Australia’s geothermal hot rocks: cooking with gas?

This week we have learned that Petratherm, one of Australia’s most prominent and longstanding players in the exploration and development of hot dry rocks (HDR) geothermal power will now become a developer of gas i.e. another fossil fuel vendor

In perspective: Latest in the SACOME nuclear series

Here is the recently published article by Barry Brook and me that appeared in the SACOME journal. In this article, we consider the greenhouse implications of the proposed expansion of Olympic Dam alongside the impact of the mined uranium in global greenhouse mitigation. It directly references comments from Green’s MLC Mark Parnell about the mine being a “huge carbon black hole”. Oh really? Read on…

“It’s easy to tell horror stories about uranium if you rob it of the context of its role in global energy supply. We deserve much better than such rhetorical chicanery.”

The folly of making perfection the enemy of excellence: a visit to Beverley Uranium Mine

“This world of ours is full of complex decisions that need to balance competing needs to attain something called sustainability. The last thing we should be doing is making the easy ones harder than they should be.”

Today I visited the Beverley uranium mine in northern South Australia, operated by Heathgate Resources. Heathgate have been a client of mine through ThinkClimate Consulting for the last two years for the delivery of mandatory greenhouse gas reporting under NGER.

It was clear skies on the flight in, showing an amazing landscape at the foot of the Gammon Ranges on the border of the Arkaroola pastoral lease. From the air the low vegetation takes on a wonderful patterned effect. It is a stunning view, with visible water courses snaking across the land. It is easy from that height to envisage that it was once covered in ocean.  In both the landscape of eroded mountains and the creatures that inhabit it, tell-tale signs of truly ancient history abound.

View to the foot of the Gammon Ranges, on approach to Beverley

As you approach the site in from the air, the various locations that make up the Beverley operation begin to appear. Each is truly unremarkable in size, no bigger than a block you might find in an industrial suburb of Adelaide. Even taken together it is a small imprint on the land.