Yesterday, The Australian newspaper published an Op Ed piece by Nicholson, Biegler & Brook, entitled Emission reductions are not blowin’ in the wind, which discusses our recent paper in Energy. The print (dead tree) version of the article even had the graph shown here included! However, the editor had to cut down our original version to <1,000 words due to space constraints. As such, I thought BNC readers might be interested in reading the original 1,211 word submitted version, which I reproduce below.
In the next post, I’ll look at some other media reactions to our paper and press release.
The Arithmetic adds up to Nuclear
By Martin Nicholson, Tom Biegler and Barry Brook
The ‘carbon price’ debate rages. The Australian Government, seems genuinely committed to putting a price on carbon. It seems likely, that one of the first industries to be impacted will be electricity generation. This sector is the largest single contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions – mainly carbon dioxide. So, the big questions are: what does the carbon price need to be, where will our future electricity come from, and how much will it cost?
Most of our current electricity generators will be impacted. Less than seven per cent of our electricity comes from carbon-free sources. Reducing the emissions from the generators that burn fossil fuels (the source of the carbon dioxide) means that electricity will be more expensive than in the past – whatever technology is used.