Aussies Living Simply

Solar truths?

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    From a newsthread I get quoting the Canberra Times 4 Jan 2007:

    In May last year, The Canberra Times obtained a copy of a confidential report by the Cooperative Research Centre for Coal in Sustainable Development. It stated that solar thermal technology was capable of producing Australia’s entire electricity demand and was the only renewable energy capable of making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

    Written by five CSIRO Energy Technology scientists, the report said solar thermal technology was “poised to play a significant role in baseload generation for Australia” and would be cost-competitive with coal within seven years.

    But sources claim that until details were published by The Canberra Times, the draft report was passed around “like a political hot potato”, with no date set for its release. Despite federal government claims that the CRC “just hadn’t got around to releasing it”, the view taken by senior climate change scientists was that the report had been deliberately suppressed


    I tried to access the report from the CRC but it is not available to the public. In the current climate on nuclear debate are we being lied to by our politicians?


    Well dah! Aren’t we always. They insult our intelligence on a regular basis with the big business lies they put forward. Can’t even be original and think of them for themselves. Probably why they’re politians and not entreprenaurs. Then they’d have to think before they opened their mouths lol:@:tdown:


    Peter, why don’t you phone your local member and ask her/him about the report.


    when did pollies ever tell the truth?

    and of course it will be cost competative with coal in 7 years or so because they the pollies are going to push the price of coal fired power up, so the simple theory is if one thing gets expensive another thing looks less expensive. doesn’t make the whole process any more honest.



    Are you talking sbout ‘hot rock’ geothermal electricity generation? I read somewhere this has the theoretical potential to supply Australia’s electricity needs for 800 years. To give the government credit, I think they’re going ahead with a test bore in Queensland or NSW. Can’t for the life of me remember where I read this.


    Warm earth. My undertsanding is geothermal and solar thermal are not the same thing. Solar thermal in its simplest form is your solar hot water system, but i think this report would be referring to the concentrating of solar energy to heat water to drive turbines.

    Len, whatever the cost it will be cheaper than Nuclear.


    We saw a demo of the solar turbine concept at Woodford folk festival and it was very convincing and encouraging. My only reservation is that it may not cope with the peaks and troughs in electricity consumption, especially at night, and so would still need some back-up coal burning to keep up with demand but it could reduce our CO2 emissions considerably!


    Actually, we have a solution for long term storage of solar energy. The idea is to produce hydrogen and nitrogen from ammonia in a solar dish, store the resulting mixture at room temperature indefinitely and burn the hydrogen and nitrogen on demand to produce electricity.

    The prototype system run by wizardpower in Canberra has been very promising, the idea is simple and well understood, and because it is chemical energy, it has high density and long storage times.

    The solar oasis project in Whyalla, SA intends to install a few hundred MW of these, and I’m involved in a similar project in Merredin, WA which is proceeding apace.

    The most effective way to use solar power, however, is to build sunspaces and simple, low tech, solar siding to produce heat and DHW at the individual home level.

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