Ben Heard Profile picture
Demanding a better response to climate change since 2010. Think/write/speak about energy, environment, human development. Founder – Bright New World.
9 May
Yesterday, the @CSIRO released its update to the Gencost report.

There is lots of good material and information in this report - about wind and solar.

But there remains an effort for SMR nuclear which is worse than useless.…
Read this report and all it's supporting information about SMR and you will come away dumber than you went in. It's obvious the effort has tried to accomodate @BNW_Aus 's detailed submission, but the process can't actually bring itself to say 'we were wrong'. This is poor.
I will write in detail this week, but to recap. While throwing doubt on the merit of validated vendor estimates, it keeps a capex of $16 k/kW - a consultants fabrication for a reactor no one can define. The Mystery Reactor!
Read 11 tweets
19 Mar
Reading an Australian energy commentator yesterday, got pissy that those who a few years ago attacked me for suggesting frequency control/system strength are real issues, now write articles reporting on the impacts of it's absence, with no mea culpa...then I thought...
When have I been wrong, and how clearly have I made the point? Well, here are my Greatest Hits of wrongness on the journey. 1. Over-egging SMR way to early. Wow, did I get excited by B&W M-Power and Hyperion etc and build presentations around them.
As an outsider, had scant appreciation of the challenges of bringing new designs to market. 2. Over-egging IFR/PRISM. See point 1, in this case add naive believe that basically the perfect technology to solve climate change + nuclear waste WOULD be supported into commercial life
Read 15 tweets
14 Jan
In a few fora, I have had the (presumably well-meaning) response to these fires of ‘it will grow back’.

It is *not* that simple. This article is a good primer for why. Short thread.…
Yes, Fire is normal in the Australian landscape, since humans first arrived and stared using it. Yes, many Aussie landscapes are fire adapted and fire tolerant. But the baseline conditions under all that are shifting fast.
The fires this year are remarkable in length of season, size and also types of environments that have burned. If they burn again in anything up to several decades from now, complex forests will not, cannot grow back as before. It will be something different.
Read 7 tweets
8 Dec 19
Authorities look to control household rooftop solar power systems to stabilise the grid.

Sharing in some measure of grief and frustration at just how stupidly we have used solar PV in Australia. Short thread follows...…
For as long as I have had any voice in Australian energy (small though it is) I been saying saying variants of " We're doing it wrong".

We have now done it wrong so long and so deep that we are seeing truly idiotic outcomes popping up around the country.
Nearly every Australian capital is summer-peaking. Our peaks cf our averages are extreme by world standards. Our peaks occur ~4-7 pm in extreme heat. The extreme heat is virtually always extremely sunny. Even on non-extreme days, this is normally when power is most scarce/$$$
Read 23 tweets
13 Jun 19
Short thread with a hope, probably in vain, of reaching climate-concerned anti-nuclear people who might be feeling a little introspective right now. #climatechange
In last 2 days I have:
- Seen growth in global coal in the BP stats.
- sat in Energy Mines and Money conference, hearing from Aussie coal executives and Chinese + Japanese coal investors.
- watched a massive new mine win approval to send coal to India.

So, maybe, a valid POV...
I’m not even sure how to parse this, but here goes.

The difference between the story so many of us have been telling ourselves about renewables taking over, and the actual bedrock truth of global energy?

This is a yawning, gaping chasm of reality. It cannot be bridged.
Read 13 tweets
19 May 19
Here are some post-Australian election thoughts on what happened to the climate change vote. Here’s a decent article as a primer.

Firstly, me. I have been working in climate change in some form since ~2006. Have seen us try to act on this many times.…
Let’s be clear: Labor lost this election badly. Greens vote barely moved. Australia re-elected a leader who brought a lump of coal into our parliament as a prop. Whatever we did to make a strong climate vote materialise *did not work*.

1st point - let’s take responsibility.
This voter saw Labor with a platform of 3 major reforms: a tax reform, an investment law reform, and a deep climate change promise.

That’s 2 reasons the vote against even if you want more action on climate.

So maybe - focus? Treat it seriously.
Read 18 tweets
27 Apr 19
Here is a thread about uranium mining based on this article by Dr Gavin Mudd. It's worth reading…
1stly, I have researched and written about the environmental impacts of uranium mining in Australia. It was paid work with terms of reference that gave me authority. I cited Dr Mudd among others. Most have found it very helpful…
Read 17 tweets
13 Apr 19
Here's a thread with some thoughts on persuasion for #NuclearTwitter based on a real part of my life right now.

I have a new friend in my circle. She is, I'm pretty confident, dyed-in-the-wool anti-nuclear. She's also funny, lovely, we share taste in music and broader values.
She knows about what I do on what topic. She hasn't raised it. Nor have I. She's coming for dinner with others next week. What should I do? She's passionate about the environment, care of land, climate change etc... 🤔
Shall I: 1/ raise nuclear at first+every opportunity; make it clear that her 'values' as fluff unless she supports nuclear; call her an idiot or a liar if she raises a talking point that is incorrect; post-party, keep this up via every available channel. It's an option.
Read 13 tweets