Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Emissions Trading

As I said before in this post, emissions trading appears to be a prerequisite for any serious deployment of non-carbon based energy production of any sort (nuclear or not), particularly within Australia.

This point has been reiterated in a study completed by the Climate Institute as reported by news.com.au.

"This research highlights that it would be reckless to delay action or only take half measures because of the risk it would pose to the Australian economy," institute chief executive John Connor said.

They go on to say that the introduction of nuclear power in Australia would make a modest contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gasses due to the time required to 'build' a credible, domestic nuclear industry [Hey, I never said nuclear could do it alone, in fact quite the contrary]. However there is one other quote worth repeating, namely the impact of nuclear on other forms of generation;

The institute's policy and research director, Erwin Jackson, said nuclear power generation would reduce the production share of coal rather than cut into renewable energy contributions.

He goes on to say that changes in domestsic coal consumption will not impact Australian coal mining jobs as the bulk of that economy is dependent on coal exports.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Darwin; global warming, emissions and clean energy [including nuclear power] are taking centre stage. Australia's nuclear opportunities are spelled out in this report from The Age by Professor George Dracoulis.

Also at the end of the article readers will find some of the same old anti-nuclear rhetoric by our friends from the Wilderness Society, and Friends of the Earth. While these words are fairly 'catchy', they don't offer much in terms of solutions to the relevant challenges.

To consider some facts, you don't have to look very far at all - Europe is a good example, to see that countries who have embraced the nuclear fuel cycle with renewables as part of a responsible, overarching energy strategy are easily satisfying their Kyoto limits (the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweeden). Those who have rejected nuclear in lieu of an accelerated deployment of renewables (Austria, Portugal, Italy, Denmark) are among the worst emissions performers, Australia of course being the worst.

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