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A new report into energy storage commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel highlights the enormous opportunities for storage in Australia, but underlines how little is actually needed over the short to medium term, even at relatively high levels of wind and solar.
The report, The role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix, funded by Finkel’s office and the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), says the required investment in energy security and reliability over the next five-10 years will be minimal (see graph above), even if wind and solar deployment moves far beyond levels contemplated by the Energy Security Board.
The contrast with the ESB modelling – and the attempts by Coalition parties at state and federal level to dismiss high levels of renewable energy as “reckless” – could not be more pronounced.
While the ESB, in arguing for a National Energy Guarantee, speaks of the system threats and urgency to act with a level of “variable” renewables accounting for between 18 and 24 per cent of total generation, this new report says surprisingly little storage may be needed with 35 per cent to 50 per cent wind and solar.
Moon Cave Colonization
In October 2017, Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer probe discovered a massive underground cave on the Moon. The space, which is 100 meters (328 feet) wide and 50 kilometers (31 miles) long, is being touted as a potential location for a lunar station. In fact, some experts are asserting that the best way to live on the Moon is in caves just like the one recently discovered.
Radio waves were used to investigate the cave, after an opening measuring 50 meters by 50 meters (164 feet) was found by the probe. It’s thought to be structurally sound, and could contain deposits of ice and water inside rocks that might be used to produce fuel.
The Turnbull government’s plan to keep the New South Wales Liddell coal-fired power plant open beyond its use by date would cost upwards of $1.3 billion more than replacing it with a mix of renewables and energy management systems, a new report has found.
The research, conducted by the Institute of Sustainable Futures and commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, is just the latest to illustrate the economic folly of keeping Australia’s oldest coal plant in the national electricity mix, in an age when renewable energy costs and carbon budgets are dwindling.
The report finds that a combination of wind power, demand management and energy efficiency would cost $2.2 billion over five years, compared to a cost of $3.6 billion to keep Liddell open for five years beyond its retirement age.
The AGL Energy owned Liddell – which AGL itself has repeatedly described as unreliable and costly– is slated for closure in 2022, at which time it will have reached the grand old age of 50.
Details on Elon Musk’s newest company, Neuralink, have finally arrived. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO now has his sights set on remaking our minds, bringing the power of computer technology directly into our brains.