October 29th 2009
NQ Energy Forum gets controversial
While Magnetic Island is becoming a solar demonstration zone through the Solar Cities project another very controversial source of power is to be discussed at this year's North Queensland Energy Forum.
This year’s North Queensland Energy Forum, a one day energy think tank, will debate the question of nuclear power for the first time.
Townsville Enterprise has hosted the forum in conjunction with the Energy Users Association of Australia for the last five years. The region’s energy users, providers and policy makers meet to discuss solutions for North Queensland’s energy woes.
Energy users in North Queensland face a disparity in pricing and an increasing reliance on transmission lines for their power supply. The greater north Queensland region, from Mackay to Mt Isa to Cairns, requires base load energy generation in order to attract new industries and enable growth of existing operations.
Townsville Enterprise Economic Development General Manager Dr Lisa McDonald said the region should leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding a long term solution to energy supply.
“Energy users in northern Queensland have been looking for solutions to securing energy supply for many years. We need to look at all the option, which is why we’ll be debating the nuclear issue at this year’s North Queensland Energy Forum.”
“We’re certainly not changing the focus of our attempts to secure generation through investment into renewable energy technology. It’s a case of putting all the options on the table for discussion. We anticipate a lively debate of the issues.”
“We’re in a position where it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional sources of energy will not get off the ground. It has become apparent that the market is not likely to fund coal or gas fired power in our region which means we’re investigating new solutions.”
“The Federal Government’s renewable energy targets make securing sustainable power generation a realistic proposition – and a report produced in the last 12 months shows that many renewable energy technologies are realistic propositions in our region.”
“We can not afford not to investigate all the options available, so this year we’ve invited the Australian Uranium Association to discuss nuclear power options for the region.”
Australian Uranium Association Executive Director Michael Angwin will be presenting at the forum and then joining a debate to close out the day’s program.
“The challenge is to keep raising living standards while lowering the risk of climate change. Energy resources are crucial to meeting that challenge,” he said.
“No country, State or region can afford to rule out any of its options; nor can it fail to debate them.”
“No energy resource can provide the single answer to climate change or energy needs. The world needs a mix of sources in its energy portfolio.”
“Expanding Australia’s uranium exports is probably the single largest contribution Australia and, for that matter, Queensland, can make to reducing the risk of climate change.”
“Every scenario, projection and forecast for global electricity demand sees a central role for nuclear power. Australia has the world’s largest source of uranium to meet that demand.”
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