No Nuclear Power for Australia Despite Being ‘Future Reliable Energy’ International Business Times, By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 18, 2013 Despite being listed offhand as a ‘future reliable energy’ in an issues paper released no less than by the federal government, Australia will not consider using nuclear power. Not now nor even in the future…….
Australia’s Department of Industry, in an issue paper, said the government has started laying the groundwork for an Energy White Paper that will be delivered in 2014. The paper effectively sets out “an integrated and coherent Australian Government position on energy policy.”……
However, bells immediately rang out when the use of nuclear power was mentioned as most cost-efficient for Australia.
“A growing area of global interest is in the use of small modular reactors, which have the potential to reduce the cost uncertainties and construction timeframes associated with current generation reactor designs,” the paper said. “These reactors could be factory built, highly standardised and even used in locations without advanced infrastructure.”
The smaller size of the reactors may allow for more flexible deployment, making nuclear electricity available to isolated areas or countries with small or distributed electricity grid systems that cannot support conventional large-scale nuclear power.”
Dave Sweeney, nuclear free campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation, said he sees the Coalition’s mention of nuclear as “trying to keep the door open to the option… although it can see politically and economically it doesn’t add up.”……http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/530856/20131218/nuclear-australia-energy-uranium-japan-germany.htm#.UrMM69JDt9U
Australian Government Invokes N Word In Energy Issues Paper Renewable Energy News 18 Dec 13 Perhaps like children hinting for Xmas gifts they know they have little hope of receiving, Australia’s government has referred to the N word (nuclear) in its Energy White Paper Issue Paper in quite glowing terms.
Nuclear is generally The Energy Option That Shall Not Be Named in terms of powering the country – however, the government appears to have attempted to plant the seeds of a future nuclear nation. Read more »
According to the Australian Energy Market Commission, the RET makes up less than 1% of the average household electricity bill.
Renewable energy: Tony Abbott signals he could wind back or scrap targetsPM says while Coalition supports ‘sensible use’ of renewable energy, scheme is ‘causing pretty significant price pressure’ Lenore Taylor, political editor theguardian.com, Wednesday 18 December 2013
Tony Abbott has signalled next year’s review of the renewable energy target could wind back, or even scrap, the scheme, saying lower power prices are the government’s primary goal and the rationale for the RET no longer exists.
Announcing modest government assistance for Holden, the prime minister also revealed he would chair a new taskforce to find ways to make industry more competitive, with reducing the cost of energy a primary aim.
Asked whether that could involve scaling back the RET, which was set up by the Howard government and requires energy retailers and large customers to source a proportion of their energy from renewable sources, Abbott said: “We support sensible use of renewable energy, and as you know it was former Howard government which initially gave us the RET and at the time it was important because we made very little use of renewable energy.”
But times had changed, he said. “We have to accept that in the changed circumstances of today, the renewable energy target is causing pretty significant price pressure in the system and we ought to be an affordable energy superpower … cheap energy ought to be one of our comparative advantages … what we will be looking at is what we need to do to get power prices down significantly,” he said.
Abbott said he would also “consult closely” with his Business Advisory Council, chaired by Maurice Newman, as the taskforce looked for ways to increase industry competitiveness.
Newman has previously called for the RET to be scrapped because he believes the scientific evidence for global warming and the economic case for renewable energy no longer stack up. Read more »
Government rules out nuclear power for Australia by Trish Murphy The Guardian Oliver Milman December 18, 2013 The government has insisted it has no intention of introducing nuclear power to Australia after releasing a paper that states the technology continues to be an option for “future reliable energy”.
An issues paper released by the Department of Industry, which will inform an upcoming energy white paper, states that the need for low-carbon fuels means that nuclear is an option that can be “readily dispatched into the market”.http://fssalerts.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/government-rules-out-nuclear-power-for-australia/
Government rules out nuclear power for Australia Coalition insists it will not adopt the technology despite industry department paper calling it an option for ‘future reliable energy’ Oliver Milman theguardian.com, Tuesday 17 December 2013 The government has insisted it has no intention of introducing nuclear power to Australia after releasing a paper that states the technology continues to be an option for “future reliable energy”. Read more »
Now on the endangered list- the critically important South Australian Environmental Defenders Office
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS OFFICE (EDO) FACES CLOSURE AFTER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING CUTS 18 December 2013 The Federal government yesterday cut $10 million in funding for across Australia. EDOs specialise in public interest environmental and planning laws. A further $810,000 in funding will cease from mid-2014, reducing Federal support to zero.
The shock funding cuts will result in an immediate significant decline in services and the likely closure of the South Australian EDO office by June 2014. The EDO provides numerous individuals and community groups across the state with free legal advice on environmental and planning laws relating to building or mining developments, water issues, pollution, and heritage issues. Clients are provided with advice and assistance on how decisions are made and potential ways to challenge those decisions. The EDO also has an integral role in providing responses to proposed changes to environmental law and policy.
The SA EDO has run a number of high profile cases including in relation to the proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam mine, a project likely to have significant impacts on the Great Artesian Basin and the Upper Spencer Gulf marine environment.
“This is an extremely disappointing decision for many South Australians whose access to expert legal advice to help them protect their environment will be severely curtailed. The community should be alarmed about the very real threat to the survival of the EDO – we are now on the endangered list. We call on the Federal Government to restore the funding otherwise defending property rights, community amenity and the environment could become unaffordable for many South Australians.” said Melissa Ballantyne, Coordinator and Principal Solicitor of the EDO.
nuclear is pricing itself out of most markets..
Abbott’s new energy white paper to consider nuclear power REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson on 17 December 2013 The Abbott government is to consider the possibility of introducing nuclear power into Australia, in particular small modular reactors, as part of its new energy white paper. Read more »
Thinktank director Tim Wilson appointed human rights commissioner Attorney general says director of right-wing Institute of Public Affairs will ‘restore balance’ to Human Rights Commission Bridie Jabour theguardian.com, Tuesday 17 December 2013 The attorney general has appointed a director from the right-wing thinktank, the Institute of Public Affairs, as Australia’s human rights commissioner.
George Brandis said Tim Wilson, a member of the Liberal party until this month, had been appointed to “restore balance” to the Human Rights Commission.
Wilson, a self-declared classic libertarian, directs climate change policy at the IPA as well as the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit.
Wilson said he had stepped down from his position at the IPA as well as resigned from the Liberal party to take up the appointment.The IPA called for the Human Rights Commission to be abolishedearlier this year with Simon Breheny, director of its Legal Rights Project, saying it did not protect human rights.…..http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/17/thinktank-director-tim-wilson-appointed-human-rights-commissioner
The large scale renewable energy target is probably the smallest component of the electricity bill. It’s interesting that McArdle chooses to attack this, and not the network costs, which account for around half of consumer bills.
It’s all about self-interest, and McArdle has just underlined the untenable conflict of interest in having governments acting as owner, regulator, price-setter and policy developer.
Queensland energy minister launches wild attack on renewables http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/queensland-energy-minister-launches-wild-attack-on-renewables-15549 By Giles Parkinson on 16 December 2013 The Queensland government has declared its hand in the upcoming review of the renewable energy target with an extraordinary – and in many places misinformed – attack on the costs of renewable energy.
South Australian jobs creation is focus of Council of Australian Governments following Holden closure NEWS.COM.AU DECEMBER 14, 2013 “……..Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to make an announcement about the Federal Government’s response to the situation as early as Monday, but yesterday he made the surprising claim that BHP Billiton could reverse its decision to shelve the Olympic Dam expansion within months.
“The atmospherics and the economics and the decision will be substantially different I believe in a few months’ time,” he told the Australian Financial Review, adding that he was “moderately optimistic” that it was “doable”.
State Opposition Leader Steven Marshall spoke to the Prime Minister about Olympic Dam this week as part of discussions over how to strengthen the state’s economy.
The Advertiser yesterday revealed the State Government’s wishlist for infrastructure spending and a speeding-up of Defence spending to help the state survive Holden’s demise…….http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/south-australian-jobs-creation-is-focus-of-council-of-australian-governments-following-holden-closure/story-fnii5yv4-1226782915941
Australia ‘stumbling block’ on tobacco law ,The Age, Peter Martin, Economics correspondent , 14 Dec 13, ”…….Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb has indicated he is prepared to trade Australia’s previous opposition to investor state dispute settlement clauses in exchange for greater access to markets for commodities such as sugar. He returned from the talks on Tuesday.
An Australia Institute survey released on Friday finds only 11 per cent of Australians ‘‘definitely know’’ about the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
Almost 90 per cent think the details of such deals should be made public before they are signed.
Told that the US wants the right for its corporations to sue governments, 75 per cent are opposed.
Asked whether they trust the Australian government when it says it will not sign an agreement which will push up the price of prescription drugs, 67 per cent say no.
Nova Peris questions Abbott’s dedication to Indigenous affairs, SBS News 12 Dec 13, The parliamentary year has officially ended for Tony Abbott and the Coalition government, but questions still remain unanswered for Indigenous ministers. By Brooke Boney
NITV News “……The new government established an advisory council headed by Warren Mundine, which will focus on community economic development in the coming parliamentary year.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared his dedication to Indigenous Australians, saying “I want to be the Prime Minister for Indigenous affairs.”
However, recent events in mining and tourism have lead Aboriginal communities to believe otherwise…….. the government is still in its infancy and plans to conduct three separate reviews aimed at closing the gap early next year.
The first review will assess all government expenditure in Indigenous Affairs, the second will review training and employment programs, and the third will focus on the merge of Indigenous Business Australia with the Indigenous Land Corporation.
In the final days of the 2013 election, Minister Joe Hockey announced that the Coalition would cut $42 million from the Indigenous legal aid budget.
Northern Territory Senator Nova Peris revealed her distress following this announcement in Parliament today where she questioned the attorney general during senate estimates and question time.
CEFC saved in the Senate – a rare win for Australian renewables REneweconomy,By Giles Parkinson on 11 December 2013 In a welcome piece of good news for the Australian renewable energy industry, efforts to close the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation have been thwarted in the Senate, and the innovative green investment bank is set to continue at least until next July, when a new Senate will sit. Read more »
Renewable Energy Target Review Red Alert , Renewable Energy News, 12 Dec 13 The Abbott government will soon release its terms of reference for another Renewable Energy Target review says the Australian Solar Council. Given the general vibe; it doesn’t bode well for remaining small scale solar subsidies.
“The future of the small-scale scheme for solar PV is in considerable doubt,” states Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes…….
The solar power industry currently employs more than 18,000 people in 4,500 small and medium businesses across Australia – many in rural and regional areas.
With Renewable Energy Target related support still providing subsidies of up to a couple of thousand dollars on solar panel systems and that support continuing after the review not something to bank on; the best time to go solar may be right now……..http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4074
Conservationist says uranium mine spill shows states must not be given approval powers http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-09/conservationist-says-states-set-to-water-down-mine-approvals/5145080 The World Today By Katie Hamann 9 Dec 2013, The Australian Conservation Foundation says it is time the Ranger uranium mine was closed permanently after yet another spill in Kakadu National Park, east of Darwin.
More than a million litres of toxic slurry engulfed the mine on Saturday.
The spill coincides with a move by the Federal Government to allow states and territories to assess all mining applications, as part of its overhaul of environmental approvals.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Queensland Government aimed at giving the state the power to be a one-stop shop for environmental approvals………. Read more »