Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Solar power, wind power, storage – to replace Liddell coal plant

Liddell coal plant to be replaced by solar, wind, storage http://reneweconomy.com.au/liddell-coal-plant-to-be-replaced-by-solar-wind-storage-64157/

AGL Energy has continued to rubbish suggestions from members of the Coalition, as well as the Murdoch media and the ABC, that Australia should invest in new baseload generation, particularly in coal plants.

“We just don’t see the development of a new coal-fired power plant as economically rational, even before carbon costs,” AGL Energy CEO Andy Vesey told analysts and journalists at a briefing on Thursday, to mark the release of its annual profit results.

And nor would the company consider extending the life of existing coal-fired generators, such as the Liddell plant in the NSW Hunter Valley, which is scheduled to close in 2022.

AGL made a point in its presentation that the most economic option to replace the 2000MW Liddell would not be coal, or baseload gas, but a mix of energy from wind and solar, and various load shaping and firming capacity from other sources.

 This could include battery storage, pumped hydro, demand response mechanisms, and gas peaking plants. It confirmed it is looking at all possibilities but it highlights the shift from reliance on “baseload” power, which as we saw last summer does not equate to reliability, and dispatchable generation.

Already, the 200MW Silverton wind farm is under construction near Broken Hill, and the 465MW Coopers Gap wind farm in Queensland is expected to begin construction soon. Vesey said this would provide “clean reliable energy” for the grid.

AGL also reproduced its estimates of the current cost of wind and solar PV. Both renewable energy technologies delivered energy at a lower cost than brown or black coal, and were still competitive even after adding “firming costs”.

These estimates do not include carbon risk, and the only thing stopping increased investment in those technologies was the lack of policy certainty, Vesey said.

“The challenge is that we are at a point where the lack of certainty around carbon policy is preventing people from investing in the right options, which we think is wind, solar, and storage,” he said. Asked if the company would extend Liddell, built in 1973, particularly given the windfall earnings from the ageing and fully depreciated coal plants in its portfolio given the high wholesale prices, Vesey said no.

Even without factoring in the carbon risk, it would require significant investment in an asset that would be less reliable and have higher cost than other possibilities, such as renewables.

Indeed, Liddell only operated at a capacity factor of 50 per cent in the last financial year, barely above the best performing wind farms.

Notably, half of its capacity was not available during the supply crunch of the NSW heat wave, when wind and solar saved the day after the state’s two biggest gas generators also crashed.

The Bayswater plant operated at 64 per cent capacity, while Loy Yang A operated at around 75 per cent.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

World’s first solar-powered train – for Byron Bay

Byron Bay to get world’s first solar-powered train, courtesy of a coal baron http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/byron-bay-to-get-worlds-first-solarpowered-train-courtesy-of-a-coal-baron-20170702-gx31yo.html Marcus Strom,  A coal baron is delivering the world’s first solar train to Australia.

And while bringing solar to Byron Bay might be a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, that’s just what the Byron Bay Railroad Company is doing. “I think this is a world first,” said John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, which is not connected to the project.

“There is a train in India that has solar panels to power lights and fans, but not a whole train.” The Byron Bay Railroad Company, operated by mining executive Brian Flannery, expects to have its two-carriage heritage train running before Christmas, said Jeremy Holmes, a spokesman for the company.

It will operate on part of the disused Casino-to-Murwillumbah line, which closed in 2004.

Dan Cass, a renewable energy specialist at the Australia Institute, said: “This is the first we have heard of a train this size that is literally solar powered, with PV modules on the roof.”

July 8, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

New South Wales largest solar energy farm to go ahead

Sunraysia solar farm, largest in NSW, gets planning approval  http://reneweconomy.com.au/sunraysia-solar-farm-largest-in-nsw-gets-planning-approval-64560/ By Giles Parkinson on 26 June 2017  The 200MW Sunraysia solar farm project near Balranald in western New South Wales has become the largest solar project in the state to receive planning approval.

Solar farm developer Maoneng, which has built the smaller 13MW Mugga Lane solar farm in the ACT (pictured below), said it received the planning approval last week nd hopes to begin construction by the end of the year and to be complete by the summer of 2018/19.

Maoneng says the solar farm will be located in one of the sunniest parts of NSW and is expected to produce around 530,000MWh of electricity a year. It is considering adding storage at a later date.

According to RenewEconomy data, a total of six solar farms have already begun construction in NSW – on top of the four already completed – and Sunraysia is one of at least 21 aspiring solar projects

“The development approval will be followed by further consultation with various stakeholders in developing detailed construction management plans,” Maoneng vice president Qiao Nan Han said in a statement

“This process will run in parallel to our current contractor selection process to ensure that all conditions of consent are correctly adhered to. We are looking to start construction by the end of the year with an anticipated construction period of 12 months.”

 

 

June 28, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

New South Wales DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro renews calls for nuclear power

Call for nuclear debate as NSW government arrives in Singleton, Newcastle Herald, MICHAEL McGOWAN 15 Jun 2017, DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro renewed his calls for nuclear power to be “part of the debate” about the state’s future energy mix before a cabinet meeting in Singleton on Thursday.

As debates about the role of coal-fired electricity in Australia’s energy mix heat up, and plants like Liddell and Bayswater in the Hunter approach their use-by date, Mr Barilaro said nuclear “should always be on the table” as a replacement source of energy.

“Right now those power stations are run by those companies and they will make those long-term decisions [but] when it comes to baseload energy gas, coal and nuclear should always be on the table,” he said.

“As a nation we’re going to export uranium, we’re going to possibly bring back waste, but yet we don’t want to use it for our own energy sources.”

Those comments come in the wake of the release of the Finkel Review into energy security released last week, which recommended governments implement a new Clean Energy Target which would provide incentives for new generators that produce electricity below an emissions baseline…..http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4731625/call-for-nuclear-debate-as-nsw-government-arrives-in-singleton/

June 16, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Josh Frydenberg, Minister For Fossil Fuel Energy, prevents hybrid renewable energy plus battery storage microgrid at Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe microgrid in doubt as Frydenberg rules out wind turbines http://reneweconomy.com.au/39084-2/, By Sophie Vorrath on 13 June 2017 One Step Off The Grid

Plans to install a hybrid renewable energy plus battery storage microgrid at New South Wales’ Lord Howe Island, and slash its diesel fuel use, have hit a major political snag, after the federal energy minister intervened to rule out the wind power component of the long-awaited, ARENA-backed project.

The project – which has been in the works for some six years now, and in 2014 won a $4.5 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and a $5.6 million loan from NSW Treasury – was to install 500kW of wind, 400kW solar PV and 400kWh of battery storage, in an effort to cut the island’s diesel usage by two-thirds.

Just one year ago the Lord Howe Island Board called for tenders for the installation of the first stage of the project’s development.

But the Board’s manager of infrastructure and engineering services, Andrew Logan, said Minister Frydenberg had ruled, late last week, that the impacts of the proposed two 250kW wind turbines on the Island’s World and National Heritage values – particularly on its ‘visual landscape’ – were unacceptable. Continue reading

June 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, New South Wales, politics, wind | Leave a comment

Religious leaders in active opposition to Adani coal mine project

NSW religious leaders join Adani protests, Herald Sun Dominica Sanda and Greta Stonehouse, Australian Associated Press, June 5, 2017 Ten Buddhist and Christian leaders rallied inside the Darling Harbour office on Monday holding signs with messages including “People of faith say rule out Adani” and “Grandpa what did you do about global warming?”

June 7, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Major commercial shopping sites in NSW and South Australia to go solar

Four shopping centres to go behind the meter in major commercial solar deal, REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath on 6 June 2017 One Step Off The GridOne of Australia’s biggest shopping centre owners, SCA Property Group, has joined the march to solar, after signing a deal to power four of its major commercial sites cross regional New South Wales and South Australia with a combined total of 2.9 MW of rooftop PV.

In an ASX announcement on late last week, Queensland-based solar supplier ReNu Energy said it had entered an agreement with SCA Property to own and operate solar PV and embedded network systems across four shopping centres, for a period of 10 years with an additional three, five year options……..http://reneweconomy.com.au/four-shopping-centres-to-go-behind-the-meter-in-major-commercial-solar-deal-31391/

June 7, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

New South Wales Labor leader to debate NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro on nuclear power for the State

Mayor welcomes Labor vs Nats debate on nuclear power, Northern Star 5th Jun 2017: LISMORE mayor Isaac Smith has said he welcomed any debate on energy, following the news that NSW Labor leader Luke Foley had accepted a challenge by the NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro to engage in a debate nuclear power in NSW. Mr Foley suggested a public forum in Lismore as the venue for the debate…..

June 5, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Sea level rise threatening Australia’s East Coast holiday beaches

South Coast 2100: what sea level rise could do to Canberra’s beach getaways http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/south-coast-2100-what-sea-level-rise-could-do-to-canberras-beach-getaways-20170524-gwc19u.html  Stephen Jeffery   Canberra holidaymakers at the end of this century could drive down the Kings Highway to find the villas and waterfront homes of Batemans Bay below the high tide line.

Updated mapping from Coastal Risk Australia has estimated the effect of plausible sea level rises on the south coast by 2100.

Earlier this year, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this year lifted the “plausible” sea level rise to as high as between 2 and 2.7 metres by 2100 if emissions remained at their current levels.

The map showed the highest risk scenario, a two metre rise during the highest tides, would engulf most beachfront properties and promenades in Batemans Bay and Batehaven.

    • Further north, the Shoalhaven River would claim much of the low-lying farmland between Nowra and the ocean, stranding Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point and Culbarra Beach.

      The canal properties that front Sussex Inlet would go underwater, while the Princes Highway would be cut at Dolphin Point and on either side of Moruya.

    • Merimbula Airport would be inundated, according to the forecast, as would the marina and Market Street bridge over Boggy Creek.

      The worst effects of the sea level rise would be felt elsewhere in the state, including in the Illawarra, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Ballina and Byron Bay.

Parts of Sydney, including two airport runways, would also be adversely affected, based on the estimates.

NOAA estimated sea levels rose 0.65 millimetres per year between 1886 and 2010 in Sydney, with a global mean rise of about 3.2 millimetres per year between 1993 and 2014.

NGIS, which developed the mapping tool, used Google technology and local tide measurements to create Coastal Risk Australia.

The NOAA report, published in January, was developed through analysis of the expected melting rate of Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice sheets.

“Recent results regarding Antarctic icesheet instability indicate that such outcomes [higher sea level rises] may be more likely than previously thought,” the report said.

“There has been continued and growing evidence that both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass at an accelerated rate.”

Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla councils developed a south coast regional sea level rise policy in 2014.

Shoalhaven adopted a projected 36 centimetre sea level rise by 2100 in 2015, but agreed to conduct revised projections every seven years.

Eurobodalla has adopted a 50-year planning period for residential development and 23 centimetre sea level rise by 2050, but will also revise the guidelines every five to seven years.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s climate change strategy warned of a rise of up to 91 centimetres by 2100.

The strategy recommended future risk assessments, a coastal strategy and the incorporation of sea level rise consideration into environmental planning, infrastructure development and emergency management.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

New South Wales EPA must review procedures for managing contaminated land

I wonder if the radioactively polluted area in Hunter’s Hill is included in this.   Also, just how clean is the Lucas Heights area?  Or should I say Baren Ridge – sounds cleaner than Lucas Heights, doncha think?
Land contamination review follows Fairfax Media Toxic State investigation, SMH, 28 May 17 , James Robertson,  The state government will urgently review procedures for managing contaminated land in NSW, following a Fairfax Media investigation that revealed suspected contamination in residential areas was not being made public to protect house prices.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced the review on Saturday after Fairfax Media revealed that the Environment Protection Authority had been keeping “significant” chemical contamination hidden to protect residential property prices.

“There will be an independent urgent review into the procedural guidelines for contaminated land management,” Ms Upton said in a statement…..

An independent review last year found the authority had decided “not to routinely declare all sites where the contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation”.

The authority wanted to avoid “blighting” land prices but its head, Barry Buffier, denied that property prices were the “driving factor” in the organisation’s decision-making.

Environmentalists and the state’s opposition said they were alarmed that residents throughout the state could be unknowingly living on top of dangerous chemicals.

Fairfax also revealed the EPA was struggling to assess and prioritise many thousands of sites that had been reported as contaminated.  …..http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/land-contamination-review-follows-fairfax-media-toxic-state-investigation-20170527-gwek1e.html

May 29, 2017 Posted by | environment, New South Wales | Leave a comment

NATIONALS SHOULD NAME LOCATIONS FOR NUTTY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PLAN

The Greens NSW Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the National Party and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro for raising the prospect of a nuclear power plant in NSW saying renewable energy is safer, cheaper, and more effective at combatting climate change.

“I challenge John Barilaro and Gladys Berejiklian to name which electorate, which suburb and which town in NSW they think a nuclear power plant should be built in,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“They also need to come clean with where they are planning to have a nuclear waste dump to manage the highly radioactive waste fuel that will be produced.

“Nuclear power is an enormous risk that is not worth taking. We should learn the lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl that nuclear power can be catastrophic.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia.

“Launching their nuclear ambitions in Broken Hill shows the Nationals are completely out of touch with the community and the future of energy supply in Australia.

“One of the largest solar farms in the country, the Broken Hill Solar Plant, has just been built and the nearby Silverton Wind Farm will be the largest wind project in NSW once it is constructed.

“The declining cost of renewables means nuclear energy does not make financial sense, as we can see with Japanese giant Toshiba going broke because of its involvement in nuclear power plants.

“Even if the Nationals could force nuclear power through massive community opposition, it is not an answer to our energy needs or climate crisis with plants taking more than a decade to be built.

“The Greens believe the future of energy supply is renewables, not dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power,” Mr Buckingham concluded.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Nature Conservation Council of NSW slams Deputy Premier’s nuclear power plan

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk/news-story/0a4b29c1a3ae25ad8e67ce3c0130b6a2 Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean “guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions” in the face of a power crisis.

He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options weren’t on the table.

“Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was “dirty, dangerous and expensive” and could leave a “toxic legacy”.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaro’s comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia,” he said.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

New South Wales Green Groups challenge Deputy Premier John Barilaro on nuclear power

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/05/20/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk

Green groups have ridiculed talk of nuclear power being placed back on the agenda by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro as a “nutty” idea.

Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean “guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions” in the face of a power crisis. He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options weren’t on the table.

“Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was “dirty, dangerous and expensive” and could leave a “toxic legacy”.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaro’s comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia,” he said.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales govt about to go all enthusiastic about nuclear power?

Nuclear power on the agenda in NSW as Deputy Premier claims ‘we’ve been led by fear and mistruths’ ABC News By state political reporter Lucy McNally, 19 May 17, New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has put nuclear energy on the agenda, arguing it would help secure the state’s power supply in the future.

Mr Barilaro, the leader of the NSW Nationals, will address his party’s annual conference in Broken Hill today, where he will make the case for a nuclear debate.

“I’m challenging my members to look for exciting solutions and think about the generations to come,” he said.”We live in a resource-rich nation, where energy should be our competitive advantage, but we’ve had the settings wrong, we’ve been led by political correctness and unfortunately by fear and mistruths.”

Mr Barilaro said those “mistruths” had stifled debate……

“Look at France, they currently rely heavily on nuclear energy which they import from places next door like the Czech Republic and other European nations,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Yet they have made a commitment to build a plant in France. Places like the US and Korea have all decided to look at building nuclear plants.”….. [ed note – this is simply incorrect

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was not convinced of the merits of nuclear power.

“My view always is that science and safety have to stack up, on anything,” she said.

“So I’m in the camp of the jury’s still out.”

Ms Berejiklian said she was open to discussing the issue, including at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting in June…….

The State Opposition’s energy spokesman, Adam Searle, has dismissed the comments as a “thought bubble”. “The fact is nuclear energy is enormously expensive, consumes huge amounts of water — and of course Australia doesn’t have a lot of spare water — to say nothing of the environmental issues,” he said.

“Who’s going to build it? Who’s going to fund it? It’s just ridiculous.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-19/nuclear-power-nsw-nationals-leader-wants-to-open-debate/8540274

May 20, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales National Party to embrace nuclear energy

 Nuclear energy must be considered for NSW: Nationals leader ANDREW CLENNELL, STATE POLITICAL EDITOR, The Daily Telegraph , May 19, 2017 NUCLEAR energy should be considered as a way forward to provide energy security in NSW, Deputy Premier John Barilaro will tell his first National party conference as leader today.

May 19, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | 5 Comments