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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boom Chica Boom

Big Bang Theory a conspiracy say former climate science denier cult members.

Global warming deniers - crispy
Global warming deniers - crispy

Don't continue the embarrassment of your climate science denial.

Try this brand new anti-science movement rejecting the Big Bang Theory.

Here is a group of enthusiastic former climate science deniers promoting their challenge to the Big Bang Theory:

Big Bang Alternatives, anyone?

Image credit: Click for full-size where available.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A dumb way to waste billions of dollars

A dumb way to manage electricity supply:
  1. Remain silent while home owners and businesses buy millions of air conditioners that use lots of energy in peak demand periods: especially during heat waves.
  2. Invest billions in an electricity distribution grid able to provide huge amounts of electricity for a few hours of exceptional peak demand each summer.

    What a warmer Australia means

    By Sharon Kennedy and Barry Nicholls | 6 January 2014

    Australia is the hottest since records were kept. That has implications for people, crops and animals says Research Fellow with Victoria University Professor Roger Jones.

    There are implications for people, crops and animals in such extremes, says Professor Jones.

    For instance, people who live in housing without air conditioning or full insulation, or who live alone, need to keep contact with family and community.

    "What's been happening with the electricity grid is a lot of talk about gold plating," he says.

    "We've built the grid to withstand the hottest temperatures. It needs the capacity to handle those peak loads rather than just the average loads.

    "Maintaining a grid that will cope with peak loads is the main impetus for our increased electricity bills most over the past seven to eight years."

  3. Invest billions of dollars in smart meters so that the price of electricity can be raised substantially in peak demand periods to discourage people from using the air conditioners they bought in step 1.
  4. Blame the high cost of electricity in Australia on government ownership and sell the problem to private interests in the rather forlorn hope that this could make any difference.
    "Privatising assets is one of the few ways of dealing with “uncompetitive" union agreements that have driven up labour costs and electricity bills", claimed Vince Graham.

    Vince Graham’s comments drew a stern rebuke from Electrical Trades Union NSW secretary Steve Butler. ...Pay rises over the past two years ...added less than 50c to the bill of the average customer.
  5. Suggest that home owners and businesses update the millions of air conditioners bought in step 1 to use electricity in off-peak periods and provide cooling with about 10 percent of the electricity the original air conditioners needed in peak periods. (Air conditioners that use phase change materials.) 
  6. Scrap billions of dollars of excess electricity supply and distribution capacity and throw away the billions of dollars of smart meters because they are no longer of any use.

The link to the AEMO media release in the above tweet is 'broken'.
Here is a tweet with a link to the archived location of that media release, on 20 March 2017.

Further reading

Scenario: HETAC for Commercial Buildings

"This simple example illustrates that a cost saving of more than 77 percent and energy saving of more than 50 percent is achievable by implementing a HETAC thermal storage system."

Having your air conditioner and low peak demand too

How to save the most on energy bills for the least cost

Climate science denial just a mask for the coal lobby

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Forum on Energy Productivity


Forum on Energy Productivity
3 & 4 April, 2014

University of Technology, Sydney

- International Keynotes Announced
- Government to Target Energy Productivity

Happy new year! A2SE wishes you a happy and prosperous 2014. We hope you had a relaxing break over the festive season, as it is shaping up to be a busy year for energy productivity.
Federal Government to target energy productivity
The new Federal Government is developing an Energy White Paper to set the direction for energy policy in Australia. This process has begun with the release of the Energy White Paper – Issues Paper, available here.
As the Issues Paper is seeking comment on many issues including Australia’s current energy productivity and efficiency situation and ways to improve productivity and efficiency, the A2SE Forum on Energy Productivity could not be more timely.

Submissions to contribute to the Energy White Paper are due by Friday, 7 February, 2014.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has also identified energy efficiency as a key option for consideration in its Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper. Comments on this document are due 21 February, 2014.

Forum International Keynote Speakers Announced
We are pleased to announce the following international keynote and session speakers - more speakers to be announced soon:
Kateri Callahan President of U.S. Alliance to Save Energy
Dan Arvizu Director and Chief Executive of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Robert Tromop Head of the Energy Efficiency Unit at the International Energy Agency
Heather Zichal Lead U.S. White House Advisor to President Obama on Energy and Climate Change (2009-2013)
Featured speakers
Kateri Callahan
President of U.S. Alliance to Save Energy
Kateri has more than 25 years of experience in policy advocacy and coalition building. She was a driver in convincing the Obama Administration to adopt the goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. Kateri is also instrumental in gaining community and state support and adoption of the goal by traveling and speaking across the U.S. as part of Energy 2030 on the Road - an education, outreach and action campaign. Kateri is frequently asked by media, academics, government, and industry to speak on the work and progress of the U.S. Alliance Commission on Energy Efficiency Policy and the race to doubling energy productivity by 2030.

Kateri’s full biography can be read here.

Dr. Dan Arvizu
Chief Executive of National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dr. Dan Arvizu is the Director and Chief Executive of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy's primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development. He was also a Commissioner of the U.S. Alliance Commission on Energy Efficiency Policy – the team that developed the plan and persuaded the U.S. Government to adopt a goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030.

After more than three decades of professional engagement in the clean energy field, Dr. Arvizu has become one of the world's leading experts on clean energy. In 2004, Dr. Arvizu was appointed by President George W. Bush for a six-year term on the National Science Board, the governing board of the National Science Foundation and the national science policy advisory body to the President and the Congress. In 2010 was reappointed by President Barack Obama to a second 6-year term.

Dan’s full biography can be read

Register now, secure your spot, and save

REGISTER NOW to save $200 on the regular rate when you book your place for the 2XEP Forum before 7 March, 2014.

Why a Forum on Energy Productivity?
For decades, cheap and abundant energy has driven the growing Australian economy.  No longer. Energy costs have skyrocketed, with electricity prices doubling in the past 7 years, and gas prices threatening to follow suit.  The combination of high energy prices and low energy productivity means that Australia’s competitive advantage in energy costs has been eroded.

Europe, the U.S. and China have adopted aggressive energy efficiency targets.  Just to keep pace with the improving OECD average, Australia will need to double its energy productivity by 2030.

As energy prices rise and carbon constraints bite, Australia’s competitiveness and future prosperity depends on us using energy supplies and infrastructure much more efficiently.  The 2XEP Forum confronts this critical challenge: How do we double energy productivity in Australia?

Engage with leading Australian, U.S. and other experts as we tackle these key issues: 
  • What is the current energy productivity of key sectors of our economy? 
  • How does this compare with world best practice?
  • How could each sector cost-effectively double its energy productivity by 2030?
  • What energy productivity target is right for different industries and sectors?
  • What obstacles need to be overcome to achieve the target?
  • What are the economic benefits of doubling energy productivity in each sector?
  • What policy measures should government adopt?
 Forum sessions include:
  • Industrial energy productivity
  • Residential buildings energy efficiency
  • Optimising distributed generation and storage
  • Commercial sector energy productivity
  • Vehicle efficiency and electric vehicles
  • Natural gas and energy productivity
  • Smart appliances, smart consumers
  • Efficiency public transport and urban design
  • Energy market productivity and demand management
  • Freight transport
  • Electricity transmission and distribution productivity
  • Mining and agriculture energy productivity

Featured partner
The United States Studies Centre is located at the University of Sydney, and aims to increase understanding of the U.S. in Australia. The Centre provides courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and hosts public and business forums. The Centre aims to bring together policy and industry experts from the U.S. and Australia to develop action-oriented solutions to a range of sustainability challenges concerning energy, water, food and biodiversity that are technologically innovative, commercially scalable and politically viable. 

Supporting the Forum
A2SE gratefully acknowledges the support of its partners and sponsors:
If you would like to align your organisation with the Forum and the 2XEP initiative by sponsoring, please contact:
Carmina Jimenez at

A2SE AGM and Nominations for the Board

The A2SE Annual General Meeting will be held in Sydney on Tuesday 4 March, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm.

The AGM is an opportunity for members to shape the future of A2SE by electing the Board of Directors and participating in strategic planning.

Nominations for the Board of Directors and members are open to A2SE members now. Nominations must reach the A2SE Secretary by Tuesday, 28 January, 2014.

For more information on the Forum, AGM and membership, please contact: 
Carmina Jimenez at or (02) 9514-3675.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Combining Technologies to Cut Energy Costs

CSIRO's solar air turbine meets BTOLA's indirectly-fired gas turbine

The CSIRO solar air turbine may be adapted to operate as BTOLA's indirectly-fired gas turbine - powered by either solar thermal energy or any combination of renewable biofuel or fossil fuel.

The result is a solar thermal power station that can generate electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - on sunny days and cloudy days. The cost of solar thermal storage is avoided.

The BTOLA power generation system has reduced fuel-costs because the solar thermal heliostat field generates electricity from solar energy during sunny periods.

The capital cost of the integrated system is less than building 2 separate systems: the gas turbine and electricity generator are shared.

An indirectly-fired gas turbine used in a combined-cycle has slightly lower efficiency than a conventional combined-cycle gas turbine power station, but has lower maintenance costs as its turbine blades are not exposed to any combustion gases.

This approach complements the work CSIRO and GE are conducting with SolarGas power generation. In that approach, solar thermal energy is combined into the chemical bonds of biogas and/or fossil fuels.

This alternate approach leaves the different energy sources and fuels unchanged, and then uses them in any combination in an innovative power station design.

Both of these approaches overcome complaints that renewable energy sources are unreliable.

There is also a growing awareness that as the number of solar panels grows, the cost to consumers of an electricity grid and central power stations also grows as these energy resources are pushed to the margins in providing backup capacity on cloudy days.

The approach adopted by GE and CSIRO  with SolarGas, and the approach described here - avoid this problem. No "stranded assets" are created. The same power generation infrastructure can be used with any combination of renewable and fossil fuels. A transition from reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy need not be expensive or difficult.

Australia's largest solar thermal research hub

CSIRO has designed and built Australia's largest solar thermal research facility which consists of a 30 metre high solar tower (the tallest in Australia) and high temperature receiver, and a 4000 square metre field of 450 heliostats. The facility is capable of concentrating solar energy at temperatures beyond 1000 ÂșC.

CSIRO will use the facility to develop and test one of the world’s most powerful solar air turbines to generate electricity from air and sunshine alone (almost all current systems require water as well as fossil fuel).

This 200 kiloWatt solar air turbine generates electricity which is then fed into the grid.

The pilot site covers an area of 4000 square metres and although this site is being used for research, a site of this size could generate enough electricity to power nearly 200 homes.

BTOLA Indirectly fired gas turbine technology

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Technology Overview
BTOLA converts existing proven gas turbines to indirectly fired gas turbine engines allowing them to run on Biomass, waste products and other fuels lowering fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

This is accomplished by

  • Removing existing combustion chamber
  • Installing BTOLA combustion chamber
  • Installing BTOLA start-up combustor
  • Installing BTOLA heat exchangers
  • Utilizing BTOLA heat recovery
  • Installing BTOLA control system

Cleaner Fuel Options
The gas turbine has been tested and achieved excellent results with these alternative fuels.

Why ?
Because the BTOLA solution is up to 70% cheaper to purchase, install and operate.
Capital Cost – Purchase and Installation costs over competing technology to utilize cheaper fuels

BTOLA IFGT $2 - $3 / Watt
Gasification and turbine or IC engine      $7 / Watt
Boiler and steam turbine $6 / Watt

Operating Costs
Regular Gas Turbine Fuels           BTOLA IFGT Fuels
Kerosene $25 / GJ Waste Biomass $ -2 - $0 / GJ (disposal cost avoidance)
Diesel $30 / GJ Energy crop Biomass      $2 / GJ
Natural Gas      $7 / GJ Coal $10 - $20 / GJ
LPG $20 / GJ      Municipal Waste $ -2 / GJ (disposal cost avoidance)