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Seeking a fair GHG reduction target:part 6- Equitable Reduction Targets

This is the 6th sixth post in the series: " Seeking a consensus on GHG reduction targets ". In earlier posts we suggested 4 prop...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Baseload Equivalence Test

Putting political issues to one side, consider the energy equation. The three critical factors are ; 
  • Energy security - electrical energy must be available whenever and in whatever quantity required on a continuous basis for both industry and for households.
  • Energy costs- must be as low as possible to ensure the quality of life of individuals and households and to make industry productive
  • Emissions - Energy generation should as much as possible ensure emissions of GHG are minimal.
Real energy security requires continuous supply. Anything less is not acceptable to Australia, or indeed any country worth its salt in the 21st century.

Hence all suppliers of energy should be required to meet a Base-load Equivalence Test, BET.


BET requires every energy supplier to provide continuous supply. For example for solar, in a region where daily sunshine can provide the equivalent of 6 hours of supply (averaged over normal climatic conditions) the supplier would have to source an additional 18 hours of base-load power per day. Only by adding this base-load power could the energy supply for intermittent energy sources be regarded as 'equivalent'  to continuous supply alternatives.

Suppliers of intermittent energy such as solar or wind could meet the BET by battery or pumped hydro, or by sourcing base-load power from other suppliers. Where such supply was externally sourced it would have to be backed by formally agreed long term supply contracts. No doubt this would add to the cost of intermittent renewables, but without BET any energy supply management process, such as Finkel's CET or the older RET, is flawed.

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