Australian news, and some related international items

Labor holds meeting with industry, on emissions reduction, as COAL-ition holds private dinner with coal-nuclear lobbyist Trevor St Baker

Pro-coal Coalition MPs schedule private dinner to discuss ‘Australia’s energy future’ Monash Forum sets up dinner with Trevor St Baker  Trevor St Baker who is director of SMR Nuclear Technology company. as business tells Labor to stick with national energy guarantee, Guardian,   Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo 20 Sep 2018 The pro-coal Monash Forum is attempting to convene a private dinner when federal parliament resumes in mid-October with Trevor St Baker, part-owner of the Vales Point coal generator and founder of the business electricity retailer ERM Power.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government ‘won’t be replacing’ renewable energy target – Angus Taylor, (Minister For Fossil Fuel Energy)

Angus Taylor confirms government ‘won’t be replacing’ renewable energy target Canberra Times, 18 Sept 18Energy Minister Angus Taylor has confirmed the Morrison government will not replace the renewable energy target after it peaks in 2020, officially creating a policy vacuum that opponents say will stifle clean energy investment and lead to higher prices.

In question time on Tuesday, Greens MP Adam Bandt challenged Mr Taylor to extend the target until 2022 to avoid a disastrous plunge in renewables investment when the current target ends.

“The renewable energy target is going to wind down from 2020, it reaches its peak in 2020, and we won’t be replacing that with anything,” Mr Taylor said……..

“We will drive prices down, that’s our policy, those opposite will drive them up,” he said.

An annual index released on Tuesday put Australia in the bottom three ranking for environmental policy among wealthy nations.

The Center for Global Development’s commitment to development index said the environment was “one of Australia’s weaker policy fields … largely due to its poor performance curbing climate change”….

September 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s ignorant new Energy Minister Angus Taylor attacks renewable energy

Taylor launches extraordinary and ill-informed attack against wind and solar, REneweconomy, Giles Parkinson
 New energy minister Angus Taylor has launched a new and extraordinary attack against wind and solar, saying they cause “de-industrialisation” and claiming that Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target would send a “wrecking ball” through the Australian economy.

The comments came in an interview on Sky News on Sunday night, and little more than a week after Taylor told radio stock jock Alan Jones that there was already “too much” wind and solar in the grid.

On Sunday, he went even further: Asked by Sky’s Chris Kenny what he thought of Labor leader Bill Shorten’s comment that Labor was still thinking about adopting some aspects of the National Energy Guarantee, now dumped by the Coalition government, Taylor trotted out all the usual diatribe about wind and solar. …..

The fact that the ring wingers Jones and Kenny hold such extreme and ill-informed views about climate and energy is well known, and not of great consequence.

But the fact that the country’s energy minister goes on to their programs and agrees with them, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is deeply troubling – for investors and consumers ……..

The notion of “de-instrialisation” will be news to the likes of UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, and the new state Liberal government. Gupta has rescued and is planning to expand the steelworks at Whyalla, based around a huge investment in solar and storage – a plan he intends to repeat with his steel operations in Victoria and NSW.

Half a dozen other major energy users have also signed up with Gupta’s Simec Zen Energy for cheaper electricity delivered largely by renewables and storage, and more are set to follow. Zinc refiner Sun Metals, brewer CUB, confectionary maker Mars, and vegetable grower Nectar Farms are all turning to wind and solar, as are many other companies.

The South Australia Liberal government has also embraced the state’s high renewables share, and islifting its commitment to battery storage, both large and small. A plan for $100 million in household grants has already had an industrial pay-off, with German battery giant Sonnen to build a manufacturing plant in the old GM Holden factory in Elizabeth.

And why not? As we pointed out last week, South Australia stands to benefits in multiple ways from its commitment to renewables – in emissions, prices and investment. AEMO seems comfortable with the fact that the state is heading towards 73 per cent renewables by 2021 and equivalent to 100 per cent by 2025.

Taylor’s antipathy to “intermittent” generation is well known, and long standing, and in the interview with Kenny he didn’t stop there, trotting out a series of claims that are in direct contradiction to the findings of institutions such as the Energy Security Board, the ACCC, the Australian Energy Market Commission and The Australian Energy Market Operator.

He said of the various state targets – well, Victoria and Queensland in particular – that the “result will be very clear – it will push out baseload power, intermittent generation that is being stuffed into the sector will have to be backed up, and that is extremely expensive ….. networks will have to be rebuilt to absorb all of this new intermittent capacity coming in, and we all going to pay for it.”

That’s not true at all. AEMO’s Integrated System Plan contemplates that existing targets of the state governments, and Labor’s nation-wide target, and finds no issues. Yes, some extra investment in networks will be needed, along with other measures such as the need to orchestrate distributed energy sources, but it sees no threats such as the lights going out.

In fact, the AEMO report highlights the fact that the biggest shift from what Taylor likes to call “fair dinkum” baseload power towards wind and solar and storage will be in NSW – the one state without a renewable energy target. That’s because its coal generators are old, expensive and dirty, and nearly all will need replacing in coming decades.

Nor does AEMO’s or the ESB’s 10 year outlook see any prospect of the reliability obligation – which is still in the works –  being triggered.

Even if the definition of reliability is changed, to address the concern raised from exceptional and extended heat-waves, and the fear that country’s existing coal and gas generators will be unable to cope, the answer to that issue is not more “baseload”, but more dispatchable generation.

Taylor describes himself as the minister for getting prices down, but as the Energy Security Board, and any number of analysts, including most recently the Australia Institute, have pointed out, price falls in the next couple of years will be delivered by the influx of renewables from the renewable energy target.

Kenny made the baseless claim that renewables had been the primary cause of Australia’s electricity price rises. Taylor readily agreed.  Even the ACCC report notes that by far the biggest contributor was the increase in network prices, following closely by wholesale prices driven mostly by the lack of competition and a jump in gas prices…….

Many of Taylor’s other claims are full of hot air.

Taylor says the government will ensure that new “dispatchable” generation is built, but a new report from S&P says that the lack of any coherent policy under this government will be the biggest factor against building new capacity.

It was interesting to note that Taylor said it may be months before an outline of the government plans to underwrite “new 24-hour baseload” would be unveiled. That’s an indication of the difficulties ahead. To achieve his desired outcome, would go against engineering and economic sense, and it won’t be in place before the next poll.

Taylor also threatens to stop any company from closing coal fired generators by forcing divestment. But he admits he doesn’t actually have the power to do that. “We will create powers of divestment,” he promises. But how?…….

September 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Victorian homeowners will be paid nearly $5000 towards the cost of household solar batteries if Labor is re-elected

Victorian Labor offers a $4838 battery bonanza for homes with solar panels , The Age ,By Noel Towell & Benjamin Preiss, 10 September 2018 Victorian homeowners will be paid nearly $5000 towards the cost of household solar batteries by a re-elected Andrews government in the latest move aimed at making the state Australia’s leader in domestic-scale renewable energy.

The latest promise of subsidies for small-scale renewable energy will see households who already have solar panels able to claim half the cost – up to $4838 – of batteries that can store energy generated on their rooftops.

The announcement comes as the Andrews government commits to building six new renewable energy plants across regional Victoria, generating enough power for 640,000 homes.

The three solar and three wind farms, producing 928 megawatts of power, will be built by private companies.

Labor has been encouraged by more than 9000 registrations of interest in its subsidised solar program in the three weeks since it began its announcements.  The new batteries policy will cost an estimated $40 million, with 10,000 households expected to take part, lured by the chance of cutting up to $650 from their annual power bills with the rapidly improving battery storage technology.

The announcement is part of a suite of subsidies and payments aimed at putting solar technology in 720,000 Victorian homes. The centrepiece of the government energy renewable election pitch, a $1.2 billion subsidies scheme offering free solar panels to 650,0000 households, was announced in August.

It was followed by a $60 million promise to pay $1000 toward the installation of solar hot water systems in homes that are not suitable for rooftop solar panels.

The latest announcement will open up subsidies to even more households – those already using solar panels to generate power – as Labor looks to build a strong cost-of-living policy platform heading into November’s election………

The government says technology is in development that will allow neighbourhoods to link their batteries, creating “micro-grids” of shared stored power to lower electricity prices even further.

Labor says it will spend $10 million to preparing the state’s ageing power grid for an influx of hundreds of thousands of household micro-generation operations………

September 12, 2018 Posted by | politics, storage, Victoria | Leave a comment

Flexibility of Renewable Energy Systems is Shifting the Power Balance

 By 2040 Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that more than half of global energy capacity will come from renewables and flexible sources, such as battery storage and demand side response

 NuClear News Sept 18   Tom Greatrex of the Nuclear Industry Association (1) says we should ignore the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) recommendation that we only order one more nuclear station on top of Hinkley Point C before 2025 (2), because cutting carbon without the help of nuclear is a “risky business”. He says the Government understands the inherent value of a baseload low carbon source of generation.

The NIC says: “It is now possible to conceive of a low-cost electricity system that is principally powered by renewable energy sources.” It says at least 50% and up to 65% of electricity in 2030 should come from renewables. (3)

Australia is having similar debates where the fossil fuel lobby argues that because “coal” is “baseload”, it must therefore be “reliable”, but wind and solar are intermittent, so they cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on. It’s political rhetoric that belies the reality of the electricity system. Australia’s grid has challenges, but they are not necessarily ones that can be solved just by having more “baseload”. What is really needed – as the Australian Energy Market Operator, chief scientist Alan Finkel, and any number of other independent experts point out – is dispatchable and reliable generation, one that the grid operator can count on, at times of peak demand and heat stress. And the answer does not lie in traditional “baseload” generation – the more than 100 trips of big fossil fuel plants since December, often at times of soaring heat, underline that point.

The energy debate is usually dominated by simple political rhetoric – based around emissions or no emissions, cheap prices or expensive ones, baseload versus intermittency. That just skims over the surface. Behind the scenes, as the clean energy transition continues, debates are raging about good engineering practices and the design of markets. One of Australia’s leading electrical engineers, Kate Summers says large diverse renewable resources are far more stable in output than singular sources. She uses a series of graphs to illustrate that at moments when stability can be won or lost it has been wind and solar that have held firm, and acted as what one might consider to be “baseload”. And it has been coal and gas that has proved “intermittent” at the very minutes that stability is needed. (4)

It’s the Flexibility Stupid

A new report from Chatham House says evidence is growing that highly flexible electricity systems could deliver lower whole-system costs, especially given the dramatic projected falls in solar and wind power costs by 2030. Continue reading

September 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

PM Scott Morrison declares the National Energy Guarantee ‘dead’

National energy guarantee ‘dead’ as Morrison sets new course THE AUSTRALIAN, SIMON BENSON, NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR  @simonbenson, SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 Scott Morrison has declared the national energy guarantee “dead” and will seek endorsement from cabinet to tear up the Paris emissions target legislation when it meets formally for the first time on Monday, as the new Prime Minister moves to stamp his authority over a new policy direction for the government.

The NEG is dead, long live ­reliability guarantee, long live default prices, long live backing new power generation,” Mr Morrison said in an interview with The Weekend Australian.

In a signal that he intends to steer the Coalition back to a more socially conservative agenda, Mr Morrison said he would take personal carriage of the promised ­religious and freedom-of-speech protections, including parental rights that had been demanded by conservatives during the bitter gay-marriage debate last year.

And in what he claims will be the key economic “fault line” ­between the Coalition and Labor in the run-up to the next election, the new Liberal leader will roll out a wide-ranging small business reform program that goes beyond further tax reduction to include industrial relations reforms.

Mr Morrison said the first order of government business, with parliament due to return next week for the first time since the leadership spill, was putting to rest the issue of the Turnbull ­administration’s signature energy policy. The NEG had become ­emblematic of internal divisions within the Coalition and ultimately provided the trigger for the spill that elevated Mr Morrison into the top job on August 24.

Next week we will be putting to rest the issue of the legislation … it won’t be proceeding,” Mr Morrison said in an interview in ­Albury on Thursday.……..


September 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Ignoring Energy Market Operator’s forecast for coal, Matt Canavan keen to open new coal plants

Paris climate deal doesn’t stop us building new coal plants, Canavan says
Minister says agreement Australia committed to ‘doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular’,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor  @murpharoo 7 Sept 18  Australia does not need to quit the Paris climate agreement because our commitments are non-binding, and new coal plants can continue to be constructed, according to the resources minister, Matt Canavan.

Canavan told Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones on Friday he had never been to Paris, and was “happy to leave the Champs-Élysées for others”, but people needed to be clear the treaty Tony Abbott committed Australia to in 2015 “doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular”.

Abbott said in 2015, when he announced Australia would be signing up, that the government was making a “definite commitment” to a 26% reduction in emissions by 2030 and “with the circumstances that we think will apply … we can go up to 28%”.
But Canavan said on Friday the Paris commitment was a three-page document that allowed Australia flexibility to build new coal plants. The resources minister said rather than focusing on the situation in 2030, “what I want to focus on is solving the crisis we have in energy today”……
Broadcaster Alan Jones declared the prime minister, Scott Morrison, needed to “recall Marise Payne and replace her”. He said the Morrison government would have no hope of winning the next federal election if it wanted to “persist with the global warming rubbish and the Paris agreement”.

The 2GB host said Paris needed to be “ripped up”.

A recent forecast by the Australian Energy Market Operator predicted 30% of Australia’s coal generators will approach the end of their technical life over the next two decades, and it said it was important to avoid premature departures if the looming transition in the national energy market is to be orderly.

But it was also clear that the most economical replacement for the ageing coal fleet was not new coal, but “a portfolio of utility-scale renewable generation, storage, distributed energy resources, flexible thermal capacity, and transmission”.

Aemo concluded that mix of generation could produce 90 terawatt hours of energy per annum, “more than offsetting the energy lost from retiring coal-fired generation”. ….

September 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | Leave a comment

Solar energy microgrid for Euroa, Victoria

Euroa’s grassroots solar microgrid plan to avoid summer blackouts ABC Goulburn Murray 

The Euroa Environment Group is behind the $6 million grassroots project to install 589 kilowatts of new solar photovolatic (PV) panels, and up to 400 kilowatts of new batteries.

It will work with Mondo Power and Globird Energy as well as 14 businesses within Euroa which will install the technology.

The project may eventually extend to the residential community of Euroa and to other towns as it will demonstrate how a microgrid can operate.

The town has endured countless blackouts and it is hoped the microgrid will address the issue in the lead-up to summer.

The closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in Victoria last year drove up energy power prices in southern states and put pressure on the market operator to deliver enough power to meet demand on summer’s hottest days.

Shirley Saywell, who is a business owner in Euroa and president of the group, said power options had been limited.

“This microgrid within another microgrid will give us the opportunity to generate power locally, store power locally and share power locally. It’s the town making itself more resilient in these times of uncertainty.

“There’s been stories about how complicated renewables are, and I see my role as showing people that it shouldn’t be as complicated as it’s made out to be.”

The intention of the project is to give the town greater reliability in its power supply as well as decrease the price of energy.

Energy strategy one of many Continue reading

September 7, 2018 Posted by | solar, Victoria | 1 Comment

On climate change, Scott Morrison contradicts the energy advice of Energy Security Board

Scott Morrison contradicts energy advice, saying Paris targets can be met ‘at a canter’, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor@murpharoo  5 Sep 2018 

Prime minister claims Australia will easily meet its obligations without an emissions reduction policy  Scott Morrison is continuing to insist that Australia will meet its Paris climate commitments “in a canter” despite the government having no emissions reduction policies to achieve that result.The prime minister used a radio interview on Wednesday afternoon to declare “the business-as-usual model gets us there in a canter” – which contradicts advice from the Energy Security Board that says business as usual will mean the electricity sector will “fall short of the emissions reduction target of 26% below 2005 levels”.

Even if the the ESB projections are wrong, and the electricity sector managed to reduce emissions by 26% with no policy to drive that result, the Paris target applies across the economy, not just to the electricity sector, and the government’s own data shows emissions in other sectors of the economy are rising.

Morrison told 2GB on Wednesday that business as usual “and technology and the amount of renewable technologies that are already in the system and not being subsidised off into the future means these [Paris] targets are hit”.

A summary of modelling undertaken by the ESB and released only a month ago said if no policy was put in place in the electricity sector – which is the business-as-usual case the prime minister refers to – emissions would fall initially, then flatten out and rise towards the end of the decade to 2030 as forecast demand increased, then dip again in 2029-30.

 The ESB said if the national energy guarantee wasn’t implemented, the national electricity market would “fall short of the emissions reduction target of 26% below 2005 levels”.

On Wednesday the prime minister initially said that the renewable energy target was driving up power prices “and that’s why we are stripping [subsidies] out of the system”, then said later in the same interview that the biggest driver of higher power prices was gold-plating of the electricity networks.

Asked by his host on 2GB what was ultimately more important, complying with Australia’s international climate obligations, or lowering power prices, Morrison said: “Power prices.” He counselled against being “distracted by ideological debate”.

The ESB has warned that if governments fail to implement the national energy guarantee – the policy Malcolm Turnbull shelved to try and stave off the civil war that ultimately cost him the prime ministership – that will “prolong the current investment uncertainty, and deny customers more affordable energy”……..

September 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s new Energy Minister Angus Taylor is not a climate science denier – he’s much more dangerous.

Angus Taylor condemns us to another round of energy stupidity, Guardian 5 Sept 18 It’s not that Taylor is a climate change denier, it’s just that he’d rather work against effective climate policy J

Just as we begin to imagine life without Tony Abbott undermining every sensible interaction between climate and energy policy, his “energy brain” in the form of the new energy minister, Angus Taylor, is now calling the shots.

Taylor has been fighting against the wind industry since the late 1990s, when developers came knocking, wanting to build a windfarm on his parents’ Monaro Plains property. The Taylor family turned down the opportunity, and the Boco Rock windfarm was instead built on the next ridgeline. Last year the windfarm generated enough zero-emissions electricity to power more than 70,000 average New South Wales households, and pumped $6.7m through the local economy.

Ever since that first approach, Taylor has been tilting at windmills.

Just two weeks ago, when Malcolm Turnbull was risking his prime ministership over a policy that would have done practically nothing for emissions, Taylor was busy working conservative talkback radio. Taylor boasted to Ray Hadley that he’s been speaking out against renewables policies “for many many years, well before anyone else … I argued in the party room many times to reduce it … I was able … to reduce the [RET] working with Tony as prime minister”.

While Taylor didn’t get everything he wanted, he did manage to cut 40% out of the renewable development pipeline……

for Australia, the chance of real progress is bleak under Team Morrison. It’s now clear that Taylor will continue Josh Frydenberg’s campaign of half truths and politicisation. When Taylor faced the media (sort of) for the first time in his new role last Thursday, he spoke forcefully of South Australia’s “failed experiment” with renewables.

The truth is that South Australia is an international model of success for energy transition. That such a statement goes so far against the orthodoxy shows the depravity of our national energy conversation – bear with me:

Exhibit A: Wind and solar have pushed coal completely out of South Australia and even displaced some gas. While the state imports 8% of its power from Victoria, it sends more in the other direction.

Exhibit B: Electricity prices in South Australia have always been high, but while its wholesale prices are lower than a decade ago in real terms, prices have risen elsewhere.

Exhibit C: Over the past decade, South Australia has reduced its electricity sector emissions by 56% from 10.1 MtCO2-e to 4.5 MtCO2-e.

Exhibit D: In the same decade SA cut its emissions intensity (measured in kg CO2-e/MWh) from 734 to just 340, five times as fast as the reduction in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Exhibit E: And while we’ve been regaled with endless stories about blackouts, the truth is that SA has only been caught short of generating power for 1.9 “load minutes” this decade (0.00004%), down from 16.8 load minutes last decade (0.00032%).

  1. Tell the truth – our grid is reliable and renewables aren’t the cause of high prices.
  2. Depoliticise energy – industry is crying out for bipartisan policy certainty.
  3. Respond to the science – any policy that’s incompatible with climate science is not credible, and therefore unstable.

Unfortunately Taylor chose to reject all of the above in week one, condemning us to another round of deep stupidity on climate and energy.

Taylor has always been quick to claim he’s on board with the climate science. Yet, as Abbott’s protege, he’s chosen to spend his time in politics actively undermining sensible and effective climate and energy policy.

Angus Taylor is not a climate science denier – he’s much more dangerous.


September 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

On nuclear and coal issues, Australia’s new government’s Cabinet – A SORRY LOT!


Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the Senate:   WA senator pushes benefits of nuclear energy 
A WA Liberal Senator, Mathias Cormann, is pushing the merits of Australia developing nuclear energy …….But, Mr Cormann was unable to say where waste would be buried.
“Longer term, very clearly we do have to find ways to store or to dispose of it in deep geological disposal arrangements but we have time for that“….

Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.  “
“….Energy issues, including removing subsidies for renewables, committing to build a new coal-fired power station in the north, and investigating a nuclear power future in the uranium rich state ”

Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer  Six sites for nuclear dump revealed by Josh Frydenberg

Steve Ciobo, Minister for Defence Industry  Steve Ciobo overturned mining loan ban without consulting department The minister for trade, Steve Ciobo, overturned a ban on government-backed loans to domestic miners last year without consulting his department.

The controversial decision meant the federal government could start funding coalmining projects at a time when Australia’s major banks are increasingly distancing themselves from investing in coal.

Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia 

Resources Minister Matt Canavan is deceptive in his statements about “Low Level “nuclear waste

Matt Canavan’s optimistic coal forecast contradicts his own department


Melissa Price, Minister for the Environment. This one is a bit of an unknown quantity. Unlike the rest of them, she actually knows something about the environment.  Expect the rest of them to bully her into shape

Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy   Angus Taylor lobbied against wind farms and was favourite of the Wind Farm Syndrome lobby
 David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources He is pushing energy company CS Energy to double the size of Australia’s newest coal-fired power station, Kogan Creek, on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

 David Fawcett, Assistant Minister for Defence  was noted as a climate  change denier, on the    Liberals don’t want sustainable energy list

August 27, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

With Scott Morrison as Australia’s new Prime Minister- no hope for action on climate change

“Scoal-Mo” as PM. What does that mean for climate and energy policy? REneweconomy Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath, 

 It says something about the state of Australia’s politics that the new prime minister, the man who brandished a lump of coal in parliament, is considered a moderate, at least in comparison to the forces he beat to the job.

……a relief for the renewable energy industry in Australia – because it is clear that Dutton may have led Australia out of the Paris climate agreement and even brought renewable energy schemes to a crashing halt.

But it may not be cause for celebration. Morrison will lead and will have as his deputy Josh Frydenberg, the man who put together the National Energy Guarantee that proposed no new investment in wind and solar for a decade.

Morrison is known as “Sco-Mo”, an abbreviation of his name. But he might just as well be known as “Scoal-Mo” after brandishing a lump of coal thoughtfully lacquered by the Minerals Council of Australia in parliament in February last year.

But we were. In doing this, Morrison was pinning his colours to the mast of energy policy idiocy of the sort you find in the Murdoch media and on talk back radio, and on the front and back benches of the Coalition.

And Morrison dived even deeper into the murky depths of ignorance a few months later.

South Australia had followed that outage in February – caused by the failure of a gas plant to switch on – by building the Tesla big battery – in just 100 days – but Morrison decried it as being as useful as the Big Banana………

Morrison, as Treasurer, also ignored climate change in his most recent budget, making no mention of it in his speech, apart from insisting that Australia would “maintain our responsible and achievable emissions reduction target at 26-28 per cent and not the 45 per cent demanded by the opposition.”……

Right now, there is no policy in place. Australia’s emissions are rising, predicted to miss the weak 2030 target by a wide margin, and there is complete uncertainty about the National Energy Guarantee that Frydenberg has been spending a year putting together with the Energy Security Board and the big business lobbies.

Frydenberg has had to run the line between good energy policy and the madness of the right wing, and ended up with a policy proposal that sought no emissions reductions from the sector that can deliver the cheapest……

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

CSIRO roadmap finds hydrogen industry set for scale-up 

 24 Aug 18  An economically-sustainable hydrogen industry could soon be on the cards according to a blueprint released by CSIRO, the national science agency, which found that cost competitiveness is firmly on the horizon.

The National Hydrogen Roadmap sets out a path to develop the action and investment plans required to realise the full benefits of a hydrogen economy. Hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel with a range of uses, from powering vehicles, to storing energy.

Hydrogen can service multiple markets and if produced using low-emissions energy sources, will enable deep decarbonisation across the energy and industrial sectors.

Roadmap findings include:

  • Hydrogen technologies are reaching maturity, with the narrative now shifting from R&D to market activation.
  • Hydrogen presents a new export opportunity for Australia and could also play a significant role in enabling the further uptake of renewable energy.
  • While the benefits are clear, current barriers to market activation include a lack of supporting infrastructure such as hydrogen refuelling stations for transport, and the cost of hydrogen supply for some applications.
  • An appropriate policy framework could create a ‘market pull’ for hydrogen, with investment in infrastructure then likely to follow.
  • In or around 2025, clean hydrogen could be cost-competitive with existing industrial feedstocks such as natural gas, and energy carriers such as batteries in many applications.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall described the Roadmap as a unique opportunity.

“Australia has a unique and urgent opportunity to turn significant natural resources, including coal, gas, and renewables like solar and wind energy, into a low-emissions energy product and ship it around the world – in some cases literally exporting Aussie sunshine,” Dr Marshall said.

“CSIRO is at the forefront of innovation with our partners in industry, government and the research sector, like our recently developed, world-first membrane to separate hydrogen from ammonia for fuel cell vehicles.

“This National Hydrogen Roadmap provides a blueprint for growing Australia’s hydrogen industry through coordinated investment to be globally competitive.”
CSIRO Hydrogen Future Science Platform Director Dr Patrick Hartley said industry interest was evident.

“We’ve established a strong network of partners and collaborators that support current, practical research and technology development initiatives right across the hydrogen energy value chain,” Dr Hartley said.

“And while much of the required technology is at a mature stage, there is considerable scope for further R&D to further improve process efficiencies and develop new applications.”

The national science agency consulted broadly to develop the Roadmap, which was sponsored by 21 industry and government bodies.

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Two major solar farms for Whyalla, South Australia

Steel city’s solar rush gets a head of steam  Whyalla could soon be home to two major solar farms after Adani Renewables announced it had received pre-construction approval for a 400 hectare project just outside the city. – …..(subscribers only)

August 24, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Right-wing in Liberal Coalition causing Turnbull to again weaken climate action

Malcolm Turnbull plans more changes to energy policy amid pressure from within Coalition, ABC News, By Jade Macmillan , 20 Aug 18  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has outlined further changes to his national energy policy amid increasing pressure from within his own party.

August 20, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment