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Australian agricultural, energy & climate change policies & trends in performance of stand-alone power supply systems in pastoral Western Australia

McHenry, Mark (2006) Australian agricultural, energy & climate change policies & trends in performance of stand-alone power supply systems in pastoral Western Australia. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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    Abstract

    Total renewable energy capacity in Stand-alone Power Supply (SPS) systems has increased dramatically over the past few years in Western Australian remote off-grid agricultural regions. Capital cost subsidies provided by governments has allowed the replacement of aging diesel generators with photovoltaics and wind turbines, which are known to be as reliable as traditional systems in addition to providing 24-hour availability of electricity. Over the last 30 years renewable energy SPS system technologies have seen some notable developments. However, in many respects they have also failed to live up to the expectations of many people in regional areas. There are still many technical, social and economic barriers to the use of renewables in SPS systems in Australia. A significant collaborative research and development (R&D) approach in regards to small renewable system integration into conventional power systems in Australia is literally non-existent. The last 10 years of energy policies has seen institutions that promote and provide R&D into renewable energy, such as the Energy Research and Development Corporation (ERDC), Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE), and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) endure renewable energy funding cuts or have been discontinued. This research illustrates that the performance and reliability of remote SPS systems in pastoral regions of WA has improved slowly in the past 30 years. This research also explores the strengths and weakness of government and industry policy approaches over time and their relationship to performance of SPS systems in pastoral Western Australia. The recommendations provide direction for policy makers to improve the utilisation of taxpayer funds to achieve climate change, energy, social equity and technological development policy objectives.

    Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
    Supervisor: O'Mara, Katrina
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6037
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