Back in September, I visited UNSW in Sydney and debated Mark Diesendorf on nuclear and solar power. It was a useful night, with quite a few Sydney-based BNC readers attending. I was pleased with the outcome — I just hope the audio becomes available at some point.
Now this “Brain Food” event comes to Melbourne. Next Monday, 8 November, I will be speaking, along with Professor Vassilios Agelidis (Director Centre for Energy Research & Policy Analysis, University of New South Wales) and Dr Peter Seligman (Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne). Peter is author of the report “Australian Sustainable Energy – By the Numbers“. Some details (PDF here):
Nuclear – Solar Energies: Facts and Fictions Demystified
6:00pm for 6:30pm start
Coles Theatre, The University of Melbourne, 200 Leicester Street Carlton, VIC 3053
VISIT www.alumni.unsw.edu.au to sign up (bookings essential), or contact UNSW Alumni Office 61 2 9385 3279
There are some enormous challenges ahead with energy and electricity generation. More than one-quarter of the world’s population has no access to electricity and our reliance on fossil fuels must be reduced rapidly. A carbon constrained sustainable development is inevitable. Electricity demand is likely to continue to soar and transportation loads are likely to change profile as more electric vehicles would soon rely on electricity grids. Multi-billion dollar smart grid investments worldwide present tremendous opportunities.
Solar energy technologies have made rapid progress and are being built in both small and large-scale systems. Together with other renewable energy sources, they now have the potential to replace fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is seen by many nations as a way to energy security and immediate reduction to electricity generated carbon emissions.
Join our experts as they:
• demystify fact from fiction for both solar and nuclear energy technologies
• highlight the merits and limitations of these energy sources
• debate their role to Australia’s energy mix of the future
• share your contributions and address your questions and concerns.
Then, on Thursday 11 November, there is another Melbourne debate, this time organised by The Monthly Argument:
Climate change – is nuclear power the answer?
The Function Room, The Dan O’Connell Hotel, 225 Canning Street (corner of Princes Street) Carlton Melway 2B J4
6.30pm for 7.00pm start. Free admission. No need to book. Meals available from 5.30pm.
Prof. Barry Brook (Adelaide University) See his blog – “YES”: Nuclear power is safe, there’s no doubt that it can produce the amount of energy we will require, it’s cheaper than renewables. The intermittency and variability that’s inherent in the process of producing energy from renewables would lead to the building of new fossil fuel plants as back-ups.
Jim Green (Nuclear Awareness Project) – “NO”: Nuclear energy is dangerous, leads to proliferation, and the industry has a history of ’radioactive racism’ both in Australia and around the world.
Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth) – “NO”: Renewables can already supply us with the energy we need so we should make the switch as rapidly as possible.
Arthur Dent (previously know as Albert Langer) – “NEITHER”: Nuclear is a better bet than renewable, but both are far too expensive. They will not be taken up by the developing world which requires cheap energy NOW. Instead of panicking, we should be demanding a huge increase in the funding of fundamental science.
It’d be great to see the Melbourne-based BNC readers at either or both events! I’m looking forward to locking my pair of evidential and logical horns with these folks, especially Jim Green who has posted previously here on BNC. I’d hope that the two events make available the audio (and maybe video) recording, so that at some point I might also be able to post the content here at the end of this post.