Campbell Newman’s LNP government ‘gutted’ renewable energy industry RENEWABLE energy jobs in Queensland fell by over a third under the Liberal National Party government, Energy Minister Mark Bailey says., Courier Mail, 15 Apr 15
Mr Bailey said new Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed a third of jobs in the sector vanished under the previous state government.
He said actions such as the former government’s cuts to the renewable energy target had caused the loss of 1300 jobs.
“No wonder jobs were vanishing under the LNP when they were removing any incentive for businesses to look at industries of the future like renewables,” Mr Bailey said………
Mr Bailey said the current Labor Government’s commitment to the solar sector, a renewable energy target and a renewable energy auction would grow jobs for the sector.
But the deputy opposition leader said he was yet to see any detailed government plan to create jobs.http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/campbell-newmans-lnp-government-gutted-renewable-energy-industry/story-fnihsrf2-1227303819258
Big Banks Closing The Vault On Big Coal, Adding To Adani’s Woes, New Matilda, By Thom Mitchell 11 Apr 15 Plans to build one of the world’s largest coal mines in Queensland have hit yet another roadblock, with international investment banks refusing to back the project. Thom Mitchell reports.
Big investment banks continue to walk away from the massive new coal field proposed for the Galilee Basin in Queensland, with three French Banks – Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas – yesterday joining nine others in not banking on the project’s success.
It is “due to the number and magnitude of issues linked to the planned coal development projects in the Galilee Basin,” that Credit Agricole SA, one of the three French banks, advised company Market Forces it “does not intend to finance these projects or their associated facilities”. Continue reading
Battery energy storage project shows promise for electricity network, Eureka Alert 2 Apr 15 Cheaper, more efficient power among benefits from intelligent scheduling and operation system GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY WITH RISING ELECTRICITY PRICES ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES FACING HOUSEHOLDS, GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY (AUSTRALIA) RESEARCH INTO ENERGY STORAGE AND SUPPLY HOLDS THE PROMISE OF CHEAPER, BETTER QUALITY POWER FOR THE LOW VOLTAGE (LV) ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION NETWORK.
According to the research from Griffith’s School of Engineering and published in the journal Applied Energy, a forecast-based, three-phase battery energy storage scheduling and operation system provides benefits such as reduced peak demand, more efficient load balancing and better management of supply from solar photovoltaics (PV).
Researcher Mr Chris Bennett, working under the supervision of Associate Professor Rodney Stewart and Professor Jun Wei Lu, has developed and applied an intelligent scheduling system to a South-East Queensland-based LV distribution network servicing 128 residential customers.
“The low voltage network is a typical suburb of a few hundred homes where there is a single area transformer and recently there has been a substantial increase in the number of homes with installed residential solar PV in these settings,” says Mr Bennett.
“Daily peak demand in residential networks typically occurs in the evenings in summer and both late morning and evening in winter. But because solar PV generation is dependent on incoming solar radiation, peak generation occurs during the middle of the day, typically when demand in the residential distribution network is low.”
“This means there is an incongruity between when energy is generated and when it is required, which can lead to power supply and quality issues.
“However, with a battery energy storage (BES) system comprising Lithium Ion battery banks coupled with smart power control systems, such as STATCOMS, and featuring embedded intelligent forecasting software, we can better manage the LV network.”……..
Queensland lawyer Stephen Keim, who is not acting in the case, said the complete rejection of the mine was the first of its kind and sets up a “significant event in the history of native title”.
“This is the first case with such a strong impasse, where the native title party has said ‘well we don’t want to negotiate compensation, we don’t want the action to go ahead,’” he said. “The native title act doesn’t give the right of veto, you’ve just got to keep working until you get an agreement.
“This situation does allow the arbitration process to say no, so perhaps for the first time we’ll see that happen. The impression has been that the arbiter has always seen mining as very important, but maybe this is the one.
Representatives for the Wangan and Jagalingou people have formally rejected an Indigenous land use agreement that would see Indian mining firm Adani develop its huge $16bn Carmichael mine in the coal-rich Galilee basin region.
However, Adani has turned to the national native title tribunal to override this objection, which would allow the state government to issue a lease for the mine.
Wangan and Jagalingou elder Adrian Burragubba has written to the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, to uphold what he sees as the clan’s native title rights, warning that the mine would “tear the heart out of our country”. Continue reading
French abandon Far North uranium prospects DANIEL BATEMAN THE CAIRNS POST MARCH 18, 2015 ONE of the world’s largest uranium producers is pulling out of the Far North following the State Government’s renewed ban on uranium mining.
Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham has said a statewide prohibition will once again be put in place over uranium mining, forcing several companies to shelve development plans.
Areva had been exploring in the Karumba and Carpentaria basins since about 2012.
Areva Resources Australia managing director Joe Potter said the company would not be applying for new exploration tenements in Queensland in the near future, in light of the recent state policy changes and general downturn in the uranium market…….
Australian Conservation Foundation Northern Australia program officer Andrew Picone welcomed the return of a ban and the departure of Areva.
“The fact that Areva have pulled up stumps in Queensland’s Gulf only illustrates the market’s global contraction,’’ he said. http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/french-abandon-far-north-uranium-prospects/story-fnjpusdv-1227266987603
Lobby groups asks for consultation on uranium ban, Brisbane Times March 15, 2015 Amy Remeikis Queensland state political reporter Fairfax Media revealed on Saturday that Labor intended on sticking to its long-held policy on uranium mining and would reverse the 2012 decision by the Newman government to lift it.
But the Queensland Resources Council, which originally had declined to comment on the measure, was moved to issue a statement on Sunday, asking for consultation.
“Before rushing to a decision, we would ask the government to consult the QRC and companies with uranium interests on its intentions concerning uranium,” it said in its statement……http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/lobby-groups-asks-for-consultation-on-uranium-ban-20150315-144dpo.html
The Newman Government announced it would overturn the long-time ban on uranium mining in 2012 and opened applications in August 2014.
Queensland’s Mary Kathleen Mine, near Mount Isa, closed in 1982, seven years before uranium mining was banned in the state……..
a spokesman for the new government said uranium mining would once again be kiboshed in Queensland.
Andrew Cripps ( Mines Minister in the previous Liberal government) said it would not have any impact.
“The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has not received one single application for a uranium mining lease since the previous LNP government’s regulatory framework for uranium mining started on 31 July 2014,” he said……………http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/labor-says-no-to-uranium-mining-in-queensland-20150313-143pzi.html
Decision on controversial Tableland wind farm due mid-March http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/decision-on-controversial-tableland-wind-farm-due-mid-march/story-fnjpusyw-1227242229621 DANIEL BATEMAN THE CAIRNS POST FEBRUARY 28, 2015
A CONTROVERSIAL wind farm planned for the Tableland could be approved within the next two weeks. The Palaszczuk Government is expected to make a decision about the Mt Emerald wind farm, four years after the project was first tabled.
A spokeswoman for Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the Minister’s call-in of the development application was due in mid-March.
Developers for the $380 million project gave the Government until the end of February to approve the wind farm, which was awaiting a ministerial decision before the election was called. The development, to be built near Walkamin, between Atherton and Mareeba, is to include up to 63 turbines on towers about 80m-90m tall, with about 50m blades.
The farm, a joint venture between Ratch Australia and Port Bajool, has the potential to generate enough electricity to power at least 75,000 homes.
It is estimated 158 jobs could be created during the development’s two-year construction phase.
Ratch Australia spokesman Geoff Dutton said representatives from the company’s Brisbane office had recently met with the newly elected Government to brief it on the project.“I think Ratch would be delighted in getting an answer after four years of hard work,’’ he said.
“We’re very hopeful the wind farm will be approved. Continue reading
Construction on the 13,000-acre Bulli Creek site near Powerlink’s substation near Millmerran, southwest of Toowoomba, is expected to start next year. It will be on cleared, flat cattle grazing land.
Developer Solar Choice has received approval from Toowoomba Regional Council for a total footprint of up to 2 gigawatts over the next eight years.
The solar farm will be built in stages of multiple 100MW-plus phases, within a total planning approved envelope of 2GW.
“The Bulli Creek project is attracting attention from a range of global investors prepared to take a medium- and long-term view,” Solar Choice said, stating it remained open to a large-scale investor.
“The Bulli Creek Solar Farm is one of a very small and select number of mega-scale solar projects that Solar Choice has strategically located at transmission nodes on broad-acre lands with high solar irradiation.”
Solar Choice said the approval of the potential 2GW farm shows claims the 2020 Renewable Energy Target can’t be met are false.
Managing director Angus Gemmell said if the farm reached its full potential it would take Australia 25 per cent closer to achieving the mandated 41,000GWh target by 2020.
“There are a lot of people saying there’s not enough of a pipeline to reach the target. This project shows it could absolutely be reached,” Mr Gemmell said.
“We need 8GW by 2020 to reach the target and this project could represent one quarter of that.”
Mr Gemmell called on the Federal Government to end the uncertainty around the large-scale RET, saying that ‘big solar’ had strong support among regional communities.
“The (Toowoomba) council decision is an exciting milestone, we’re a third of the way there,” he said.
Politicians need to realise that it was never just the economy, stupid. The environment matters to Australians, and they’re prepared to make it known at the ballot box.
It’s the environment, stupid! http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/05/comment-its-environment-stupid In the fallout of the Queensland election, one thing is clear: Australians don’t just care about their hip pocket. Paul Sinclair In the 1992 US election, Bill Clinton’s Chief Strategist James Carville coined the phrase “it’s the economy, stupid”. The phrase morphed into a form of conventional wisdom; the idea that the economy is the only thing really matters to voters.
But in 2015, this conventional wisdom is myopic. Just as the economy wasn’t the only thing that mattered to voters in 1992, last week’s Queensland election suggests that in 2015, voters are still thinking about wider than simply their hip pocket.
And in this era where all our leading scientific bodies including NASA and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology are warning us of the tangible and atmosphere altering impacts of climate change – the environment is looming larger than Federal politicians seem able or willing to acknowledge. Continue reading
Election 2015 – Policy Platforms PAINTING FAKES, 28 Jan 15 “……..Of all the minor parties, the Greens are the ones who have taken policy issues most seriously. The Greens grew out of the conservation movement and are still often perceived as an environmental party. However, over the years they have evolved into a more rounded progressive party. Despite never having had a member elected to the Queensland parliament – and this is not likely to change on Saturday – they have a specific Queensland policy platform that runs to over one hundred pages. This is not developed specifically with this election in mind, but has been put together over a number of years to clarify what the Greens stand for.
It covers a wide range of issues under five headings – Natural Environment, covering biodiversity, water quality, food and agriculture, animal welfare and fishing; Social and Democracy, which includes policies about political accountability, criminal justice, ageing and disability, gambling and gender identity; Economics and Energy, which includes climate change, policies about various industries and policies on government finance; Built Environment with policies about transport and planning; and Human Services which includes education, health, social housing and reproductive rights. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that their policies are fairly consistently progressive or “left” – on environmental issues in favour of conservation, on economic issues in favour of better regulation and more equity and sustainability, on social issues in favour of better services and more public provision, and on “moral” issues in favour of gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia……..
If you were to compare the two major parties solely on the basis of their election promises, you would probably end up feeling depressed at the quality of the alternatives. Most of the policies on both sides are very specific, playing to a particular region or interest group. There is a lot of “rollback” in the Labor policies, a lot of items funded by assets sales (sorry, “leases”) in the LNP’s.
Beyond the question of quality and vision, you have a choice between a moderate, centrist party interested in a notion of balance between economy, equity and environment, and a party that sees government as about economic development, delivering specific items of infrastrucute and a narrow range of mainstream services. Neither really has any kind of focus beyond the next three-year electoral cycle……..http://paintingfakes.blogspot.com.au/
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources Andrew Cripps has refused to rule out the export of uranium across the Great Barrier Reef.
The ALP and the Greens have clear policies supporting the reinstatement of the ban on uranium mining in Queensland, a position recently reaffirmed at the ALP State conference. The positions of the minor parties have been less clear, but we know the Katter Party and PUP have also voiced concerns about the resumption of uranium mining.
Campbell Newman’s nuclear lies and Queensland’s radioactive future, https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/campbell-newmans-radioactive-queensland,7309 Independent Australia Dave Sweeney 29 January 2015 Queensland Premier Campbell Newman broke his 2012 election promise and overturned a longstanding ban on uranium mining in Queensland, and is now looking at exporting the radioactive material across the Great Barrier Reef.
THE LEGACY of uranium mining lasts longer than the promises of politicians. This lesson has particular resonance today as it wasn’t so long ago Premier Campbell Newman wrote to the Australian Conservation Foundation with a promise that only lasted a matter of weeks.
On 11 October 2012, Campbell Newman wrote(see letter below):
“I take this opportunity to reaffirm my statements, made before the last election, that the State Government has no plans to approve the development of uranium in Queensland.”
But on October 22, less than two weeks later, Cambell Newman moved quickly to overturn Queensland’s longstanding, popular and prudent ban on uranium mining.
So much for politicians’ promises. Unfortunately the legacy of uranium mining is much more consistent and long standing.
Fast forward to 2015 and the LNP’s uranium backflip remains, despite the fact no mandate has ever been sought or granted from Queensland voters on the issue.
The mismanagement of the site drew such community ire that it is often recognised as sparking the growth of the Queensland anti-nuclear movement.
The entire project was a case study in poor management and neglect. Continue reading
Queensland Labor talks bold, promises little on renewable energy TRISTAN EDIS Business Spectator, 27 JAN, The Queensland Labor Party released a policy statement on renewable energy last Friday full of platitudes with so much wriggle room that Treasury officials should have no difficulty hacking them apart if Labor ever manage to make it into government in the Queensland state election.
Of course Labor didn’t face much competition from Premier Campbell ‘We’re in the Coal Business’ Newman, who is yet to release any policy on reducing carbon emissions or promoting clean energy.
Framing the entire policy is a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030 – not to achieve it, but rather to study it. And in case you might have actually taken them seriously, they’ve also said that as part of achieving such a goal they’ll be establishing an auction to acquire 40 megawatts of renewable energy. Given the state already has 12,000 megawatts of scheduled power generating already installed, you can get a sense of just how serious they are about cracking that 50% target.
By the way, Queensland householders and businesses themselves managed to install 250MW of solar last year so you can imagine what a huge difference Labor’s auction will make. …….http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/1/27/renewable-energy/queensland-labor-talks-bold-promises-little-renewable-energy
Queensland Labor Promises Solar Support http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/queensland-labor-solar-em4657/ January 26, 2015 Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has committed Labor to boosting the state’s renewable energy sector if it wins the election.
“In office Labor will call for proposals to generate 40-megawatts of base-load renewable energy including solar power. This will be used as a trial for more renewable power plants,” said Ms. Palaszczuk.
Labor would also investigate introducing competition in the power sector by enabling remote area councils to generate electricity from renewables to be sold at a lower cost to consumers.
“We will also initiate a renewable energy study to investigate measures to create an export-orientated renewable energy economy here in Queensland,” said Ms. Palaszczuk; who additionally promised an independent review to determine a fair price for a solar feed-in tariff based on all the benefits it provides, “rather than the requirements of large companies.”
Ms. Palaszczuk accused the LNP of being stuck in the past and pointed out after the last election Campbell Newman reneged on promises on renewable energy; cutting $660 million in related programs.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said while Queensland has seen a huge number of households install solar power systems, the state trails behind others when it comes to new large-scale renewable energy developments.
“The Queensland Opposition’s plan to generate 40 megawatts of power from solar and other renewable sources is a welcome move, particularly in light of the ongoing review of the federal Renewable Energy Target – which has caused investment in the sector to collapse,” said Mr Thornton.
The Australian Solar Council also welcomed Labor’s announcement.
“Labor has released a solar plan for the Sunshine State, which is responsible and affordable and will restore confidence in a battered solar industry,” said Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes.
“Labor’s solar policy stands in stark contrast to the contempt shown by the Newman and Abbott Governments towards solar families and workers.”
If the Council’s Save Solar Community Forum in Townsville last week is anything to go by, the LNP should be very worried – it was a standing room only event. The next forum is at Springwood on Thursday, January 29.
Last week the Greens also unveiled their solar policy, which would ensure all Queensland solar households are paid a fair price for their electricity exports. The policy would also provide 100,000 extra households the opportunity to control their power bills by installing solar.