Wednesday, 7 January 2009

An interesting new poll

Recent poll results being reported by The Australian have 20% of Australians looking to nuclear power to provide the most of the nation's electricity by 2028.

The poll was conducted by UMR Research, reportedly a pollster for the Labor Party.
The full spectrum of the poll results are:
  • 26% see solar supplying the bulk of electricity
  • 23% tapped coal
  • 20% nuclear
  • 10% wind
  • 9% gas
  • 1% other

I will assume the other 11% were not sure.

Ziggy Switkowski and Leslie Kemeny both commented favourably. Switkowski sees progress toward a civilised discussion of nuclear technology. Kemeny notes an increasing awareness of nuclear's unique role in Australia's energy future.


  1. Does anyone know how the actual question was worded? It seems to have been "Which energy source do you believe will generate most of Australia's power in twenty years?", or something equivalent. If you thought that nuclear power was the best option but despaired of its acceptance, you might honestly answer that you believed coal to be the likeliest source twenty years hence, although you believed that nuclear power was the better alternative.

  2. I assumed the question was, "Which source would be providing most of Australia's electricity in 20 years". I am not so sure nuclear could achieve the top spot by that time.

    It may be reasonable for Australia to produce up to about 30 to 35% of its electricity from nuclear. We can not import or export power to or from our neighbours like Europe, the USA and many other developed economies. So our grid must include some inherent flexibility not normally available from nuclear plants that run at 100% for many months and then shut down for only a few weeks of maintenance.

    The rest would come from renewables, gas and finally coal. It may be a bit ambitious to believe that swap can be completed in 20 years. But ambitious thinkers are required these days.

    I hope to be shaking my head in awe and amazement come January 2029.