Malcolm Turnbull (1954):What technology?
As the world's largest coal exporter we have a vested interest in showing that we can provide both lower emissions and reliable baseload power with state-of-the-art clean coal technology.
(National Press Club, 2016)
Tony Wood [Director, Energy Program, Grattan Institute]:
What are we talking about here, in terms of this what appears to be a contradiction in terms: clean coal?
The Prime Minister [is] in some ways is flying a kite, [since] no one's [knows] what he's actually going to do next. …
[If] you are looking to [invest in] coal fired power stations, with low emissions (because the technology does exist) …
Tony Wood:Apart from the $9 billion a year in direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industry via energy and transport.
… you're not going to do that without … significant subsidies from government, which we do have but only so far for wind and solar …
Tony Wood:Unless gas is quarantined for electricity generation (as opposed to being exported) as currently occurs in Western Australia.
More gas, which is also quite expensive in Australia …
Tony Wood:A failure of government or a failure of governance?
What we do have is a vacuum of [state and] federal climate change policy … you can't specifically blame anybody for that except perhaps government generally …
- Leaders advocating the repeal of the carbon price and dismantling of the clean energy infrastructure, and
- enough people willing to follow them.
[We] cannot rely [on] switching to gas-fired electricity to achieve all our emissions reductions.
[The carbon intensity of coal-fired power stations is between 0.8 and 1.2 tonnes of CO2 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced.]
Conventional gas-fired power plants can achieve … about 0.4 tonnes of CO2 emitted per megawatt-hour. Australia must achieve a carbon intensity of 0.2 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt-hour or lower if it is to meet its targets.
A range of technologies available today can generate electricity at or below 0.2 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt-hour and have significant scale-up potential (excepting hydro, for which little expansion is feasible in Australia). …
[The] most important task will be to further refine the underlying power technologies such as wind turbine blades, photovoltaic cells and fuel combustion.
(No easy choices: which way to Australia’s energy future?, February 2012, p 6)
Supercritical steam technology is applicable to combined cycle gas turbines and solar thermal as well as coal.
This suggests that while supercritical coal may be "cleaner" than conventional coal it is just as "dirty" in comparison with supercritical gas or solar.
Therefore, from a mitigation viewpoint, if you were choosing between conventional coal and supercritical coal you would go for supercritical coal.
If you're choosing between supercritical coal, gas or solar; gas or solar would still be superior.
Using (ultra) supercritical coal fired power plants with thermal efficiencies of 45% (conventional coal being 33%) instead of combined cycle gas turbines with thermal efficiencies of 60% means additional carbon savings would need to be found in other sectors.
Which sectors and at what cost?
And what is the market mechanism for delivering emissions reductions at least cost across the economy?
A carbon price.
Wikipedia:Where are they?
Of the 22 demonstration [clean coal] projects funded by the US Department of Energy since 2003, none are in operation as of February 2017, having been abandoned or delayed due to capital budget overruns or discontinued because of excessive operating expenses.
(Coal pollution mitigation, 19 February 2017)
In most scenarios for stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations between 450 and 750 ppmv CO2 and in a least-cost portfolio of mitigation options, the economic potential of CCS would amount to 220-2,200 GtCO2 (60–600 GtC) cumulatively, which would mean that CCS contributes 15–55% to the cumulative mitigation effort worldwide until 2100, averaged over a range of baseline scenarios. …
For CCS to achieve such an economic potential, several hundreds to thousands of CO2 capture systems would need to be installed over the coming century, each capturing some 1–5 MtCO2 per year.
(Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, IPCC Special Report, Summary for Policymakers approved at Eighth Session of IPCC Working Group III, 22-24 September, 2005, p 12, emphasis added)
Grattan Institute:If carbon capture and storage does become available, replacing coal fired with bioenergy power plants (BECSS) rather than refitting coal plants with CCS would be the optimal strategy — since BECSS actually draws down atmospheric carbon.
Gas can play a important bridging role, but in the longer-term Australia will need to either
(No easy choices: which way to Australia’s energy future?, p 5, emphasis added)
- retrofit existing coal and gas plants with Carbon Capture and Storage technology or
- replace them with low-or zero-carbon technologies. …
(The Role of Coal, 13 February 2017)
Trickle Up Economics
Amanda Vanstone (1952)
When governments get out of the way, things in the economy can get going.
Perhaps we should be saying to our governments:
We don't want you to spend more. …(Counterpoint, 10 October 2016)
What we want you to do is undo some of your regulation.
Get out of the way and let the business people get on with it and make a buck.
And create jobs, and wealth and income.
I am in the category of people who say:
Why do we keep regulating and passing laws?There's a lot of people [who] put a lot of faith in regulation without realizing [that we then have to] pay a lot of public servants … to implement [it.]
We've had a law against murder for a long time and it hasn't worked!
(Counterpoint, 13 June 2016)
Climate change! [exasperated]
You're so ABC, Fran … [laughs]
(The Party Room, 26 May 2016)
It is primarily the Coalition that says we have to the deficit and public debt under control. …
[While Labor] sees itself as owning the concept of fair shares.
[This] makes it very easy, whenever you want to bring a budget back into some sort of control and make any cuts, to say:
Lower income people shouldn't have to pay anything for this — even though they may have been the beneficiaries of the spending which in large part has contributed to the deficit.(Counterpoint, 16 May 2016)