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LETTER: Bioenergy better option

SIR, – I would like to comment on the Federal parliamentary inquiry on nuclear energy.  

It stems from the need for reliable baseload energy and realisation that wind and solar require huge amounts of storage to overcome their variability. 

The cost of the storage needed is enormous.  

I question why they would choose to investigate nuclear options rather than support bioenergy.  

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According to energy-analysis company Lazard, the levelized cost of energy for nuclear is US $112 to $183 per MWh compared with US $55 to $114 per MWh for biomass/bioenergy.

The nuclear option would see small numbers of facilities owned by multinational companies, employing few people, using fuel that is hazardous to produce and transport with waste even more hazardous and remains so for millennia.  

The Fukushima accident showed nuclear energy has risks and the impacts of an accident are far-reaching and long-lasting.  

Bioenergy is proven, safe technology and Australia has ample fuel in waste including municipal, agricultural, which makes up the majority, and plantation.

Sweden has nuclear power but plans to phase it out in favour of bioenergy, which now supplies 37 percent of the country’s total energy needs – electricity, heating and transport fuel.

China plans to spend 198 billion Yuan, equating to AU $41-billion, in 2020 on developing bioenergy options for five billion tonnes of waste annually.  

Using bioenergy would lead to many small plants across rural and regional Australia due to fuel-transport costs.  

Those plants would be Australian or ideally community owned.

Bioenergy employs more people than any other form of energy and those jobs would be in rural and regional areas.  

Supplying fuel provides income to farmers and plantation managers for material that currently has little value. Combining local fuel supply, local employment and profits returning to the local community would create a strong local and circular economy.  

Why is the Federal Government considering an energy option that will be foreign-owned, more expensive, hazardous and employ few people over an option that can be community-owned, deliver baseload energy for electricity and heat, creates many more jobs in rural and regional Australia, supports farmers and will create a circular economy?

Daryl Scherger


The entire August 14, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!