On 17 November 2011, the NSW Government appears before a Parliamentary Committee inquiring into Coal Seam Gas.
The NSW Government submission strongly favours rapid development of coal seam gas.
It has no place for solar or any other zero emission technology.
A hybrid solar/biomass gasification option - if costed very quickly - might persuade the Parliamentary Committee next Thursday to reject the NSW Government's submission to commit NSW to 250 years reliance on Coal Seam Gas.
At the least, it should defer a decision pending a more up-to-date analysis of alternative approaches to meeting future energy needs.
One such alternative approach - solar thermal gasification f biomass producing fuel for a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station is illustrated here - Providing Energy Without More CO2 Emissions.
Time is running out for real decisions that will determine the direction of the NSW energy industry throughout this century.
NSW Government Submission to
The NSW Government believes that balanced co-existence of mining (including CSG) and agriculture is not only possible, it is essential. ...NSW gas consumption is projected to grow significantly from its current level of around 160 Petajoules (PJ) per annum to 550PJ pa in the next 20 years. Current possible NSW CSG reserves represent over 250 years of gas supply at that level. (Page 2)
The development of a coal seam gas industry in NSW resulting from technological innovation has created an opportunity for an abundant new cleaner energy resource which was largely unknown until recently. The coal seam gas industry has the potential to create thousands of regional jobs, and add billions of dollars to the State economy, reduce our dependence on imported petroleum for transport, and create new industries around the availability of gas as a feedstock. (Page 4)
Table 3: Costs of CSG and other energy sources
$’000/MW)Total Cost or
LRMC$ / MWhVariable
Cost$ / MWhBlack coal - super critical (SC)1,90045.991.20Black coal - ultra super critical (USC)2,40054.001.20Integrated gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)2,10056.851.50Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT)1,05058.384.85Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT)750522.647.50Nuclear3,50076.132.00Hydro2,00071.932.00Solar thermal5,000224.371.50Solar Photovoltaic (PV)7,529384.381.50Wind2,40093.311.60Biomass2,20070.343.00Geothermal5,00087.422.00Coal USC plus Carbon Capture & Storage (95%)4,10085.801.20Gas CCGT plus Carbon Capture & Storage (95%)2,850112.691.20
Source: ACIL Tasman (May 2008), Projected energy prices in selected world regions
- Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) is defined as the cost of an incremental unit of generation capacity spread across each unit of electricity produced over the life of the station. LRMC includes capital cost, fuel cost, variable operating and maintenance costs.
- Variable costs include fuel costs and variable component of operating and maintenance costs.
- All costs are based on A$ 2008 and exclude a carbon price.
CSG based base load generation is in general less expensive compared to many other technologies and when a carbon price is included it also becomes more attractive than coal based power plants. (Pages 14-15)