Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Debunking The Base-Load Fallacy

With the British Government's Energy proposals being published this week, nuclearphiles, government apologists and others have taken it upon themselves to use the "base load" argument as their main weapon in debate on comment and talk boards and elsewhere. It is with this in mind that I publish a link to an article on the Australian Green Lefts:Left Greens blog that debunks their argument. The article is by Dr Mark Diesendorf.

Dr Mark Diesendorf is Director of Sustainability Centre Pty Ltd and Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies at University of New South Wales. He is co-editor with Clive Hamilton of the interdisciplinary book, “Human Ecology, Human Economy: Ideas for an Ecologically Sustainable Future”, and co-author of the national scenario study, “A Clean Energy Future for Australia”.

Base-load alternatives to coal power can be provided by efficient energy use, bioenergy, wind power, solar thermal electricity with thermal storage, geothermal and gas. Large-scale wind power from geographically distributed sites is not ‘intermittent’. However it may require a little additional low-cost peak-load back-up from gas turbines.


Opponents of renewable energy, from the coal and nuclear industries and from NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) groups, are disseminating the fallacy that renewable energy cannot provide base-load power to substitute for coal-fired electricity. Even Government Ministers and some ABC journalists are propagating this conventional ‘wisdom’, although it is false. The political implications are that, if the fallacy becomes widely believed to be true, renewable energy would always have to remain a niche market, rather than achieve its true potential of becoming a set of mainstream energy supply technologies.



The full article can be found here.

And for further information, here is the Australian Energy Science website.

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