There is barely a mention of nuclear power in the 53 page Panel’s final report from the South Australia Low Carbon Economy Experts Panel. You have to hunt to find:
on page 22:
“In the high-level analysis for South Australia undertaken for the Panel, the CCS and nuclear scenarios were not considered, and all data was derived from the 100% renewable scenario.”
“Given South Australia’s abundance of wind and high solar rating (DNI), South Australia has the capacity to move to 100% renewable energy more quickly than other States and has already made significant progress in decarbonising its electricity supply utilising these advantages.”
On page 24 it states:
“The modelling for the Panel did not include consideration of whether the nuclear and carbon capture and storage scenarios modelled at the national level are a cost-effective means to move to low carbon electricity for South Australia. The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways modelling found that nuclear power stations generally need to be of a certain size to be cost effective and thus precluded their consideration for use in smaller States such as South Australia.”
Can we take it from this that the nuclear scenario is already off the table entirely? The Premier’s and Minister Hunter’s joint press release is vague talking about “zero net emissions” and “low carbon economy”, but in context their endorsement of the report would seem to undercut any push for nuclear energy, leaving the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission with just an expansion of uranium mining and nuclear waste dumps to consider.
Given that the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission is in progress and that one of the report’s authors gave evidence at a public hearing, it can hardly be an oversight that nuclear was not considered.
Renewable energy is the star – throughout the report:
“…….South Australia can greatly expand its renewable energy generation, to the
point where on balance over the year all of the State’s electricity comes from renewables and a significant amount is exported interstate. According to the Panel’s preliminary analysis, this could occur relatively quickly. South Australia can therefore set an indicative goal of 100% renewable electricity with the timeframe to be decided. The timeframe will depend on expansion of interconnectors, costs of renewables and extent of support for renewable energy federally. The share of renewables in South Australia is expected to be double that in the National Electricity Market at any point in time up to 100%. Action….”