat, and losing mass. They are shrinking and melting, and that will create problems almost everywhere, according to new research.

Between 2003 and 2009, glaciers melted on a gargantuan scale, with an estimated 1,350 cubic kilometres of meltwater streamed from what had once been vast streams of slowly flowing ice. Continue reading

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ANSTO bosses support the global nuclear industry, not the well-being of Australians

Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 14 Sept 17,  From the document – “The ANM facility will enable ANSTO to triple its production of Mo-99, meeting domestic demand and up to 25-30 per cent of global demand.” and “The increase in production of nuclear medicines will also give rise to an increased volume of low and intermediate level waste.”
If we are meeting up to 25-30 % of global demand, then based on population, we are exporting the vast majority of this stuff while the tax payer, Australia , South Australia has to deal with the toxic legacy.
ANSTO should be dedicating their time to creating NO-WASTE solutions for nuclear medicine. Dollar signs and an urge for self preservation have blinded their thinking. I think the top people in ANSTO have placed the welfare of the global nuclear industry above the welfare of the Australian people. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

September 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, health | Leave a comment

The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has not really been taken up by Australia

The theme for 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the  United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  (UNDRIP)  http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2017/08/09/indigenous-day-looks-rights-indigenous-peoples

“It of course comes as no surprise that Australia was one of the countries that voted against the declaration in 2007,   given the prevailing community views, and that of the government, of Indigenous people here. …

“The implementation of the UNDRIP in Australia has been symbolic only,  with the government conceding at the time of endorsing the UNDRIP that it had no legal effect upon domestic law.

Since the adoption of the UNDRIP in Australia, the prevailing circumstances for Indigenous peoples have not improved. … “

September 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Queensland should be the Sunshine State – forget failed nuclear energy !

Must be kidding on nuclear power https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/must-be-kidding-on-nuclear-power/3224633/ GABRIELLE LUFT, 16th Sep 2017 AH here we go again, the same old lame call for more nuclear power … rarara…  So disappointing, Mr Whiteside. (Daily, September 14)

September 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

“A Duty to Warn” and the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump Renowned psychiatrist says despite “Goldwater Rule,” mental health experts have unique responsibility when someone in power may be dangerous, Common Dreams by Bill MoyersRobert Jay Lifton , 15 Sept 17 

There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had come together last March at a conference at Yale University to wrestle with two questions. One was on countless minds across the country: “What’s wrong with him?” The second was directed to their own code of ethics: “Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty to Warn” if they conclude the president to be dangerously unfit?

As mental health professionals, these men and women respect the long-standing “Goldwater rule” which inhibits them from diagnosing public figures whom they have not personally examined. At the same time, as explained by Dr. Bandy X Lee, who teaches law and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, the rule does not have a countervailing rule that directs what to do when the risk of harm from remaining silent outweighs the damage that could result from speaking about a public figure — “which in this case, could even be the greatest possible harm.” It is an old and difficult moral issue that requires a great exertion of conscience. Their decision: “We respect the rule, we deem it subordinate to the single most important principle that guides our professional conduct: that we hold our responsibility to human life and well-being as paramount.”

Hence, this profound, illuminating and discomforting book undertaken as “a duty to warn.”

The foreword is by one of America’s leading psychohistorians, Robert Jay Lifton. He is renowned for his studies of people under stress — for books such as Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (1967), Home from the War: Vietnam Veterans — Neither Victims nor Executioners (1973), and The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide(1986). The Nazi Doctors was the first in-depth study of how medical professionals rationalized their participation in the Holocaust, from the early stages of the Hitler’s euthanasia project to extermination camps.

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump will be published Oct. 3 by St. Martin’s Press.

Here is my interview with Robert Jay Lifton — Bill Moyers………

“And that’s what I call malignant normality. What we put forward as self-evident and normal may be deeply dangerous and destructive. I came to that idea in my work on the psychology of Nazi doctors — and I’m not equating anybody with Nazi doctors, but it’s the principle that prevails — and also with American psychologists who became architects of CIA torture during the Iraq War era. These are forms of malignant normality. For example, Donald Trump lies repeatedly. We may come to see a president as liar as normal. He also makes bombastic statements about nuclear weapons, for instance, which can then be seen as somehow normal. In other words, his behavior as president, with all those who defend his behavior in the administration, becomes a norm. We have to contest it, because it is malignantnormality. For the contributors to this book, this means striving to be witnessing professionals, confronting the malignancy and making it known”……..

“the only reality he’s capable of embracing has to do with his own self and the perception by and protection of his own self. And for a president to be so bound in this isolated solipsistic reality could not be more dangerous for the country and for the world. In that sense, he does what psychotics do. Psychotics engage in, or frequently engage in a view of reality based only on the self. He’s not psychotic, but I think ultimately this solipsistic reality will be the source of his removal from the presidency.”………https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/09/15/duty-warn-and-dangerous-case-donald-trump

September 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Properly managing Australia’s energy demand would remove the need for new power plants

ESB chair says demand response could kill need for new power plants http://reneweconomy.com.au/esb-chair-says-demand-response-could-kill-need-for-new-power-plants-43585/, By Sophie Vorrath on 14 September 2017

The chair of Australia’s newly formed Energy Security Board, Dr Kerry Schott, has stressed the importance of demand response in meeting the nation’s energy security and affordability needs, telling ABC Radio that if we could harness the technology effectively, we could “all stop worrying about building new plants of any description.”

Schott, who in her role as chair of the ESB is tasked with coordinating the implementation of the Finkel Review recommendations and co-ordinate the three major energy institutions – operator, regulator and rule-maker, and so is set to play a pivotal role.

Some, like the former chief of the Clean Energy Finance Corp, Oliver Yates, want the Coalition government to let her and the others “get on with their job.”

Schott says she is shocked by how little had been done to harness the huge resource that is behind-the-meter solar and battery storage in Australian homes and businesses. Schott (far left) at the AEMC forum on Tuesday, with AEMC’s Clare Savage, AEMO’s Audrey Zibelman, and AER’s Paula Conboy

 “I am completely amazed at the low level of demand management,” Schott told a public forum on energy sector strategic priorities, hosted by the Australian Energy Market Commission on Tuesday.

“It absolutely stuns me. It’s low-hanging fruit waiting to be plucked, particularly now we have technology that will really help.”

Schott said the ESB – which includes representatives from the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the AEMC and two independents – has an immediate focus on the summer ahead, and the potential supply issues faced by South Australia and Victoria, as outlined in AEMO report last week.

Another focus, she said, was on 2022, and any issues NSW might face when the Liddell coal-fired power plant was retired by its owner, AGL Energy.

But as the former head of Sydney Water, Schott compares the current squeeze facing Australia’s electricity sector to the water shortages experienced around the country in the late 1990s and early to mid 2000s, and says there’s plenty we could be doing, right now, and for little cost, to address a large part of our energy security concerns.

“I have a background in the water industry and I was shocked to find how little has been done on demand participation in electricity,” Schott told ABC Radio’s The World Today program on Thursday.

“In water, those people will remember having dual flush toilets put into their homes, and aerated water taps, and recycled water plants have been put in everywhere. That saved water demand between 10 and 15 per cent. It’s quite possible to save that much electricity,” she said.

“Overseas those demand responses have saved around 20 per cent, and if we can save that much, we can all stop worrying about building new plants of any description.”

As well as being an effective grid management strategy, and relatively easy to implement, Schott says it’s also cheap.

“If the cost of demand management is less than the cost of providing power, then why aren’t we doing it?” she said at the Tuesday forum.

Certainly, it is one of the mechanisms that AEMO chief Audrey Zibelman is keen to implement – as a grid-wide no-brainer solution for better management of resources, and as a way to mitigate the removal of coal-fired power capacity, like the Liddell closure. “We need flexible capacity that can be switched on and off,” Zibelman told the same AEMC forum on Tuesday.

“Our advice was fairly pragmatic,” Zibelman said. “We are concerned that on a 45°C day if we lose a generator (which AEMO has said is quite likely) we want reserves in the system to be able to respond.

“In our report we identified the fact that with amount of variability (from solar and wind energy and electricity usage) is changing rapidly, we need resources that can change rapidly.”

Zibelman also noted that the subject of demand management had been communicated badly and misunderstood by the public – particularly the idea that the market operator would turn off the lights or the air-conditioning.

 “What we are talking bout is being able to use rotating mass, use battery storage, electric vehicles, and create a more integrated system.”

Zibelman said it was clear that the Australian market was heading towards 30-40 per cent “distributed generation”, which meant mostly solar and storage behind the meter. These technologies can and needed to be harnessed to ensure that they contribute to grid security, she said.

September 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, efficiency | Leave a comment

16 September REneweconomy news

RenewEconomy
  • Wirsol set to begin construction of 110MW solar farm in Victoria
    Wirsol Energy adds ready-to-build 110MW Wemen solar farm near Mildura to its planned 1GW by 2020 pipeline.
  • EnergyAustralia sees better, much cheaper options than Liddell
    EnergyAustralia’s Mark Collette tells ABC TV replacing Liddell by 2022 not a problem, but a race to the future and a huge industry opportunity.
  • GE Renewable Energy unveils its largest onshore wind turbine
    GE Renewable Energy has unveiled its brand-new 4.8–158 onshore wind turbine, GE’s largest high efficiency turbine to date.
  • Windlab lands PPA for wind, solar and storage project
    Windlab lands 10-year PPA with CS Energy for ground-breaking wind-solar-battery storage project in north Queensland.
  • SolarEdge improves scalability of its Australian commercial PV solution
    One power optimiser for two module solution now locally approved.
  • How to replace Liddell with a dispatchable renewable energy plant
    Wev’e done the modelling on how to replace Liddell with a dispatchable renewable energy plant – including wind, solar, storage and gas. We just need politicians to get out of the way and get on the bus.
  • This is just the start of the solar age – seven graphs show why
    Striking new report by one of world’s biggest independent energy consultants shows dramatic decline in coal and oil industry and a peak in global energy demand. Solar dominates, and has only just begun its path to becoming biggest source of energy.
  • Environment group refutes media claims about threat to Mt Piper power station from Springvale coal mine clean up
    Environmental group 4nature has dismissed as fear-mongering an article in The Australian on Tuesday that claimed its court action threatens the closure of the Mt Piper power station.

September 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment