Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The coming Khaki election: will Labor join in the belligerence against China?

For the Australian Coalition government, with an election coming in less than four months, this is convenient.

Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are happy to harness Wu’s carefully crafted rhetoric to turn the threat from China into the national security issue of the election.

The three reasons Taiwan keeps talking up the threat of war with China, The Age, By Eryk Bagshaw, January 31, 2022 —  Singapore: There was alarm last year when Defence Minister Peter Dutton warned that China’s push to take over Taiwan was gathering pace. It was time to have an honest conversation about the threat of war, he said, because once Taiwan was taken, the Japanese Senkaku islands were next – and then every major Australian city was “within range of China’s missiles”.The threat to Taiwan has not dissipated in the new year………

Peter Dutton also vowed to continue to speak out against China’s “belligerent approach” just hours after the new Chinese ambassador arrived in Australia with a conciliatory message about getting the troubled relationship “back to the right track”.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is determined to keep international leaders talking about Taiwan’s situation should war come to pass.

There are three key reasons for this.

The first objective is domestic.  “Taiwanese society understands that if the government is doing something right, they will continue to support the government,” Wu told me in an interview from Taipei……..

The strategy has netted Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party results, including a landslide presidential victory for Tsai Ing-wen in 2020.

The second objective is to maintain resolve………..

That means every rhetorical threat from Beijing is met with a response from Taipei. This cacophony can sound like warmongering but is more bombastic than about readying for boots on the ground.

The third objective is about building alliances and ensuring Taiwan becomes a global symbol of liberal democracy worth fighting for…………..

Taipei watched on with concern as the United States and its allies pulled out of Afghanistan……

This is why you will hear more like this from Wu throughout 2022…….

”Wu must frame the threat of war as omnipresent even if it is not imminent.”

For the Australian Coalition government, with an election coming in less than four months, this is convenient.

Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are happy to harness Wu’s carefully crafted rhetoric to turn the threat from China into the national security issue of the election.

Labor’s attempts to follow the international relations playbook will become more challenging as polling day draws near.

On Monday, Labor leader Anthony Albanese was asked on 3AW radio whether he would “unequivocally” support Taiwan in a military conflict and take a stand against “concentration camps” in Xinjiang.

“Where do you stand?” Neil Mitchell asked Albanese on Monday after days of government ministers accusing Albanese of softening Labor’s stance on China.

“What the international community has consistently said is that Taiwan’s position needs to be respected,” said Albanese.

Albanese let Wu do the talking. That’s admirable restraint. Let’s see how long it lasts. https://www.theage.com.au/world/asia/the-three-reasons-taiwan-keeps-talking-up-the-threat-of-war-with-china-20220131-p59skk.html

February 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The past decade has seen stunning change. The next 10 years will be breathtaking

the share of renewables in January, 2022, in Australia’s main grid is 34.4 per cent. Wind and solar alone account for 28 per cent. Solar accounted for 12.6 per cent of generation over the last 12 months, and will now likely deliver half of all generation by 2050 – not three per cent.

That 1.5°C is the only target that really matters. The federal Coalition government insists we need new technology to get us there. But nearly all the tools we will need are already at our disposal. The only thing missing, at least at the federal level, is leadership. And in a few months’ time, at the next federal election, there will be an opportunity to get that right.

The past decade has seen stunning change. The next 10 years will be breathtaking, https://reneweconomy.com.au/the-past-decade-has-seen-stunning-change-the-next-10-years-will-be-breathtaking/ Giles Parkinson 30 January 2022.

They said it couldn’t be done. There was no way Australia could reach 20 per cent renewables by 2020, we were told. And yet we did. And then we were told there was too much wind and solar. Now it is clear there is not nearly enough.

It is now exactly a decade since the RenewEconomy website appeared and published its first articles. Australia, at the time, was yet to build its first large-scale solar farm; the carbon price had not yet been put in place, the finishing touches were being put on a re-booted renewable energy target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and geothermal and solar thermal were supposed to be the next big thing.

At the time, the transition to a grid dominated by wind and solar appeared as some sort of flight of fancy.

Sure, some utilities like Origin spent tens of millions on solar and geothermal technologies, before throwing billions into LNG. The then chief executive of AGL, Michael Fraser, used to indulge our questions with responses such as “seeing it’s you guys, I guess we better talk about solar.” A few months later, AGL spent billions becoming the biggest generator of coal in the country and the biggest emitter. It is still trying to find a way out of that mess.

But there was no doubt that many legacy utilities could already see what was coming and how much was at stake. The small amounts of rooftop solar in the grid were already pointing to a future of deep duck curves and negative prices, and the incumbents used their regulatory and political influence to fight furiously against any moves to encourage rooftop solar or energy efficiency. Some of them still are.

Big business didn’t want the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to intervene in the market, because they wanted new technologies to be kept in the lab. Some still do. The coal lobby was arguing that it shouldn’t be expected to invest in carbon capture and storage because it was clearly not commercial, and wouldn’t be for another couple of decades. It’s too late for coal, but now the gas and oil industry are trotting out a similar argument.

In the month that RenewEconomy first published, with a team of just two (myself and still deputy editor Sophie Vorrath), there was a negligible amount of renewables in the grid – an average of 4.6 per cent over the month of January, 2012. Most of it was hydro. The official forecasts were equally dismissive – a federal government white paper predicted that solar, might, at best deliver 3 per cent of generation by 2050, or one per cent by 2030.

RenewEconomy, even in those early days, sensed that the transition might go a lot quicker than that. Firstly, because it needed to, secondly because it was clear it would be supported by great licks of capital, and thirdly  because learning curves pointed to a future of low cost renewables.

Fast forward a decade and the share of renewables in January, 2022, in Australia’s main grid is 34.4 per cent. Wind and solar alone account for 28 per cent. Solar accounted for 12.6 per cent of generation over the last 12 months, and will now likely deliver half of all generation by 2050 – not three per cent.

That transition has brought extraordinary change. Coal fired power stations, if they couldn’t before, now see the writing on the wall and are preparing for closure, although they are still using their regulatory and political clout to make the case for one more major handout as the transition accelerates around them.

South Australia, thanks to its good resources and a government that made it clear it would welcome investment in renewables, leads the way with the a world-topping 62.5 per cent share for wind and solar (as a percentage of local demand) in the last 12 months.

South Australia has already delivered a week long period where wind and solar delivered more than local demand, and it is expected to reach “net 100 per cent” renewables (calculated over a year), well ahead of the official state target of 2030.

Remarkably, that net 100 per cent renewables will come from wind and solar only. It will be an extraordinary achievement and the knowledge gained from operating such a system will set a blueprint for the world to follow.

Yes, it will rely on storage, demand management, links to other states for exports and some imports, and some fossil fuel generation in wind and solar droughts, but having a gigawatt-scale grid in a modern economy meet the equivalent of 100 per cent of its demand over a year will be extraordinary.

And as stunning as the last decade has been, the next decade could be breathtaking because the market is now looking at green exports, in the form of electricity and hydrogen and ammonia, and green manufacturing, which can all focus their demand on when the sun shines and the wind blows. As the big utilities now admit, you can say goodbye to “baseload”.

As we look to the next decade, it is clear that coal generation may have disappeared from NSW by 2032, and fossil fuel cars will make up only a tiny fraction of new vehicle purchases. The share of renewables in the grid will be well above 80 per cent and could be heading towards 100 per cent.

Just to be clear on that point, the Australian Energy Market Operator expects the share of renewables to be around 80 per cent by 2030 according to what the overall industry considers to be the new “most likely” scenario, known as “step change.”

Crucially, mainstream politics is embracing it. Labor’s emissions targets, still well short of what’s needed for 1.5°C, assume an 82 per cent share of renewables in the main grid by 2030. Even the federal Coalition is dialing in a 69 per cent share of renewables in its woefully inadequate emissions targets.

Australian billionaires such as Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes have already helped change the public discourse on the green energy transition, and if their bold plans – and those of others – come true, Australia will be an exporter of green hydrogen, green ammonia, green electricity, and green materials in the form of steel and other manufactured products.

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February 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, media | Leave a comment

Federal Government continues spin and inaction on environment in 2022

Federal Government continues spin and inaction on environment in 2022

Sue Arnold

Watching Prime Minister Scott Morrison on TV clutching a koala, claiming concern for the species was more than most could stomach.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia must shift from fossil fuels or risk more than 100,000 regional jobs — RenewEconomy

Up to 300,000 jobs in regional parts of Queensland and WA are at risk if governments fail to prepare for shift from fossil fuels, new research shows. The post Australia must shift from fossil fuels or risk more than 100,000 regional jobs appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia must shift from fossil fuels or risk more than 100,000 regional jobs — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fossil fuel industry asks Morrison government for more support for CCS — RenewEconomy

Fossil fuel groups are asking for more support for troubled carbon storage projects as the federal budget looms. The post Fossil fuel industry asks Morrison government for more support for CCS appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Fossil fuel industry asks Morrison government for more support for CCS — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Unsupported by evidence:” CMI slams carbon farming veto powers for minister — RenewEconomy

A proposal to grant the federal agriculture minister powers to veto proposed carbon offset projects has been slammed by the Carbon Market Institute. The post “Unsupported by evidence:” CMI slams carbon farming veto powers for minister appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Unsupported by evidence:” CMI slams carbon farming veto powers for minister — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment