Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian uranium company Paladin to leave costly environmental mess in Malawi

Paladin has ignored our requests to provide its estimate of the cost of rehabilitating Kayelekera, but we can safely say that the figure will be multiples of the US$10 million bond. Just keeping Kayelekera in care-and-maintenance costs US$1012 million annually.

As things stand, if Paladin goes bankrupt and fails to rehabilitate Kayelekera, either rehabilitation will be coordinated and funded by the Malawian government (with a small fraction of the cost coming from Paladin’s bond) or the mine-site will not be rehabilitated at all.

It does Australian companies investing in mining ventures abroad no good whatsoever to leave Kayelekera unrehabilitated, a permanent reminder of the untrustworthiness and unfulfilled promises of an Australian miner and the indifference of the Australian government.

The company’s environmental and social record has also been the source of ongoing controversy and the subject of countless critical reports.

Julie Bishop, the WA government, Paladin and its administrators from KPMG need to liaise with the Malawian government and Malawian civil society to sort the rehabilitation of Kayelekera. An obvious starting point would be to prioritise the rehabilitation of Kayelekera if and when Paladin goes bankrupt and its carcass is being divided up. (picture below shows uranium sludge going to river)

Australian uranium miner goes bust ‒ so who cleans up its mess in Africa? By Morgan Somerville and Jim Green, Online Opinion, 8 November 2017http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19394&page=0

Perth-based uranium mining company Paladin Energy was put into administration in July and the company is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Critics of the uranium industry won’t miss the company if it disappears. Other uranium mining companies won’t miss Paladin; in an overcrowded market, they will be pleased to have less competition.

But the looming bankruptcy does pose one major problem. Paladin’s Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, the ‘warm heart of Africa’, needs to be rehabilitated and Paladin hasn’t set aside nearly enough money for the job.

Under the leadership of founder and CEO John Borshoff, described as the grandfather of Australian uranium, Paladin has operated two uranium mines over the past decade. The Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia was opened in 2007, and Kayelekera in 2009.

They were heady days ‒ there was an endless talk about a nuclear power ‘renaissance’ and the uranium price tripled between June 2006 and June 2007. Continue reading

Advertisements

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Here’s What’s Happening at Bonn Climate Conference

The World’s Largest Climate Change Summit Starts Today. Here’s What’s Happening. Huffington Post 6 Nov 17 It is the first annual meeting of the United Nations group since President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Representatives from nearly 200 countries gather at the United Nations’ 23rd climate change conference beginning Monday, an annual effort to tackle global warming and its impacts already inflicting havoc on the planet.

 This year, however, the U.N. faces a new challenge: Addressing the phenomenon after U.S. President Donald Trump, leader of the planet’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, pledged to do nothing to curb emissions.
The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will deal with that question in Bonn, Germany, from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17 as countries work to firm up their commitments to adapt to a warmer world in line with 2015′s landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Scientists say the world should prevent the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a benchmark set by the Paris accord. Meeting the target means dramatic reduction in global emissions, and the Paris pact urges signatories to craft voluntary pledges to do that.

However, the agreement is not legally binding, and Trump followed through on a campaign pledge to withdraw America from what he calls the “draconian” pact in June. It is a multi-year process to do so, and the U.S. cannot leave until Nov. 4, 2020 ― the day after the next presidential election.

The Trump administration announced last week it would actively promote fossil fuelsduring a presentation at the climate conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP. Delegates sent by the White House will host a talk titled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation,” which will tout the supposed benefits of coal, natural gas and nuclear power.

delegation of U.S. negotiators are expected to work in Bonn to help write the rulebook for the Paris agreement, but their presence will be awkward. It’s unclear if negotiators from other countries will be willing to listen to a White House, which, under Trump, would not abide by any rules that emerge.

The summit will feature some U.S. star power, however. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire activist Tom Steyer are funding a pavilion to showcase climate action by U.S. cities and businesses. The federal government usually pays the $200,000 or so cost of the showcase, but declined to do so this year.

“The American people and American industry are pretty much all behind doing what the Paris agreement is designed to do, and that is to cut the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere so we will slow down and maybe even stop climate change, which has the potential to destroy the world,” Bloomberg told The New York Times last month.

Environmental groups and local governments around the U.S. reacted with fury following Trump’s decision to quit the Paris deal, but pledged to do their part to combat his agenda with or without federal support. Other world leaders have vowed to move forward regardless, and in July, every member of the G20, aside from the U.S., unveiled a detailed policy to abide by the Paris pact in a clear rebuke of the White House. …..

China and India, are on track to meet their emissions-reduction targets years earlier than expected, and both have invested heavily in renewable energy.

The talks in Bonn will be relatively low key compared with prior summits, as countries work to refine guidelines and review procedures to ensure signatories are meeting their commitments. The U.N. has agreed that negotiators will need to have such a framework in place by a 2018 deadline to make sure nations are doing enough to combat climate change. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/bonn-climate-change-conference-united-nations_us_59fff9ece4b0c96530006e05

November 8, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian navy joins USA and South Korea in drills to stop and search North Korean weapons ships

Australia conducts naval drills to stop and search North Korean weapons ships, SMH, David Wroe, 6 Nov 17,  Australia is stepping up its role in tightening the net around North Korea, carrying out naval drills with the United States and South Korea to practise intercepting ships suspected of carrying illicit weapons to and from the rogue regime.

Two Anzac Class frigates began the two-day joint exercises on Monday in seas to the South of the Korean peninsula alongside powerful guided-missile destroyers from the other two countries as well as four smaller warships, maritime patrol planes and helicopters.

The crews are rehearsing how to stop and search a suspect ship of any country but the drills are clearly aimed at North Korea, which is not allowed to trade in arms because of several sets of United Nations sanctions.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said the drills would enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2375, concerning “the interdiction of vessels carrying suspicious cargo”……..

The training mission came as the Pentagon outlayed the grim choices facing the US and its allies in stopping North Korea, saying that a full ground invasion of the country was “the only way” to be certain it could destroy all of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons…….

The United States wanted to dramatically increase ship interdictions in the most recent round of UN sanctions aimed at reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. That would have allowed the US and others to use force on the high seas to stop ships suspected of carrying any type of goods whose trade is prohibited by sanctions.

But veto-wielding Security Council members China and Russia stripped out those measures, leaving the noose of interdiction efforts only incrementally tightened, meaning that interdiction can only happen if ships are suspected of carrying arms materials, particularly anything used in the production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles to deliver them. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-conducts-naval-drills-to-stop-and-search-north-korean-weapons-ships-20171106-gzg01k.html

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Dean Johnson, Kimba mayor, ecstatic about Kimba getting Federal govt bribe for radioactive trash dump search

Make the most of the funding for Kimba  Eyre Peninsula Tribune  http://www.eyretribune.com.au/story/5039693/make-the-most-of-the-funding-for-kimba/ Kathrine Catanzariti , 7 Nov 17 

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

North Korea’s nuclear test site: an environmental and health disaster

North Korea’s nuclear test site is ‘a wasteland with deformed babies’  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/07/north-koreas-nuclear-tests-turn-area-wasteland-lead-deformed/    

North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has turned the surrounding area to wasteland and caused defects among newborn babies, defectors have reported.

About 80 per cent of trees that are planted die at Punggye-ri and underground wells have also run dry, according to 21 defectors who used to live in Kilju county, the location of the site.

“I heard from a relative in Kilju that deformed babies were born in hospitals there,” one defector claimed, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. He added that locals were worried about radioactive contamination. “I spoke on the phone with family members I left behind there and they told me that all of the underground wells dried up after the sixth nuclear test,” said another, referring to the regime’s most recent test in September.

Defectors, including one person who claimed to have lived through two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, testified that local people were not warned in advance.

“Only family members of soldiers were evacuated to underground shafts. Ordinary people were completely unaware of the tests,” said the defector, who fled North Korea in 2010.

According to another source who has visited Kilju since the sixth nuclear test, residents have been banned from making hospital appointments in the capital, Pyongyang.

Officials also appear to be intent on keeping a lid on accounts from Kilju county, with anyone caught boarding trains with samples of soil, water or leaves reportedly being arrested and sent to prison camps.

Meanwhile, 38 North, a North Korea monitoring site operated out of Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, reported at the weekend that commercial satellite imagery of Punggye-ri had shown significant movements near the West Portal, a yet unused tunnel complex.

It was, however, difficult to determine the exact purpose of the movement of equipment such as mining cards and netting, the report concluded.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fairfax media uncritically regurgitates China-Bill Gates pro nuclear propaganda

This isn’t the first time that Cole Latimer has regurgitated nuclear propaganda –  this time from China, (though Latimer also regurgitates some good stuff, and even writes some of his own)
Of course – they didn’t say that the reasons for Bill Gates’ doing this in China:
1. Because China does not have the strict safety regulations that USA has – so Gates can’t do this in USA
2. Because China’s nukes are tax-payer funded – so no worries about getting funding – (in USA there’s quite an outcry about the govt funding nukes)
3. The article made a virtue out of the reactor using ‘waste fuel’ from conventional reactors –  ignoring all the transport safety problems etc.
4 The article brushed over the fact that even this new reactor leaves long-lasting radioactive trash –   smaller in volume, yes, but so toxic that it need equal space to safely store
The article glosses over the fuel “waste uranium”  “depleted uranium” as if that’s fine.
There’s an area that I find ambiguous:
This joint venture aims to design and construct multiple nuclear power plants generating around 1150 megawatts over the next two decades which utilise this fourth generation nuclear technology. ….”    “the reactor would only need eight tonnes of this material to power 2.5 million homes for a year.”
Do they mean that ONE reactor would provide all this power?  They might. But as I understand it, the Travelling Wave Reactor is a small model, that would need to be set up as  a bunch of multiples –  (further making it difficult to market, as a country would have to order them en masse.  I say a country, because apart from Gates and a few mates, private enterprise is unwilling to take this huge financial risk)

Bill Gates and China partner on world-first nuclear technology , Cole Latimer SMH, The Age, and global media outlets, 8 November 17 

Bill Gates’ nuclear firm TerraPower and the China National Nuclear Corporation have signed an agreement to develop a world-first nuclear reactor, using other nuclear reactors’ waste

TerraPower chairman Bill Gates and Chinese premier Li Keqiang signed a joint venture agreement to create the Global Innovation Nuclear Energy Technology company, which will build a Travelling Wave Reactor and commercialise the technology……   http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/bill-gates-and-china-partner-on-worldfirst-nuclear-technology-20171106-gzfrf0.html

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Small Modular Reactors – a mirage of false hope for the failing nuclear industry

For many in the nuclear industry, having watched all their much-touted GW-scale reactors go down the pan, and having had to accept that their long-cherished dream of a new generation of fast-breeder reactors will never materialise, SMRs are almost the last resort.
There are literally dozens of different SMR designs out there, with the USA, Russia, South Korea, China and now the UK bigging up the superiority of their particular whizz-bang design – but there are NO CLIENTS anywhere in the world….. billions of dollars ploughed into one prototype or another, but very little to show for it at the end of the day. 
Just as I don’t believe we’ll ever see Hinkley Point finished and generating electricity, nor do I believe that a new generation of SMRs will ever materialise, ensuring that the insane dream of the UK as ‘a vibrant nuclear nation’ will remain just that – an insane dream.
Small Modular Reactors: The Nuclear Industry’s Latest Pipe Dream,  http://www.jonathonporritt.com/blog/small-modular-reactors-nuclear-industrys-latest-pipe-dream  Jonathon Porritt, 4 Nov 17  You’ve got to hand it to the nuclear industry: they’re one resilient bunch of never-say-die hard-arses! By any standards, 2017 has been an annus horribilis for the industry, with one body blow after another, all around the world. And 2016 wasn’t that much better either.

This is spelled out in almost excruciating detail in this year’s ‘World Nuclear Industry Status Report’ (WNISR), an annual stocktake that dispassionately lays out what’s been happening in the preceding year from technological, engineering, political and financial points of view. Continue reading

November 8, 2017 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Australian government might not be able to bypass Queensland and give funds to Adani for coal mine rail line

Queensland election: Naif testimony casts doubts on claim Adani loan can bypass state. Annastacia Palaszczuk gets support from former LNP MP Vaughan Johnson, who says she made the right call on loan, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 7 Nov 17, The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility cannot bypass the Queensland government and award Adani a $1bn loan, according to Senate testimony from its own executives that casts doubt on fresh suggestions funds could be fast-tracked before the state election.

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s belated pledge to veto the Adani loan if Labor holds government remains a campaign flashpoint, with the treasurer, Curtis Pitt, forced to refute a report that his office said the state would process the loan.

The Queensland premier is under attack for framing her dramatic about-face as a bid to quash a rumoured “smear campaign” by Coalition senators about a conflict of interest from her partner’s role in Adani’s Naif application.

But Palaszczuk also gained an unlikely supporter in the former LNP MP Vaughan Johnson, who said she made the right call amid “mudslinging” from Canberra. The Guardian has been told that Labor’s decision to commit to a veto involved strategic input from the former Adani lobbyist Cameron Milner, who cut ties with the miner to devote himself to the party’s campaign.

A veto now hinges on Labor’s re-election after the opposition leader, Tim Nicholls, refused Palaszczuk’s request for bipartisan support in a caretaker period….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/07/queensland-election-naif-testimony-casts-doubts-on-claim-adani-loan-can-bypass-state

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Turnbull’s climate policies ‘immoral’ says former Clean Energy Finance chief Oliver Yates

Former Clean Energy finance chief Oliver Yates slams Turnbull government’s ‘immoral’ climate policies, SMH, Nicole Hasham, 7 Nov 17, A Liberal Party veteran and former head of the federal government’s green bank has unleashed on his party’s “immoral” climate change policies, saying they “knowingly and willingly inflict damage on others”.

Ex-Macquarie banker Oliver Yates, chief executive of the government’s $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation until April this year, said far-right members had hijacked the party and that “reform from the outside” may be required – in the form of a rival party that better reflects core Liberal values……

“If we don’t address climate change and start to reduce our emissions, then it’s likely that billions of families could be forced to move home unnecessarily,” Mr Yates said.

He “cannot understand how Liberals would knowingly inflict damage on others when they have a perfectly workable economic cure in front of them” – the adoption of clean energy.

Mr Yates lives in the inner-Melbourne electorate of Kooyong, held by Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg. A life-long member of the Liberal Party, he is the son of former federal Liberal MP William Yates and began campaigning for the party at the age of nine. He is the independent director of several emerging renewable energy companies. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/former-clean-energy-finance-chief-oliver-yates-slams-turnbull-governments-immoral-climate-policies-20171106-gzfobv.html

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia lagging on climate change action: Western Australia to experience extreme weather

Climate Council report says WA is suffering impacts of warming world as Australia falls further behind on climate change https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/climate-council-report-says-wa-is-suffering-impacts-of-warming-world-as-australia-falls-further-behind-on-climate-change-ng-b88652279z  Shane Wright, Economics EditorAustralia is now falling well behind the rest of the world in dealing with climate change, a report out today shows, with WA in the firing line from some of the worst impacts of a warming world.

The report from the Climate Council shows that greenhouse gas emissions in Australia resumed climbing in March 2015, with the country at a substantial risk of failing to meet its generous targets under the Paris Agreement.

This week, the World Meteorological Association said that this year was on track to be the third hottest on record and the hottest year not to be affected by an El Nino weather pattern.

According to the Climate Council, the window of opportunity to limit runaway temperature increases through the rest of the century was closing, with political inaction mostly to blame.

Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said the Federal Government was clearly failing to deal with climate change given the increase in greenhouse gas emissions on its watch.

She said the Government’s planned National Energy Guarantee would also not lead to reductions in greenhouse emissions. “This is a critical warning that the window of opportunity for the Federal Government to tackle climate change is closing,” she said.

“The vague offering of a National Energy Guarantee will not seriously deal with Australia’s climbing pollution levels. Australia cannot accept anything less than a long-term, bipartisan policy framework that turns away from fossil fuels, and embraces the inevitable clean energy future.”

The council’s report said parts of WA were clearly suffering from the impact of climate change which had resulted in a sharp increase since the middle of last century in the number of hot days and extremely hot days.

Apart from killing an increasing number of Australians, extreme weather had hit WA wildlife, with the deaths of thousands of zebra finches, budgerigars and Carnaby’s black cockatoos tied to heatwaves in 2009 and 2010.

The council said apart from the direct impact on the environment, climate change would pose a risk to Australia’s tourism sector.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Adani still could get Australian tax-payers loan for Queensland coal megamine

Why Adani may still get its government loan, The Conversation, Brendan Gogarty ,  Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Tasmania  Even though Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she would be vetoing the around A$1 billion loan to Adani for a rail link to its proposed Carmichael coal mine, funds could still flow to the company.

Currently in caretaker mode for the Queensland election, the premier would need the consent of the opposition party to exercise such a right. That is very unlikely given the LNP’s longstanding support of Adani’s mine.

This means any veto could not be exercised until late November, or more realistically, December 2017.

As the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan doesn’t need state approval (but rather explicit veto) it could also mean the money will make its way to Adani, without any direct action by the state government.

How would Commonwealth money make its way to Adani?

The NAIF body was established in 2016 and administers A$5 billion in Commonwealth funds. It’s been empowered to award grants to the northern states and Northern Territory for infrastructure projects. Practically, however, these jurisdictions are used as financial conduits to pass this money to large corporations operating in northern Australia.

The NAIF is established under the “tied-grants” provision of the Constitution, Section 96, which states:

…the [Commonwealth] parliament may grant financial assistance to any state on such terms and conditions as the [Commonwealth] parliament thinks fit……….

Does Palaszczuk have a ‘veto’ power?

The premier’s reasoning for the veto is a continuation of her government’s legacy of having “no role to date in the federal government’s NAIF Loan Assessment Process for Adani” and no “role in the future”.

These statements seem to be contrary to earlier ones by the Queensland treasurer, Curtis Pitt, that the government would “do what is required” to facilitate Commonwealth funds going to Adani. In fact, as early as November 2016, Pitt declared in state parliament:

Since we came to office, we have been working very closely with the Commonwealth government to facilitate … the NAIF – in North Queensland… It is through the NAIF facility, which the state wholeheartedly supports, that Adani can get the infrastructure support that it needs.

As a result, it would seem that everything needed to pass the NAIF funds to Adani is provided for. The only thing to actively stop it is a formal, written statement by Palaszczuk to the NAIF refusing the loan (not to the prime minister as she claimed). Given Palaszczuk’s statement that she intends to write this statement, it is clear that no formal notice has yet been issued to the NAIF……..

unless the Queensland opposition takes the very unlikely step of agreeing to a veto, Palaszczuk would appear to lack the power to issue one herself until after the election.

In the interim, NAIF has no legal restrictions on issuing the loan and, with the apparent agreement of the Queensland treasury, this money is likely to flow through to Adani. While Palaszczuk can say her government gave no active assistance to Adani, without active measures to block the loan, it would certainly be a silent partner in the process. https://theconversation.com/why-adani-may-still-get-its-government-loan-86926?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Queensland election 2017: Labor may form coalition with Greens

7 Nov (subscribers only)Annastacia Palaszczuk could form minority government with the Greens, who want to take tasers off police, ban coal exports and decriminalise drugs.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-election-2017/queensland-election-2017-labor-may-form-coalition-with-greens/news-story/73b4253096f1cb935828cd68b11cee66

November 8, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Decentralised energy solutions looking better than centralised

Will Tasmania be the ‘battery of the nation’? http://reneweconomy.com.au/will-tasmania-battery-nation-43911/  By Jack Gilding on 7 November 2017 Lately we have been subjected to Prime-ministerial statements on energy policy that jump from Snowy 2.0 to propping up aged coal-fired power stations in NSW, to government support for a new “clean” coal power station in Queensland and back to pumped hydro in Tasmania. Long term strategy seems to have gone missing.

The latest announcement is a feasibility study of pumped hydro in Tasmania supported by ARENA.

Is investing in Tasmania as the ‘battery of the nation’ likely to be a sensible idea?

Tasmania itself doesn’t need more centralised energy storage. At full capacity, our dams hold more than a year’s supply of electricity. Tasmania’s problem is lack of renewable generation, which leaves our energy security dependent on imports from Victoria and increasingly expensive gas fired electricity.

The mainland grid would certainly benefit from more large scale renewable generation backed by storage. Implementing this would require both a bipartisan consensus on closing down aged coal infrastructure and a long term policy in support of low emission renewable energy.

 Sensible, bipartisan, long term planning doesn’t appear likely to break out any time soon. Even if it did, the next questions are what is the best form of storage and where should it be located?

Pumped hydro is the most cost-effective form of large scale energy storage but it requires a stable investment climate, and in some locations, significant investment in transmission infrastructure.

Snowy 2.0 does have the advantage of being well connected to the NSW and Victorian grids. If the national battery is located in Tasmania it would require a billion dollar second interconnector to the mainland.

The sorts of big national project preferred by politicians are not the only solution. Our electricity system is rapidly moving from centralised energy generation to distributed generation and storage.

CSIRO and the Australian electricity network operators have developed one of the most credible scenarios for the future of the grid.

It anticipates that by 2050, 30-45% of our electricity would come from customer owned generators. The plan identifies the need for incentives to ensure that customer battery systems provide benefits to the network as well as to customers.

A recent ANU study has identified 22,000 potential sites for off-river pumped storage around Australia in a range of sizes. Only a few of these are likely to provide viable but they offer possible advantages in being smaller investments that can address local requirements and reduce rather than increase the need for network enhancements.

If there is a role for large scale pumped hydro storage, is Tasmania likely to be the most cost effective place to build it?

As Everett Dirksen never actually said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money”. At over $1bn for a second interconnector, $2bn for a 600 MW wind farm on King Island or over $1bn for the Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain wind farms, and Hydro Tasmania’s estimate of $5bn to build 2500 MW of pumped storage, we are talking ‘real money’.

And it is ultimately our money, whether the infrastructure is built as a regulated asset (added to our electricity bill), by government grant (our taxes) or by private investment (including our super).

Investments on this scale take the best part of a decade to plan, fund and build, and are paid for by users over a 40 year period or more.

We need to be very sure that this is the most cost effective way to meet our energy security in an electricity market where the significant trends are to increased energy efficiency, local generation and storage, and demand management.

The detailed analysis of pumped hydro funded by Hydro Tasmania and ARENA will be a welcome contribution to the public debate. But big schemes may well have had their day.

Hydro Tasmania dropped work on the King Island project and the Tamblyn report on the viability of a second interconnector was lukewarm on its viability to say the least.

My prediction is that the market will have provided decentralised solutions to the challenge of reliable, affordable clean electricity long before these big schemes see the light of day. The flurry of announcements and feasibility studies mainly serves to convince the public that the politicians are dealing with the problem.

Jack Gilding is the Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance but the views in this article are entirely personal. This article first appeared in The Mercury and is republished here with permission of the author,

November 8, 2017 Posted by | energy, storage, Tasmania | Leave a comment

8 November REneweconomy news

 RenewEconomy
  • Will Tasmania be the ‘battery of the nation’?
    Tasmania itself doesn’t need more centralised energy storage. Tasmania’s problem is lack of renewable generation.
  • Chile solar auction sets new record low for solar PV
    Chile energy auction attracts record low bid for solar, with average prices for renewables down 75% since its first auction in 2015.
  • Is this the end for big wind and big solar in Australia?
    All eyes are on Victoria and the corporate sector for the future of large-scale renewables in Australia. With the renewable energy target now largely met, there is little else on offer for the pipeline of 20GW of wind and solar projects.
  • Graphs of the Day: A really bad day for so-called “reliable” coal
    Multiple fault with multiple coal generators on Monday highlight the perils of relying on “baseload” coal to keep the lights on.
  • Understanding the “Emissions Gap” in 5 Charts
    Five charts that help explain the 2017 emissions gap report from UNEP.
  • Five things that should happen at the Bonn climate talks but probably won’t
    This year’s climate talks in Bonn is not expected to be a deal-clinching, make-or-break one like Paris in 2015 or Copenhagen in 2009, but that doesn’t make it insignificant.
  • Albany Wave Energy Project activities underway
    Carnegie Clean Energy has now commenced the Albany project design and development activities.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment