Did the government consider a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant …

Comment on Too much sun power in Alice? by Alex Hope.

Did the government consider a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant before deciding on piston engines to power the new generators?
Such a plant uses the solar energy to produce heat either in steam or molten salt, the heat stored can be used for a variable period (depending on design) to allow for cloud. There is one set of turbines, but as an alternative to solar heating natural gas can be used in the event of prolonged periods of cloud ( or volcanic ash etc).
Such plants have operated in the US for quite a few years now.
For the sake of transparency in decision making on behalf of the public it would be good to see the documentation used to guide the government in making this decision.

Recent Comments by Alex Hope

Private chats with govt heavy: mixed results
@ Local 1: I think you misunderstood Mr Cocking.
In the dog’s breakfast which the government glorifies as a consultation process, the opinions of the traditional owners seem to have been left out, along with many other local inhabitants.
I say seem to, because the decision making has been done without any document supporting it.
A proper consultation process would not only seek out the various stakeholder views, including those of the Arrernte people, but would then produce a document summarising them. The document would then set out the pros and cons for the various sites canvassed, the projected variance in costs for land purchase, headworks, relocation of existding facilities etc, and an explanation of why the favoured site was chosen.
With such information we could all have more informed opinions on the best location.
If this government has already committed $50m without any such analysis then god help us all as taxpayers!
And speaking of god, did the ALP not realise that sport is far and away the biggest religion in Alice Springs, with more devotees than all the other religions combined?
If a CBD site is insisted upon, why not compulsorily purchase the Catholic Church block and put the gallery there. I daresay there would be a lot less fuss.

Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Surprised: My reading of the evidence is that the punitive strategies used in the last 20 years or so have not worked.
Locking up young people tends to institutionalise them rather than rehabilitate them and a large number of them progress to a life spent in and out of the court system and adult prisons.
This costs taxpayers an enormous amount, and also led to the inhumane treatment of young people highlighted in the recent Royal Commission.
Our prisons have been re-named as correctional centres but despite some valiant efforts such as the art program in Alice Springs which has done wonders for the self-esteem of the participants, the change is largely aspirational and there would seem to be more punishment than correction going on there.
There is a lot of evidence now from many countries that dollars spent on alternatives to incarceration save many more dollars later.
Of course not all of these young people can be rehabilitated, but both on moral and financial grounds it makes sense to reduce the numbers of people our society needs to lock up long-term.
The most important principle here is for governments to collect and use independent
evidence as the basis for making policy, rather than knee-jerk reactions which appeal to those voters who prefer to make up their minds on the basis of instinct and prejudice rather than rational appraisal of what works and what doesn’t.

Gunner re-opens the Rivers of Grog floodgates
Yes, having appropriate people stationed outside bottle shops does seem to make a difference.
Do these people need to be policepersons?
I don’t think so.
I understand there are already moves to have liquor inspectors or some other parapolice to do this job, analogous to the transport and public housing safety officers with limited but effective powers.
Let us hope it can happen sooner rather than later so that the real police can get back to real policing.

Focus on the killing now, not 200 years ago
I agree Hal, but the quickest way to shut down the debate and move on to more important things is to change the date.
There is much to celebrate about being Australian, and like many of the rest of us, most Aboriginal people seem to be especially proud of being Australian as soon as they leave our shores.
However, not only does the 26th of January celebrate the invasion of Australia by whitefellas (I note that England does not have a holiday on 14th October to celebrate the Norman invasion in 1066), but it celebrates the establishment of New South Wales. Those of us who live in other jurisdictions might prefer another day to celebrate the federated nation of former colonies.
So let’s have a genuine Australia day, and leave the 26th of January to the Indigenous for their Independence Day.
Since 1st of January when the Commonwealth came into being is already taken, perhaps the anniversary of the first Federal election on the 29th of March, or the opening of the first Parliament on the 9th of May would be suitable days on which all could agree.

Spread renewables, government asked
Covering the commercial car parks in town with solar panels would have a triple benefit, producing electricity for the shopping centre tenants, shade for the cars, and reducing the stored heat load within the town. Unfortunately we might have to do something to make them safe from vandalism first.
There are several interesting emerging technologies for energy storage. Vanadium batteries are already in use, eg on King Island to store wind-generated power.
A lithium battery is already planned for the local grid; and molten silicon is being trialled in Adelaide. It is especially suitable in a situation where there is a need for large amounts of heat, for example industrial laundries or other operations currently using gas for water heating.

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