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Home Dr. Barry Brook

Burning energy questions – ERoEI, desert solar, oil replacements, realistic renewables and tropical islands

Late last year, Tom Blees, I and a few other people from the International Award Committee of the Global Energy Prize answered reader’s energy questions on The Guardian’s Facebook page. The questions and answers were reproduced on BNC here. Now we’re  at it again, this time for the website Eco-Business.com (tagline: Asia Pacific’s sustainable business community). My section is hosted here (Part I), and Tom’s here (part III).

Part II, which I don’t reprint, answered by Iceland’s Thorsteinn Sigfusson, covered the relationship between large-hydro and climate change, and why solar conversion isn’t used more extensively.

Read my and Tom’s answers...

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Director's Colloquium

Barry Brook - Advanced Nuclear Power Systems for Long-term Energy and Climate Security

Thu 22/9/2011 12:30pm

Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre

Professor Barry Brook
University of Adelaide

Fossil fuels currently supply about 80% of modern society’s primary energy. Given the imperatives of climate change, pollution, energy security and dwindling supplies, and enormous technical, logistical and economic challenges of scaling up coal or gas power plants with carbon capture and storage to sequester all that carbon, we are faced with the necessity of a nearly complete transformation of the world's energy systems. Nuclear power is capable of providing all the carbon-free energy that mankind requires, although the prospect of such a massive deployment raises questions of uranium shortages, increased energy, environmental and socio-political impacts from mining and fuel enrichment, and so on.

Find out more about this event

 

Barry's Excellent New Podcast Series

One of the new initiatives I’ll be trying in 2011 is an audio podcast series (I use the term ‘series’ loosely, as there’ll be no fixed schedule). This is now fairly straightforward to do, via my iPhone 4 and the Audioboo app.

This type of media/blogging is quick and flexible to do on the fly. This is a real advantage for me, because I quite often have time to take 5-10 minutes to record something, but often not time to compose a more detailed blog post (once every 3-5 days is about my sanity limit!). So, in this way, I hope to add a lot of detailed content on very specific topics by this method.

All of the podcasts will be short (<5 minutes) and will range from general observations of recent news in climate and energy, to very targeted answers to questions (please feel free to pose those you’d like me to have a go at answering), to short interviews with interesting people.

Subscribe here!

 

How carbon pricing changes the relative competitiveness of low-carbon baseload generating technologies

by Martin Nicholson, Tom Biegler and Barry Brook

28 November,2010

Climate change professor supports nuclear in newly published analysis

When a carbon price that is high enough to drive a technology switch eventually kicks in, only nuclear power will keep the lights on, keep electricity costs down, and meet long-term emission reduction targets, say three Australian authors in a paper published this week in international peer-reviewed journal Energy*.

Introducing a carbon price changes relative technology power costs because rates of carbon emissions differ between technologies.

“In order to understand where our future electricity will come from” says lead author Martin Nicholson, “we need the best possible insights into generating technologies, their costs and their carbon emissions”. If you would like a PDF of the entire article email Barry Brook at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Read more about where our future electricity will come from

 

Two TV Documentaries and a new film on the Integral Fast Reactor

Want to know more about the Integral Fast Reactor technology from the comfort of your lounge room chair? Then these two fascinating videos, recently transcoded and uploaded by Steve Kirsch to the “ifr.blp.tv” website, are for you. You can watch online, or download in .MP4 format (choose the format and then the download link below) for offline viewing.

First, we have: Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor Actinide Recycle System, ”Energy for the 21st Century”


It is about 8 minutes long and cost the ALMR team about $40,000 to make in 1990 (according to Chuck Boardman).

Read more about the IFR films

 
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Barry Brook

Professor Barry Brook holds the Foundation Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change and is Director of Climate Science at The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide. He has published two books and over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and regularly writes opinion pieces and popular articles for the media. He has received a number of distinguished awards in recognition of his research excellence, which addresses the topics of climate change, computational and statistical modelling and the synergies between human impacts on Earth systems.

Barry's website: bravenewclimate.com