Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Banks won’t back coal plants

This energy may be clean but banks won’t back coal-fired plants, THE AUSTRALIAN, 26 Mar 17 “…..It is no wonder that the government is looking at ways to allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in “clean coal”-fired power stations because the banks and the local financial ­sector are unlikely to do so.

The simple reason for this is that investments in such technologies are too risky for any self-interested bank credit officer to give any proposed clean-coal ­project the thumbs up…..

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Geoff Summerhayes effectively put banks and other financial institutions on notice that he now ­expects them to take into account “transition” climate risks……

offshore banks would face the same risk hurdles as local banks…

What other forms of funding might be available for a clean coal plant? Offshore banks are a possibility and they have backed syndicates investing in local infra­structure, particularly Chinese and Indian banks. The State Bank of India was slated as a potential provider of a $1bn loan for the Adani coalmine in Queensland, but prospects of that loan being approved dimmed when Reuters reported a bank source as saying “the credit guys are not comfortable with the project”.

This is a salient reminder that offshore banks would face the same risk hurdles as local banks.

Another possibility is that ­private sector superannuation funds or the federal government’s ­Future Fund could provide backing. But they need to confront the big stick from APRA or the Australian Securities & Investments Commission about the need to take into account climate change and associated sovereign risk.

That seems to leave only the government to finance any such projects and, hence, the idea of changing the Clean Energy ­Finance Corporation legislation to allow it to invest in clean coal.

But let’s take stock here: haven’t we just imposed a whole swag of new regulations on banks to stop them from getting involved in lending that is too risky? If the risks around clean coal are too daunting for those irritating banks to take on, why on earth would the taxpayer do so?

Taking into account all of these risks, coupled with the difficulty in offsetting them via the market or through portfolio diversification, and the multitude of uncertainties surrounding any proposals for a clean-coal generator, we should assume that no bank funding will be forthcoming for clean coal- fired power stations.

Rob Henderson is a policy and markets economist and formerly chief economist (markets) with National Australia Bank. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/this-energy-may-be-clean-but-banks-wont-back-coalfired-plants/news-story/dccef0d5bd68e26ae39ac1bbf0bcd8c6

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

Never mind the danger: economically nuclear power for Australia is a stupid idea

Nuclear energy is still a stupid idea for Australia, SMH,
You don’t even need to monger any scares about radiation: nuclear energy isn’t remotely the solution to Australia’s self-created energy problem 
Andrew P Street, 16 Mar 17 As you are doubtlessly aware, our nation is currently gripped in an energy crisis that demands rapid – indeed, hasty and reckless – action to address.

Plenty of new solutions are being suggested – except for renewables, obviously, which could meet all of Australia’s energy needs right now if wind and solar energy wasn’t all a socialist leftist plot fermented by that notorious Safe Schools-loving Marxist feminist greenie, the Weather.

The Prime Minister has announced plans to expand the Snowy River Hydroelectric scheme, which will be a boon to employment via massive construction projects and generate enough energy to power half a million homes – an excellent plan that will benefit places that aren’t actually having any problem with their power supply.

And, predictably, a bunch of Coalition backbenchers have come out in favour of that old conservative favourite, nuclear energy. Which isn’t going to happen in Australia, obviously, because words like “Fukushima” and “Chernobyl” trigger the bit of people’s brains that don’t want to endure a slow, lingering death from radiation-induced cancer. …

The biggest problem is one that you might not be aware of, which is that electricity demand in Australia has been dropping for years – partially because of better efficiency, partially because of higher prices, partially because of government regulation, and partially because of the decline of heavy manufacturing in Australia.

This is one of the reasons our liquid natural gas manufacturers have been focusing on export rather than local generation: the demand in Australia just doesn’t exist to a suitably profitable extent….

as the SA storms showed us, the biggest liabilities relating to Australia’s energy security is the profiteering of the national electricity market, and the weakness of the grid itself.

If we’re seriously thinking about large scale investment devoted to shaking up the way we meet Australia’s energy needs, maybe having a handful of large, centralised generators with long spindly arms of distribution towers which get blown over isn’t the best model to maintain.

So you might conclude that right now might not be a great time to sink billions into making more large-scale electricity plants of any shade – but there are some extra costs that are unique to nuclear reactors.

  • First up, nuclear reactors are very, very, VERY expensive to build……
  • Depending on the level of regulation a plant takes between five and seven years to build and another year or more to get online – so, again, not a great short-term solution for power generation by a government eager to improve energy security.

    And that’s assuming that a large-scale project of this type and complexity never runs into any snags.

  • then you have the decommissioning costs, which are in the billions of dollars. ….
  • the state is forced to pick up the tab for de-poisoning the site, which is what’s currently happening at Sellafield in the UK.

    There’s also the cost of storing radioactive waste, which is a whole extra issue – but if the British experience is anything to go by, the public can expect to be paying for that too. …..

  • any green credentials are more than offset by the carbon emission heavy process of mining the uranium to fuel it, which is an environmental nightmare. Right, Ranger Mine?…….
  • So, to recap: nuclear energy costs a lot to set up, a lot to break down, creates extra new storage problems that are expensive to fix, and isn’t a long term solution in any case. Advocating for power plants to be built in Australia is just another excuse to subsidise the construction and mining industries – so at least it’s in line with the rest of the government’s existing policy priorities.

    If only the sun hadn’t been built by Karl Marx and was therefore ideologically untenable. Then we’d all be fine. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/nuclear-energy-is-still-a-stupid-idea-for-australia-20170316-guzb68.html

March 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) could require financial institutions to test climate risks

Finance sector could face climate-risk testing, says Australian watchdog
Regulator says it may add climate change to the list of scenarios it asks institutions to run to check economic resilience,
Guardian, , 9 Mar 17, Australia’s financial institutions could be required to test climate-risk scenarios as international regulators continue to warn of the economic dangers posed by climate change.

Geoff Summerhayes, executive board member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra), told a Senate committee that climate scenario testing could be added to the other common scenarios Apra requires financial institutions to face to ensure their systems are robust.

It’s been more than a year since the COP21 Paris climate change conference, when the former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was appointed to head a taskforce to provide investors, insurers, banks and consumers with more information. The move was part of plans for a voluntary industry-led code announced by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the G20 body that monitors and makes recommendations about the financial system.

Last month Summerhayes warned climate change posed a material risk to the entire financial system and urged companies to start adapting. Apra is the regulator that oversees the $6tn industry made up of banks, building societies, superannuation, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Summerhayes said Apra already sent out common scenarios for institutions to test. These scenarios have an economic factor, including an asset price shock and, in the case of the insurance industry, a potential liabilities scenario as well.

 “It is possible in the future that climate could be such a risk that we would want to test,” Summerhayes said. “That is not in our current plans but it is possible as other emerging risks are, that we would scenario test.”

He acknowledged the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) had been very active on climate change. The bank’s governor, Mark Carney, has warned of financial crises and falling living standards unless corporations faced up to the risks. “Apra is not first prudential regulator to make statements about climate,” he said.

Emma Herd, the chief executive of Investor Group on Climate Change, told the committee the political debate in recent years had stopped companies speaking publicly about their strategic response to climate change…….

The Senate inquiry, initiated by Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and restarted after the federal election, is looking into carbon risk and disclosure in corporate Australia.https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/08/finance-sector-could-face-climate-risk-testing-says-australian-watchdog

March 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac invest $7bn more in fossil fuels than in renewables

hypocrisy-scaleBig Australian banks invest $7bn more in fossil fuels than renewables, says report https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/06/big-australian-banks-invest-7bn-more-in-fossil-fuels-than-renewables-says-report ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac provided three times more for non-renewable than clean energy projects in 2016, says Market Forces, Guardian, , 6 Mar 17, Australia’s big four banks invested three times as much in global fossil fuels as they did in clean energy in 2016, despite pledging to help Australia transition to a low carbon economy.

The banks provided a combined $10bn to projects around the world that expanded non-renewable energy, according to finance group Market Forces.

ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank were the worst offenders, investing over $3bn each in fossil fuels. In the same period, ANZ only lent $225m to renewables, giving it a 14:1 ratio. Continue reading

March 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Coal power now “univestable”, but Australian government keen to subsidise it

Turnbull climate 2 facedCoalition’s “clean coal” plan to power Gina, Clive, Adani in Galilee basin, REneweconomy. By  on 1 March 2017 The so-called “clean coal” power generator being promoted by the Coalition has been revealed to be a 2009 proposal from businessman Clive Palmer that would be used to help provide electricity to Galilee coal mines planned by Palmer himself, Gina Rinehart, and Indian group Adani.

Waratah Coal, the company owned by Palmer’s Mineralogy, confirmed to the ABC on Tuesday that it had made an application to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation last Friday to finance a proposed 900MW coal generator that proposes to use an unproven technology, carbon capture and storage.

The revived plan was originated in 2009, and the details can be found here. It proposed to bury the emissions from the coal plant under the very same coal province that the three mining groups propose to mine – except that it will be “sequestered” in an “un-mineable” area of coal seams some 1km underground.

The $1.25 billion figure comes from its 2009 estimates, but it is expected that this is well out of the ball-park now. It also does not, the application makes clear, include the cost of carbon capture and sequestration.

No plant in the world has come close to making this a commercially viable proposition and the owners of the most advanced project, Kemper in Georgia, now admit it would be impossible make money from coal generation and CCS.

But that hasn’t stopped the Coalition continuing to push “clean coal” over renewables, despite overwhelming consensus that it would cost at least twice as much – and possibly four times as much with CCS – than wind and solar alternatives.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – who as recently as 2010 supported 100 per cent renewable energy scenarios – has now pitched the Coalition’s energy policy firmly behind the construction of new “ultra supercritical” coal plants.

Resources minister Matt Canavan has been particularly vocal in support of a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland. This proposal, from Palmer, is the only proposal in the pipeline. Most other energy investors in the area are instead looking to solar and wind farms.

This comes as new data shows that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, jumping another 2.2 per cent in the last financial year and taking the growth since the repeal of the carbon price to more than 7 per cent.

Much of this growth has come from the electricity sector, due to increased coal-fired generation, and from the new LNG export facilities in Queensland, where more coal and gas is being burned to power the liquefaction of coal seam gas, so it can be shipped overseas.

New studies have again questioned whether coal seam gas is any “cleaner” than coal power, given evidence that “rogue methane emissions” which are not measured by the gas companies, are actually making CSG a dirtier power source than coal…..

The Minerals Council, it has been widely reported, supplied the lump of coal brought into Question Time last month by treasurer Scott Morrison, in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave. The coal was lacquered so Coalition ministers and MPs would not get their hands dirty.

The proposed coal-fired power station in the Galilee Basin reveals the farcical depths of Australia’s energy policy debate. Even the Energy Supply Council, which represents the country’s fossil fuel generators, admits that new coal power is now “un-investable”.

The Coalition wants such coal plants to be funded by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, but this has been dismissed on several occasions by CEO Oliver Yates, who points out that co-financiers would be impossible to find, and any such investment would require billions of dollars in government guarantees and indemnities against a future carbon price.

The Minerals Council, though, is pushing the Galilee coal basin hard. It has previously fought against a carbon price and has launched numerous campaigns to promote coal as a commodity……http://reneweconomy.com.au/coalitions-clean-coal-plan-power-gina-clive-adani-galilee-basin-35115/

March 3, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Solar farms to benefit farmers in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas

solar-panels-and-moneySolar farms: ‘Farming sun, instead of wheat’  http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/solar-farms-farming-sun-instead-of-wheat/news-story/339cad050ebf0e75d5eb373eeed8d160 KATH SULLIVAN, The Weekly Times March 2, 2017

THREE solar farms with the ability to generate enough electricity to power Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo will be built in northwest Victoria this year.

A $500 million investment by Australian-owned Overland Sun Farming and ­London-based Island Green Power will see construction at Wemen, Iraak and Yatpool.

Two hundred jobs are expected to be created in the construction phase, which will begin in the second quarter.

Each solar farm is expected to begin producing energy from January 1 next year.

Overland chief executive Brett Thomas said he had worked with landholders and local government for three years to develop the plans.

He said each farm would cover up to 300ha, with farmers paid for use of the land — typically wheat and grazing country — for up to 30 years. “It provides a strong off-farm income for farmers,” Mr Thomas said, likening the project to primary production.“We’re farming sun, instead of wheat,” he said.

Mr Thomas described the technology as “relatively simple, the same as roof tops” however solar panels would use mechanical trackers to move east to west and follow the sun.

Mildura Development Corporation chair Jenny Grigg described the project as “massive” for the region.“It’s a great regional development opportunity,” Ms Grigg said.She said she expected that up to $30 million would be spent in the local economy during the construction phase of the farms.

March 3, 2017 Posted by | business, solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

National Australia Bank now investing in renewable energy in Europe, US and UK

piggy-ban-renewablesNAB taps offshore green bond market for 1.1GW of solar, wind, REneweconomy, By  on 2 March 2017 National Australia Bank has broadened its renewable energy investment reach to the European, US and UK markets, with the issuance this week of a €500 million ($A690 million) green bond, targeting what the bank describes as “strong investor demand” for solar and wind energy projects.

The bond, issued on Thursday, will refinance renewable energy and low carbon transport projects and assets in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Americas, including wind and solar energy assets with an expected installed capacity of more than 1GW.

It is the third bond of its kind to be issued by NAB, but marks the first issuance of an offshore green bond by an Australian bank, and the biggest ever green bond from an Australian issuer.

And it takes the bank’s total funds committed to the financing of renewable energy generators, globally, to more than $1 billion since October 2016, the bank says.

In 2014, NAB became the first Australian lender to jump into the booming green bond market, with the issue of a certified $150 million climate bond targeting a portfolio of 17 wind and solar projects.

As we reported here at the time, the largely renewable-focused exercise was a huge success, with strong investor demand doubling the size of the bond to $300 million within hours.

NAB it says its second green bond was also met with strong investor demand, and the order book well oversubscribed……http://reneweconomy.com.au/nab-taps-offshore-green-bond-market-for-1-1gw-of-solar-wind-48807/

March 3, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority warns on financial danger from climate change

climate-changeClimate change could threaten entire financial system, APRA warns, ABC News, 17 Feb 17, By Stephen Long Climate change could threaten the stability of the entire financial system, the prudential regulator has warned, as it prepares to apply climate change “stress tests” to the nation’s financial institutions.

In its first major speech on climate change, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chastised companies for a lack of action on the risks it poses.

“While climate risks have been broadly recognised, they have often been seen as a future problem or a non-financial problem,” APRA executive board member Geoff Summerhayes told an Insurance Council conference in Sydney.

“Many of these risks are foreseeable, material and actionable now.

The speech comes as the Government and the Opposition bicker about renewable energy targets amid dismay among industry leaders about a lack of certainty on climate change policy.

The Climate Institute’s CEO John Connor described the speech as a “huge” development.

“APRA has never gone out there like this before,” he said.

“It’s an antidote to the hyper partisan political culture war on climate policy; our regulator’s moved to the front foot in managing climate risks.”

The Climate Institute and the Investor Group on Climate Change wrote jointly to the Council of Financial Regulators two years calling for regulatory action on the financial risks from climate change.

Lack of policy ‘could greatly increase financial risks’

APRA warned in the speech that lack of policy and regulatory action could make the financial risks posed by climate change “greater and more abrupt”.

“There could be either sharper, more significant policy changes and market adjustments down the track, or the physical impacts of climate change could become more severe, more likely and more unpredictable,” Mr Summerhayes said.

“Like all risks, it is better they are explicitly considered and managed as appropriate, rather than simply ignored or neglected.

“So what can you expect to see from us? A greater emphasis on stress testing for organisational and systemic resilience in the face of adverse shocks.

“Just as we would expect to see more sophisticated scenario-based analysis of climate risks at the firm level, we look at these risks as part of our system-wide stress testing.”

APRA’s intervention follows a similar though more pointed warning two years ago by the head of the Bank of England about the threats climate change posed to financial stability…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-17/climate-change-could-threaten-entire-financial-system-apra/8281436?pfmredir=sm

February 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian Conservation Foundation summarises the background of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project

coal CarmichaelMine2The Adani Brief: our summary https://www.acf.org.au/adani_brief_summary
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/wgar-news/QkXUYq11cmQ   
15 February 2017:

“Background

The brief is the result of months of international investigation by Environmental Justice Australia and
USA-based environmental law non-profit EarthJustice into the global legal compliance record of the Adani Group.

It puts governments and private stakeholders on notice that backing Adani’s Carmichael
coal mine and rail project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin
may expose them to financial and reputational risks.

“Key findings

“Environmental destruction:
Adani Group companies have a record of environmental destruction and non-compliance with environmental regulations.
Some examples are: …

‘Black money’: … 

“Bribery and illegal exports: … 

“Confusing and opaque corporate structures: … 

“This is a company the government is entrusting: … ”

The Adani Brief:
What governments and financiers need to know
about the Adani Group’s record overseas
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/wgar-news/QkXUYq11cmQ
https://envirojustice.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Submissions%20and%20reports/The_Adani_Brief_by_Environmental_Justice_Australia.pdf

February 20, 2017 Posted by | business, environment, politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Turnbull’s powerful taskforce to promote the coal industry

Map Turnbull climatePush for coal-fired power Malcolm Turnbull has formed a new, powerful cabinet committee to oversee national energy policy.

Turnbull taskforce to push coal-fired power for north The Australian February 4, 2017  Political Editor Canberra , Malcolm Turnbull has formed a new, powerful cabinet committee to oversee national energy policy as the government proposes to use some of the $5 billion Northern Australia Fund to help build a new, commercially viable coal-fired power station in northern Queensland……

As parliament resumes next week the Prime Minister is putting energy security and lower power prices at the heart of the ­Coalition’s policy and political campaign with the new cabinet sub-committee — including Mr Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison, Mathias Cormann, Josh Frydenberg, Matt Canavan and Arthur Sinodinos — starting to co-ordinate and ­develop a national energy policy…….

Mr Turnbull and the Treasurer have flagged using funds from the Clean Energy Development Fund for modern coal-powered generators the government has convinced the $100 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank to lend for coal-fired electricity generation in Asia. Senator Canavan, the Minister for Northern Australia, yesterday suggested the government help fund a coal-fired power station in the Galilee Basin in Queensland……

“We back clean-coal options in the north and I want to make clear that we will back investment in clean coal through our $5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. We set up that facility to build infrastructure in the north, to build specific infrastructure like power stations,” Senator Canavan said….

The minister said Mr Turnbull had announced that the “Australian government would look at encouraging the development of a clean coal-fired power station in Australia”. “This will be a clear difference between us and the Labor Party. We support coal…….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/turnbull-taskforce-to-push-coalfired-power-for-north/news-story/e15cbb9f03c1922f909780ccbffd41cb

February 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Turnbull govt wants to use Clean Energy Finance Corporation to finance new coal power stations

logo CEFC

The stranded asset risks of investing in new coal-fired power plants are clear to almost all,” Buckley said. “At some point a carbon tax or ETS is inevitable and would need to be priced in.”

Buckley said if that happened, the CEFC could well be stranded with any loan it’s given to coal power stations.

How Malcolm Turnbull could ignore the facts and fund the myth of ‘clean’ coal, Guardian,   2 Feb 17  The Coalition could use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to finance new coal power stations but it wouldn’t be cheaper than renewables Just a few months ago, the idea that a new coal power station would ever be built in Australia seemed laughable. Banksenergy companies and even the Turnbull government seemed to accept the inevitable decline of the coal industry.

But, since then, the Turnbull government has been furiously talking up the idea of “clean” coal. And while no bank is likely to finance the building of a new coal-fired power station here, Turnbull and his ministers have been indicating the government might themselves fund them.

There’s been a lot of spin in this debate, so here are some facts……..

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation cannot currently fund coal (but the government could change the rules) Continue reading

February 3, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry- economic disaster for Australia – theme for February 2016

cliff-money-nuclear

Any economic argument for the nuclear industry was blown out of the water by the absolute discrediting of South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Royal Commission (NFCRC)’s push for importing nuclear wastes.

Australia’s nuclear lobby knew that the industry is not healthy, nor safe, nor clean, and is a disaster for the Aboriginal people. But, they didn’t care – saying that importing nuclear waste would make $billions. All thorough economic research said otherwise. Far from saving South Australia’s struggling economy, expanding the nuclear industry would most likely bring that State to bankruptcy.

Now the nuclear lobbyists are at it again – touting “new nukes” – small thorium nuclear reactors, (which would require importing enriched uranium or plutonium to get them working.) Even the pro nuclear NFCRC concluded  that these would not be economic for South Australia.

cool-peopleThe push for “new nukes” is driven partly by the vanity of a few would-be-famous young men, partly by the nuclear enthusiasts within the defence lobby, and partly by the general desperation of the global nuclear industry to make it look as if they’re succeeding.

Whichever way it is, South Australia will be the loser if nuclear lobbyists win. South Australia has the opportunity to lead in 21st Century renewable energy technologies. With no help from the climate-denying, anti-renewables, Turnbull government, South Australia is up against it.

The uranium market is in continual gloom. Any expansion of the nuclear industry in Australia is a recipe for economic disaster –  and a ludicrous contrast to Australia’s wonderful opportunities in renewable energy and clean agriculture.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Utility scale investment marks the surge in wind and solar power in Australia

solar-panels-and-moneyWind, solar investment surge “the start of bigger text-relevantthings to come” REneweconomy By  on 18 January 2017 The strong growth in large scale renewable project financing in Australia in 2016 could be just the beginning of a major wave of investment.

This is the prognosis of Bloomberg New Energy Finance associate Leonard Quong, who adds that if key policy settings remain in place the $2.5 billion in annual large scale project investment required for Australia to meet its Renewable Energy Target could be achieved through to 2020.

“We have seen a new sense of momentum and energy in the market,” Quong told RenewEconomy, speaking of the latter stages of 2016. “If some of the fundamentals looking forward are to be believed, this is the start of bigger things to come.”

Quong explains that the stage is set for a large number of utility scale wind and solar PV projects to attract financing and get off the ground in 2017.

This is due in a large part to the “paralysis” the large scale renewable market experienced in 2014 and 2015, itself brought on by the Abbott Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) review. This paralysis is the primary cause of the large scale generation certificates (LGCs) shortfall likely to eventuate in 2018.

The BNEF analyst notes that the RET reduction agreed to by the major political parties, a position advocated by the Clean Energy Council aimed at breaking the paralyzing deadlock, laid the groundwork behind the recent growth in project financing.

The significant factor being that as it was achieved in a bipartisan fashion, investors gained confidence that the policy will be in place over the mid-to- long term.

As to whether Australia can achieve the reduced RET, Quong is quietly optimistic…….

A major trend set to emerge strongly in 2017, according to BNEF analysis, is the rise of utility scale solar. While wind project investments far exceeded utility scale solar in Australia in 2016, rapid price declines and solar PV’s inherent advantages in terms of project execution should see large scale solar take off.

“Given the shortfall in certificates now expected to happen in 2018, it gives quite an incentive for investors to look at solar,” says Quong. “With the shorter build times, potentially shorter development times, and with certificate prices now above $80/MWh, it certainly makes it quite attractive.”  ……http://reneweconomy.com.au/wind-solar-investment-surge-start-bigger-things-come-57167/

January 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory prepares for role as clean energy hub and exporter of renewable technology

text-relevantFunding boost for renewable sector to prepare ACT for green future http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/funding-boost-for-renewable-sector-to-prepare-act-for-green-future-20170110-gtp8vm.html  Clare Sibthorp  11 Jan 17 

The ACT government hopes a funding boost to the local renewable sector will take the territory one step closer to a green future.

Two new grant programs launched by Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury aim to shape the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation and investment.

The new Direct Grants Stream will provide grants of more than $30,000 to businesses developing renewable technologies.

The Innovation Connect Renewables Stream will feed extra cash into the ACT government’s existing Innovation Connect grants program, allocating $120,000 to the development of innovative products and services in the renewable sector in 2017.

Mr Rattenbury said the programs would be financed from the $12 million industry-funded Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.

He said the ACT was on track to be fully powered by renewables by 2020. “The grants announced today are designed to grow the renewable energy industry, help organisations take the next step in commercialising their technology and reduce deployment costs of renewable energy and energy storage,” he said.

Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

January 12, 2017 Posted by | ACT, business, energy, politics | Leave a comment

W.A. govt approves Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine, as uranium prices continue to decrease

text-uranium-hypeToro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine in Goldfields gets green light from WA Government, ABC News, By Jarrod Lucas, 9 Jan 17, Western Australia’s first uranium mine is a step closer after the state’s Environment Minister Albert Jacob granted approval for a project at Wiluna in the northern Goldfields.

The owners of the proposed mine, Toro Energy, still need the green light from Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

Toro told the stock market on Monday afternoon it hoped federal approval would be granted by March…..

, uranium miners rushing to get approvals in place before March’s state election were thwarted in their bid for a hat-trick when Canadian giant Cameco’s proposed Yeelirrie mine was knocked back on environmental grounds last year……

Drop in Australian uranium production predicted

Uranium prices remain near historic lows, depressed since the 2011 Japanese tsunami sent the Fukushima plant into multiple meltdowns.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science today released its Resources and Energy Quarterly which forecast Australian uranium production to decrease by 6.8 per cent this financial year to 7,141 tonnes……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-09/toro-energy-wiluna-uranium-mine-approved-by-wa-government/8171398

January 11, 2017 Posted by | business, politics, uranium, Western Australia | 1 Comment