South Australia needs to look beyond wind for its clean energy

South Australia cannot complete its move to clean energy through a continued focus on wind energy. This is the conclusion of the most comprehensive review to date of renewable energy in the state, conducted by researchers in the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute.

The success of (27% of the state's and 3-4% nationally) is a credit to SA's proactive approach and should continue, the review says. However, that success has relied on the reliability of the national grid. There remains no answer to the inherent limitations of wind because of the mismatch between supply variability and demand.

"There will always be an upper limit to the amount of wind that can be economically incorporated into the supply system," says lead author Ben Heard, PhD candidate in the School of Biological Sciences and energy consultant.

"We need generators that are always available, can respond to changes in demand, and provide essential network services. We need to think beyond wind and we need to do that now."

The review is published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia.

Mr Heard and fellow researchers Professor Corey Bradshaw, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide, and Professor Barry Brook, Professor of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania, say that solar energy offers a partial solution, but many uncertainties remain about its capacity to compete at large scales.

"Solar panels can now be found in about 25% of the state's households, but the overall quantity of electricity supplied is small in the context of state demand and installation rates have more than halved with the substantial withdrawal of subsidies," Mr Heard says.

Geothermal energy remains "intractably difficult" to exploit commercially and carbon capture technology is not far enough advanced for commercialisation.

The researchers say that nuclear power, however, meets the requirements for a low-carbon economy.

"Nuclear power offers a mature technology with a solid track record of delivering very low-emission and reliable electricity in concert with other technologies," says Mr Heard.

"Costs are competitive in some markets but likely not in Australia at this time. However, by providing much needed service in the storage of used nuclear fuel for other nations, Australia could fund development of advanced fast reactors that extract energy from greater than 95% of the used fuel rods.

"Support for the nuclear option is broadening in South Australia. Now is the time to consider future-proofing development of low-emission electricity generation."


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More information: "Beyond wind: furthering development of clean energy in South Australia." DOI: 10.1080/03721426.2015.1035217
Citation: South Australia needs to look beyond wind for its clean energy (2015, June 11) retrieved 16 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-south-australia-energy.html
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Jun 11, 2015
Time for integrated wind turbines and flow batteries. Alternative energy works well when integrated with other types of alternative energy for synergistic operation.

Jun 11, 2015
"Thousands of birds paying a high price for green energy"
"As Australia pushes to meet its Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets, wind farms are proliferating across the country."
http://www.abc.ne.../4668750
"EAGLES, falcons and other raptors make up to a third of the estimated 1500 birds killed each year at Australia's biggest wind farm."
http://www.theaus...65860153
"Wind Power Mortality: Submission from World Council for Nature to Australian Senate"
https://www.maste...-senate/
"Wind farms: a slaughter kept hidden from the public"
http://canadafree...le/72044

Jun 11, 2015
With PV, wind turbines, and some energy harvesting of local sources, we will be able to dodge Filthy Fuels!!

No more high-level intensely-radioactive nuclear waste, no toxic coal sludge by the thousands of tons, no particulates, no nitric and sulfuric acids, no stink!

Jun 11, 2015
Willie: Posting the same BS over and over doesn't make it any better of an argument.

Jun 11, 2015
No more high-level intensely-radioactive .., no particulates..
The birds cannot be able to dodge the slaughtering wind blades possibly due to disorientation caused by radioactive particles emitted by rare-earth metals in wind turbines that contains earthbound traces of uranium (4.270 MeV) and thorium.

according to Fukushima scaremongers:
"..an alpha emitter, and if inhaled can bombard sensitive lung tissue with 5.4 MeV particles, causing cancer."
".. you cannot approach without getting a lethal dose of radiation."
"Every atom is subject to decay and the expulsion of a 5.4 MeV particle, capable of tissue damage."
"..radioactive waste is all one thing that contaminates everything it touches."

Then wind farms are advantageous, ecologically friendly, because birds with lung cancer are to breathe out less carbon dioxide, and if butchered by wind blades, better, the birds stop definitively their CO2 emissions.
http://en.wikiped..._element

Jun 11, 2015
Posting the same BS over and over doesn't make it any better of an argument.
It is because I'm always hearing the same BS that renewable is ecologically friendly even butchering millions birds and causing collateral pollutions.

Jun 11, 2015
Ignore works well on Willie. We already know his post is cut and paste, so why even see it?

Jun 11, 2015
I thought the Really-Skippy-Cavalry was going to take care of whole world and South Australia too. What they do, show him the door for being so grumpy all the time? Not that I blame them if they did do some diligence like that.

Jun 11, 2015
"The researchers say that nuclear power, however, meets the requirements for a low-carbon economy."
"Nuclear power offers a mature technology with a solid track record of delivering very low-emission and reliable electricity in concert with other technologies," says Mr Heard.
Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

Jun 11, 2015
Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have 'potential health impacts'
http://www.thegua...ott-says

Jun 11, 2015
Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have 'potential health impacts'

There's no point quoting Tony Abbott as an authority. He is not an expert on any area of science.

Jun 11, 2015
Harmful health impacts?? Since I do not see Willie's stuff I thank you for repeating it.

It is HILARIOUS! Maybe Abbott was standing downwind of a coal plant and got too much Mercury.

Jun 11, 2015
Harmful health impacts??..
It is HILARIOUS!..
"Rare Earthenware: a journey to the toxic source of luxury goods"
http://www.thegua...ry-goods

Jun 12, 2015
I thought the Really-Skippy-Cavalry was going to take care of whole world and South Australia too. What they do, show him the door for being so grumpy all the time? Not that I blame them if they did do some diligence like that.

Poor Uncle Ira, can't fathom that some people are actually working out solutions. So he must lie about imagined associations with SA or any other state/group/nation/event. Just because I am working to finalize something to offer at the first available climate change conference after completing my presentation, this poor idiot thinks he can meanwhile take carte blanche to troll his lying drivel. Beware the lying Uncle bot-voting moron, folks; he is a brain-dead doozy! As is his self-admitted 'mindless' brand of drivel which adds nothing but worthless 'noise' to the science and humanity discourse. Sad.


Jun 12, 2015
Hey Willie, what's up with you? Can't you tell the difference between 'one-offs' and 'continuing' toxic production? The green installations may involve some toxic stuff during manufacture/installation, just as the fossil mining/generation installations do. But the fossil mining/installations will go on producing/emitting toxic/problematic stuff for as long as they operate. Unlike green energy installations.....which can be recycled too! Whereas nuclear energy plants cannot be recycled, nor can their 'fuel' be made 'safe', and must be stored at great costs/danger into longterm future.

Your 'argument' of birdkills etc by green energy installations is DWARFED by the poisonous toll on all kinds of life on land, in the oceans, by illegal/accidental nuclear waste dumping; by continued mining tailings waste going into the ecosystem via underground/surface; by oil spills and waste products of mining/transporting same. Not to mention the removal of large tracts of arable land etc.

Jun 12, 2015
Your 'argument' of birdkills etc by green energy installations is DWARFED..
Everything is toxic, including CO2 that is a natural metabolic product of respiration, thus cover all land and offshore areas with solar panels and wind blades to prevent these filthy life-forms from releasing carbon dioxide to the environment.
With Eco-friends like renewable, who needs enemies.

Jun 12, 2015
Willie.
Everything is toxic, including CO2 that is a natural metabolic product of respiration, thus cover all land and offshore areas with solar panels and wind blades to prevent these filthy life-forms from releasing carbon dioxide to the environment.
With Eco-friends like renewable, who needs enemies.
You are misinformed about what is toxic and why. Toxicity is when something is directly deleterious/fatal to your health/life. CO2 is a NECESSARY part of the BALANCING mechanism within your body chemistry. It is only 'toxic' directly when in CONFINED spaces, wherein it either adversely affects you by its EXCESS CONCENTRATION buildup in your system if no ventilation is present, OR in its DISPLACEMENT of AIR/OXYGEN.

The 'toxic' products (except SF6 which, like CO2, is not directly toxic as such, as you now know) which you listed in reply to gkam WERE toxic directly, many even in small doses.

Understand? Good luck.

Jun 13, 2015
RC, you are wasting your time. I doubt the character who calls himself Willie even reads your posts.

I have several of them on Ignore, and get a kick seeing blank posts I know are just the same old nonsense, cut and pasted or screamed across the playground by a nasty little boy who cannot control his temper.

Jun 13, 2015
"Wind is a finite resource and harnessing it would slow down the winds which would cause the temperature to go up." - Rep. Joe Barton, (R-TX) Chairman of the House-Senate energy conference committee
Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?

Jun 13, 2015
Willie.

The forests and jungles also slow winds even more, and they were much more plentiful/dense before deforestation became massive. That "Rep. Joe Barton" is a dunce, like all religiously driven ignoramuses and political animals driven by same. Our Liberal-National-Party Prime Minister Tony Abbot went to america a couple years back, and met with like minded (ie, mind-less and moral-less hypocrites all) and brought back their DENY & SABOTAGE 'political strategy' for application here in Oz. The result has been a disaster for Australian Society, Economy and political/Moral integrity in govt.

Willie, realize that any marginal LOCAL warming from windmill slowing winds will become VERTICAL CONVECTION winds. Any warming from any cause ALWAYS ends up going upwards via convection/radiation. It is the CO2 which SLOWS the excess heat from escaping into space is ULTIMATELY what determines the NET GLOBAL warming effect of all heat inputs/sources.

Understand? Good luck. :)

Jun 13, 2015
As a resident of South Australia I can tell you all that the nuclear issue is hardly ever in the news. Most people could not care less where their power comes from. The wind farms are topical in only a minority of persistent opposers. There are a lot wind turbines. There are natural gas turbines at that can be throttled up or down, some smaller generators, and the interstate connectors. Solar on rooftops went up when the government introduced cash incentives, but now those have been reduced. I am not expecting nuclear within the forseeable future so don't get your knickers in a twist.
We do sell uranium though.

Jun 13, 2015
By the way, Abbott has long been known as The Mad Monk.

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