Victoria’s Energy Future: Prospects and Challenges October 2013
Friday 25 (9.00am-5.00pm) & Saturday 26 October (9.30am-1.00pm)
at The Royal Society, 8 La Trobe Street
An audience of over one hundred attended the public forum at Melbourne Museum to hear three very interesting presentations by Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute, Mike Sandiford from Melbourne Energy Institute and Simon Holmes a Court from the Embark Project. The three speakers then took questions from the audience, as well as some posed by moderator Rob Gell. The forum proved to be an ideal precursor for the symposium held on the 25th and 26th in the Society’s theatre.
In closing the symposium, the President, Dr Bill Birch, made the following observations:
“Firstly, I’m confident that our initial premise, that Victoria’s geology and geography make it an ideal place for innovative energy technologies, has been confirmed. That we have been able to assemble a range of speakers based in Victoria or with projects in the region strongly supports this conclusion.
Secondly, was the Royal Society right to take on such a topic in the first place? Again, I’m now sure it was. Just about all the presentations were strongly underpinned by science and technology —the amazing technology of wind turbines, for example, and for harnessing deep and shallow geothermal energy, and what about the ‘cat-HTR’ process for turning dirty brown coal into a potential super product? Then there are the advances in solar PV technology, the engineering of prototype wave turbines, and the methods of converting waste to energy.
Thirdly, having a range of speakers across topic and from academia, industry, business and government has given this symposium a quality that more specialized and larger meetings don’t have. And all the presentations were accessible to everyone!
What have we learnt, apart from all the technological advances and challenges? Here are some outcomes.
- Victoria is ideally situated in the world of energy generation and innovation.
- Despite all the technologies becoming available, there is a disturbing disconnect between government policy on implementation and stated objectives and targets.
- While market forces seem to be having an effect on reducing emissions from electricity generation and use, we are not going to meet our target of a 5% reduction by 2020. Much more is needed.
- A carbon pricing scheme is fundamental to ensure innovation continues, with or without so-called direct action approaches, such as soil carbon sequestration.
- Science and technology are well advanced for energy generation — storage is still a work in progress.
- At the more detailed level, we learnt the difference between coal seam gas and shale gas, and the distinction between deep and shallow geothermal energy, as well as the various health issues associated with wind, unconventional gas and coal mining.
I’m sure we’ve all learnt more than just these, and you the audience will no doubt take away additional information.”
Program details were:
Symposium: Friday 25th October 2013, 8.50am-5.00pm,
Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
|8.50-9.00am||Welcome/ Introductory Remarks|
|President of RSV, Dr Bill Birch|
PRESENT ENERGY RESOURCES
|9.00-9.30am||Energy Requirements for Victoria|
|Principal consultant-Carbon & Energy Team, Pitt & Sherry|
|9.30-10.00am||Brown coal: Unlocking Victoria`s potential|
|Dr Bill Rowlands, Chief Scientist, Ignite Energy|
|Chair: Dr Bill Birch AM, President , RSV|
|11.00-11.20am||Australia`s gas future: How Victoria can stay ahead of the pack|
|Ms Kerrie-Anne Lanigan, ExxonMobil, Director of Gas Marketing|
|11.20-11.40am||The Potential for Carbon Capture and Geological storage in Victoria.|
|Dr Maxwell Watson, CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC)|
|11.40- 12noon||Carbon Capture and Storage: The biological potential|
|Mr Walter Jehne, Director, Healthy Soils Australia|
|12 -12.30pm||Panel discussion|
|Chair: Mr Dennis O`Neill, Director Resource Futures Pty Ltd|
NEW RESOURCES / IMPACTS of ENERGY GENERATION ON HEALTH & THE ENVIRONMENT
|1.30-1.50pm||Wind Power in Victoria|
|Mr Tom Keddie, Exec. Manager Development, Pacific Hydro Australia|
|1.50-2.10pm||Geothermal energy: Deep sources|
|Dr Graeme Beardsmore, Technical Director, Hot Dry Rocks Pty Ltd|
|2.10-2.30pm||Geothermal energy: shallow sources|
|Prof Ian Johnston, Golder Associates Chair of GeotechnicalEngineering, University of Melbourne|
|Chair: Mr Rob Gell, Executive Director bhive Group Pty Ltd|
|3.30- 4.00pm||Unconventional Gas: shale and coal seam and some prospects for Victoria|
|Dr Vaughan Beck, Senior Technical Advisor, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering|
|4.00-4.30pm||Tracking Australia`s progress to a low carbon economy|
|Professor John Thwaites, Chair Monash Sustainability Institute and Climate Works Australia|
|Chair: Mr Richard Lightfoot, Director Casconsult Pty Ltd|
Symposium: Saturday 26th October 2013, 9.00am-1.00pm,
Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
|9.30-9.50am||Solar energy: small and large installations|
|Dr David Ferrari, Project Lead, Sustainability Victoria|
|9.50-10.10am||Waste to energy|
|Mr John Sanderson, Principal Environmental Engineer Earth systems|
|10.10-10.30am||Wave and Tidal energy|
|Dr Tim Finnigan, Biopower Systems|
|10.30- 11.00am||Panel Discussion|
|11.00 11.30am||Morning tea|
Impact of energy generation on health
|11.30-11.50am||What is the evidence for potential health impacts from wind power?|
|A/Professor Marion Carey, Monash Sustainability Institute|
|11.50-12.10pm||Impact of energy generation on health: Unconventional gas|
|Dr Helen Redmond, Doctors for the Environment Australia|
|12.10-12.30pm||The impact of coal-fired power generation on health|
|A/Professor Linda Selvey, Curtin University School of Public Health|
|Chair: Professor Sandra Rees, Research Secretary, RSV|
|1.00pm||Summing up and close|
|Dr Bill Birch, President RSV|