Solar and storage boost? NSW households face 5c/kWh price rise http://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-storage-boost-nsw-households-face-5ckwh-price-rise-99553/ By Giles Parkinson on 17 March 2017 The continuing surge in New South Wales wholesale electricity costs – and in other states for that matter – is likely to add even more incentive for households and business to turn to rooftop solar and battery storage. NSW baseload futures prices for 2018 have jumped another $10/MWh to $115/MWh in the last two weeks, meaning that a rooftop solar system is cheaper than the wholesale price of the coal-fired grid, let alone retail prices which are more than twice as high.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley say that if the wholesale price increase was to be fully captured by energy retailers, then the retail price would need to rise by around 5c/kWh, or about 20-25 per cent.
This scale of rise, shocking as it would be, is unlikely to happen because most retailers will have a rolling hedge book that will mitigate part of the cost increase.
Still, Morgan Stanley expects that retail prices will still have to increase around 10 per cent from July 1, which would add at least 2c/kWh on to energy costs, which are currently 21c/kWh to 24c/kWh, not including hefty network charges of up to $1.50/day.
This should be yet another incentive for NSW households to invest in rooftop solar. The state trails most other states on solar penetration, with around 15 per cent of homes, compared to nearly 30 per cent in Queensland and South Australia.
And the fact that NSW retailers offer such a small amount on solar exports (most at around 6c/8c/kWh, with a couple of outliers on 12c/kWh) this should increase the attraction of battery storage.
NSW is already seen as the best state for battery storage because of the recent expiry of premium feed-in tariffs.
Malcolm Turnbull says Snowy Hydro plan will outdo South Australian battery storage
PM says plan would turn Snowy Hydro into energy storage system but Labor says proposal leaves unanswered questions, Guardian, Gabrielle Chan, 16 Mar 17, Malcolm Turnbull has used his expansion plans for the Snowy Hydro to try to outdo South Australia on battery storage, saying it would provide 20 times the capacity of the battery system proposed by the premier, Jay Weatherill. Continue reading
Benny Zable with Chibo Mertineit and 4 others . Sat 11 March 2017 Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, Australia
Anti-nuclear activists gathered at Cape Byron Lighthouse today morning to mark the sixth anniversary of the tsunami that crippled the nuclear power reactors in Fukushima and to send a message of solidarity to the people of Japan.
Morning joggers and walkers were greeted by the sound of shakuhachi and Indonesian harp. The Pacific ocean rose in gentle swells; an osprey rode the updrafts.
Local activist Iris Nunn led the group in prayers for the children and families of Fukushima. Nimbin resident Chibo Mertineit spoke of the long peoples’ struggles to stop the spread of nuclear power that started in West Germany in the seventies and is now part of a global movement to draw attention to the perils of the nuclear age.
Activists unfurled a banner that said: Fukushima reminds us that nuclear power is a dead end.
With radioactivity still spilling into the oceans, land and air, activist called for urgent international assistance to resolve the crisis.
Artist and environmentalist Benny Zable said: “Say no to nuclear. Go Green!’ Pic: Harsha Prabhu
This summer saw record-breaking temperatures across New South Wales and most of eastern Australia. January 2017 recorded the highest monthly mean temperatures on record for Sydney.
The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed the 2017 heatwave was the most severe since 1939, and since that time the frequency of such intense large-scale heatwaves has increased across spring, summer and autumn, and especially over the past 20 years. The maximum temperatures from the February 2017 heatwave now make up eight of the top 10 highest February temperatures for NSW ever.
What set this heatwave apart was the prolonged period of sweltering days and nights which impacted over one-third of the state. The people out at Moree suffered the most with 54 days in a row over 35 degrees. Walgett had 48 days above 35 degrees.
The heatwave contributed to almost 100 fires across NSW in February. Homes, stock and agricultural assets were lost.
NSW Health issued an air pollution alert and warning to those with asthma or respiratory problems on January 10, with ozone pollution made worse by the hot, still conditions. In Victoria, the heatwave was blamed for a large spike in deaths.
On the NSW South Coast, dairy farmers reported cattle dropping dead in the heat and humidity. Piles of dead turtle hatchlings were found on Queensland’s Mon Repos beach amid a heatwave which pushed the sand’s temperature to 75 degrees. This important breeding site for the Loggerhead turtle was turned into a baby turtle graveyard overnight.
Sydney Harbour suffered its first ever recorded coral bleaching last year and scientists predict more this year, with water temperatures exceeding 26 degrees at times.
Water temperatures have been more than 3 degrees warmer than average off parts of the NSW South Coast. It doesn’t sound like much when you’re enjoying mid 20s water on a 35 degree day, but marine life aren’t used to these spikes – these are signs that the ecological balance is at risk.
Of course, these heatwaves, fires, warming oceans and coral bleaching fit the predictions of climate change science about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions primarily by human activity.
New research released in February concluded that human activity was changing the climate 170 times faster than natural forces.
We are already seeing some key tipping points start to flip. In February, sea ice in Antarctica hit a record low. The melting permafrost in Siberia is causing craters to form on an ever-larger scale with the resulting methane release driving further global warming.
Before our very eyes the warnings of scientists are being realised. Climate change is not something off in the future – it is here and now – and given science has been right so far, their predictions about what happens next without action to drastically reduce emissions are truly frightening……..
The Greens, under Energy and Resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham have launched its ‘climate not coal’ policy. It sets out a 10-year framework for the phase out of thermal coal mining in NSW. This is a managed transition that calls for a 1 billion tonne cap on the amount of thermal coal that can be mined during the phase-out period while a supported exit of the industry occurs.
A $7 billion fund to assist impacted workers and communities would be created through the auctioning of permits to access the remaining coal allowance.
It is a bold plan but we need bold plans to respond to climate change. The Greens plan sits in stark contrast to no plan at all from the major parties in this state to deal with coal. https://newmatilda.com/2017/03/08/temps-rising-greens-plan-to-ban-coal-within-10-years-amid-record-heat-wave/
Climate scientists say likelihood of extreme summers surging due to global warming
Report’s authors say Sydney unprepared for knock-on effects of a significant increase in average summer temperatures, Guardian, Calla Wahlquist, 2 Mar 17, New South Wales, which has just experienced its hottest summer on record, is 50 times more likely to experience another similarly hot summer and 10 times more likely to experience extremely hot days under climate change, according to a group of Australian climate scientists.
The mean temperature in Sydney was 2.8C above average in December, January, and February, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and the three-day heatwave from 9 February to 11 was the hottest on record from Sydney to Brisbane, breaking records set in 1939.
It us the kind of weather event that would have been considered a one in 500-year occurrence before 1910, before global warming had a significant impact on the climate system, but had now become a one in 50-year event, according to a new analysis released on Thursday.
“In the future, a summer as hot as this past summer in NSW is likely to happen roughly once every five years,” the report said.
It could make Sydney a less liveable city, one of the report’s authors, Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, said. Perkins-Kirkpatrick is a research fellow at the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre and said Sydney was unprepared for the knock-on effects of a significant increase in average summer temperatures……..
Melbourne University’s Dr Andrew King, another author of the report, said that while Australia had experienced extremely hot days or extreme weather events in the past, the data showed the frequency and severity of those events had increased markedly in the past 20 years and would continue to increase unless drastic action was taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Yes, people would have experienced 40C days several decades ago around different parts of Australia and in Sydney but we know that these incidences of very hot days are getting more frequent and we are setting more records for heat,” he said.
Australia broke 12 times more records for hot weather than cool weather between 2000 and 2014.
“The purpose of the analysis in this report is to raise awareness that climate change is already impacting on weather in Australia,” King said. “Hopefully it motivates action on climate change, because we know what the solution to climate change is.”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/02/climate-scientists-say-likelihood-of-extreme-summers-surging-due-to-global-warming
Tim Bickmore , Fight to stop Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia There is also another elephant in the room which is yet to rate a mention. At Lucas heights there are 2 reactors – OPAL & HIFAR. OPAL is the working reactor, whilst HIFAR is the old one now undergoing de-commissioning – which includes dealing with more radioactive waste. Is the HIFAR waste (= old reactor parts) also destined for the dump? Considering the decommission schedule, this seems highly probable & where else would it go……
“HIFAR is currently being decommissioned and will be totally decommissioned by 2018.” HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/344452605899556/
SA power woes to spread nation-wide, starting with Victoria, Australian Energy Council warns, ABC News 9 Feb 17 By Claire Campbell The Federal Government needs to take urgent action to improve its energy policies before the rest of Australia falls victim to the type of large-scale blackouts experienced in South Australia, the Australian Energy Council has warned.
About 90,000 South Australian homes and businesses were blacked out Wednesday when the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued a load-shedding order to avoid potential damage to the network equipment due to supply deficiency.
It asked for more power generators to be switched on but did not receive “sufficient bids” and said it did not have enough time to turn on the second unit at Pelican Point. AEC chief executive officer Matthew Warren said there was no shortage of electrons and available power, but it was not dispatched when required.
He said the entire nation’s system needed upgrading quickly because energy reliability was not just a state issue…….
AEMO has warned that load-shedding is possible in New South Wales on Friday. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-09/sa-power-woes-to-spread-through-rest-of-australia-aec-warns/8257032
Why is this article , from The Age print version, not published on the Internet version?
The Age, 24 Dec 16, Eamon Duff. A security consultant who held a “top secret” government clerance inside Australia’s only nuclear facility has been arrested and charged with the illegal possession of “official secrets” and an unauthorised weapon.
Until February last year, Anthony Rami Haddad was manager of security and operations at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, safeguarding the site against theft, diversion and sabotage.
However, following a stint in the Middle easrt where he worked on another nuclear security project, he returned hom eto Sydney, and last month became entangled in an unrelated investigation being run by the Australian Federal Police’s fraud and anti-corruption team.
A fortnight ago, Haddad appeared before Sydney’s Downi8ng Centre Local court, where he pleaded guilty to unauthorised receipt of official secrets under the Commonwealth crimes Act.
He has yet to enter a plea for a second charge, ppossessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm. His barrister, Nikolaos Siafakas, will apply to have the outstanding matter dealt with under section 32 of teh Mental Health Act……..
According to ANSTO documents, Haddad’s many responsibilities at Lucas Heights included the “mamagement of security operations” at the onsite Little Forest radioactive waste dump and its “seamless integration” into the facility’s “wider” protective security systems.
Haddad will reappear in court on Februaty 7. No link available. I couldn’t find this on the Internet
As the Turnbull government struggles to implement a clear and effective climate change policy, the City of Sydney will redouble its efforts to reduce emissions in a bid to bypass the federal impasse.Lord mayor Clover Moore, who returned from C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico earlier this month, said the climate conference had alerted her to the scale and urgency of the action required by cities to address climate change. Cr Moore said she now believed the city needed to do “twice as much in half the time” and, at Monday night’s council meeting, called on the council to accelerate its existing targets and re-allocate funding if necessary.
“It was clear from the conference that we need bolder action at a faster rate if we are to play our part in meeting the Paris Agreement,” Cr Moore stated in her report from the summit, which was tabled at Monday night’s council meeting.
At the meeting, she called on council staff to come back to council in February “with actions to accelerate our emissions reductions over the next four years”.
Fast-tracking the city’s move towards zero-carbon buildings, including developing a clear target date by which building standards should be in place, were key priorities, she said. She also called on City of Sydney chief executive Monica Barone to bring forward the city’s Draft Environmental Action Plan to the council’s first meeting in 2017 with a clear list of priorities in line with the C40 Summit.
Cr Moore said research presented at the summit provided cities with clear targets which, if adopted, would deliver 40 per cent of the savings need to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
Cr Moore’s report and recommendations were adopted unanimously by council.
The focus of Monday night’s council meeting on climate change policy comes after the Turnbull government’s beleaguered week in the policy arena, which culminated in a fractious meeting with state premiers at Friday’s Council of Australian Government meeting.
The week was dominated by Coalition intransigence on climate change, even as a report by chief scientist Alan Finkel warned Australia had no clear path to meeting the 2030 emissions target taken to the Paris climate deal under existing policies.
This report was preceded by a policy capitulation by Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, who promptly dumped plans for a review of the Coalition’s direct action policy to examine whether to introduce an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity industry – a form of carbon pricing – after vocal opposition from the Coalition backbench.
Fairfax Media then revealed the Turnbull government had been sitting on advice that an emissions intensity scheme would save households and businesses up to $15 billion in electricity bills over a decade. The Paris Agreement commits signatories, including Australia, to “hold average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees and pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels”.
Effectively this is the same draconian situation that existed under the earlier Commonwealth
Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 introduced by the Howard government to override State and Territory interests to protect community health, safety and welfare from the risks and impacts of nuclear wastes and to nullify Federal laws that protect against imposition of nuclear wastes.
Public submission to the draft ARPANSA Information for Stakeholders & associated Regulatory Guide to Licensing a Radioactive Waste Storage or Disposal Facility
Revised ARPANSA “Information for Stakeholders” should address the following:
The nuclear fuel waste Store in the Flinders Ranges is intended to operate for approx. 100 years.
The ARPANSA “Information for Stakeholders” fails to be transparent and is not fit for purpose.
ARPANSA must inform the public on the proposed licence period for this nuclear fuel waste Store.
ARPANSA should also publicly acknowledge the Contingency that the proposed nuclear fuel waste Store may be at a different site to the proposed near surface Repository in the Flinders Ranges.
The proposed above ground Store in our iconic Flinders Ranges is unnecessary as the ANSTO’s existing Interim Waste Store (IWS) at the Lucas Heights Technology Centre can manage reprocessed nuclear fuel waste on contract from France and from the United Kingdom over the long term.
The ANSTO application for the Interim Waste Store was conservatively predicated on a 40 year operating life for the IWS, and ANSTO has a contingency to “extend it for a defined period of time”.
ANSTO also has a contingency option for the “Retention of the returned residues at ANSTO until the availability of a final disposal option” – which does not involve a Store in the Flinders Ranges.
The Lucas Heights Technology Centre is by far the best placed Institution and facility to responsibly manage Australia’s existing nuclear fuel waste and proposed waste accruals from the Opal reactor.
The Interim Waste Store (IWS) at the Lucas Heights Technology Centre can conservatively function throughout the proposed operating period of the Opal reactor without a requirement for an alternative above ground nuclear fuel waste Store at a NRWMF in the Flinders Ranges or elsewhere.
It is an inexplicably omission or an unacceptably act of denial for ARPANSA to fail to even identity or to properly explain Australia’s existing nuclear fuel wastes and proposed further decades of Opal reactor nuclear fuel waste production in the “Information for Stakeholders”.
Australia’s nuclear fuel wastes are by far the highest activity and most concentrated and hazardous nuclear wastes under Australian management, and must be distinguished from other waste forms. Continue reading
Windfarm in Barnaby Joyce’s NSW electorate gets $120m CEFC loan Clean Energy Finance Corporation loan comes three months after minister slammed SA’s over-reliance on wind power, Guardian, Gareth Hutchens, 12 Dec 16, The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made a multi-million dollar loan for a new windfarm in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.
Stucco students install one of Australia’s first shared solar and battery systems for apartment block, 702 ABC Sydney ,By Amanda Hoh, 8 Dec 16, After 18 months of “bureaucracy” and jumping through regulatory hoops, the students of Sydney’s Stucco apartments have finally achieved their goal of spearheading a “solar revolution”.
The social housing apartment block in Newtown has become one of the first multi-dwelling buildings in Australia to install a shared solar and battery storage system.
Last week 30 kilowatts of solar panels were placed on the roofs and 36 batteries set up in the building totalling 42.3kW storage capacity. The solar system will now provide 80 per cent of the residents’ energy needs, with the remainder of electricity drawn from the grid. Each student is expected to save up to $35 a month on their electricity bill. “As poor uni students, that difference in a bill makes a huge difference,” Sarah King, Stucco committee president, resident and social work student, said.
“There’s also the great feeling of using green clean energy as opposed to dirty coal.
“As a cooperative, it’s quite empowering to have your own locally sourced power system, otherwise you’re quite vulnerable to what electricity companies are going to charge you. Stucco is a cooperative, not-for-profit housing complex for low-income students from Sydney University. There are 40 residents in the eight units who each pay about $90 in weekly rent. As a cooperative, the students self-manage the property, which is part-owned by the university and the Department of Housing.
How do students pay for solar? A software system was put in place to manage and analyse the energy output from each unit, meaning the Stucco committee now acts as its own energy retailer and issues electricity bills to the residents. For the energy consumption that is provided by solar, the students are charged a maximum of 10 cents during off-peak times and up to 40 cents during peak use.
They are currently in pricing talks with various commercial energy retailers for when the building draws from the grid.
The cost of the project totalled $130,000, with the solar technology costing $97,000……..The students received an $80,000 grant from the City of Sydney.
The remainder of the cost was made up from 25 years’ worth of sinking funds and “grassroots community efforts” of voluntary contributions and pro-bono work……The solar and battery system is expected to take about six to seven years to pay for itself, although Mr Janse Van Rensburg said the long-term gain and savings far outweighed the cost of the system…..The students have started a crowdfunding campaignto help rebuild the administration and sinking funds.
Calls for more solar as household tariffs dumped There are 1.6 million solar systems installed across the country; mainly in free-standing owner-occupied homes and in lower to medium income suburbs.
According to Claire O’Rourke from community-based organisation Solar Citizens, Stucco is “a pioneering project”, particularly as it was conceived by a housing cooperative.
“We’ve had a lot of anecdotal reports from apartment owners who have tried to get this [a multi-apartment dwelling solar and battery system] in place but have failed,” Ms O’Rourke said……..
“The real opportunity is in cities where there are more apartments and renters…….
The Solar Bonus Scheme in New South Wales ends on December 31, which means solar households will no longer receive a feed-in tariff when they redirect energy back into the electricity network. Solar Citizens is lobbying the Government for a mandated minimum tariff to pay solar owners.”Going solar now is the best way to save for the long term, because solar panels will last 20 to 25 years, batteries will last for a decade,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“Landlords and renters everywhere should be inspired by this project [Stucco] and look at starting up similar projects that help them save money and spearhead that revolution we want to see.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/stucco-student-housing-installs-shared-solar-battery-system/8103298
Mike Baird is going rogue on climate change, The Age, Christine Milne , 3 Nov 16.In NSW the Baird government is set to give the green light to land clearing that will increase our greenhouse gas emissions just as the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 degrees and pursue a more ambitious 1.5 degrees limit comes into effect on Thursday. Premier Baird is going rogue on climate.
As the world meets in Morocco for COP22, Australia will be under scrutiny as never before. Not only have we not ratified the Paris Agreement, we are increasingly being seen as cheating the process with rubbery figures. To meet the Paris Agreement objectives, negative emissions will be required. That is pulling CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as reducing emissions from all sources. The Baird government is doing the opposite, increasing emissions from coal and coal seam gas at the same time as pushing up emissions from land clearing.
The rest of the world is sick of Australia’s creative accounting using land use, land use change and forestry, or LULUCF, as a “get out of jail free card” to “offset” its rising greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Australia has argued that while its emissions from coal-fired power stations, industries, cars and transport fleet vehicles and fugitive emissions from gas are rising, they are offset by our forests.
That is the basis of the Turnbull government’s Emission Reduction Fund. It has spent over $1 billion paying farmers not to clear or to regrow forests so polluters can keep on polluting. People think the fund must be invested in upgrading industry. Wrong, it has been overwhelmingly paid to farmers.
That is why the Baird government’s proposed changes are so bad. Not only will they destroy biodiversity and send species to extinction by destroying habitat, they will undermine efforts to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets by cancelling out any reductions that may have been made through the ERF……….
In its reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Australia said that from 2005- 2013 land use emissions dropped by 10 per cent but admitted that they will increase by 8 per cent from 2013 to 2020. As part of a peer review process, other countries can ask questions and they have leapt at the chance.
The US asked: “Can you explain what caused this reversal from downward trend to upward trend?” Australia has not yet answered but it is obvious that the Liberal governments of Newman, Baird and Malcolm Turnbull are to blame.
The European Union has noted:”Australia updates some details on ‘avoided clearing of native regrowth’, stating that projected increases in land clearing will be offset by low rates of native forest harvesting. Noting that tree-clearing controls were instrumental in Australia meeting its Kyoto commitment, have the emissions projections been adjusted to account for the updates?”…..
This cannot go on. The offsetting, lies and rubbery figures must stop. Carbon in the landscape must be increased, not decreased. The Baird government’s new land clearing laws must be stopped and if NSW won’t act the federal government should step in to make it happen.
Christine Milne is the former leader of the Australian Greens. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/mike-baird-is-going-rogue-on-climate-change-20161102-gsg4zr.html
Households face steep hike in power charges as solar subsidies end, The Age, 28 Oct 16 Brian Robins Tens of thousands of households are facing a surge in their electricity bills from the start of the new year as the NSW government’s subsidy for rooftop solar panels expires.
This could add more than $1600 to the annual electricity bill as the so-called ‘feed-in tariff’, the price received for surplus electricity sold into the electricity grid, is slashed by as much as 90 per cent in some cases.
Under the original government program, households which installed solar systems received as much as 60¢ a kilowatt hour for surplus electricity sold into the grid. This will fall to 6¢, or possibly less, depending on the deals done with your electricity retailer. The state government’s pricing regulator IPART, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, has recommended electricity companies pay 5.5-7.2¢ per kilowatt hour for electricity bought from households with solar systems…….http://www.theage.com.au/business/households-face-steep-hike-in-power-charges-as-solar-subsidies-end-20161028-gscu4s.html
NSW push for electricity interconnector with South Australia, SMH, Kirsty Needham , 2 Oct 16 The Baird government will push for a high-voltage interconnector to be built between NSW and South Australia following South Australia’s blackout, convinced the incident has highlighted the need for national energy security.
NSW Minister for Energy Anthony Roberts will attend an emergency meeting of COAG’s Energy Council on Friday, where the South Australian government is expected to seek to speed up a proposal to build the new interconnector between South Australia and the east coast.
The $500 million proposal would involve South Australia’s ElectraNet and NSW’s Transgrid constructing a 300-kilometre transmission route, potentially between Buronga in NSW and Robertson in South Australia, that could supply surplus electricity from NSW.
NSW can already exchange power with Queensland and Victoria.
The project must first be approved by the Australian Energy Regulator because the construction cost will ultimately be passed on to electricity consumers.
But the Baird government argues the interconnector would not only ensure the lights stay on but also boost the growth of the NSW renewable energy sector, particularly solar farms in regional NSW, which would be able to access South Australian customers…….
The NSW Greens energy spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said: “NSW should adopt a state-based renewable energy target, otherwise all the investment and jobs in the clean energy sector will be attracted to other states that do have state-based targets and NSW will miss out.
“Mike Baird can either dance with the coal-loving dinosaurs or he can embrace the booming clean energy future.”
ElectraNet is expected to lodge an application for approval for the interconnector project by the end of the year. An analysis by PWC for Transgrid has estimated the cost to NSW households at $8 a year. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-push-for-electricity-interconnector-with-south-australia-20160930-grspxa.html