Abbott hates wind.

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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby melmik » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:31 pm

Agree Smurf on both stationary equipment and that all energy generating fuels being taxed equally - or in relation to their efficiency and enviro impacts
One rationale for taxing that is used in other countries is to incentivise improvements in equipment/process/fuel type efficiency.
Perhaps a phased in tax over 5 years as incentive to change. If the current fuel cost isnt expected to rise significantly there is no incentive to move from oil/gas/coal to renewables.
Apparently Adelaide Uni's research into CST power generation (concentrating solar thermal) is going well. About to commence proof of concept. They are also involved in green crude research and production - basically sustainable crude oil from algae. Better environmentally apparently - probably due to not needing to be pumped out of the ground. Not sure if it burns any better for the planet.
So viable alternatives are underway and as Sandystone said, imagine if govt subsidies were instead pumped into research.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby jimbo » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:30 am

Agree Smurf on both stationary equipment and that all energy generating fuels being taxed equally - or in relation to their efficiency and enviro impacts


So does that mean we decrease the overall tax but apply it to everyone? How do you calculate environmental impacts? CO2 emitted? native habitat lost? raw materials used? visual impact? Efficient use of people's taxes?

Australia is already a very expensive country to do business with. Adding more taxes will not stop or solve anything except make the greenies feel warm and fuzzy inside and drive even more business offshore. Meanwhile China, India and all of Africa continue growing and emitting more than the rest combined.

My biggest gripe is the world is spending trillions on cutting Co2 which apparently is doing nothing to curb temp rise. At the same time we have not solved any other major environmental issues such as deforestation, habitat loss and flora and fauna extinction etc. I would feel a lot better if we spent 1/10 of the time, energy and $$$ on solving these problems that affect us right now. I think we can comfortable deal with a few mm/year sea level rise and temp increase.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby melmik » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:34 am

Hi Jimbo, i was agreeing with Smurf that oil coal and gas all be taxed equally, rather than just taxing oil via the credits scheme.

I suggested the alternative of taxing based on efficiency and/or environmental impacts. Taxes would not be raised for anyone immediately, rather they gradually apply higher rates only if efficiencies were not achieved over certain timeframes (generally in fuel use, fuel type, pollution outputs).

As to the what is measured and taxed, that is not up to me, but I am in total agreement with you that effects other than just CO2 output are just as important. For instance for mining, you could include effective land reclamation and revegetation as pluses, or tax the shit out of a company for just leaving a massive void - which is what one Hunter miner is planning - as they state that filling it would not be economically viable! It then becomes somebody elses problem.

If you doubt my words or committment, my wife and I contribute to land conservation and animal welfare, and have left pretty much everything in our wills to these causes - after much careful research into which seem to provide the longest term best benefits. Bang for our bucks!

I wouldn't call myself a rabid greenie, just committed to pushing for improvement. I love trees, but dont hug them. As an ex marine engineer I also understand and appreciate the processes and equipment used in industry and know that change cannot be instant. But after seeing ships convert from marine gas turbines to diesel know that change is possible - and that often $$$ are the most effective driver of change. After leaving that industry I qualified and worked in horticulture and regeneration so also understand natural systems and what can harm or heal them.

But it must be started - and in some cases there seems to be very little change even being considered.

It would be nice to see our political 'leaders' show some (any!) leadership and initiative and put forward some plans. And it is possible that the passion and committment of people like you, me and the others on this and other forums that will add to the pressure to get them off their arses.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby Smurf1976 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:22 pm

My basic thought on taxation is this.

Diesel is by no means "clean", but in typical off-road applications it is no worse than grid electricity from coal and in many cases is considerably cleaner.

Since nobody really uses diesel where natural gas is available, consider the following in the context of oil fuels versus grid electricity as being the available options.

For process heat, diesel at 70% efficiency (well to furnace heat) versus transmitted electricity from coal at around 30% efficiency overall. Directly using oil to run the furnace produces about 65% less CO2 than if electricity were used to provide the heat.

For power generation itself, using oil on-site (eg mining industry) is still no worse than electricity from the grid. It also avoids the need to build a potentially very long transmission line (lifespan 60+ years) for a mine that may only run for a decade anyway. Generating power on site makes economic sense and avoids the need to build infrastructure which becomes redundant when the mine closes.

That being so, it seems unreasonable to me that we would tax diesel, fuel oil etc more highly than we tax coal-fired electricity from the grid (or coal itself for that matter). Oil is 15 - 20% cleaner than coal to start with in terms of CO2 and if used directly (eg furnace heat) is a lot more efficient in use. It thus seems somewhat absurd to have a tax which effectively encourages a move to the less efficient and more polluting option (coal).

All fossil fuels emit CO2 and pollute in various ways, but I just don't see diesel (and fuel oil) as being drastically worse than coal to the point that it warrants a huge tax whilst coal attracts no such tax. Obviously renewable is better than either, but there are certainly situations where diesel is vastly better (environmentally) than coal-fired electricity.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby melmik » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:50 pm

Agree Smurf, oil is cleaner to burn than coal and gas is best of the three. So yes there is a case to treat them differently. This is a good article comparing their lifecycle effects CO2 wise.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/lin ... l-data.pdf

Maybe variable taxation carrots and sticks to get change underway based on this sort of analysis would work.

It would be interesting to compare Muradel green oils lifecycle to mid east crude.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby melmik » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:56 pm

I should have said treat them differently based on CO2 outputs. But if you add in other effects as Jimbo said, it gets more complex.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:27 pm

Somewhat related to this topic, which has ventured a bit beyond the title, how is Australia performing in relation to the Kyoto Protocol targets?

Yes we met it, we sank the 3 inch putt!
https://theconversation.com/australia-h ... -one-44731


This gives clues about how we got to where we are now:
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/the-evi ... ades-97697
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby sandystone » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:44 pm

Relating to diesel fuel rebates- because most if not all diesel is imported, getting rid of the subsidies creates a disincentive to use it, and thereby contributing by a market mechanism, to reducing Australia's trade deficit.

It also would create an incentive to use local 'free' energy sources such as wind and solar, which are better for our economy and employment.
(yes solar and some wind components are also imported, but that happens only once, whereas diesel is a continuous drain on our economy.)
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby jimbo » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:56 pm

How do you run farms, boats, machinery off wind and solar?

Vic is currently using 8,017MW of electricity. Billions of $$ of wind turbines are currently generating 364MW. Pretty poor effort for the middle of winter.
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Re: Abbott hates wind.

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:33 pm

jimbo wrote:How do you run farms, boats, machinery off wind and solar?


Good question, and as we know liquid fossil fuels are running out, we are going to have to work that out sooner or later. However, it makes a whole lot more sense to be working on that now instead of subsidising a dying technology, whilst we head towards a sudden crash with reality.

Vic is currently using 8,017MW of electricity. Billions of $$ of wind turbines are currently generating 364MW. Pretty poor effort for the middle of winter.


Sad isn't it, that Victoria is burning so much brown coal contributing to billions of dollars worth of medical problems and premature deaths. 6X more energy being produced by brown coal than renewables as I write this.
We are not paying the true cost of our massive fossil fuel use ATM, the sooner we get off it and into renewables, the better. Development of renewable powered propulsion, with fossil fuel assistance when required, is what we should be aiming for in the near term.
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