US, Australia and China should work together to secure future

A column by Stewart Taggart, a director of Acquasol Infrastructure Ltd., a developer of environmentally-friendly power and water solutions building a municipal-scale solar desalination plant in South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf. Stewart is also founder/administrator of DESERTEC-Australia, DESERTEC-USA and DESERTEC-China. DESERTEC promotes the concept of “Clean Power From Deserts.”

An excerpt: (available in full here)

“America has an edge in innovation and risk-tolerant capital investment (i.e. venture capital). Australia has an edge in renewable energy resources. China has an edge in High Voltage Direct Current power lines, and soon Ultra High Voltage Power lines.

“Therein lies the solution: use American expertise in risk-tolerant capital to fund renewable energy experimentation throughout Asia, including Australia, with the Chinese providing the multilateral energy ‘superhighway’ comprised of High Voltage Direct Current power lines and natural gas pipelines.

“Once built, the Chinese wouldn’t dare shut down the transmission system for political reasons (like the Russians might) because China is an importer of energy. Australia and Southeast Asian wouldn’t dare withhold energy supplies, because that would lose them needed revenue. Since everyone would be drinking from the same well, timely maintenance would be assured and paid for in ‘common carrier’ tariffs.

“Downstream backup supplies such as fuel cells, electric vehicle fleets, hydrogen and distributed natural gas emergency stockpiles could offset short-term supply disruptions. These could be further minimised through demand cut agreements with discretionary customers.

“With access to energy resources ensured by a multilateral infrastructure, China would have less need to project maritime military power. And if China builds a smaller Navy, Australia needs to build a smaller countermeasure military — allowing both to focus on butter instead of guns.”