Labor’s Geothermal Pilot Plant Announcement

DATE: 17.11.10

Labor’s Geothermal Pilot Plant Announcement

Independent candidate in the seat of Morwell Peter Gardner has congratulated Labor on its recent announcement to establish a geothermal pilot plant in the Latrobe valley at Maryvale. (ABC Radio 11/11) Gardner states that this is “a step in the right direction and calls on the coalition to match or better the announcement.”

Gardner’s plan is for the rapid adoption of geothermal power in the Valley and to have an orderly replacement of the old coal generators.  He is also advocating the adoption of the “Tim Flannery” biochar generators.

A rapid transition is required because many of the climate measurements are following, or are close to, the worst case predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chamge in 2007 – notably the rise in sea-level and the retreat of the Arctic summer ice. It becomes more urgent than ever to change from the dirtiest coal generators to clean energy production as quickly as possible.

Labor has allocated $217,000  for the geothermal pilot plant. Gardner proposes that $300 million be allocated for transforming electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley.
This can be funded by the diverting funds from other less important projects like the Melbourne Grand Prix ($60 million a year), the tennis centre upgrade ($235 million), the  St Kilda Football ground upgrade ($20 million), and the sponsoring of sporting stars ($5 million). These savings already total $300 million.

Over the next four years this money should be spent as follows:

A. For the Latrobe Valley geothermal under the coal plan
1. build three pilot geothermal generators up to 1 mega watt costing up to $5 million each 2. Extensive drilling and mapping of geothermal resources to 5 km deep across valley ($60 million) 3. develop an organisation (the SEC?) to manage the changeover from coal to geothermal power generation. ($50 million) 4. Establish a Geothermal Research Institute at Monash Churchill ($50 million). 5. Reserve funds ($25 million).

B. Biochar plan
1. build at least two biochar generators and fund them to run for 18 months ($35 million) 2. develop improved small scale pyrolysis generators suitable for operating on individual farms. ($35 million). All the remaining funds to be  used in any other local clean energy projects.

These projects require a massive transfer of funds from the city to the Valley but what is the city without electricity? An alternative form of finance may be the sale of clean energy bonds – backed by government and paying normal interest.

Contact Peter Gardner 51573246

Further information

About LV geothermal.
or Prof. Rachel Webster
An Australian biochar generator manufacturer
or contact Adriana Downie 02 4340 4911
About Peter Gardner
About the Global Warming Action Party (Aust)

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