Nov 26, 2012

Renewable energy hit by an irrelevant debate

Should the renewable energy target be reduced? Origin Energy is calling it for it to be a "real" 20% share of the market, but just how does one classify "real"?

Over the last few months we’ve had a rather heated argument about whether the renewable energy target should be reduced to reflect what is termed by Origin Energy as a “real” 20% market share, which they argue would match the original policy intent.


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8 thoughts on “Renewable energy hit by an irrelevant debate

  1. craig z

    I reckon the will of the community, as expressed by the law, was to remove CO2 producing (also expressed as non-renewable) electricity assets from the community’s grid, or the source of power we use. Management in this country has not caught up to the idea that public service as a company, or public good does not have to conflict with the company’s good when the business model is challenged.

  2. craig z

    For example, Kogan Creek ( has integrated solar thermal energy into its coal fired power station, which reduces the amount of coal needed to heat up water for the steam turbines….why not do this with all coal fired power stations here?

  3. Warren Joffe

    Why is the assumption made that it is coal interests that are the big opponents of honest climate science? Most of Australia’s coal is exported and the sufferers from the increased cost of electricity in Australia will only be peripherally coal-fired generators and distributors but mostly their customers, us. True there may be bit less coal supplied for electricity generation in Australia but is it not reasonable to suppose that people who mine and burn coal in this scientific age actually know a lot of relevant stuff that that might even ground honest views about the sense of politicians’ and activists’ policies?

  4. Warren Joffe

    When someone who writes for the Climate Spectator favours us with his/her analytical piece might one not ask a question seeking a truly expert answer. The question: given that there are past records showing temperature rising before the CO2 level in the atmosphere rose and that the temperature rise after the Little Ice Age (last freezing over of the Thames was 1804) long before the big rise in fossil fuel emissions began might it not be the case that it was a periodic happening in the oceans, which contain hundreds of times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, which set off the warming of the oceans and the consequent emission of CO2 in tropical waters? If that is part of a natural cycle over many hundreds and thousands of years would it not be folly to spend a lot of money on renewables?

  5. Harry1951

    Warren Joffe @4 : I strongly suggest you have a good read at I think your views will be challenged by peer-reviewed REAl science, not propaganda.

  6. Warren Joffe

    I looked at your link Harry1951 expecting to find something relevant to the peer reviewed published (and with more to come of which I have seen a draft) papers supporting the view that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere ia increasing, in large part, because the sea has been warming and consequently emitting some of its vast load of CO2. Maybe I missed it. Can you help, or are you just an amateur with a preference for one propaganda site over others.

  7. Hamis Hill

    To Warren Joffe, is it not possible to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has come from the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the industrial revolution (when science had not yet even discovered the very existence of carbon dioxide).
    And quantify the amounts of carbon dioxide no longer sequestered in felled and burnt forests?
    Then compare these indisputable figures with the putative numbers of the outgassing hypothesis?
    Or might this this be too rigorous and scientific for the facile speculations of armchair philosophy.
    Clue: there are not too many armchairs to be found in the
    science laboratories; too much labouring going on there for the brainiacs?
    Scientists do indeed have active and accomplished brains and they also “WORK”.
    Something that the flash of genius types tend to gloss over in their quest for intellectual ascendancy.
    There is that parable about the guests to a wedding who did not see fit to honour the celebration of the future happiness of their hosts by the donning of clean clothing.
    They ended up tied, bound and gagged and left to grind their teeth outside in the darkness.
    Some people in the climate debate need to get rid of their rags of pride an ignorance, if it is, indeed, not to much effort; such as is undertaken in a laboratory.

  8. Warren Joffe

    Hamis Hill: despite the evidence that you are essentially a man of letters with just a touching faith in the scientists of your imagination you do say something which would be applauded by real hard scientists of my acquaintance even if expressed in metaphorical form I refer to “undertaken in a laboratory” because I find that the physicists (for example) whose maths is of a very high order tend to be derisive about the mathematical modelers who don’t have the observational or experimental facts to test, let alone validate their models predictive power.

    While I cannot remember precise details about the calculations concerning output of CO2 from human sources and take up from vegetation in the growing seasons and absorption into the oceans at the higher latitudes I have had the chance to cross-examine one of the authors of the first major article I am aware of to proffer the idea that the CO2 in the atmosphere may be more the result of warming than the cause(and we know after all that there have been, even in the Holocene, great warmings which have had nothing to do with CO2 emissions but, almost inevitably, with oceanic causes – maybe, though this is only my own idea, from volcanic activity on the ocean floor where the plates separate). There is some very interesting evidence from the rate at which the C14 isotopes with which the 1963 Russian hydrogen bomb test (the last atmospheric one) laced the northern hemisphere’s atmosphere spread to the southern hemisphere compared to the rates of diffusion of the C12 and C13 isotopes that mark the oceanic and fossil fuel CO2.

    But what was that you said about armchair philosophising? From your armchair I think.

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