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Energy Analysis

Energy in Australia

Peak Oil, Solar Power, and Asia’s Economic Growth

Authors: Palmer, Graham

  • Represents the first comprehensive net energy analysis of rooftop solar within a modern electricity grid
  • Provides an in-depth analysis of grid integration and the use of storage
  • Extends  life-cycle boundaries to provide a comprehensive estimate of EROI for solar power in Australia
  • Has broad implications for the potential of renewable energy sources to seamlessly substitute for fossil fuels
  • Written by an experienced engineer with expertise in power systems and renewable energy
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Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-02940-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-02939-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

With rapidly declining costs and seemingly unlimited sunshine, the choice of solar in Australia seems obvious. Yet despite its many advantages, homes with solar remain completely dependent on the electricity grid for reliable supply, which in Australia implies mostly coal-fired generation. Indeed, even countries that have invested heavily in solar, such as Spain and Germany, have been unable to deflect the trajectory of fossil fuel dependence.

The reasons for this apparent paradox are varied, and this book provides a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the practical applications of photovoltaics (PV) in modern electricity systems. While the conventional life-cycle assessment (LCA) boundaries as prescribed by the IEA-PVPS provide a consistent methodology for comparing evolving PV technologies, the narrow boundaries exclude many critical downstream energy costs. Similarly, simple cost comparisons of PV versus conventional power sources overlook the significant economic and energy costs of intermittency and grid integration. Yet distributed storage, which could provide potentially valuable network support, is frequently given a low priority by advocates of solar.

Treating PV as an extension of, rather than as a substitute for, the fossil fuel enterprise enables a more productive discussion of PV’s potential role in electricity generation. The sunburnt country of Australia, which has a modern electricity system, is an ideal case study for exploring the potential of solar PV. With a focus on rooftop solar, energy storage, grid integration, and electricity system issues, Energy in Australia offers valuable insights into the practical challenges of solar power. Although many national economies are already confronting a downward trend in energy return on investment (EROI) of oil and gas from both conventional and unconventional sources, the large-scale deployment of low-emission energy sources that lie below a critical minimum EROI threshold may ultimately prove counter-productive.

Reviews

“The reader will have an opportunity to study and understand Australia’s different energy sectors. … The book is helpful for readers interested to learn about energy development in Australia. Students eager to learn about the economics of energy productions and the environmental impacts of energy production could also benefit from this book. … the book is equipped with suitable references, which are helpful for the reader to study further in each respective topic and enhance their understanding of the concepts.” (Tunde Bello-Ochende, Yun Seng Lim and Mohammad Reza Hajmohammadi, Frontiers in Energy Research, December, 2014)


Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction: One Million Solar Systems

    Palmer, Graham

    Pages 1-2

  • Quarry Australia: Building Australia on Coal

    Palmer, Graham

    Pages 3-10

  • Towards Optimized Complexity: Integrating Intermittency

    Palmer, Graham

    Pages 11-30

  • Electricity Networks: Managing Peak Demand

    Palmer, Graham

    Pages 31-44

  • EROI of Solar PV

    Palmer, Graham

    Pages 45-69

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-02940-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-02939-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Energy in Australia
Book Subtitle
Peak Oil, Solar Power, and Asia’s Economic Growth
Authors
Series Title
Energy Analysis
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Graham Palmer
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-02940-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-02940-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-02939-9
Series ISSN
2191-7876
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 91
Number of Illustrations and Tables
2 b/w illustrations, 24 illustrations in colour
Topics