Green 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
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
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
Paladin cops ASX query over deals The West Australian on July 22, 2016, Paladin 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. ra ra https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32125776/paladin-cops-asx-query-over-deals/#page1
Paladin 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
Uranium 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
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
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 Daily, exploded 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
Shunning 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
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.
Climate change: big four banks’ lending to Australian renewables projects falls, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 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
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.
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
Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become the world’s nuclear wasteland, The Conversation, Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, UNSW Australia, June 28, 2016 Last month the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission recommended that the state government develop a business venture to store a large fraction of the world’s high- and intermediate-level nuclear power station wastes in South Australia. It proposes to do this by first building an interim above-ground store, to be followed by permanent underground repository.
But the commission’s recommendation is based on several debatable assumptions, including:
- an economic analysis that purports to show huge profits with negligible commercial risk
- the notion that social consent could be gained by “careful, considered and detailed technical work”
- the argument that Australia, as a net exporter of energy, has an ethical responsibility to help other countries lower their carbon emissions by means of nuclear power.
I have analysed critically these and other assumptions of the royal commission in a scholarly paper published in the international journal Energy Research and Social Science.
The commission’s economic analysis rests on the heroic assumption that customers would, upon delivery of their nuclear wastes to South Australia, pay up-front for both interim above-ground storage andpermanent underground storage. This would be up to 17 years before the underground repository has actually been built. The estimated total payment would be about A$1.75 million per tonne of heavy metal (tHM) for storing possibly 138,000 tHM in total.
However, this ignores the huge financial risk to the government and taxpayers in the following scenario: the SA government builds the initial facilities – port, underground research and an interim above-ground storage – at a cost of about A$3 billion. Commencing in year 11, customers deliver their nuclear wastes in dry casks, but pay initially only for the costs of interim storage of the casks, declining to pay for geological storage until the underground repository has been built and becomes operational in year 28.
Despite the royal commission’s claim that the government would not develop the project under these conditions, the government could be influenced to accept the wastes by pressure, both positive and negative, from overseas governments, multinational corporations and/or internal politics.
Then, after a large quantity of nuclear waste has been placed into interim storage in SA, the government might not proceed with the geological storage, costing an extra A$38 billion, for technical, political or financial reasons.
A similar situation occurred in the United States with the termination of funding for the Yucca Mountain repository after US$13.5 billion had already been spent.
In this scenario, SA would be locked into managing a large number of dry casks, designed only for interim storage and located above ground, which will gradually erode and leak their dangerous contents over several decades. The physical hazards and the corresponding financial burden on future generations of all Australians would be substantial.
In this scenario, it would also be risky for customers who relied upon it and so failed to provide their own domestic geological repository……… https://theconversation.com/risks-ethics-and-consent-australia-shouldnt-become-the-worlds-nuclear-wasteland-61380
Sourcing half of Australia’s electricity from renewables would create more than 28,000 Australian jobs
Renewables Could Boost Australian Employment by 50% – NFP Report http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/06/renewables-boost-australian-employment-50-nfp-report/
Sourcing half of Australia’s electricity from renewables would create more than 28,000 Australian jobs, half of which would be in solar, according to new Not for Profit research. The Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth report, by Ernst and Young (EY) and the Climate Council, found that building 50 per cent renewables by 2030 would boost employment by almost 50 per cent more than if Australia stayed on its current trajectory.
The report found that if Australia aimed for at least 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 more than 11,000 additional jobs would be created in New South Wales, more than 6,000 in Queensland, around 4,000 in Victoria, more than 3,600 in South Australia, almost 2,000 in Western Australia and more than 500 in Tasmania.
The report said that most states would see around half of all jobs in 2030 from rooftop solar PV (photovoltaics) systems and in Tasmania and NSW rooftop solar PV jobs would comprise around 25 per cent. Continue reading
Real juries hear both the Prosecution and Defence cases in open court. What I fear is that my fellow citizens selected for citizen’s jury duty will get to read and hear only what the State Government wants them to read and hear, so that they will give Premier Weatherill the “social licence” he wants in order to proceed with the dump.
South Australians do not need to mortgage their descendants’ future by building a high level nuclear dump in order to make ends meet. The alleged riches that the dump has been claimed to bring are a mirage, but the long-term risks are not.
How a high-level nuclear waste dump could lose money http://indaily.com.au/business/analysis/2016/06/07/how-a-high-level-nuclear-waste-dump-could-lose-money/ June 7 2016 The economic case for a high level nuclear waste facility in South Australia is far from convincing, writes Richard Blandy.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission delivered its report early in May. I submitted my InDaily article on the Royal Commission’s tentative findings to the inquiry for its consideration. I received no acknowledgement, but I know that the article was discussed within the royal commission’s processes. It does not appear to have had any substantive effect on the report.
Having read the relevant sections of the report, I continue to believe that South Australia should not use part of its land mass as a dump for highly radioactive used fuel from overseas nuclear reactors (sp-called “high level waste”) which, in the royal commission’s own words, “requires isolation from the environment for many hundreds of thousands of years”.
The only reason why most South Australians would give a high level nuclear waste dump even a second’s thought is because it is being sold to them as a financial bonanza – a no-risk economic lifeline to a state down on its luck. Something for nothing.
In the summary of its report, the royal commission says 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 (or $51 billion discounted at 4 per cent)”. Note that the report says “could”, not “would”.
But, in Appendix J, the report says that “applying a commercial pre-tax discount rate of 10 per cent the net present value of profits to the State would amount to $11.5 billion”. This is a big reduction from the headline number in the summary of $100 billion. Continue reading
High-tech, clean energy jobs key to future of Geelong, south-west Victoria, ABC News, 5 June 16 By Cameron Best Steve Garner understands how important his wind farm manufacturing business is for the town of Portland in south-west Victoria.
As the state’s traditional manufacturing base continues to decline, jobseekers and the wider economy are looking for the jobs of the future.
Six months ago, Mr Garner’s Keppel Prince Engineering facility lay idle under the Federal Government’s freeze on new wind energy investment and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s desire to reduce the growth rate of what he labelled as “visually awful” wind farms.
Now, under a new Clean Energy Finance Corporation mandate, the production line at Keppel Prince is back up and running with about 300 workers making towers for a project near Ararat.
It has come just in time for Portland, which is facing the possibility of life without its major employer……
“the stronger we can grow something like this [facility], that actually does create a lot of jobs, the better off we’re going to be.
“And if we get government support to do that, we’ve then got a sustainable business for a long period of time.”…
New-wave tech replacing manufacturing of old
High-tech industries are springing up to utilise some of the skilled workers coming out of the automotive industry but in order to remain globally competitive, this new wave of advanced manufacturers cannot afford to be as labour-intensive as the companies of old…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-05/high-tech,-clean-energy-jobs-the-key-to-geelong-future/7476816
Australia’s uranium industry is also struggling just to stand still. The industry accounts for just 0.2 percent of national export revenue and less than 0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia. Those underwhelming figures are likely to become even less whelming with the end of mining and the winding down of processing at the Ranger mine in the NT.
Uranium on the rocks http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18236&page=0
|By Jim Green , 17 May 2016 Indicative of the uranium industry’s worldwide malaise, mining giant Cameco recently announced the suspension of production at Rabbit Lake and reduced production at McArthur River/Key Lake in Canada. Cameco is also curtailing production at its two U.S. uranium mines. About 500 jobs will be lost at Rabbit Lake and 85 at the U.S. mines. A Cameco statement said that “with today’s oversupplied market and uncertainty as to how long these market conditions will persist, we need to focus our resources on our lowest cost assets and maintain a strong balance sheet.”Christopher Ecclestone, mining strategist at Hallgarten & Company, offered this glum assessment of the uranium market: “The long-held theory during the prolonged mining sector slump was that Uranium as an energy metal could potentially break away irrespective of the rest of the metals space. How true they were, but not in the way they intended, for just as the mining space has broken out of its swoon the Uranium price has not only been left behind but has gone into reverse. This is truly dismaying for the trigger for a uranium rebound was supposed to be the Japanese nuclear restart and yet it has had zero effect and indeed maybe has somehow (though the logic escapes us) resulted in a lower price.”
Ecclestone adds that uranium has “made fools and liars of many in recent years, including ourselves” and that “uranium bulls know how Moses felt when he was destined to wander forty years in the desert and never get to see the Promised Land.” He states that uranium exploration “is for the birds” because “the market won’t fund it and investors won’t give credit for whatever you find”. Continue reading