Australian news, and some related international items

As Alinta coal mine to close, opportunity opens for solar thermal plant

Alinta’s Leigh Creek coal mine may close at end of year ahead of power plant shutdowns , ABC News, By political reporter Angelique Donnellan and staff , 31 July 15 Alinta Energy cannot rule out closing its Leigh Creek coal mine by the end of the year.

The shutdown looms as the company confirmed that it would shut its Port Augusta power stations between March next year and March 2017……..

solar thermal Aust CyprusSouth Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright said the exit of Alinta from the region would create an opportunity for the Government to develop Australia’s first solar thermal plant in Port Augusta.

“An investment in solar thermal in the Port Augusta region is just crying out to [be] made because you have huge community support, you have the conditions, you have the solar radiation, you have the space, and you have a skilled workforce that could transition,” she said……

August 1, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Renewable energy needed to bring Australia up to a leadership role in the world

What industry leaders understand is that renewable energy promises to be one of the leading industries of the 21st century.

These industries promise not just reliable and secure energy, but also industrial and manufacturing strength, exports, technological innovation and jobs.


Why Australia should look to renewable energy to stay amongst leading nations,  Stephanie Ocano 31 July Last week, opposition leader Bill Shorten told the Labor Party conference that the party’s policy should be amended  for 50 per cent of electricity to come from renewables by the year 2030.

According to our sister publication Energy Digital, this would bring Australia abreast with international competitors such as California and Germany. Shorten’s plan promises to be effective in building a new power sector to eclipse the present fossil-fuelled sector.If adopted, the policy would allow the Labor Party to finally free itself of the politically damaging obsession with using carbon pricing—either in the form of a carbon tax or a cap and trade scheme—as its principal green platform. Continue reading

August 1, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

No Fracking: ALCOA dumps its gas deal in Western Australia

Western Australia: Fracking is ‘dead’, ALCOA scraps $40m gas deal The call for a “frack free” Kimberley is winning, at least for now.  Greens hailed ALCOA Australia in dumping its $40 million deal with Buru Energy to supply up to 500 petajoules of gas, a deal struck eight years ago. Continue reading

August 1, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Horsham Rural City Council in a dilemma over waste with radioactive content

Council and EPA considering miner’s plan to dump 20 years of interstate waste south of Horsham, Weekly Times, 28 july 15  A RURAL council must decide if Iluka Resources can continue using a pit south of Horsham to dump mine waste — low-level radioactive byproducts and concrete and steel that has been in contact with radioactive material — from old Victorian mines and active sites interstate……….


July 29, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Poll finds 60% believe carbon tax had little or no effect on electricity bills

Abbott-chicken-littleOnly 21% of voters polled believe that the carbon price had a large impact on power prices and just 9% thought the repeal had pushed prices down

July 29, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

VICTORIAN Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks ranks, supports investment in renewables

Lib MP calls for rethink on renewables
VICTORIAN MP Sarah Henderson has broken ranks over the Federal Government’s ­directive for its green bank to stop investing in wind farms and rooftop solar.(subscribers only)

July 27, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia at historic turning point in global switch to renewable energy


Dramatic changes in energy systems are evident in many other countries too, and they are affecting technological possibilities and relative prices everywhere. 

Australia, with its world-class renewable resources, is among the best-placed countries to capitalise.

It is now beyond reasonable doubt that a more decentralised, renewables-based system will provide much cheaper power over the medium and long term, especially with ongoing innovation, and with the increasing uptake of smart electricity grid infrastructure and energy storage technologies, the costs of which are also falling rapidly.

Australia needs to accept the move to clean energy, Brisbane Times, July 24, 2015 James Rydge and Fergus Green

Stop propping up our creaking, centralised, fossil-fuel-based system and aim for zero-carbon energy. Australia is at a historic economic turning point. The mining boom is over. The price of Australia’s two largest exports, iron ore and coal, has collapsed for structural reasons. The extraordinary transformation of China’s economy, which has taken root over the past 18 months, is central among these. China, our largest trading partner, is shifting rapidly away from the old model of breakneck growth based on investment in resource-intensive heavy industries such as steel and cement production, and towards household consumption and investment in services and higher-value manufacturing.

China is also transforming its energy system. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Responses to Labor’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030

Labor raises the renewables bar, Australia responds, REneweconomy By  on 22 July 2015  Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten’s announcement that he will ask the party to adopt a 50 per cent by 2030 renewable energy target is a real breakthrough for the political debate in Australia, possibly as significant as the bipartisan deal to pursue a 20/20 renewable energy target way back in 2007.

That – in a nutshell – is how we here at RE have described today’s ALP policy news.

Now here’s what some other people are saying about it…

Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes: “This is a visionary announcement and the right announcement economically, environmentally and socially.  …This is a game changer for Australia’s economy… Australia will join all of its major trading partners – China, US, EU, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea – in embracing solar and renewable energy.”………………..

Australian Youth Climate Coalition, director Kirsty Albion: “We are so excited to see the ALP step up by committing to a target for 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Australia can be powered by 100 per cent clean, renewable energy creating thousands of jobs. …Now Tony Abbott must get with the program and increase renewable energy not cut it.”………………….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Flinders University students to fight Lomborg

Lomborg, BjornFlinders uni students are ready to fight a $4 million policy centre linked to Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg. (subscribers only)

July 25, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK Conservative MP slams Tony Abbott’s Climate Policies

globe-warmingflag-UKLeading Tory MP calls Tony Abbott’s climate change policies ‘incomprehensible’, The Age July 23, 2015  Senior writer Tony Abbott is copping a fresh broadside on climate change inaction from an unusual quarter. A prominent British Tory MP has launched a stinging attack on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s climate change policies, calling them “incomprehensible”, “illogical” and a distortion of “what it means to be a Conservative”.

Mr Abbott’s dismissal of climate science … speaks to a distorted vision of what it means to be a Conservative.

Richard Benyon, Tory MP

Richard Benyon, a former environment minister under British leader David Cameron, says Mr Abbott’s decision to become the first world leader to abolish a carbon price is “mystifying” and his attack on renewable energy targets “bewildering”, especially for a “supposedly pro-business government”. Continue reading

July 24, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA Climate Denialists applaud Tony Abbott

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmFlag-USABravo Australia! Abbott Government gets big tick from U.S. climate change deniers, Independent Australia 

 DeSmog Blog   Graham Readfearn (@readfearn) 20 July 2015  Happy days for the Abbott Government, as it gets the thumbs up for its untiring efforts promoting coal and attempting to kill the renewables industry. Graham Readfearn from DeSmog Blog reports.

‘Bravo Australia!’

So came the cry earlier last week from one U.S.-based climate science denial group.

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow was reacting to the latest efforts by the Australian Government to stifle its renewable energy industry.

For a country that claims to be a “good global citizen” on climate change, the support from an organisation that claims human-caused climate change is largely a hoax should be seen as a major embarrassment.,7961

July 24, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

‘Solar Shindig’ at Port Stephens kicks of a pro solar energy campaign

poster-renewables-rallyPort Stephens residents show support for solar Port Stephens residents have gathered to throw their support for renewable energy, demanding more government support for the sector.

The ‘Solar Shindig’ at Tanilba Bay attracted about 30 people and follows similar events across the country.

The Abbott government has recently advised the Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to fund wind or household solar projects angering supporters of renewable energy.

Shindig organiser Les Pinney said there is a lot of support for green energy in the Hunter.

“About 13 per cent of households within the Port Stephens area actually have solar installed,” he said.

“Renewable are our future, sticking with coal is putting the whole future economy of the country at risk.”

July 22, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Rundle: Abbott’s gutting of renewables is not just dumb, it’s treason

GUY RUNDLE | JUL 20, 2015  When the time comes for a truth and reconciliation commission into what the Abbott government did to the country, the gutting of the Renewable Energy Target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will surely be one of the most prominent issues. To placate and persuade a bunch of brown and old energy providers, the government is willing…. (subscribers only)

July 22, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott is two-faced on a nuclear-free Middle East

Abbott’s double standard on a nuclear-free Middle East BERNARD KEANE | JUL 16, 2015 TONY ABBOTT SAYS HE WANTS A NUCLEAR-FREE MIDDLE EAST. SO WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?

Does Australia have a new Middle East policy?

Yesterday, in reluctantly welcoming the nuclear deal with Iran, the Prime Minister said “we certainly want a nuclear-free Middle East. The Middle East is the most unstable and dangerous part of the world. If any country in the Middle East were to get nuclear weapons that would be a horrifying…. (subscribers only)

July 18, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Paladin dives as grades decline

 Shares in uranium miner Paladin Energy have fallen back towards their lowest level in a decade…… (subscribers only)

July 17, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


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