The topic ‘Energy: Where to Now?’ provided a lively debate for Politics in the Pub on Monday at the Astor Hotel in Goulburn.
Guest speakers included: Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of NSW, John Storey; chief economist at AGL, Dr Tim Nelson; Warren Murray from Intelligent Metering Australia; and National Party member and Yass Valley councillor Nathan Furry.
Various topics were covered on the night, such as what type of energy sources may emerge as mainstream in the future and what that energy mix might look like, including a discussion on the increasing use of batteries to provide extra power during periods of peak demand.
The Dalton gas-fired power station proposal was a hot topic of discussion, with Professor Storey calling the AGL plan a “disgrace”.
“By getting approval to build a gas peaking plant out there under Part 3A of the old legislation meant they avoided proper scrutiny and this means AGL did something in the past that I would have thought they were embarrassed about,” Professor Storey said.
“Instead they dragged it back out of the dustbin and said ‘we want another two years on this approval’. I think that is bad. There is small chance of it being built because these stations will be competing with battery storage in a few years and battery prices are going down.
“AGL does not appreciate that. Although it has this site as an insurance policy, it is causing the community great harm and stress by introducing this uncertainty.”
AGL chief economist Dr Tim Nelson said proximity to transmission line and a fuel source (gas pipeline, wind) were economic considerations for power station site selection.