Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

David Noonan: No sound reason for ANSTO’s nuclear reactor wastes to go to Kimba South Australia as STRANDED WASTES

The proposed above ground Store in SA is primarily for ANSTO nuclear wastes

It is axiomatic that site selection at Kimba will require requisition of an Eyre Peninsula Port for decades of intended shipments of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste, first due from the UK in circa 2020-21.

The SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (2016) concluded that terrorist attack scenarios are conceivable during the transport of nuclear fuel wastes & that if a cask was lost at sea and was irrecoverable the radioactivity that escapes is expected to affect thousands of cubic km of seawater.

ANSTO has produced irradiated nuclear fuel wastes & Intermediate Level Wastes at Lucas Heights for 60 years without any nuclear waste disposal capacity (or even a program to do so) and intends to continue this mal-practice for another 40 years under an OPAL reactor Operating License up to 2057.

It is an untenable fact that the proposed nuclear fuel waste Store in SA is intended to operate “above ground for approx. 100 years”, however responsible management of ANSTO irradiated nuclear fuel wastes requires isolation from the environment for 10,000 years.

A Store in SA is unnecessary given the safe option of Extended Storage at Lucas Heights

This Inquiry should find no manifest need for a nuclear waste Store in SA other than Federal agenda. There is no Safety, Licensing or technical reason to bring these nuclear wastes to SA.

the Federal Minister holds a draconian discretion under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (NRWMA) to over-ride both Federal and State Aboriginal Heritage Acts.

Ending the process now is far preferable to “a final right of veto” which forces Aboriginal people through to the end of a divisive demanding site selection process that is harming their community.

An immediate adjoining property to the proposed NRWMF siting in the Flinders is an Indigenous Protected Area, a part of the National Reserve System that is supposed to be under Federal protection. AND the proposed sites and the broader area are part of a precedent registered Story

Line, values that must be respected, under the protection of the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988

However: the Federal Minister holds a draconian discretion under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (NRWMA) to over-ride both Federal and State Aboriginal Heritage Acts.

This ERC Inquiry should recognise that Aboriginal people’s ‘voice must be heard and their consent is essential’ as a core part of “broad community consent” and make a Finding that NRWMF siting on Adnyamathanha country in the iconic Flinders Ranges is inappropriate and must stop forthwith.

 

David J Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St. Independent Environment Campaigner . Submission to Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry “Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in SA” (Submission No. 31)

RE: Flaws in site selection process, inappropriate indefinite storage floats best practice, failure to follow essential Nuclear Safety Committee advice, and serious threat to human & cultural rights.

Dear Secretary Please accept this public submission & consider my request to appear as a Witness at this Inquiry

This submission focuses on the “appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process” & associated matters for the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

Specifically: on inappropriate Siting of a proposed indefinite above ground Store for primarily ANSTO irradiated nuclear fuel wastes & long lived Intermediate level reactor wastes in regional SA.

An Executive Summary and a few public interest & Safety Questions for this Inquiry to consider under your Terms of Reference are provided – along with an offer to expand on points raised.

Over the last two full years the Federal government has solely targeted regional communities in SA to site the nuclear waste Store & associated required nuclear Port and waste transport routes.

In doing so, the Federal process is unacceptably inadequate (rather than thorough) in failing to follow essential advice of the Nuclear Safety Committee to the regulator ARPANSA (NSC advice to the CEO, Nov 2016) on the NRWMF: for transparency in decisions and for “The ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes.”

My submission to the Minister (May 2017) on his decision under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 to assess two sites near Kimba as potential sites for the proposed NRWMF raised a range of issues that have not been thoroughly addressed since (see Attachment 1).

I request opportunity to appear as a Witness to provide evidence at a Hearing of this Inquiry, and was a Witness as an individual on nuclear waste issues at the SA Parliament Joint Committee Inquiry on the Findings of the Nuclear Royal Commission, held in 2016. Continue reading

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May 9, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Gary Cushway shows up the lack of indigenous support for nuclear waste dump

Gary Cushway
 18 Feb 2018 Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection Process for Nuclear Waste Dump Site. (submission no. 6)  Cushway addresses these terms of reference:

b)     how the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process

’Broad community support’ should reflect a large majority, both across the community and within stakeholder groups (including the indigenous community) in favour of moving to the next process advancement stage.

c)     how any need for Indigenous support has played and will continue to play a part in the  process, including how Indigenous support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;


It is not simply enough to say that consultation with indigenous stakeholders and neighbours has occurred, without elaborating on the results. 
 
 The ‘Community sentiment survey’ conducted by DISI in April 2016 recorded 3% support from the indigenous community for the Barndioota site to proceed to the next stage. (p10 sec C)

source:
 http://www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/site-selection-process/key-documents-andfaqs -Community Sentiment Survey (3.05MB)

A copy of this report has been attached to this emailed submission.

Given the presumably low sample size I would suggest that this likely represents support of one or perhaps two individuals. It is vital that the sample size of this 
 survey is published.

Additionally, the process behind the decision to disregard the significantly low support in the indigenous community from this survey and to progress the Barndioota site to the next stage should be discussed publicly as a matter of importance.

d)      whether and/or how the Government’s ‘community benefit program’ payments affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment

Although making funds available for ‘community benefit’ is clearly welcomed for any reason, the inclusion of offers of money as a part of the consultation 
 process has created a few potential problems with regard to whether support from the community can be measured as broad support for the actual proposal or as support for the community benefit money being offered. 
 This could also create a disparity when trying to effectively gauge ‘broad support’ in the community when some may be receiving significant amounts of money while others may not.

There also could exist a perceived conflict of interest when bodies such as the Flinders Ranges Council are a recipient of this funding, when the Council may in future be required to make impartial planning decisions on, for example, 
 infrastructure or local environmental policy that is related to any future facility in the area.

Although local community support is vital, in a proposal such as a National 
 Radioactive Waste Management Facility a broader consent should be sought from across the country.

As the NRWMF is a part of national plan of radioactive waste management any proposed site should require a ‘broad support’ nationally as well as locally. 


The current proposal involves the storage of radioactive waste from sites across the country as well as the interim storage of waste returning to Australia from overseas. Federal, state and international governments have a responsibility to ensure that their involvement in the movement of radioactive waste complies with all national, state and international laws, regulations and best practice meaning that these governments and their constituents have a stake in ensuring that the site selection meets their own requirements in terms of legislation and broader social values. 
 Limiting the consultation to a small local community area inhibits the ability of these stakeholders to have a voice in the process.

 

May 9, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

EcoPeace: Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian join in effort to save the environment

EcoPeace Middle East and the power of environmentalism, Independent Australia, Sophia McNamara 

EcoPeace Middle East teach environmental issues to Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian children in the hopes they’ll bring awareness back to their communities (screen shot via YouTube).

Sophia McNamara introduces Gidon Bromberg and EcoPeace Middle East — an organisation brokering peaceful cooperation with environmentalism.

ECOPEACE MIDDLE EAST is a unique regional organisation that brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists.

It is the only regional non-government organisation (NGO) that exists in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Among its many battles, Ecopeace Middle East recently helped increase the supply of clean water and energy to Gaza. This is particularly critical considering the United Nations has predicted that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020.

I interviewed Israeli co-director and co-founder of EcoPeace Middle East Gidon Bromberg and he told me:

“Just a one hour drive from here in Tel Aviv, there is a water and sanitation crisis in Gaza … Two million people have run out of water. And today, about 97% of the groundwater is undrinkable.”

Bromberg came up with the idea to start EcoPeace when he realised the environment was being completely left out of the peace agenda of the early 1990s.

Originally from Elsternwick in Melbourne, Bromberg attended Elwood High School (formerly Elwood College) and graduated with degrees in Law and Economics from Monash University. Since age 11, Bromberg had known he wanted to return to his family’s hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Straight after university, he made “aliyah — a term that describes the process of a Jewish person returning to Israel.

Bromberg came across an advert saying that a newly established non-profit called the Israel Union for Environmental Defence wanted their first lawyer. He volunteered there one day a week for four years, while still working four days a week in private practice, taking a pay cut in the process.

He was then offered a scholarship to study his Masters of Law at the American University in Washington DC, where he ended up being right on the doorstep of negotiations for the Oslo Accords and the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. Bromberg’s Masters thesis posed the question: will peace be environmentally sustainable? He concluded that peace could, in fact, be truly harmful to the environment and sustainability unless it was put on the political track.

Bromberg had the idea to create a regional environmental organisation that would address this exact issue. He wanted to hold a meeting with Israeli, Egyptian, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to discuss the possibility of this organisation. He spoke with potential investors in Washington DC — they all told him it was a great idea, but he needed to come back to them when he was older.

In 1994, he went back to Israel and, as part of his scholarship, he worked for a year at the Israel Union of Environmental Defence as a full-time lawyer.

Bromberg immediately wrote to all the potential investors in the United States again, this time from Israel. One of them called him and said he had thought about it and that if he could make the meeting happen, he would fund it. As these were the days before the internet, Bromberg had never met a Palestinian, Jordanian or Egyptian environmentalist.

The World Wildlife Fund had a guide on environmentalist organisations in the region — so he contacted all of them. Bromberg had a meeting in East Jerusalem with a Palestinian environmentalist, who responded to the enquiry, and spoke over the phone to an Egyptian and Jordanian. …..

Today, EcoPeace has adapted to a changed political climate, increased water scarcity and urgency required by climate change. They focus heavily on shared natural resources, regional water security and sustainable development.

A particularly successful initiative by EcoPeace is the Good Water Neighbours Program. This is where youth and adult activists, as well as mayors and municipal staff from Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian communities all work together across the borders to advance shared solutions for the rehabilitation of natural watersheds.

The Jordan River, possibly the holiest river in the world, with large religious significance in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, “has been turned into little more than an open sewer now,” says Bromberg.

Bromberg says the issue is about more than the river itself:

“The largest number of volunteers from Jordan who have joined ISIS are from Jordan Valley communities. There is a link between ecological demise, poverty, underdevelopment… and then radical, dangerous ideologies. Water security, ours and our neighbours, are national security concerns.”

This is the case EcoPeace make when they lobby Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian governments into committing themselves to cross-border water and sanitation projects………. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/ecopeace-middle-east-and-the-power-of-environmentalism,11470

May 9, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Donald Trump pulls America out of the Iran nuclear deal

Trump pulls US out of Iran nuclear deal in major blow for allies http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/trump-set-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal-in-major-blow-for-us-allies/news-story/7a5eab875ec947073656ec8bba211cd0

BARACK Obama has warned of serious consequences over Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear accord with Iran.Emma Reynolds and wires. news.com.au– 9 May 18

President Trump announces decision on Iran nuclear deal

BARACK Obama has slammed Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from a landmark nuclear accord with Iran.

In a statement, the former president said the announcement was “so misguided” and would see the US “turning our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists and intelligence professionals negotiated”.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was negotiated and implemented during Mr Obama’s presidency.

“I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake,” warned Mr Obama. “Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.

“We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region.”

Mr Trump will withdraw the US from a landmark nuclear accord with Iran, in a move that is already triggering global panic.

The President warned that “at the heart of the Iran deal is a giant fiction” — that the regime wanted peace.

He said the nation had continued to develop nuclear capabilities, and if he allowed the “defective” accord to remain in place, it would lead to an arms race in the Middle East.

Mr Trump vowed he would reimpose the highest level of economic sanctions, which were lifted under the 2015 deal, warning that any nation helping Iran “in its quest for nuclear weapons” could also be strongly penalised by the US.

“We will not allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America’ to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth,” he said.

His decision raised fears Iran could mount an attack on Israel, which pushed for an end to the deal. The announcement also saw oil prices plummet by 1.2 per cent.

Mr Obama, who brokered the deal, said the decision weakened America’s ability to confront Iran’s “destabilising” behaviour.

In a rare public criticism of Mr Trump, the former president said the deal had accomplished the very outcome that is being pursued with North Korea.

“The consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers,” he said.

“Every aspect of Iranian behaviour that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained.”

Mr Trump’s choice had become known as the “nuclear option”, because it is almost certain to signal an end to the multination agreement. Iran will now have to decide whether to follow the US and exit the deal, or try to retain the agreement with other countries.

Mr Trump insisted the US “no longer makes empty threats”, in a televised address from the White House. He also noted that secretary of state Mike Pompeo was on his way to North Korea to discuss the upcoming summit between the US President and Kim Jong-un.

The 2015 deal between multiple world powers lifted most sanctions against the Iran, provided it agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program that would prevent it producing a bomb, and regular inspections.

Now, sanctions on Iran’s central bank — intended to target oil exports — will kick back in on Saturday, the next deadline for renewal, rather than being waived again.

The administration will give those who are doing business with Iran between three and six months to wind down business and avoid breaching those sanctions.

But it is still possible that a new agreement could be reached. Administration officials briefing congressional leaders about Mr Trump’s plans reportedly emphasised that just as with the ditched Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris climate agreement, he remains open to renegotiating a better deal.

European nations have in recent days given in to many of Mr Trump’s demands in the hope he would choose a more gradual approach, which might have allowed the deal to survive.

But they failed to prevent his decision to reimpose sanctions and walk away from the signature Obama agreement, which Mr Trump has attacked since the election campaign.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mr Trump’s “historic move”, while while the military said forces were on high alert near its border with Syria after spotting Iranian activity.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who strongly supports the deal and tried to persuade Mr Trump to stay in it during a visit to Washington last month, said he was “disappointed” by the announcement.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.”

France, the UK and Germany have previously vowed to maintain the deal without the US, but that could potentially put them at risk of sanction.

Hours before the announcement, European members of the agreement met to underline their support for it. Officials from Britain, France and Germany met in Brussels with Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Abbas Araghchi.

If the deal collapses, Iran will be free to resume prohibited enrichment activities, while businesses and banks doing business with Iran will have to rush to extricate themselves or run afoul of the US.

American officials have been making plans to sell the pullout to the public and explain its complex financial ramifications, said US officials and others, who weren’t authorised to speak and requested anonymity.

Mr Trump built up anticipation for his announcement by tweeting that he would reveal his decision at 2pm at the White House.

In Iran, many are deeply concerned about how his decision could affect the already struggling economy.

President Hassan Rouhani sought to calm nerves during a speech on Tehran, smiling as he appeared at a petroleum expo in the capital. He didn’t name Mr Trump, but emphasised that Iran continued to seek “engagement with the world.”

“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Mr Rouhani said.

The first 15 months of the Trump presidency have been filled with many “last chances” for the Iran deal in which he’s repeatedly postponed the decision.

An immense web of sanctions, written agreements and staggered deadlines make up the accord. Sanctions on specific Iranian businesses, sectors and individuals will snap back into place in July unless Mr Trump signs another waiver.

Even the secretary of state and the UN agency that monitors nuclear compliance agree that Iran, so far, has lived up to its side of the deal. But the deal’s critics, such as Israel, the Gulf Arab states and many Republicans, say it’s a giveaway to Tehran that ultimately paves the path to a nuclear-armed Iran several years in the future.

ran has been coy in predicting its response to a US withdrawal. For weeks, Iran’s foreign minister had been saying that a reimposition of US sanctions would render the deal null and void, leaving Tehran little choice but to abandon it as well.

But on Monday, Mr Rouhani said Iran could stick with it if the European Union, whose economies do far more business with Iran than the US, offers guarantees Iran would keep benefiting. For the Europeans, a Trump withdrawal would also constitute dispiriting proof that trying to appease him is futile.

The three EU members of the deal — Britain, France and Germany — were insistent from the start that it could not be reopened. But they agreed to discuss an “add-on” agreement that would not change the underlying nuclear deal, but would add new restrictions on Iran to address what Mr Trump had identified as its shortcomings.

The President wanted to deter Iran’s ballistic missile program and other destabilising actions in the region. He also wanted more rigorous nuclear inspections and an extension of restrictions on Iranian enrichment and reprocessing rather than letting them phase out after about a decade.

Negotiating an add-on agreement, rather than revising the existing deal, had the added benefit of not requiring the formal consent of Iran or the other remaining members: Russia and China. The idea was that even if they baulked at the West’s impositions, Iran would be likely to comply anyway so as to keep enjoying lucrative sanctions relief.

Although the US and Europeans made progress on ballistic missiles and inspections, there were disagreements over extending the life of the deal and how to trigger additional penalties if Iran were found violating the new restrictions, officials revealed.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

It would be near-impossible to monitor North Korea’s nuclear programmes

Nuclear Inspectors Would Face Monumental Task in N.Korea http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2018/05/08/2018050801221.html By Cho Yi-jun May 08, 2018 
The U.S.’ call for a “permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs would pose a monumental task for international inspectors.

U.S. officials project “the most extensive inspection campaign in the history of nuclear disarmament, one that would have to delve into a program that stretches back more than half a century and now covers square miles of industrial sites and hidden tunnels across the mountainous North,” according to the New York Times on Sunday.

The success of any verification hinges on accurately assessing North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile stockpiles, most of which are hidden away. Already U.S. intelligence agents are going all out to gather data about the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile facilities.

The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently launched a project that tracks the movements of all vehicles in and out of North Korean military installations, CNN reported. Washington has also monitored North Korean responses to American fighter planes flying overhead to arrive at an overall assessment of the North’s hidden military bases.

One diplomatic source in Washington said the U.S. “may have assessed North Korea’s secret military installations much more accurately than the North thinks.”

The New York Times cited the RAND Corporation as arriving at no better assessment than that North Korea has 20 to 60 nuclear warheads and around 40 to 100 nuclear facilities, while one nuclear facility has more than 400 buildings.

“While there is no question Iran hid much of its weapons-designing past, North Korea has concealed programs on a far larger scale,” the daily said.

The RAND Corporation predicts that it would take 273,000 U.S. troops just to locate and secure North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, which is more than the number of American soldiers deployed in Iraq at the peak of the U.S. invasion.

It warned that the International Atomic Energy Agency has only 300 inspectors, and 80 of them are already assigned to monitoring activities in Iran. If the North agrees in principle to denuclearize, the IAEA will have a huge task simply finding the personnel.

North Korea could easily conceal highly enriched uranium which could be used to produce a nuclear bomb, and it would be virtually impossible to find if the North fails to cooperate.

Justice Party lawmaker Kim Jong-dae, who recently visited Washington, told reporters that North Korea has “tens of thousands of facilities related to nuclear and missile development, while there are around 10,000 underground tunnels and storage facilities in the Mt. Baekdu area.”

“Realistically, the U.S.-North Korea summit should discuss nuclear arms reduction rather than complete dismantlement,” he added.

Mac Thornberry, head of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, told Fox New that he is “very skeptical” that North Korea will completely dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and advised the U.S. to “prepare for the worst.”

But others warned that North Korea could face a grim future if it attempts to fool the U.S.

Hardline U.S. lawmaker Lindsey Graham said in a radio interview that North Korea played “every president before -– Clinton, Bush, all of them” but warned that Pyongyang would regret it if it tries to dupe the Trump administration since this would mean the “end of the North Korean regime.”

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rouhani says Iran will remain in nuclear deal

 https://en.trend.az/iran/politics/2900330.html, 8 May 2018 

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran would remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons, Reuters reported.

“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place… By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

“I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain,” he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the full name for the nuclear deal, struck in 2015 between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and Germany.

Rouhani added that Iran was ready to resume its nuclear activities after consultations with the other world powers which are part of the agreement.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Carmichael mine in Queensland no longer a viable proposition

Adani losses prompt mining company to shift away from imported coal, Guardian,  Ben Smee , 7 May 18,  Results show Carmichael mine in Queensland no longer a viable proposition, analysts say 

Adani’s coal-fired power business has reported more heavy losses, prompting the Indian conglomerate to announce it would shift away from using expensive imported coal.

Analysts say the fourth-quarter financial results for Adani Power, a subsidiary of the Adani group, showed the proposed Carmichael mega-mine in Queensland was no longer a viable proposition.

Remarkably in the context of the Carmichael project, the billionaire Adani Groupboss, Gautam Adani, acknowledged in a statement that the cost of importing coal to India had contributed to Adani Power’s struggles.

“We expect to receive [domestic coal] for the Tiroda and Kawai plants in the near future, which will help reduce fuel costs and improve profitability of these projects,” he said.

“Under-recovery of fuel costs for Mundra project have impacted its financial viability, and we are in dialogue with key stakeholders for an early solution.”

When the Carmichael coal project was first proposed, Adani was pushing a “pit to plug” operational model under which it would mine coal to use at its own generators, making profits through efficiencies and cutting out middlemen.

The Mundra power plant, which operates on imported coal, was the planned destination for the spoils from the Carmichael project. After Mundra fell into financial trouble, Adani attempted unsuccessfully to sell the plant. It has not operated since February.

The Indian financial services company Edelweiss said Adani Power was “on thin ice” and doubted whether Mundra would reopen………https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/07/adani-coal-losses-prompt-mining-company-to-shift-from-imported-coal

May 9, 2018 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Solar microgrid to launch in the heart of coal country

 SMH,    By Cole Latimer, Dairy farmers in the heart of Victorian coal country will soon be able to trade solar power using blockchain processes.

A virtual microgrid will be created in the the Latrobe Valley, exchanging energy generated from 200 Gippsland dairy farmers, 20 businesses and 150 households, powered by a decentralised, peer-to-peer blockchain energy trading platform called Exergy.

Ivor Frischknecht, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s chief executive, said the trial was the first step in transitioning the agricultural region – near the state’s coal-fired power stations – to renewable power. It would be the first major trial of a blockchain-based virtual microgrid in Australia.

“The ‘virtual microgrid’ concept brings an alternative approach to energy where the control remains with the customers, rather than retailers, who can choose to opt in depending on the current prices and energy types, or their willingness to provide demand response,” Mr Frischknecht said.

The project will be built by LO3 Energy, a New York-based company that created the world’s first local energy marketplace, in Brooklyn, which allowed participants to trade energy using blockchain technology.

…….. The Victorian virtual microgrid will comprise solar installations, battery storage, and demand response and enabling technologies combined with LO3’s Exergy peer-to-peer trading mechanism, which uses blockchain processes to allow those within the market to buy and sell locally generated renewable energy.

With the energy-hungry farming industry still recovering from the 2016 milk crisis, it promises a cost-effective and resilient solution for farmers to create and manage their own energy and profit from trading their excess generation,” LO3 Energy founder Lawrence Orsini said.

“Engaging with farms is a key part of the project as they have the capacity to install large solar generation and storage. Exergy makes it possible for them to become mini-power plants and gain revenue for energy they don’t use.”

The farms will be given loans to build solar installations by the Sustainable Melbourne Fund, which will be repaid through council fees.

ARENA will also provide $370,000 in funding for the $775,000 project.

“The local Latrobe Valley marketplace would allow Gippsland farmers to take greater control of their energy use, providing the opportunity to sell their power back to the grid,” the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said, “consumers will also be paid for choosing to conserve energy at peak times.”

The study will run to the end of the year, with plans to roll out a pilot microgrid in Gippsland in 2019. https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/solar-microgrid-to-launch-in-the-heart-of-coal-country-20180426-p4zbtf.html

 

May 9, 2018 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment