Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The nuclear industry has announced plans to lobby the Australian government, to advocate nuclear power as an affordable, practical alternative to renewables.
According to The Guardian;
The Australian Nuclear Association (ANA) will accompany Danny Roderick, chief executive of the leading US nuclear technology firm Westinghouse, to talk to government ministers and business leaders in Canberra and Sydney next week.
Roderick said nuclear power could help produce “clean, reliable, affordable electricity for more people”.
“We’d like to help Australia explore ways to create jobs and economic opportunity that are also good for the environment,” he said.
“My concern is that renewables won’t get us across the line in terms of emissions reduction,” said Rob Parker, the president of the ANA. “Nuclear is more reliable and it has a smaller resources footprint than renewables.
“Until we approach the issue of carbon abatement honestly, we won’t replace coal because it is the cheapest fuel we have. Nuclear is dead until we acknowledge carbon abatement is the main issue. We already pay a premium for renewables but we need to go further or we’ll just keep burning coal.”
In my opinion, the last thing Australia needs is any form of new energy infrastructure investment, except where driven by economic demand. In one decade, Australia went from paying one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world, to paying some of the most expensive rates in the world, thanks largely to government green energy initiatives.
If Australia’s newly greened government is determined to waste taxpayer’s money on CO2 emissions reduction, nuclear power at least has the advantage that it works. You can convert a modern economy to nuclear power without ruining it. France for example, generates around 75% of their electricity from nuclear power.
By contrast, spending money on renewables is unlikely to deliver any value whatsoever. According to a report produced by top Google engineers, major scientific advances would be required to make renewable energy useful.