Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen

Australian emissions have actually increased since we closed our biggest coal-fired power plant

DESPITE the fact we closed our grubbiest coal-fired power plant in March, Australia’s emissions have actually grown to the highest level since 2011. Kirrily Schwarz , 8 Sept 17  AUSTRALIAN greenhouse gases last year were the highest since 2011, despite the closure of our grubbiest coal-fired power plant.

The electricity sector had its biggest drop on record in the three months to June, following the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, which burned brown coal deposits from an open-cut mine in nearby Morwell.

However, even that wasn’t enough to stop Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions from rising, with increases recorded in every other sector. That’s according to new projections reported in the Guardian, which take stock of quarterly emissions across the country.

According to environmental experts, Australia has now consumed 24 per cent of the carbon budget set by the government’s Climate Change Authority. The budget represents the total amount of carbon Australia can release from 2013 while keeping global warming under two degrees. The alarming revelation comes as new modelling shows South Australia and Victoria both risk four-hour blackouts this coming summer.

The Australian Energy Market Operator released its annual stocktake this week, showing there’s a heightened risk of a shortfall over the next decade if nothing is done. “The power system does not have the reserves it once had,” Audrey Zibelman, chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator, told AAP.

The South Australian government’s energy plan includes extra diesel generation, and is working with entrepreneur Elon Musk to develop much-hyped battery storage.

Victoria, meanwhile, is rolling out a large-scale storage plan the government says will boost storage capacity by 100 megawatts by the end of 2018.

Both states will ask consumers to use less electricity during peak times.

Mr Turnbull seized on the report to highlight the vulnerability of the nation’s electricity supply, but said measures were in place to cover the immediate gap.

The Prime Minister also revealed he and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg were in talks with energy company AGL about keeping open the Liddell power station in NSW at least five years beyond 2022, while the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project is completed.

However, AGL is working on shutting down all its coal-fired plants, and in August ruled out extending the Liddell plant’s life.

Meanwhile, Labor has offered to work with the government for a “constructive compromise” on energy policy so something can actually be done to drive down power prices.

But the Greens are angry the two major parties agree on subsidies for coal.

Mr Turnbull has set a deadline of developing a clean energy target — as recommended by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel — before Christmas.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called on the government to just get on with its job. “The number one problem contributing to energy prices in this country, out-of-control energy prices, is the absence of proper national policy,” he told reporters in Canberra.

The figures come at a time when electricity is more expensive than ever. Power prices jumped on July 1 after three major retailers announced increases of up to 20 per cent and $600 a year for the average customer in several states.


September 8, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: