Energy white paper: the highlights package

Debunking myths, perpetuating others: Ferguson on nuclear, gas and the cost of air-con, solar tariffs and privatisation. Plus, clean energy costs and EVs.

Energy modeling: The white paper acknowledged the work done by the International Energy Agency on technology and policy scenarios, and future cost curves, and then ignores them. The three scenarios relied on by RET are based on data that is at least two years old, and ignores the huge declines achieved in solar PV, for instance, in that time frame. According to the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics, more than half of the country’s brown coal generators, and two thirds of the black coal generators would still be in operation by 2030 – with no carbon capture and storage. No model predicts solar at more than 1.3 per cent by that date, or 3.3 per cent by 2050. (Most industry modeling puts it at least one third by then). One model has geothermal at 8.4 per cent by 2030 and 22.9 per cent by 2050. The final version of the white paper is due in 2012, and will then be repeated every four years: let's update the technology costs, it might change the picture.

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