Week 10 - Electricity Generation

Are there any further industries which may be established in South Australia if access to cheap and reliable electricity was available?


  1. Where’s the significantly cheaper electricity going to come from? Nuclear/fossil-fuelled/large scale renewable power would use the current transmission, interconnection and distribution system that’s operated by privately owned companies with leases up to 200 years.

    Wages are often blamed for the downturn in industry here but I never hear electricity cost mentioned in relation to car plants, submarines or the Olympic Dam expansion.

  2. It is vitally important to generate sufficient non-polluting base-load power to support local metallurgical industries, for the production of alloy steels, aluminium and zinc, using electric furnaces and electrolytic smelting. Possibly, we may be able to reduce iron ore to iron, using catalytically-produced hydrogen from nuclear power plants, rather than using coal in a blast furnace.

  3. To avoid high electricity prices it is best that SA’s electricity supply includes multiple generation types/sources which can respond quickly to changes in demand. What is currently occurring is that during high demand, low wind periods re-bidding by fossil-fuel generators (at very high prices > $10,000/MWh) is occurring on the wholesale market (ie regular price spikes), driving up the price (which should on average sit below $40/MWh as it does in VIC). Note that the wholesale price of electricity is not to do with poles & wires, those infrastructure costs are applied in addition to the wholesale price. The exercise of market power ultimately brings a large cost to consumers and to SA’s economy. Healthy market competition is needed to keep costs down and/or some tweeking of the regulations. Reducing the price of electricity in SA is not just a simple equation involving CapEx and OpEx, the dynamics of the National Electricity Market are equally important. Therefore, beware of naive calculations about the cost of a particular generation source. The CapEx may seem high, but that is not the full story.

  4. Nuclear legacy
    20% of children born healthy.
    They also become sick later.
    Chernobyl leaking to the Black Sea, Fukushima is cooking the oceans.

    We need cold power.
    Solar, wind, wave all generate power without heat.

    We need water safe power.
    SA is the driest state in the driest contintent, any fresh ground water we have we need in perpetuity.
    Any gulf water we need for safe aquaculture and fisheries.

    We need electricity which does not generate massive debt; economic, health, waste, water..

    We need electricity which is cheap, distributed, adaptive, and which works safely with prime safe food export industries. Encourages independence and regional development. Integrates with urban waste water as a fuel source and water storage as energy storage.

    We need electricity which does not make us a military target.

    1. I am sorry, but you seem to have very low knowledge of radiation effects and the aftermath of both reactor accidents.

      Chernobyl was by far the worst accident with a measurable impact on the population, but the effects were not as bad as “20% healthy”. The biggest impact was thyroid cancer with about 4000 cases; of which 99% were cured (no its not ok to cause damage and repair it, but its good to know that nearly all kids survived this). Leukemia and solid tumor numbers went slightly up but were/are not affecting 80% of the people.

      Fukushima Daiichi, which hat 4 reactors that hat problems (out of the 14 reactors at the coast that were affected by the same tsunami) did not even cause a single death by radiation, all future numbers are solely statistical; comparing the 130 statistical deaths to the population in that area is a pretty good outcome – show me an energy source that has less impact on general health. So you have an 40 year old reactor hit by a millenium tsunami and still no deaths: that is the equivalent of driving a car with 100km/h against a wall, surviving, and then complaining that oil went into the ground. And todays reactors are many times safer than that (just look at the 10 other reactors that already managed to compete with this catastrophe).

      Guess what: nuclear power IS cheap, distributed, adaptive, and which works safely with prime safe food export industries.

      What do you mean by military target?

    2. btw: That second video is a compilation of mutations from around the world that some funster captioned with “Fukushima”.

      And depleted Uranium is not dangerous because it is radioactive.

  5. estes I agree with you 100% about nuclear we simply arn’t there yet until nuclear fusion is controllable however in SA you have so much wind and solar available it makes it redundant anyway. Offgrid is already cheap if you take into consideration building the powerline to every site and the ongoing cost of dirty coal. Have a look here http://www.remotegeneration.com.au/offgrid-prebuilt/ If you ring your power company they will connect you in around a years time at about 15k for a transformer pole and 10k every pole there after so running 2km you would be up for around 200k . These units are 65k with free running there after. Hosestly offgrid is as cheap as chips when you compare it to the cost of the network + the generator + ongoing fuel costs.