FORGET NUCLEAR: The future is green, says M'boro solar guru
THE Federal Government doesn't need to turn to nuclear - the nation's power solution is in the sky.
That is according to Maryborough businessman Greg McGarvie, the man behind Australia's first manufactured electric car and the Teebar Solar Farm.
He has urged the Federal Government to abandon any talk of nuclear energy and instead put its focus on the renewables industry, particularly solar power.
His words come as Australia takes a step toward lifting its ban on nuclear energy, with Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor asking the Environment and Energy Committee to look into the use of nuclear power in Australia.
Nuclear is banned as a source of power and while Mr Taylor has confirmed Australia's embargo on nuclear energy will remain, a parliamentary inquiry will revisit the issue and investigate "any future government's consideration" into the topic.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has been one of the voices pushing for the exploration of nuclear power as a possible energy source.
But Mr McGarvie said it would be a waste of money.
Energy converters such as solar panels and wind turbines were the way of the future, he said.
"Nuclear is too difficult, very slow to get started and expensive to run," he said.
"It's still not as efficient as using the nuclear reactor in the sky, which is also far cheaper and safer."
Mr McGarvie, who is the managing director of Queensland electric cars start-up ACE EV, said he was thinking of his grandchildren when he advocated for a focus on renewable energy.
"The future is solar, not nuclear, for my grandchildren and for everyone else," he said.
Mr McGarvie said the government was unwilling to see the opportunities in the renewable industry.
"If they spent the money they want to spend on nuclear on renewables, we wouldn't be having this discussion," he said.
"Solar isn't completely clean but it can be disposed of and it's a lot less complicated than nuclear.
"The focus should be on what Australia has plenty of and that's renewable energy."
Mr Pitt said he was "technology agnostic" when it came to power generation, but there was a need for affordable and reliable base load power.
"Renewables don't work 100 per cent of the time and there are businesses and industries that need reliability, so solar is just not suitable for them," he said.
"I called for an inquiry into nuclear power to get the facts, to look at the new technology available and to have an adult conversation.
"I'm pleased Minister Taylor has asked the Environment and Energy Committee to consider the economic, environmental and safety implications of nuclear power."