Tomorrow, Adelaide will host a national day of action to protest any progress in potential further involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle in South Australia. The event is planned and coordinated by anti-nuclear groups from across the nation despite the fact that:
- The Citizen’s Jury process has only completed one of the three weekend meetings
- The Stakeholder Reference Group advising the jury process includes representation from these organisations
- The Citizen’s Jury will hear directly from representatives of several anti-nuclear organisations in the small expert witness list selected by the jurors themselves
Apparently, this level of involvement and representation is not enough. They will also gather and protest in the middle of a process in which they are deeply involved. There seems scant actual respect for the process itself.
We know why anti-nuclear groups are so terrified of this proposal. If South Australia/Australia were to provide a responsible service in used fuel management with international oversight, it would make it much easier for other nations to choose nuclear fission in their energy mix.
Why are they so concerned? We keep being told that nuclear is dying, that renewables are taking over, look at this investment level, look at these batteries. Despite being steeped in this literature and working on these matters full-time, according to my critics I seem to be constantly one media release behind on the technology breakthrough that will completely tip the energy balance to renewables.
This is basically complete rubbish. What is really happening is that we live in a world that is and continues to be dominated by fossil fuels. For evidence, consider Indonesia.
Earlier this year Indonesia released their energy investment plan from 2016 to 2025. I have reproduced the key table below. Allocated means a share of new production already allocated to private investors.
|Generation Source||Allocated (MW)||Unallocated (MW)||Total (MW)||Percentage of total|
|Gas (combined cycle)||6,780||9,310||16,090||26%|
It’s 2016. They have all the options in front of them, and their electricity plan for the next 10 years is 43% coal and 69% fossil fuelled in total, in this huge, fast growing, poor nation on our doorstep. The 2.9 GW of new solar is something to cheer about, but not less than 26 GW of new coal is to come on line in the next 10 years.
This is not a blog discussion. This is not my opinion v yours. This is not the latest announcement from Elon Musk. This is the investment plan for Indonesia and PWC tells us loud and clear that coal fired power plants are to remain dominant.
So, if you were concerned about climate change, would it be a good thing or a bad thing to make it easier for Indonesia and dozens of nations like it to tilt their investment toward nuclear technology? While doing nothing, absolutely nothing, that need tilt investment away from renewable technology?
Australia will be lining up to help meet the growing coal demand from Indonesia, India and elsewhere. Many of the same faces and organisations you will see shouting down nuclear in Adelaide tomorrow will be asking you to protest and blockade Australian coal mine expansion and coal port expansion in Sydney and Melbourne the day after.
We are seriously running out of time for Australia’s “environmentalists” to wake up, grow up and join the damn dots.