Why Renewable Energy Trumps Nuclear Power

17 March 2015

Why Renewable Energy Trumps Nuclear Power

As the Nuclear Royal Commission is set to begin, a leading Australian energy researcher visiting Adelaide has busted myths about renewable and nuclear energy, arguing SA’s future lies in the renewable path.

Dr Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of NSW reported on research by his university that directly challenges many of the myths we hear regarding the capacity, reliability, maturity and economy that renewables can offer.

“The electricity supply system in Australia could be operated reliably on 100% commercially available renewable energy technologies”, Dr Diesendorf said. “Such an ecologically sustainable, renewable energy system would be affordable and could create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing and installation.”

The formal Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission – Our Role in Nuclear Energy are being finalised after a short period for public comment.

According to Saturday’s Advertiser a recent face to face poll revealed that almost 70% of people did not support a nuclear industry in South Australia. 

“We have a fantastic opportunity here in SA to move quickly and efficiently towards 100% renewable power.  The work of experts like Dr Mark Diesendorf shows that renewable power is cheaper, safer and quicker that the nuclear option,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of the Conservation Council of SA.

“With South Australia’s world leadership in renewable energy, it is surprising that those supporting nuclear power are focusing on our state,” he said.

There is strong debate being generated across South Australia, particularly in Port Augusta – one of the possible sites mooted for a nuclear reactor.  This important regional town already hosts a strong community-led campaign to build Australia’s first concentrating solar thermal plant with storage, to replace ageing coal-fired plants.

Philippa Rowland from the Re-Power Port Augusta Alliance said: “There remains overwhelming community support for solar thermal in Port Augusta, with many local residents recognising the combined benefits of solar power for the environment, the health of residents and long-term low carbon jobs for the community”.

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Media Contact: Meg Sobey, Communications, 0411 028 930 

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