When I was at UNSW yesterday — prior to my debate with Mark Diesendorf — I met up with Ted Trainer, author of ‘Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society“. We had a great chat, and I think I even inched him a little towards IFRs (ever the optimist). Anyway, Ted asked me to post up his (revised) critique of the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 renewable energy plan for critical feedback — see below. This piece nicely complements the already published critique by Martin Nicholson and Peter Lang (see here) and the initial BNC brainstorming session (550+ comments).
The question I now ask is, are the BZE team planning to respond to these two substantive pieces? I would be happy to publish their rejoinder here on BNC. The gauntlet is thrown down. Will they respond?
Zero Carbon Australia, M. Wright and Hearps, Univ. of Melbourne, Energy Institute, August 2010.
by Ted (F.E.) Trainer, Social Work, University of NSW, Kensington.
The ZCA report argues that Australia could run entirely on renewable energy by 2020.
I think this lengthy and detailed report is a valuable contribution to the energy discussion, containing much up to date information and many ideas and proposals that are promising. I believe it heads in the general direction Australia should take. However I think the report is quite mistaken in its optimism, that is in its conclusion that Australia can convert to renewables. This conclusion is based on a number of assumptions, some of which seem to me to be highly challengeable.
My current understanding of the global (not Australian) situation is summarised in “Can renewables etc solve the greenhouse problem — The negative case.” Energy Policy, Aug. 2010, (which I will refer to below as CAN). ZCA has helped me to see some mistakes in my analysis, which will enable improvement of my current attempt to apply the general approach to the Australian situation.