Draft Energy White Paper Gets Renewables Cost Wrong – Bloomberg

It’s a good thing the Australian Government’s recent Energy White Paper was a draft, because it appears they will be busy rewriting it.
     
According to an article on The Australian, analysis by Bloomberg reveals figures in the Draft Energy White Paper overestimated the cost of solar power threefold and wind power by 50 per cent. Bloomberg says the paper has also underestimated the price of geothermal energy.
    
Bloomberg  points out, as others have done, that some analysts fail to understand just how fast the cost of renewables is dropping. While calculations may be based on figures just a few years old, such data is ancient history given the evolutionary pace in the renewables sector.
     
The Draft Energy White Paper has been widely panned by those committed to a renewable energy future for Australia and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson’s apparent enthusiasm for nuclear power has been treated with suspicion.
       
Minister Ferguson may be given further pause for thought after revised estimates by the Japanese government for energy costs in the nation include a 50% increase in the estimated cost of nuclear power generation. 
      
The increase in nuclear costs has been attributed to subsidies to nuclear-hosting communities and expenses related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, although whether the increase is sufficient to account for the unsettled costs of the disaster is being questioned by some. 
    
While the Draft Energy White Paper played down the role of renewable energy, it also attempted to bolster the reputation of fossil fuel sources such as coal seam gas (CSG). 
      
Greens Senator and environmental lawyer Larissa Waters last week claimed the White Paper sung the praises of coal seam gas without recognising any of its devastating costs.
    
“This paper appears to have been written by someone living in a last-century bubble, with no consideration of the impacts of coal seam gas beyond the industry spin,” Senator Waters said.
   
“How can you possibly plan for Australia’s energy future without factoring in the true costs of this energy source – the costs to water, to land, the environment and the climate, as well as the economic impacts on other industries?”