This morning I delivered my key note address to the International Uranium Conference in Perth, Western Australia.

The address was very well received, and built on directions laid by Barry Brook yesterday and Dan Zavatierro this morning.

The keynote encouraged this industry to completely reassess their goals and approach based on the urgent demands for large clean energy this century. Based on several conversations before and after, I have a strong sense that this industry will be increasingly receptive to this message, and will be thinking hard about the need to put forward a compelling case for a nuclear powered world.

Here is the presentation.

High Energy, Low Pollution v3

Here is the accompanying script

Presentation script

6 comments

  1. Really well put together, huge props for the time clearly taken. One possible quibble, in the discussion of UNSW biomass plans, shouldn’t megawatts be gigawatts?

  2. What may help in developing countries is the use of LPG or cleaner burning ‘rocket’ stoves for wood. Electrical safety standards seem like a good idea to avoid the spaghetti of wires. When they get rid of coal fired electricity improve the distribution system as well. In the West all our coal use is done out of town so we see it less. We’re better at hiding or making excuses for our carbon profligacy.

    Example it turns out in Germany a lot of municipal waste burning lumped with biomass in Energiewende ‘success’ stories actually consists of plastic bags made from petroleum
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-06-08/talkin-trash-are-we-literally-throwing-away-energy
    Burning it hastens the move from ground level to the atmosphere. Not to be outdone here in Oz it seems waste coal mine gas is no longer a fossil fuel but renewable; see the last entry in Table 2 of
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/6/11/renewable-energy/wind-generation-speeds-ret-support
    I also puzzled over that article since a 1967 built hydro up the road from me hasn’t changed anything but somehow they’ve managed to wangle LGC subsidies for ‘new’ renewables.

    I’m saying that here in the ‘sophisticated’ world our massive fossil carbon pollution is simply less visible and is covered up by various kinds of distortions.

  3. As a reality check to the Climate Council’s breathless conclusion we are on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution I propose a thought experiment. Suppose next year wind and solar go up just 10% due to the build rate slowdown but hydro goes down 20% due to El Nino. Using Table 4 of BREE’s Energy in Australia update we had 51 PJ for hydro and 39 PJ for wind and solar which combine to 90 PJ or about 25,000 Gwh. If hydro goes to 41 and wind/solar to 43 the new total is 84 PJ a decrease. Funny kind of revolution where the overall activity level shrinks.

    Fashionistas say orange is the new black I wonder if brown coal is the new gas. I’m fairly sure SA will import more brown coal power from Vic as the gas price escalates. The Vics seem fairly certain they are onto a winner
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-16/chinese-firm-wins-25m-grant-to-develop-latrobe/5525544
    Plenty of cash to find new ways to use brown coal not so much to find jobs for laid off SA auto workers. Somebody should come up with a big new project for SA, the same SA that is held back by power and water shortages but also has massive uranium reserves. Meanwhile Vic brown coal which is essentially flammable soil should be used to grow things and absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, not put it there.

  4. The keynote encouraged this industry to completely reassess their goals and approach based on the urgent demands for large clean energy this century. Based on several conversations before and after, I have a strong sense that this industry will be increasingly receptive to this message, and will be thinking hard about the need to put forward a compelling case for a nuclear powered world.

    From my reading of local environmental interest groups, there will be severe pushback on any move to go nuclear.  These people live in deep denial.  They are absolutely certain that their “green” scheme will succeed, and that nothing else must even be attempted.

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