On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 12:58 AM, Russell Standish
> On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 12:09:18PM +0100, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM, Russell Standish
>> <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:
>> > The good news is that the figures I've seen is that its not such a
>> > tremendous cost after all.
>> I am very interested in this. Could you be more specific? How can this
>> be? Was there some breakthrough in sustainable sources that increased
>> their efficiency?
> The following is an article dealing with the economics in Australia of
> PV vs coal fired stations
> And here is one for wind power:
> These figure also do not include the existing carbon price of $20 per tonne.
> Existing fossil fuel generators will continue for a while, though, of
> course, particularly as renewables have not yet solved the baseload
> supply problem. Vanadium batteries may be good for that.
Thanks for this. I hope it works.
Reading the articles I have a feeling that this is more related to
banks fearing investments in non-clean energy that could be subject to
increasingly high taxes -- even though it appears that the Australian
conservatives are not inclined to do that. I have no doubt that the
technology is improving and I hope it does, but I would be more
convinced if they addressed the hard numbers on the energy efficiency,
sans current economical incentives, be they regulation or market
conditions. Because I believe that those are the ones that will count
in the long term.
Part of the reason for my worry is that I saw heavy subsidising of
wind farms destroy the industry in my home country (Portugal). The
energy bill there is now about 60% taxes, to maintain the wind farms.
Keeping your house warm in the winter is too expensive, even for the
upper middle class.
>> >> > Obviously fossil fuel will run out anyway, so even without climate
>> >> > change
>> >> > we'd have to do something.
>> >> Yes, but that something we have to do is very different depending on
>> >> whether or not we have to cut CO2 emissions and, more importantly, one
>> >> of the path leads to immense human suffering.
>> > The point is whether we do something, or do nothing, energy costs
>> > _will_ rise. Yes this _will_ lead to human suffering, either way. We
>> > can either choose to pay a bit more now, and have less costs later, or
>> > pay less now, and have steeper rises later.
>> I agree that energy costs will rise and this is a very serious problem
>> that we need to face. If you don't have to worry about CO2 so much,
>> it's easier and less painful -- the more expensive fossil fuels
>> become, the more economic incentive there will be for renewable
>> sources. In this scenario we can retain economic freedom, which is
>> highly correlated with prosperity.
>> > A 10 or 20% energy cost increase to hasten decarbonisation by a decade
>> > will save many billions of dollars of geo-engineering, or evironmental
>> > restoration down the track.
>> Are you aware of geo-engineering proposals that would be very cheap?
> Nothing earth-scale will be cheap, or easy to understand all the
> consequences. Ultimately, it will need to come down to a cost-benefit
> analysis, factoring in the unknowns as some kind of risk factor.
But if the technology break-throughs are real, we don't even have to
worry all that much, maybe. There will be a lot of money to be made in
moving to sustainable sources. Pushes for regulation make me suspect
that the technology is not there yet. In which case I agree with you.
>> > Seems like quite an astute investment to
>> > me. Our current conservative government, alas, doesn't seem to think
>> > so.
>> >> Then there are the geo-engineering ideas that John mentioned. They
>> >> appear to be ignored. This makes the entire thing start to smell a bit
>> >> of religious moralism.
>> >> Telmo.
>> > They're not being ignored. But they do require a lot more small-scale
>> > research to understand their risk-benefit tradeoff.
>> I never see this as part of the discussion. I'm very skeptical that
>> this is being seriously pursued.
> amongst many other similar experiments.
> I can see why certain environmental movements have put geoengineering
> off the table for political reasons, but this doesn't mean it
> shouldn't be researched theoretically, and experimented practically on
> a small scale so that we better understand the costs, efficacy and
> risks if (or more likely when) it becomes a necessary part of the
> total solution.
Ok, we agree.
> As for carbon pricing, which is the current hot topic in Australia. As
> a philosophical point, I am in favour of some sort of carbon pricing,
> but I'm not enough of an economist and energy technologist to know the
> ideal timing for its introduction, nor the amount of the pricing. The
> current fixed price scheme we have amounts to an increase of 10-20% on
> fuel costs, which I would have thought to be "too little, too late". I
> don't know how the price of $20 per tonne was arrived at. I do know
> that the Eurpoean market price is even lower, at around $8 per tonne,
> so I can't see economics providing much of a push.
> The problem is that when our current newly elected government was in
> opposition, they went around denying that there is even a problem. I
> wouldn't have minded if they kept the political discussion to whether
> a carbon price was appropriate right now, or questioned the economic
> modelling used to set the price, or whether it should be set by a
> market mechanism. Instead they denied the scientific consensus,
> labelled the carbon price as a "tax", and stood on a platform of
> "scrap the tax", which will be one of the first bills they will
> introduce in parliament in the next week. It makes me mad -
> effectively they have shut down much needed debate on how best we should
> address climate change, and resorted to slogaineering and ideology.
> I just hope that the opposition and independent parties act to block
> this behaviour, and hopefully return discussion back to issues of
> policy, not science, which is the proper scope for a parliament. But
> we shall see... At least what Australia does is unlikely to bugger up
> the whole world, we're too small for that.
> Prof Russell Standish Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
> Principal, High Performance Coders
> Visiting Professor of Mathematics hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
> University of New South Wales http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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