Research in a number of fields may make new nuclear energy technology available with little warning.Research and development of new applications for coal in petrochemical industries in parallel with reducing reliance on coal for energy can avoid any loss of jobs and State government mining royalties. If the new applications increase the value of coal then the interest groups that rely on coal can share growing revenues, wages and royalties over the period in which cleaner energy sources gradually replace coal in the energy industry.
Dakota Gasification Company plans urea from #coal facility at its Great Plains Synfuels Plant http://t.co/AhD5drBRYd #nswpol #agchatoz #csg
— Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) May 2, 2014
The development of a widely acceptable transition plan for the coal industry is a good investment for the future of the industry regardless of lobbying for clean energy. Research in a number of fields has the potential for breakthroughs that make new energy technology available with little warning.
Nuclear energy technology is in its infancy. Consider a breakthrough that commercialises an Accelerator Driven Reactor designed to smash radioactive waste nuclei into fragments which are scarce and high-valued isotopes - and produces energy as a by-product that can be distributed at no charge...
|Professor Nanda Dasgupta - Nuclear Fusion: Quantum coherence and its consequences|
Employment relies too on coal mining. NSW reports that total employment in mining grew from 19,000 jobs in 2001 to 39,000 jobs ten years later in 2011. The Hunter region is most reliant on mining where jobs increased from 9,000 to 17,000 in the ten years from 2001 to 2011.
The interests of coal mining investors, the mining industry workforce and State governments are largely overlooked in lobbying to build a renewable energy industry. This lobbying is often narrowly focused on the goal of displacing fossil fuel use within Australia. Domestic use of fossil fuels is a fraction of production so this goal is wide of the mark needed to achieve a reduction in global emissions. It would however send a controversial marketing message: asking overseas customers to buy a product that Australia itself no longer uses.
There is no need to engage in a conflict between vested interests. Technology for a staged transition of energy sources can avoid loss of capital value of coal-fired power stations. See the article "Combining Technologies to Increase Usefulness and Value" for an example. Using solar/coal/gas/biomass fuel with the same gas turbine and generator minimises the capital expenditure for reliable power generation plants. An indirectly fired gas turbine can burn any fuel - even coal. The same turbine and generator can be driven by concentrated solar thermal energy - adjustable up to 100 percent coal as required for reliable power generation.
Research and development of new applications for coal in petrochemical industries in parallel with reducing reliance on coal for energy can avoid any loss of jobs and State government mining royalties. If the new applications increase the value of coal then the interest groups that rely on coal can share growing revenues, wages and royalties over the period in which cleaner energy sources gradually replace coal in the energy industry.
Related posts -
Driven nuclear reactions on minimum acceptable safety standards for nuclear technology.