The Oz-Energy-Analysis.org project continues to hum away in the background, building momentum. For those who don’t recall what OzEA is, read these two posts from earlier in the year on BNC:
After much necessary background work, including data collation, website construction, preliminary wheel kicking and a lot of hard thinking (!), we are moving onto some serious analysis and modelling. But scenarios need storylines to hang off. Our first story was about scoping the problem. The second story — reproduced below — is about understanding. This is an exploration framework rather than a real-world proposal. To me, with an extensive experience in working with biological systems, the evolutionary approach we take here appeals. See what you think.
Francis and I would appreciate your critical feedback, either in the comments below or on the relevant OzEA page. Please consider both sites. And remember, OzEA is an experiment, with the tea room being a portal into developments. We always welcome your feedback, on any aspect of the site and its outputs.
The Second Story – Understanding the Problem
In the beginning was The First Story, followed in recent months by round one development through the menu bar (data, analysis, models…). This story ushers in round two.
To briefly reintroduce OzEA: the big picture is a global need for much increased electricity production as we progress through this century. Much increased fossil fuel use to achieve this is problematic given that current human impact on the carbon cycle is widely believed to be impacting on climate. While nuclear power is an alternative to coal and gas, issues around Nuclear Power, or the science of Climate Change, are not discussed here. OzEA seeks to be a broad church; we put our energies into empirical, high level and open analysis of how a high penetration of renewable electricity might be achieved in the Australian context.
In this Second Story we adopt ’50% by 2030′ renewable electricity as the basis for ongoing work into 2011. Demand management (smart grids) and system evolution are matters that will be central to the integration of renewables, and these are discussed in what follows. Work through to years end is to model the power output from large-scale scenarios of geographically distributed wind and solar power plants. This will provide a solid base for further rational analysis of renewable variability.
The fifty percent renewables by 2030 approach
Adopting 50% renewable penetration by 2030 as a baseline gives structure and coherence to our work plans. In reality Australia is scheduled to have around 20% renewable electricity in 2020 (predominately from wind), driven by the federal governments LRET scheme. The purpose of a 50% target is to drive analysis and thinking, rather than an engineering proposal.