National Energy Essay Competition

If you've got a head full of great ideas for Australia's energy future and like the sound of two (!) $20,000 prizes on offer, then you should take a long hard look the Australian National Energy Essay Competion. Entries close 22nd August and the only catch is that you need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and under the age of 31 at 30 June 2008 (doh!).

Gav did a previous post on this, but the deadline is coming soon so thought it worth a reminder!

The NEEC is about Australia’s energy future. Specifically, it is about the next phase of primary power generation and the future beyond that.

The NEEC is also about the younger generation and their contribution to the future of Australia’s energy development.

The concept of an essay provides the opportunity for the contestants to create an analytic, speculative, or interpretative composition built on an understanding of the current power generation and delivery system and the influence on it of political, societal, demographic and technological changes, living patterns, technologies, transport and travel needs, existing and emerging industrial processes and other yet to emerge impacts, in a way which is understandable to the layman.

The outcome of the competition is aimed, with the media’s support, to provide a more rigorous and disciplined level of information in the public arena as a catalyst for reasoned debate on Australia’s energy future.

I doubt a doomer-ish view of peak oil would go down too well, but an essay which does not understate the challenges while providing a positive outlook on what can be done is sure to do well. Throw in a couple of insights gleaned from the pages of The Oil Drum and an engaging writing style and you could be well rewarded.

The list of prizes on offer is impressive:

  • Babcock & Brown Power/Wind Partners Prize of $20,000
  • Sumitomo Australia Prize of $20,000
  • One prize of $5,000 to an entry submitted by a person(s) under 22 years old,
  • Up to five Honourable Mentions may be selected and awarded $1,000 each.

The essay requirements are quite onerous, but that means there's only a very limited number of young folks likely to go to all the trouble, thereby increasing your chances.

Part A (7,000 words max):
Provide your prediction for the changes in primary energy demand, sourcing and facilities for electrical generation in Australia’s geographical regions supplied by the Eastern and Western electricity grids for the period 2010 through 2050

Part B (3,000 words max)
Provide your view of the likely longer term energy sources, amenable to Australia for its electrical energy needs to 2100, allowing for future scientific evolution of energy production for industry and society in the context of energy changes witnessed since the industrial revolution

Well?.. What are you waiting for!

Readers 31 and older are welcome to post your ideas for Part A and B in the comments below. No prizes on offer though :-)

Needless to say, I think Worley-Parsons style solar farms will be a big part of our future, whereas hydrogen will have just a niche role.

If I were a year younger, that's what I'd be writing about!

While I don't qualify for this I would be writing along the lines of

Part A:

Prediction of future energy demand. An overall increase in demand while greatly improving efficiency per capita.

Sourcing and Facilities through to 2050: A gradual and steady move away from coal and gas if there is concerted leadership and effort put into exploiting our vast natural enrgy sources suchas solar, wind, ocean currents. For Australia, this is our moon landing?

Part B:

In taking a logical progression from the industrial revolution, we can see that modern industry is built upon progressively more sophisticated uses of fossil fuel. The peaking in production of these sources early in the 21st century will provoke a scramble to replace them and search for techno fixes.

In answering this question I would try to look at the rate of technological advancement we have seen and challenge the underlying assumption in the question that science will progress at the same rate as it has over the last 300 years. Not to say there will be no new discoveries or new applications but they are likley to be incremental rather than groundbreaking.

do you think that is possible to run a car on water ?
look what i find in this link:
drive water