Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s top companies ignore climate change, and we let them 

the mis- or non-management of climate risk is rampant in corporate Australia.

Whether the situation stays like this is up to investors

http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/companies-ignore-climate-change-and-we-ve-let-them-get-away-with-it-20171208-p4yxjg.html Julien Vincent , 8 Dec 17

Last week, APRA Executive Board member Geoff Summerhayes warned the transition to a low carbon economy is already underway and “institutions that fail to adequately plan for this transition put their own futures in jeopardy, with subsequent consequences for their account holders, members or policyholders.”

The speech followed a Centre for Policy Development discussion paper on how companies can follow the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The TCFD has set the standard for climate risk disclosure since its draft recommendations were released a year ago. Its final recommendations were backed by over 100 companies with a combined market capitalisation of over $3 trillion, which should give an idea to how seriously the TCFD is being taken.

But is it though? Market Forces has just examined the ASX top 50 companies’ responses to the TCFD. Only seven had delivered on the key recommendation to disclose information on how their company performs in a scenario where global warming is held below 2°C, while 31 don’t even mention the TCFD recommendations, let alone implement them.

It isn’t the first warning sign that corporate Australia is failing to manage climate risk. Continue reading

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December 9, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Chinese banks won’t fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

Adani: Chinese banks not interested in financing Carmichael mine project http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-03/chinese-banks-not-interested-in-financing-adani-carmichael-mine/9221750

Key points:

  • Two of China’s major banks have ruled out funding the Carmichael mine
  • This leaves Adani “increasingly reliant on public funding”, expert says
  • Adani previously claimed it would have finance in place by the end of this year

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) issued a statement to clarify it had no intention of funding Adani’s proposed mine in Queensland.

“ICBC has not been, and does not intend to be, engaged in arranging financing for this project,” ICBC said in a statement on its website.

“ICBC attaches great importance to its social responsibilities and keenly promotes green financing.”

While not mentioning coal, ICBC said it had provided finance in Australia “for a series of renewable energy projects”.

Earlier, China Construction Bank also rejected financing links with Adani saying it “is not involved with, nor considering involvement with, the Adani Carmichael Mine project”.

The anti-Adani lobby has hailed the rejection by two of China’s major banks as a significant development in blocking the construction of the mine.

Blow follows failure to secure finance from other banks

Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent said arranging finance from China was one of Adani’s last remaining hopes given that Australian banks had walked away.

“Having failed to secure finance from banks in the US, Europe and Australia, Adani has now seen the world’s largest and second largest banks by assets rule out support for its massive proposed coal mine,” Mr Vincent said.

“This leaves their attempts to open up Australia’s largest coal mine in tatters, and increasingly reliant on public funding.” Mr Vincent said Adani has been working to contract China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CEMC) into the Carmichael mine and rail project.

However, CEMC would potentially need to source credit and support from Chinese banks to participate in the Adani project.

Adani has, on numerous occasions, pushed back the start date for the mine.

Adani has previously claimed it would have finance in place by the end of this year and, later, said it expected to finalise finance by the end of the Indian fiscal year in March.

Global banks, including Australia’s major banks, have baulked at funding the Carmichael coal mine on concerns about its financial viability and the push towards renewable energy sources.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Adani coal mine ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’ – could be a financial disaster

The ‘Kodak moment’ for coal, and why the Adani mine could be a financial disaster, ABC Radio, The World Today By Stephen Long 27 Nov 17, The woman who led the world to a global climate change agreement has a message for Australia: “You really do have to see that we are at the Kodak moment for coal.”

Christiana Figueres, until last year the executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn’t mean happy snaps for the family album.

Rather, the decimation of the once dominant photographic company Kodak by digital change — in the same way that coal-fired power is being eclipsed by renewable energy.

She hopes to see coal, like those sentimental moments in time captured in photographs, confined to history — with the world remembering the contribution the fossil fuel has made to human development, while recognising the need to retire it as a fuel source because of its contribution to global warming.

And, she says, it’s happening.

“We just had 25 countries come together [at the latest international climate change talks] in Bonn to say that they are moving out of coal in the short term.

“That does not include Australia or India or China, but you can begin to see the trend.

“India is headed for peaking its coal consumption by the year 2027.”

Adani ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’

Which makes arguments that India needs the coal from Adani’s planned mega-mine in North Queensland — and the Federal Government’s determination to see the mine ahead — baffling to Ms Figueres.

The Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or NAIF, is considering Adani’s request for a subsidised loan of up to $1 billion to help it build a railway to connect the Carmichael mine in outback Queensland to the Abbot Point Coal Mine near Mackay, which Adani also owns.

By law, the NAIF is not permitted to make loans for projects that would damage Australia’s international reputation……..

this issue of the Carmichael coal mine which, if it goes ahead, would frankly blow completely out of the water any emissions reductions that Australia has committed to.

“Admittedly, those emissions from that coal will not be on Australian territory but they will affect the atmosphere and directly affect the livelihoods and the survival of Pacific islands around Australia.”…….

Various parties are considering court action against the NAIF should it grant the loan to Adani, including NGOs and commercial parties in other coal-mining regions……..

Lest climate change not be a concern, Ms Figueres has a warning to those considering investing in Adani’s Carmichael project that appeals to self-interest — she says it could be a financial disaster.

“I put it to you: do we not have here a financial house of cards?” she said.

Her assessment is based on various considerations.

These include the huge debts Adani’s Australian operations are carrying; the financial plight of Adani’s giant power plant at Mundra, which is meant to take much of the coal, but is on Adani’s own admission financially unviable — losing money and barely covering interest payments on its debt.

Adani Group is trying to flog the power plant to the Gujarat state government for just 1 rupee (about 2 Australian cents) with no guarantees that the Government would use coal from the Queensland mine if it were to take over the ailing plant.

Then there is the possibility that the giant mine, with a license to extract 60 million tonnes of coal a year, would become a stranded asset as the world introduces tougher measures to limit climate change…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/the-kodak-moment-for-coal,-and-why-adani-could-be-a-disaster/9197134

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

BHP aims to make a decision about a $2.76 billion expansion of Olympic Dam in the next few years 

Cameron England, Business Editor, The Advertiser, 28 Nov 2017
BHP is considering a $2.76 billion expansion at Olympic Dam which it expects to make a decision on by mid 2020.

The company also said it has already started a $1 billion program to upgrade surface infrastructure as part of the Southern Mine Area Expansion, currently under way, which will increase its copper production to 230,000 tonnes per year.

The mine produced 166,000 tonnes last financial year which is expected to drop to 150,000 this year due to a major smelter upgrade. At an investor briefing in Adelaide today, Jacqui McGill, asset president Olympic Dam, said the company was working on a three phase expansion plan for Olympic Dam

The first phase — the SMA — will increase production to 230,000 tonnes of copper equivalent by 2020.

The term “copper equivalent” refers to the value of the mine’s production when also taking into account the gold, silver and uranium it produces.

The second phase of the project — brownfield expansion or BFX — would cost $US2.1 billion with the company currently running the numbers on the project with a view to making a decision on going ahead in mid 2020…. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/jobs/bhp-aims-to-make-a-decision-about-a-276-billion-expansion-of-olympic-dam-in-the-next-few-years/news-story/1a9f517cb561e7f46ea58cfbdc7983f3

November 29, 2017 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

Centre for Policy Development urges companies to tell shareholders of climate change risks

Australian shareholders should be told of climate risk to profits, says thinktank
Centre for Policy Development urges companies to adopt standardised analysis of climate’s impact on business,
Guardian, Gareth Hutchens, 29 Nov 17, Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said.

However, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) said companies needed to do so in a standardised way, so investors and regulators were able to easily understand economy-wide risks to whole industries.

The progressive thinktank urged Australia’s biggest businesses to use the Paris climate agreement as the centrepiece for their scenario planning, saying it provided a credible, long-term anchor for policies that limit global warming to well below 2C.

The groups has released a discussion paper, called “Climate horizons: next steps for scenario analysis in Australia”, explaining the best way to do so.

Australia’s financial regulator warned in February that climate change posed a material risk to the entire financial system and urged companies to start adapting. Geoff Summerhayes, from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra), told the Insurance Council of Australia’s annual forum in Sydney in February that Apra wanted companies to start incorporating “scenario-based analysis” of climate risks into their business outlooks.

He said Apra intended to start running stress tests of the financial system to see if it would survive various climate shocks, and all Apra-regulated entities would need to adapt to the coming regulatory changes. “I think the days of viewing climate change within a purely ethical, environmental or long-term frame have passed,” Summerhayes said.

The CPD’s new discussion paper suggested how Australian businesses could be consistent with the country’s international climate commitments under the Paris agreement and with the leading international framework for robust climate disclosures, the Financial Stability Board’s taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD).

It said businesses ought to try to develop a standardised approach to scenario-based analysis, and that all scenario analyses should include:

  • A scenario that is genuinely consistent with Paris targets. It should therefore incorporate a high probability of limiting warming to below 2C, and towards 1.5C
  • A scenario that includes the physical impacts of climate change, not just transition risks
  • Engage with the most relevant sectoral or regional scenarios and resources available
  • Be transparent about assumptions and parameters used to develop the scenarios, in line with the TCFD disclosure framework
  • Show evidence that management is overhauling their business models in response to scenario analysis results…….
  • The CPD discussion paper will be discussed at a public forum in Sydney on Wednesday. Summerhayes will be speaking at the event, along with Steven Skala, the chair of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Christina Tonkin, the managing director of specialised finance at ANZ, and new CPD board member Sam Mostyn. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/29/australian-shareholders-should-be-told-climate-risk-to-profits-says-thinktank

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

1.4 billion to be saved, by replacing Liddell coal mine with renewable energy

Replacing Liddell with renewables is $1.4 billion cheaper than government plan, report says, The Age, Nicole Hasham, 20 Nov 17 

The Turnbull government’s plan to keep the worn-out Liddell power station running for another five years would cost about $1.4 billion more than replacing it with clean energy, and spew millions of tonnes of damaging carbon pollution, a new analysis shows.

The findings cast further doubt on the wisdom of keeping Australia’s oldest operating coal plant open beyond its slated closure in 2022, and have implications for the expected retirement of most existing coal-fired power stations within 15 years.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg in September ordered energy giant AGL to keep open the coal-fired plant for five extra years or sell it to a party that will…….

The University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures compared the financial cost and pollution of three possible scenarios for Liddell: extending its life by five years, pursuing AGL’s plans for a combination of renewable and fossil fuel solutions to replace the lost capacity, and a package of clean energy measures.

It found keeping Liddell open until 2027 would cost $3.6 billion in capital and operating expenses, and that 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be generated over this time.By comparison, a clean energy package would cost $2.2 billion and create no emissions. This would involve energy efficiency, new wind energy, managing the power demands of consumers and flexible pricing, which means electricity is charged at different rates depending on the time of day or year………

ACF chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said Australia desperately needs a comprehensive climate change policy to allow a rapid transition to clean energy.

Any such policy “must be designed to encourage as much clean energy and smart technology as possible, and not prop up polluting coal plants that are damaging our planet”, she said.

ISF research director Chris Dunstan said replacing Liddell’s lost capacity with renewables could set a powerful precedent as the majority of Australia’s coal-fired power stations approach retirement age…….. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/replacing-liddell-with-renewables-is-14-billion-cheaper-than-government-plan-report-says-20171118-gzo86a.html

November 20, 2017 Posted by | business, energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Australia business leaders Michael Myer and Geoff Manchester oppose Adani’s coal mine project

 http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/australia-business-leaders-michael-myer-and-geoff-manchester-oppose-adanis-coal-mine-project/news-story/f60abb21915d09eb398f2570b856a9bd

THEY know how to make a million and these two successful Australian businessman say claims about Adani’s coal mine are delusional. 14 Nov 17

OPPOSITION to Adani’s coal mine continues to build as two prominent Australian business leaders come out against the project.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Myer of the prominent Myer retailing family, and Intrepid Travel founder and chief executive officer Geoff Manchester, have both decided to speak out against the $16.5 billion project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

The two men share similar concerns but were not aware of the other’s views before going public.

“The mine itself is an outrage,” Mr Myer told news.com.au.

“It’s a stranded asset … and the proponent (Gautam) Adani is basically doing a very good job at conning our politicians at all levels of government.”

But he said the fact that governments were subsidising the project was also concerning. Federal, state and local governments have all agreed to, or are considering, providing the project with financial assistance.

Mr Myer said the economics of the project did not stack up and the leading supporters of the project were politicians, not those in the business world.

“The whole line that this is good for Queensland jobs is farcical and delusional,” Mr Myer said.

“It doesn’t stack up economically and as time goes on the economics get even worse.”

While the governments have continued to spruik the “10,000 jobs” that will be created, Adani’s own expert has admitted the figure will be closer to 1400 once jobs lost in other areas are taken into consideration.

Mr Myer believes the 10,000 number is “mythical” and the real number will likely be even less than 1400 as many operations can now be automated.

These jobs could also come at the expense of others.

At risk is Australia’s lucrative tourism industry with many concerned about the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Tourism operators are very concerned about this because we’ve already seen some negative impact on the Great Barrier Reef from bleaching in the last couple of years,” Intrepid CEO Geoff Manchester said.

“We’ve already had seen some local tourism operators impacted.”

Intrepid runs tours around the world so Mr Manchester is not too worried about his own business but he said the reef was of huge importance to Australia.

“We are coming into an era of potential growth in Australia, Asian countries are becoming more wealthy and travelling in larger numbers,” he said.

Mr Manchester said Asian tourists, especially those who lived in polluted cities, wanted to experience nature and animals they would not necessarily see in their home countries. This provided Australia with a significant opportunity to boost its economy.

“People are less interested in owning things and are becoming more interested in experiences,” he said.

“They see travel as part of life rather than a luxury that you only do when you can afford it.”

As leaders in their industries, both men said they wanted to voice their opposition publicly to the mine and a potential $1 billion concessional loan that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is considering.

“There are lots of tourism businesses in Australia and it’s hard for them to get together and speak with one voice, we hope to speak up for them,” Mr Manchester said.

“We are a private, significantly sized company and I feel we have a duty to speak out against it.

“Hopefully this will make other companies feel more comfortable about speaking out as well.”

Mr Manchester said tourism was the biggest employer in Australia.

“It seems wrong to be threatening the (tourism) industry, and wrong to be subsidising the (coal) industry.”

Their remarks come as another entrepreneur warned Australia’s economy had serious problems.

In analysis published in news.com.au today Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale point out that coal consumption in China had dropped three years in a row, and in January 2017, 100 coal fired power plants were cancelled.

“China has announced that it is spending a whopping $360 billion on renewables through 2020, and this year is implementing the world’s biggest cap-and-trade carbon market to curb emissions,” the authors noted.

“Blind to the reality of this situation, Australia is ramping up coal production while China commits to ending coal imports in the very near future in what can only be described as a last-ditch “dig it up now, or never” situation.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2015-16 the entire Australian mining industry which includes coal, oil and gas, iron ore, the mining of metallic and nonmetallic minerals and exploration and support services made $179 billion in revenue.

But it had $171 billion in costs, which meant it delivered an operating profit before tax of $7 billion — representing a wafer thin 3.9 per cent margin on an operating basis.

“Collectively, the entire Australian mining industry (ex-services) would be loss making in 2016-17 if revenue continued to drop and costs stayed the same,” the authors said.

Mr Myer said companies like BHP were now getting out of coal assets because they could see the writing on the wall.

“China and India both have to, and are, decarbonising their economies,” he said.

“So the notion that Adani is going to build this mine and produce 60 million tonnes a year (of coal), it’s delusional.”

Instead of giving Adani a $1 billion taxpayer-funded loan, Mr Myer said putting the money towards something like a Tesla Gigafactory to produce lithium-ion batteries, would create far more long term jobs than a coal mine.

“It could piggyback an electric vehicle factory,” he said. “That’s the future and that’s where the state should be investing.”

The Australian Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will be making a decision soon on whether to grant a $1 billion loan to Adani to build a 388km rail link to Abbot Point.

The Queensland Government has already agreed to a royalty deal that may allow Adani to defer the royalties it pays to the government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the royalties will be paid in full but has left option the possibility of royalties being deferred for the first few years.

Meanwhile local councils have been falling over themselves trying to accommodate the mine, with Townsville and Rockhampton councils both putting in at least $15 million each to fund an airstrip at the Carmichael mine.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Financial peril for Adani’s Carmichael mine company

Profits of Adani’s Carmichael mine company tumble, leaving it in financial peril

Owner of Carmichael project can’t walk away from mine without descending further into distress, says energy expert, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 14 Nov 17, Profits of Adani Enterprises – the company in Adani Group’s complex structure that owns the proposed Carmichael coalmine – have collapsed almost 50% year-on-year, according to a half-yearly report released this week which does not mention the mine.

The results further show the company is in financial distress, according to Tim Buckley from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, who says they also reveal the company can’t walk away from the unviable Carmichael project without descending further into financial distress.

The Carmichael coalmine, which would be the largest ever built in Australia, has struggled to find financing for either the mine itself or the associated infrastructure such as the rail line that would transport coal to an export terminal on the Great Barrier Reef.

Every major Australian bank has said it will not be involved in the project, and the company has been seeking subsidised government finance from the Australian government and possibly also from China.

“If they tried to exit the project now, they would either have to write it off or find someone willing to buy it,” said Buckley.

If the project was written off or sold for significantly less than its current book value of US$1.15bn, the company would find it increasingly hard to finance its many other projects around the region, said Buckley.

Currently, the Adani Enterprises Limited – which is the only publicly listed company in the Adani Group – has a book value of just under US$2.3bn. Meanwhile, its latest report shows its debt has risen by almost US$400m to US$3.83bn………https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/15/profits-of-adanis-carmichael-mine-company-tumble-leaving-it-in-financial-peril

November 15, 2017 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia sells weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that perpetrate human rights abuses

It’s a nearly impossible task to discover exactly what Australia is selling and to whom because the federal government refuses to say, but nuggets of information make it clear that Canberra is aggressively selling weapons and defence equipment to countries involved in conflicts where human rights abuses are being perpetrated.

In his seminal 2011 book on the global arms trade The Shadow World, journalist Andrew Feinstein exposes the fallacies of a nation’s expanding defence sector. “The arms industry’s economic contribution is undermined by the frequency with which its main players around the world, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman … are implicated in grand corruption, inefficiency and wastage of public resources,” he wrote.

Feinstein concludes that the arms trade “often makes us poorer, not richer, less not more safe, and governed not in our own interests but for the benefit of a small, self-serving elite, seemingly above the law, protected by the secrecy of national security and accountable to no one”. 

Murky business: Australia’s defence industry is growing, but at what cost?  SMH, Antony Loewenstein , 4 Nov 17 

This year’s Avalon Air Show in Geelong was the first chance for the public to see the long-delayed Joint Strike Fighter in action. At a cost of at least $100 million per aircraft, Canberra is slated to spend $17 billion on 72 F-35s in the coming years.

Manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defence contractor, has faced countless problems with the plane including cost blowouts (spending more than $US1 trillion and counting), a Pentagon report in January finding 276 deficiencies (with 20 new issues discovered per month) and consistent troubles with overheating and cybersecurity. An Australian contractor on the aircraft was recently hacked, with sensitive material stolen.

None of this dampened the mood at Avalon. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, along with Defence Minister Marise Payne, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, praised the plane and Australia’s growing defence sector. Continue reading

November 13, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian Institute of Company Directors finds that corporate leaders want renewable energy growth

What Australia’s corporate leaders really think about renewable energy https://arena.gov.au/blog/company-directors/  @DanielSilkstone 6 Nov 17, Renewable energy is so hot right now.

That’s the key message that emerges from a new study of corporate Australia, undertaken by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The Director Sentiment Index, released twice each year, maps the thoughts and priorities  of the nation’s company directors. It provides an excellent window into the issues and concerns that are cropping up in boardrooms around the country.

There has been plenty of speculation in recent times about whether the political disagreement that has sometimes accompanied debates around the nation’s energy needs was acting as a handbrake on investment.

But the survey makes clear that the nation’s corporate leaders both want and expect  the growth of renewable energy to continue. Continue reading

November 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Australian Productivity Commission (hardly radicals!) wants clean energy target

What the National Energy Guarantee lacks though is a formal clean energy target, which, in the absence of a carbon pricing scheme, would at least be a market-based mechanism that provides incentives for low emissions and renewable generation.

the report concludes that advocates of coal-fired generating capacity who oppose carbon pricing are doing themselves a disservice, as investors are unlikely to commit to the investment needed, given future regulatory risks.

 Report throws book at ‘energy mess’ saying governments must get serious on carbon emissions http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-report-throws-book-at-energy-mess-saying-governments-must-get-serious-on-carbon-emissions/news-story/b121d3e13e10d74cfce74b8816de2e88, Paul Syvret, The Courier-Mail, October 28, 2017 

THE Australian Productivity Commission – the Federal Government’s economic advisory body that recommended cuts to weekend penalty rates – is not renowned as a hotbed of left-wing activism.

On Tuesday Treasurer Scott Morrison released the first of the commission’s five-year reviews, using the document as a platform to mount a case for continuing economic reforms to lift Australia’s productivity rate.

The ideas in the 1200-page document – ranging across the full spectrum of the Australian economy – should have dominated debate at a time when the Government is trying to wrest back control of the political agenda.

The Michaelia Cash trainwreck put paid to that, despite Morrison’s best efforts to warn that “the price of a generation of Australians growing up without ever having known a recession is that reform comes more stubbornly and incrementally”.

What Morrison didn’t highlight though was Chapter 5 of the Productivity Commission report, titled “Fixing the energy mess”.

In this section, the commission says Australian governments “must stop the piecemeal and stop-start approach to emission reduction and adopt a proper vehicle for reducing carbon emissions that puts a single effective price on carbon”. Continue reading

October 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Solar energy: from day one Australian business solar projects pay for themselves

Our Future | Business solar projects pay for themselves from day one http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4999405/business-solar-projects-pay-for-themselves-from-day-one/?cs=97,Nathan Henkes   22 Oct 17 Right now, you’re paying more money than you need to be for energy. Why? Because of the widely-held misconception that traditional energy is still cheaper than solar.

October 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, solar | 1 Comment

Small-scale solar cutting $billions from electricity bills 

http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/smallscale-solar-cutting-billions-from-electricity-bills-20171012-gyzf2c.html, Cole Latimer, 14 Oct 17,

Small-scale solar systems have cut wholesale electricity costs by up to half in the past 12 months, a study has shown.

The report by consulting firm Energy Synapse, commissioned by a community-based organisation Solar Citizens Australia, found solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in NSW had saved consumers up to $2.2 billion from May 2016 to April 2017

During this period, small solar PV systems are estimated to have generated 1540 gigawatt hours of power within the state.

The report says the volume-weighted average price of wholesale electricity would have been between $29 and $44 per megawatt hour higher than the actual average price for the period of $88 per megawatt hour.

The study found that small-scale solar had the largest impact during February, when record heatwaves were experienced, reducing the volume-weighted average price of wholesale electricity by between $119 and $258 per megawatt hour.

There has been a massive increase in renewable energy investment and construction this year. New solar energy generation has grown by 50 per cent globally, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. The IEA’s Renewables 2017 report says 165 gigawatts of new energy came online from renewables as a whole – including solar, wind and hydro power.

“We see renewables growing by about 1000 GW by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.

“What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV. We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022.”

In Australia, there are more than 40 large-scale renewable energy projects that have either started, or will start, construction this year.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thorton said this represented an investment of more than $8 billion.

“These 41 projects will deliver over 4330MW of new capacity, which is crucial to increasing supply in the energy market, replacing old coal-fired generation that continues to close, and ensuring downward pressure on power prices,” Mr Thornton said.

There are 26 projects being built, and another 14 projects that have secured finance with the expectation that construction will start before the end of the year.

“We have already seen six times the investment value in 2017 of what we saw in 2016, and the new capacity will also help with energy security,” Mr Thornton said.

“In 2016, the combined capacity from all projects completed stood at 264.1 MW. This year 2210.2 MW of projects have been committed and 1881.2 MW are in construction with a whole financial quarter still to go.”

October 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, solar | Leave a comment

Adani’s tax havens – the Queensland coal mine plan’s connection with corruption

Adani Australia: Investigation uncovers tax haven ties to British Virgin Islands, Four Corners ,By Stephen Long, Wayne Harley and Mary Fallon , ABC News, 3 Oct 17 An investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program has uncovered previously unknown tax haven ties for Adani Group’s Australian operations, with key assets ultimately owned in the British Virgin Islands.

Key points:

  • Adani Group’s filings with ASIC fail to mention a company registered in the British Virgin Islands
  • Vinod Adani, older brother of Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, has been under investigation in India
  • Vinod Adani also a substantial shareholder in Adani Enterprises Limited

Adani Group has promised a $22 billion windfall in taxes and mining royalty payments for Australia over the life of the giant Carmichael coal mine it has been given approval to build in outback Queensland.

But experts say an opaque web of companies and trusts behind its Australian assets gives it ample opportunity to minimise the tax it pays.

Adani Group’s assets in Australia include the Abbot Point Coal Terminal near Mackay in Queensland, a terminal expansion project it has approval to undertake at Abbot Point, and a planned railway line of nearly 400 kilometres from the port to the giant mine it wants to build in the Galilee Basin — aided by a subsidised loan of up to a $1 billion it is seeking from the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

It was previously thought that Atulya Resources, a Cayman Islands domiciled company controlled by members of the Adani family, was the ultimate holding company for Abbot Point, the expansion project, and the railway.

However, filings in Singapore by privately-owned Adani companies show that a company registered in another notorious tax haven, the British Virgin Islands, sits behind Atulya Resources.

Vinod Adani investigated over alleged scam

It is variously described in the offshore company filings as ARFT Holding Limited, AFRT Holding Limited and Atulya Resources Family Trust.

Adani Group’s filings with Australia’s corporate watchdog, ASIC, fail to mention this company, instead continuing to list Atulya Resources as the owner.

The British Virgin Islands’ company’s apparent position at the apex of the structure is disclosed in the financial reports of a series of Adani companies controlled by Vinod Adani, also known as Vinod Shantilal Adani or Vinod Shah.

Vinod Adani, the older brother of Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, has been under investigation in India over an alleged scam designed to shift money offshore…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-02/adanis-tax-haven-ties-to-british-virgin-islands-revealed/9007714

October 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Market Forces list COMPANIES THAT COULD MAKE OR BREAK THE ADANI CARMICHAEL COAL PROJECT

THE ADANI LIST: COMPANIES THAT COULD MAKE OR BREAK THE CARMICHAEL COAL PROJECT  Adani’s plans to dig up hundreds of millions of tonnes of dirty Galilee Basin coal are gargantuan, requiring input from a range of project partners. And every company that helps this nightmare become a reality would be partly responsible for the environmental and climate devastation the Carmichael project stands to inflict.

High risk companies, which have known links with Adani or the Carmichael project, are featured below [on original] . Hover over or tap on the company logos to learn how each is connected, [on original] and click to take action. Further down the page [on original] is a more comprehensive list of companies that may be involved, broken down by sector……….http://www.marketforces.org.au/info/key-issues/theadanilist/
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October 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment