Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Community solar fund shares sold out in nine minutes!

solar-panels-and-money“Although this is only a particularly small project, what it is is it represents the first community solar lease product in Australia, it represents the first community solar cooperative fund and it represents the first crowdfunded equity community solar project,”

Community Solar Co-Op Shares Sells Out in Minutes https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/08/community-solar-co-op-shares-sells-minutes/ Renewable energy organisation Pingala sold out of shares in nine minutes for its first community solar fund. Pingala partnered with the environmentally-conscious Young Henrys brewery in Newtown, Sydney to build a solar farm on its roof, which will save an estimated 127 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

The newly launched Pingala Cooperative, which sits alongside the Pingala Not for Profit, allows the organisation to raise funds from member investors to install solar panels on its partner businesses.

“We then lease the solar to the business, so they pay us a fee to be able to use the equipment as though it were their own, and through that we get a revenue stream that allows us to pay our costs and generate a small profit,” Pingala secretary Tom Nockolds told Pro Bono Australia News.

“So we’re offering our investors between 5 and 8 per cent… return on investment. But they’re investing in Pingala on an ongoing basis, so there’s no predetermined timeline for when investors get their money back, it’s totally up to the investors themselves to decide when they want to sell their shares, it’s much like buying shares in a company. Continue reading

August 24, 2016 Posted by | business, New South Wales, solar | 1 Comment

Nuclear waste plan for South Australia not economically viable? Global nuclear lobby doesn’t care

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – by unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. The NFCRC plan also promises the chance of a market in Australia for the mini nuclear reactors.

toilet map South Australia 2

Mixed motives in South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan, Noel Wauchope, Online Opinion, 23 Aug 16In South Australia the continued nuclear push focusses solely on a nuclear waste importing industry. Yet that might not be economically viable. Behind the scenes, another agenda is being pursued – that of developing new generation nuclear reactors.

First, let’s look at the message. The message from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) is clearly a plan to make South Australia rich, by importing foreign nuclear wastes……This theme has been repeated ad nauseam by the NFCRC’s publicity, by politicians, and the mainstream media.…..

Meanwhile, the South Australian Parliament is holding a Committee Inquiry into the NFCRC’s recommendations. This Committee asked witnesses about various aspects of the plan. However, an intense focus in questioning Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce, and Dr Tim Johnson from Jacob Engineering (financial reporter to the NFCRC) was directed at the economic question. It was clear that the politicians were concerned that there’s a possibility of the State spending a significant amount of money on the project, which might then not go ahead. And, indeed, Dr Johnson acknowledged that, financially,” there is a very significant risk”

Whereas other countries are compelled to develop nuclear waste facilities, to deal with their waste production from civil and military reactors,that is not a necessity for Australia, (with the exception of relatively tiny amounts derived from the Lucas Heights research reactor).

So, the only reason for South Australia to develop a massive nuclear waste management business is to make money.

If it’s not profitable, then it shouldn’t be done.

Or so it would seem.

There is another, quieter, message. When you read the Royal Commission’s reports, you find that, while the major aim is for a nuclear waste business, in fact, the door is kept open for other parts of the nuclear fuel chain…….

The clearest explanation of this came early in 2015, just as the NFCRC was starting, in an ABC Radio National talk by Oscar Archer…….

Archer’s plan is significant because it illustrates a very important point about South Australia’s nuclear waste plan – IT SOLVES A GLOBAL NUCLEAR INDUSTRY PROBLEM. Both in ‘already nuclear’ countries, especially America, and in the so far non nuclear counties, such as in South Asia, the nuclear industry is stalled because of its nuclear waste problem. In America, the “new small nuclear”, such as the PRISM, technologies (Power Reactor Innnovative Small Module) cannot even be tested, without a definite waste disposal solution. But, if South Australia provided not only the solution, but also the first setting up of new small reactors, that would give the industry the necessary boost……..

Once Australia has set up a nuclear waste importing industry, the nuclear reactor salesmen of USA, Canada, South Korea, will have an excellent marketing pitch for South Asia, as the nuclear waste problem has been removed from their shores.. And South Asia is exactly the market that the NCRC has in its sights. The NFCRC eliminated most of the EU, Russia, China, North America as customers. This was explained by Dr Tim Jacobs, of Jacobs Engineering, (financial reporters to the NFCRC), at the recent hearing of the South Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission ………

South Australia’s government is influenced by a strong nuclear lobby push and the Royal Commission advocacy for solving that State’s present financial problems by a futuristic nuclear waste repository bonanza scheme…….

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable. Their fairly desperate need is to sell nuclear reactors to those countries that don’t already have them. In particular, the ‘small nuclear” lobby sees an urgency now, with ‘big nuclear’ failing, to get their industry happening.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – by unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. The NFCRC plan also promises the chance of a market in Australia for the mini nuclear reactors.    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18465&page=1

August 23, 2016 Posted by | business, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australia’s dysfunctional National Electricity Market (NEM)

Dennis Matthews, 1 August 16 Once again, South Australia’s electricity supply is in trouble. The transition to solar and wind electricity has not been well managed, but this has as much to do with the National Electricity Market (NEM) and privatisation as it has to do with the technology.

The basic issue is one of supply and demand. Previously there was a surge in demand during heat waves, recently we had a plunge in supply. The summer surge in demand was met by gas-fired peaking power stations. A privatised electricity industry operating in an electricity market meant that these suppliers were in a monopoly position; they could and did command exorbitant wholesale prices, typically 100 times the average. Because of the NEM rules, these prices then automatically flowed on to all suppliers in the NEM.

The recent winter plunge in supply was met, under political pressure, by gas-fired power stations. Once again, the suppliers were in a monopoly position and commanded exorbitant wholesale prices.

South Australia is being held to ransom by socially irresponsible companies operating in a dysfunctional market.

 

August 1, 2016 Posted by | business, South Australia | Leave a comment

Desperate coal industry sponsors attacks on wind farms

wind-farm-evil-1Coal is behind the attacks on wind turbines. It’s fighting for its life, The Age,  Peter Martin, 27 July 16 

First they were supposed to be destroying birds, then sleep. Now wind turbines are being blamed for destroying the Australian electricity market and pushing prices as high as $14,000 per megawatt hour.

As Victoria gives the green light for a massive $650 million wind farm with up to 104 turbines at Dundonnell, 200 kilometres west of Melbourne, and with talk of more wind farms in NSW a Liberal senator has been calling for a moratorium on new turbines until the Productivity Commission examines what they are doing to prices.

“There should be no further subsidies paid for an intermittent and unreliable power source that can be seen as as proven failure,” Senator Chris Back is quoted as saying, in an apparent attempt to prejudge the inquiry he is calling for.

On the face of it, it’s an odd idea: that adding a new and very cheap source of power should push up prices (wind turbines cost next to nothing to operate). And for the record, it’s not true. South Australia has more wind turbines than any other state. They supply more than one-third of its power. Yet a graph prepared by the Australian National University’s Hugh Saddler shows that South Australia’s average electricity price was much higher when they only provided 10 per cent.

The complaint is about spot prices, those instant short-lived prices the big industrial users have to pay if they haven’t insured against sudden movements, as a lot have not………

With fewer coal-fired plants, and with wind plants scattered throughout the nation, the system has the potential to work surprisingly well. Energy analyst David Leitch points out that in South Australia most of the wind turbines fire up at the same time, but if they were also placed in northern NSW and Tasmania (where the wind blows at very different times) each would fill the other’s gaps.

South Australia and Tasmania overlap only 10 per cent of the time. At other times, the gap would be filled by storage: either batteries or water storage as wind power pumps water up to the top of mountains while the wind’s abundant and lets it drop through hydro plants when it’s not.

Wind needn’t be a problem, regardless of what you’ve been told. But it does leave very little role for coal, which supplies base load power for which a wind-dominated system would have little use.

With fewer coal-fired plants, and with wind plants scattered throughout the nation, the system has the potential to work surprisingly well. Energy analyst David Leitch points out that in South Australia most of the wind turbines fire up at the same time, but if they were also placed in northern NSW and Tasmania (where the wind blows at very different times) each would fill the other’s gaps.

South Australia and Tasmania overlap only 10 per cent of the time. At other times, the gap would be filled by storage: either batteries or water storage as wind power pumps water up to the top of mountains while the wind’s abundant and lets it drop through hydro plants when it’s not.

Wind needn’t be a problem, regardless of what you’ve been told. But it does leave very little role for coal, which supplies base load power for which a wind-dominated system would have little use. http://linkis.com/www.theage.com.au/co/1H46Y

July 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s costs for Brazil mine disaster – $3 billion and rising

BHPB-sadBHP Billiton’s Samarco costs top $3 billion, ABC News By business reporter Stephen Letts, 28 July 16,  Mining giant BHP Billiton has doubled its provisions for the Samarco mine disaster in Brazil to well in excess of $3 billion.

BHP said it will recognise another provision in the range of $US1.1 to $US1.3 billion ($1.5 to $1.7 billion) on top of $US1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) charge already announced in its half-yearly results in February.

That charge, along with several other asset write-downs, caused BHP to report a record $7.8 billion interim loss.

In a statement to the ASX, BHP said the new provision is approximately equivalent to its 50 per cent share of the current estimate of the Samarco compensation deal struck with Brazilian federal, state and municipal authorities in March.

However, that funding agreement – which was intended to restore and repatriate the community and environment affected by the tailings dam collapse – remains in limbo, having being suspended by Brazil’s Supreme Court last month.

The BHP statement noted the provision reflected the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the nature and timing of a potential restart of the Samarco operations.

The charge will be recognised as an exceptional item in the forthcoming results, together with direct costs of around $US100 million ($133 million)…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-28/bhp-billiton-samarco-costs-top-3-billion-dollars/7668832

July 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Green bonds fast gaining popularity

Victoria-sunny.psdGreen bonds the new black in the market as environmental financing surges, ABC News, 26 July 16 By business reporter Stephen Letts The environmentally sensitive shoots developing in the global bonds market appear to be heading for a serious growth spurt with another record quarter of “green bonds” issuance.

In a research note on the sector, the credit ratings agency Moody’s found environmentally focused green bond issuance in the June quarter hit a record $US20.3 billion ($27 billion), well above the $US16.9 billion ($22.5 billion) recorded in the first quarter of the year.

Added together, the two quarters raised almost 90 per cent more capital than in the first half of 2015.

“The global green bond market is now poised to reach $US75 billion ($100 billion) in total volume for 2016 and so set a new record for the fifth consecutive year, given the strong issuance already observable in the first two weeks of Q3,” Moody’s senior vice president Henry Shilling said.

That fresh flow in the third quarter includes $300 million worth of bonds from Victoria put out to tender earlier this month, the first green issuance from an Australian state or federal government……

Clean energy projects dominate the market

The increasing demand has been supported by many big pension funds now carrying mandates that stipulate portfolios must hold required levels of environmentally friendly investments.

Around two-thirds of green bond proceeds in the quarter were directed to renewable energy and energy efficient projects, with clean transport accounting for a further 17 per cent of the money raised.

The US dominated issuance, with 23 per cent of the market, followed by the big development agencies such as the World Bank, with 17 per cent, although China is expected to bounce back to its dominant position in the market with $US3 billion worth of bonds in the pipeline for sale in coming months……. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-27/green-is-new-black-in-the-bonds-market-environmental-finance/7664414

July 27, 2016 Posted by | business, energy, Victoria | Leave a comment

The critically important work of Australia’s indigenous rangers

Indigenous rangers play a silent and undervalued role as leaders and educators in their communities, role models for how to progress in both worlds. It’s important to provide local, challenging, culturally relevant, real jobs to keep these leaders embedded within the fabric of their families and communities.

They need a commitment beyond 2018 that their real jobs will still exist.

[The video below does not apply to The Numbulwar ranger group, but still gives an example of the kind of work that they do]

Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program

Are Indigenous rangers engaged in ‘real jobs’? The answer is simple, Guardian , 22 July 16 

As well as protecting the land, Indigenous rangers play an undervalued role as leaders in their communities. It’s never been more important to protect these jobs. Many conservative politicians and commentators argue Indigenous ranger jobs are not “real jobs”. This is perfectly illustrated by the recentleaking to Crikey of a secret federal Coalition government plan to radically change this successful Indigenous ranger program in order to “get participants into employment”. While the minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion has denied he is planning an overhaul of the program, his government has not made a commitment to fund the program beyond 2018.

This question of whether ranger jobs are “real jobs” can easily be put to rest.

The Numbulwar ranger group in Arnhem Land was re-established in November 2015, Continue reading

July 23, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, employment, environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Australian uranium miner Paladin questioned by Australian Securities Exchange

questionPaladin cops ASX query over deals The West Australian on July 22, 2016Paladin Energy has been forced to halt trading of its shares after a query from the Australian Securities Exchange demanding more information about $US200 million worth of deals flagged to the market yesterday.

Paladin did not outline the additional information requested by the ASX, but yesterday’s announcement was notable in that it did not give the name of the party offering to pay $US175 million for 24 per cent of its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia.

Paladin said yesterday the agreement was non-binding and that “key terms of this proposed transaction remain confidential, including the identity of the counterparty”.

Paladin promised yesterday to disclose details as the deal firmed up, including the identity of the buyer.

But the ASX has been on the warpath over non-disclosure of counterparties to major funding deals since the Padbury Mining scandal in 2014, when shares in the market tiddler surged after it said funding had been “secured” from an unnamed party that would supposedly deliver $US6.5 billion to build the Oakajee port and rail project…….Paladin shares closed down 3.5¢ to 20.5¢ on the announcement yesterday.  https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32125776/paladin-cops-asx-query-over-deals/#page1

July 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Investors run from Australian uranium company, debt-laden Paladin Energy

text-uranium-hypePaladin sold down despite $US200m in deals Peter Klinger – The West Australian on July 21, 2016  Investors have failed to applaud news from debt-laden Paladin Energy that it had struck almost $US200 million worth of deals, including offloading a big slice of its flagship Langer Heinrich uranium mine.

The news also includes a plan to sell 75 per cent of the undeveloped Manyingee uranium project east of Onslow to Chinese-backed, ASX listed tin miner MGT Resources for up to $US30 million. The Manyingee deal does not include the Carley Bore deposit.

The proposed sale of a 24 per cent stake of Langer Heinrich, in Namibia, to an unnamed party for $US175 million is the main plank of Paladin’s long-awaited debt reduction plan.

The Perth company, which remains one of the world’s few pure-play uranium producers but is fighting to remain viable because of the nuclear fuel’s long-term depressed price, has $US212 million in convertible bonds due in April next year.

Paladin is refusing to name the “major participant in the global nuclear power industry” which will buy the stake, which will cut Paladin’s interest in its only operating asset to 51 per cent.

But analysts will be focusing on China National Nuclear Corporation, which bought 25 per cent of Langer Heinrich for $US190 million two years ago.

The lack of clarity or certainty around the Langer Heinrich sale saw Paladin shares fall 2.5 cents, or 10.42 per cent, to 21.5 cents at noon on solid turnover this morning.

“The parties are using their best endeavours to prepare definitive documentation for formal execution, including (a) sale and purchase agreement, shareholders agreement, and documentation for the uranium off-take arrangements,” Paladin said.

“Paladin is working towards a formal close of the transaction in the fourth quarter (of this year). Other than set out in this announcement, the other key terms of this proposed transaction remain confidential, including the identity of the counterparty.” https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32114763/paladin-sold-down-despite-us200m-in-deals/#page1

July 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Wind down for the “dirtiest industry” – uranium mining in Africa

burial.uranium-industryUranium is the dirty underbelly of nuclear – scientist , Engineering News,  BY: NEWS24WIRE, 21 july 16  Anti nuclear sentiment tends to focus on nuclear waste or operational risks, but more focus should be on the “dirty underbelly” of uranium mining, according to a science adviser.

“Whenever people get excited about nuclear power stations, they kind of forget where the actual uranium comes from,”Dr Stefan Cramer, science adviser for environmentalist groupSafcei, told Fin24 in an interview recently.

“Nuclear is a fallacy, both economically and environmentally,” Cramer, who was born in Germany but not now lives in Graaff-Reinet, claimed. “Uranium mining is the dirty underbelly of this whole nuclearcycle,” he said. “It’s where it all starts.”

“One must stop nuclear industries in (their) tracks because it leaves future generations with an immeasurable task and legacy,” he said. “The best point to start is at the source, where the whole cycle of nuclear technology begins, and that is at uranium mining.

“Uranium mining is very much the dirtiest part of the entire industry.” Anti-uranium mining boost

Cramer’s focus on anti-uranium mining was given a boost this month when Australian company Tasman Pacific Minerals Limited said it is downsizing its mining application in South Africa by almost 90%.

“Overall, the area covered by Tasman’s new and existing mining right and prospecting right applications in the Western and Eastern Cape will reduce by almost 300 000 ha to approximately 465 000 ha,” it said…… http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/uranium-is-the-dirty-underbelly-of-nuclear-scientist-2016-07-21

 

July 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Uranium price slump further reduces ERA sales

doom and gloomERA uranium output slumps THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 13, 2016 Mill maintenance sharply reduced June quarter production by Ranger uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia.

Production for the period, characterised by a further fall in the already depressed spot price for uranium to $US26.40 a pound, slumped 18 per cent to 489 tonnes.

The 68 per cent-owned Rio Tinto subsidiary had been reduced to treating stockpiled material and was accumulating cash to cover the estimated rehabilitation cost of the mine, inside Kakadu, of more than $500 million.

Recently it reported it was holding cash of $433m, prompting Rio to offer a $100m credit facility to ensure rehabilitation costs were met…….

ERA had been planning to extend its mine life by developing the Ranger 3 Deeps deposit, but Rio and the traditional owners did not support the plan, meaning ERA’s existing Ranger authority to operate is set to end in 2021.

ERA has nevertheless preserved the option of an eventual development of Ranger 3 Deeps by committing to spending about $4m annually on care and maintenance of the exploration decline and related infrastructure.

The option was the key finding of the group’s strategic review, released in May, after it was clear the support of Rio and the traditional owners was not forthcoming.

Rio’s no-interest rehabilitation credit facility came with the condition that ERA did not seek to extend production at Ranger beyond 2020 by developing the Ranger 3 Deeps.

ERA previously said that while it expected to fully fund the rehabilitation, it might have to draw on the Rio funding in some situations…..http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/era-uranium-output-slumps/news-story/08e7df8b9a063dc6c8baa203d471f0ff

July 13, 2016 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Business Plan from Hell – South Australia

cliff-money-nuclear

Blandy conveyed his objections to the royal commission — which substantially ignored them. Instead, the commission continued putting its trust in Jacobs MCM, which it had engaged to perform its financial modelling.

Jacobs, The Australia Institute notes, “consult extensively to the nuclear industry and have an interest in its expansion and continuation”

Nuclear waste dump case unravels, World News Report, 13 July 16 , Green Left By Renfrey Clarke  “…….That the environmental and health risks posed by the international waste scheme are alarming and the economics could well be prohibitive are being ignored by the scheme’s supporters.

In its February “tentative findings” and in its May 9 final report, the state government’s royal commission set the hucksters drooling with its view that a high-level waste dump “could generate more than $100 billion income in excess of expenditure over the 120-year life of the project”.

Even this sum was too modest for the Murdoch-owned Adelaide Advertiser as it sought to herd public opinion behind the government’s plans. Working only from revenues and ignoring costs, the newspaper declared on February 17 that “a gigantic $445 billion would be pumped into the state’s finances over at least 70 years”.

The truth is that the economic case for the project rests on such wild assumptions that any competent entrepreneur would view it as a business plan from hell.

Hopes of a monster pay-out were savaged during March when The Australia Institute published a detailed analysis of the waste dump scheme.

Retired professor of economics Richard Blandy, the economic commentator for the Independent Dailyexploded the royal commission’s guesswork still more definitively on June 7.

The figure for net income of $100 billion, Blandy explained, was based on a completely fanciful estimate of the price that South Australia could expect to obtain for storing spent reactor fuel.

To obtain this estimate, of $1.75 million per tonne of heavy metal, the commission had assumed that the South Australian authorities of the future would have perfect knowledge of the maximum price that potential customers were willing to pay and that the state would face no competitors in the waste storage market-place.

The reality, as Blandy pointed out, is that India and China — to name just two countries — have extensive nuclear power industries and are highly likely to create their own waste repositories.

For these countries to add extra capacity to accommodate international customers would be relatively cheap — and much cheaper than could be managed by an Australian dump relying exclusively on imported waste.

The “$100 billion” figure also reflected an estimate that 37 countries that now have nuclear power industries — or that might someday set them up — would contract with South Australia to store 50% of their reactor waste.

But what if this estimate was grossly inflated?

If South Australia’s dump attracted only a quarter of the wastes targeted, Blandy calculated, and if the price received equalled the costs of building storage capacity in Sweden or Finland (costs, we must assume, that would be high compared to those in India or China) then the South Australian dump would lose money.

Blandy conveyed his objections to the royal commission — which substantially ignored them. Instead, the commission continued putting its trust in Jacobs MCM, which it had engaged to perform its financial modelling.

Jacobs, The Australia Institute notes, “consult extensively to the nuclear industry and have an interest in its expansion and continuation”…… plans.https://world.einnews.com/article/334731841/OM4SBscz5Dp42697

 

July 13, 2016 Posted by | business, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia | Leave a comment

Assessing the risks of Australia becoming the world’s nuclear wasteland

Weatherill,-Jay-wastesShunning nuclear power but not its waste: Assessing the risks of Australia becoming the world’s nuclear wasteland   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629616301323 Mark Diesendorf 

Abstract

The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has undertaken ‘an independent and comprehensive investigation into the potential for increasing South Australia’s participation in the nuclear fuel cycle’. In its Final Report, issued 6 May 2016, it acknowledges that nuclear power would not be commercially viable in South Australia in the foreseeable future. However it recommends that ‘the South Australian Government establish used nuclear fuel and intermediate level waste storage and disposal facilities in South Australia’. This is a business proposition to store a large fraction of global nuclear wastes, providing interim above-ground storage followed by permanent underground storage in South Australia. The present critical evaluation of the scheme finds that the Royal Commission’s economic analysis is based on many unsubstantiated assumptions. Furthermore, the scheme is financially risky for both Australian taxpayers and customers and has a questionable ethical basis.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia’s big banks lending to fossil fuels 6 times more than to renewables

climate-changeClimate change: big four banks’ lending to Australian renewables projects falls, Guardian, , 4 July 16   Market Forces finds only two financing deals closed in first half of 2016 despite banks’ purported support for sector Australia’s big four banks’ lending for Australian renewable energy projects has tumbled in the first half of 2016, despite all of them spruiking their continuing support for the sector.

Based on public announcements from the banks and their customers, the activist group Market Forces has found only two financing deals were closed this year in the Australian renewables sector.

The National Australia Bank lent money to a windfarm in South Australia and both NAB and Westpac helped finance one in New South Wales.

Although more financing could be revealed in the second half of the year, the figures seem to show the banks have slowed their flow of money to the renewables sector in Australia.

“This is what you see when you have years of stagnation and cutting into renewable energy policy,” said Julien Vincent from Market Forces.

The group has been collecting the data on financing for Australian renewable energy projects for the past eight years.

The first six months of 2016 have seen the big four banks lend only $162m to renewable projects. That is less than half the average amount loaned in all previous six-month periods since 2008 and the fifth-worst half-yearly figure in the dataset.

So far this year, according to public announcements, both the Commonwealth Bank and ANZ have not closed any deals for renewable energy projects in Australia.

Market Forces data previously showed the big four banks lent $5.5bn to the Australian fossil-fuel sector in 2015 and that the amount lent to the fossil-fuel sector was six times more than lent to the renewables sector since 2008. One bank had a ratio of 13 to one, favouring lending to fossil fuels over renewables……….https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/04/climate-change-big-four-banks-lending-to-australian-renewables-projects-falls

July 4, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

China as market for agriculture, could be finished if nuclear waste dump goes ahead

Kristen Jelk, Your Say Last month I was in China promoting an Australian product that comes from SA which is pitched as a clean, green, environment. The full potential of the market in China for South Australian produce is immeasurable. From a Chinese consumers point of view, the environmental conditions where the product is sourced or grown, is pivotal to the choices made when purchasing.

Chinese consumers will pay top prices for products that are considered SAFE – produced where the source is known to be an unpolluted clean environment. Perception is everything, and if a consumer becomes aware that SA had developed a nuclear waste dump, then that perception of a safe environment will be shattered. It will not matter that the dump is in a desert, nor will it matter if the dump is considerable distance from prime agricultural land, nor will it matter if experts assure of safety standards.

South Australia nuclear toilet

The perception that would prevail is that SA will be a dumping ground for nuclear waste. If this is a discussion over commercial viability verses environmental risks long term, then I would argue that the real cost of the dump being located in SA is the loss in the perception that SA is a “clean, green” state. Questions would be raised over validity of the safety of the states produce.

Science does not dispel the pervading distrust of nuclear waste storage. Impassioned long standing anti-nuclear supporters cannot be placated and therefore ongoing discourse over the proposed dump will just shine a brighter light on the discussion world wide. The long term impact on the revenue of export sales will, without doubt be affected.

To risk the potential of long term growth in export sales due to a short term vision on job creation,( which is questionable ) is not good economics. SA has the potential to be a renewable energy ambassador with exciting projects already in development. We have to think globally, not locally if we are to sustain economic growth based on the real tangible asset that we have, which is our environment.  http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/discussions/nuclear-community-conversation-comment-on-the-specific-recommendations-in-the-final-report

July 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

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