Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

More renewable energy stories from Giles Parkinson and REneweconomy team

  • IPART bumps up benchmark range for NSW solar tariffs
    Regulator further lifts benchmark for NSW solar tariffs – well above AGL’s proposed tariff – but rejects notion rooftop solar and storage have network benefits.
  • $9 million to begin hydrogen roadmap
    The South Australian Government is continuing to support the transition to a low- carbon economy through a $9 million commitment to begin hydrogen roadmap.
  • NSW follows Victoria, South Australia in major push to demand management
    Households and businesses in NSW will get paid for reducing loads during critical peaks, as governments and institutions decide to circumvent objections by fossil fuel lobby with smarter, cleaner and cheaper alternatives.
    $53.8 million will be invested for a series of major projects at Stanwell Power Station west of Rockhampton, over the next year.
  • Inertia in power system: We don’t actually need that much
    We don’t need as much inertia in the power system as many think, and with a few simple changes we won’t need to mandate inertia limits either. Here’s why.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Today’s renewable energy news: Queensland, S Australia, NT, WA

Queensland
Birdsville geothermal plant to finally get major upgrade
Australia’s only geothermal power supply is to finally get its long awaited upgrade.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/birdsville-geothermal-plant-finally-get-major-upgrade-30440/ 
 
South Australia
Fast-track to a low-carbon highway
ADELAIDE is set to become home to six hydrogen-fuelled buses as part of a $9 million commitment that the State Government hopes will achieve its goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/fasttrack-to-a-lowcarbon-highway-as-state-government-announces-hydrogen-bus-trial/news-story/dfd9e5905c36a39209c29be422a0ae97

Northern Territory
Battery storage “gigafactory” planned for Darwin for 2018 
Energy Renaissance, backed by engineering group UGL, plans a gigawatt-scale battery storage factory in Darwin, that it says will begin production in late 2018.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-storage-gigafactory-planned-darwin-2018/

Western Australia
‘Death spiral’ for power grid after price rise, critic warns
The West Australian Government’s decision to almost double the fixed supply charge for electricity in a bid to boost ailing state coffers could see households seek cheaper alternatives and send the state’s grid into a death spiral, a sustainability expert says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-23/electricity-fee-hike-could-send-power-grid-into-death-spiral/8644258

June 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

A Kimberley cattleman’s powerful argument for renewable energy

Arguments against renewable energy are rubbish, Harold Mitchell , The Age 23 June 17 “…….. More than 60 years later, I’m delighted to report that I have been free of power bills for some time at the cattle properties I’m involved with in the East Kimberley.

The three properties and the land controlled by our Aboriginal neighbours, whom we work with, cover 3.5 million acres. That’s an area almost half the size of Denmark.

Nine years ago, we installed a solar plant at a cost of $425,000, with the support of the Gillard government. This power generation system provides all the power for the homestead plus station hand accommodation. It also powers our sheds and workshops. It would cost just $90,000 to replace today. The new batteries are four times better than the original ones and give the property reliable supply 24/7.

The water is not hard to find in the East Kimberley. It’s no more than 20 metres underground. It’s one of the biggest groundwater supplies in Australia. But you need power to get it. In the old days we needed windmills augmented by diesel pumps. This entailed endless trips across a vast landscape to carry expensive fuel.

The case of our cattle properties proves we can live a modern life at a much lower cost and environmental impact.

Now it’s done by almost maintenance-free submersible pumps powered by solar panels. Five years ago, they cost $22,000; they now cost $7000.

And again, no electricity or fuel bill.

This modern approach to agriculture is made all the simpler because we don’t have to consult with a backbench to make things happen.

Our backbench is 45,000 head of cattle, which are happy with the current arrangements.

But in contrast, our hard-working Aboriginal neighbours are caught up in grossly out-of-date government policy. Their houses and farm operations get electrical power from huge diesel generators that cost the government $250,000 a year for fuel alone. If they had a solar system installed like ours, the government would get its money back in less than six months…….

The current gridlock of argument and political power plays is robbing our country of a sustainable future. We have to get beyond the election cycle and there are a few farmers in the East Kimberley who can show the way. http://www.theage.com.au/business/indigenous-australians-can-help-build-a-more-sustainable-future-20170622-gww3nj.html

June 23, 2017 Posted by | energy, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Seven stories from REneweconomy today

  • IPART bumps up benchmark range for NSW solar tariffs
    Regulator further lifts benchmark for NSW solar tariffs – well above AGL’s proposed tariff – but rejects notion rooftop solar and storage have network benefits.
  • $9 million to begin hydrogen roadmap
    The South Australian Government is continuing to support the transition to a low- carbon economy through a $9 million commitment to begin hydrogen roadmap.
  • Battery storage “gigafactory” planned for Darwin for 2018
    Energy Renaissance, backed by engineering group UGL, plans a gigawatt-scale battery storage factory in Darwin, that it says will begin production in late 2018.
  • NSW follows Victoria, South Australia in major push to demand management
    Households and businesses in NSW will get paid for reducing loads during critical peaks, as governments and institutions decide to circumvent objections by fossil fuel lobby with smarter, cleaner and cheaper alternatives.
  • Trump bashes wind energy in state that gets a third of its power from wind
    Trump rants against wind energy, warning of lights going out and “birds falling to the ground”.
  • $53.8 million for Stanwell Power Station
    $53.8 million will be invested for a series of major projects at Stanwell Power Station west of Rockhampton, over the next year.
  • We don’t need as much inertia in the power system as many think, and with a few simple changes we won’t need to mandate inertia limits either. Here’s why.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Today’s Renewable Energy News

Get in on the ground floor: how apartments can join the solar boom
Bjorn Sturmberg
While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees.
https://theconversation.com/get-in-on-the-ground-floor-how-apartments-can-join-the-solar-boom-79172

Turnbull and Trump both demonising renewables for no reason
Giles Parkinson
Turnbull’s pursuit of “baseload dispatchable” power has all the hallmarks of the Trump administration’s campaign against renewables. But data shows that countries with lots of wind and solar have better energy security.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-trump-demonising-renewables-no-reason-39272/
New South Wales
How apartments can join the solar boom
Do you live in an apartment and wish that you could join the solar power revolution? Here’s how one co-operative housing block in Sydney transformed their building and became one of the first apartment blocks to become equipped with solar and batteries.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-21/how-apartments-can-join-the-solar-boom/8639306

Foley pledges to ‘increase’ rooftop solar if elected
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/luke-foley-pledges-to-massively-increase-rooftop-solar-if-elected-20170621-gwvo3i.html

 

Idea for solar on dam left in dark
A FLOATING solar farm proposed for Copperlode Dam was shot down before ever being considered by Cairns Regional Council, and at least one city official is not impressed.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/friction-in-council-over-rejected-copperlode-dam-solar-farm/news-story/def540cc85d26a41973686c3bb5a5f14
South Australia
Uncertainty powers battery surge
Blackout fears in South Australia have led to a surge in interest in solar battery technology.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/energy-uncertainty-powers-surge-in-solar-backup/news-story/9657d6efdb43f98da5bf8480ab36f3d4

June 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

9 Renewable Energy Stories From REneweconomy.com.au

  • Batteries vs pumped storage hydropower – a place for both?
    Two very different storage technologies – one old, one new; one that takes years to build, one that can be built ‘within 100 days (or it’s free)’. How else do they differ, and is there a place for both?
  • Finkel: Investors prefer wind, solar because they cheaper than coal
    Finkel says it clear investors prefer wind and solar because they are cheaper to build than traditional generation such as hydro and coal.
  • Turnbull and Trump both demonising renewables for no reason
    Turnbull’s pursuit of “baseload dispatchable” power has all the hallmarks of the Trump administration’s campaign against renewables. But data shows that countries with lots of wind and solar have better energy security.
  • Australian company Vivid Technology enters MoU with Honeywell to become its preferred partner for IoT industrial-scale smart LED lighting in Australia
    Major strategic partnership opens the possibility of integrating Vivid Technology and Honeywell products to create complete smart buildings solutions.
  • Investing trillions in electricity’s sunny future
    NNEF has just published its fourth annual New Energy Outlook with electricity’s future looking sunny — and windy, too — to the tune of trillions of dollars of new investment.
  • AGL ridicules Coalition push for new “baseload” coal plants, saying that the only new “baseload” would be renewables, with gas or storage. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” says CEO Andy Vesey.
  • WA national park taken off-grid by local network
    Horizon Power’s stand-alone power project taking Fitzgerald River National Park off-grid with solar, battery storage and back-up diesel.
  • Queensland rejects battery swap, but restricts use of storage with premium tariffs
    Queensland decides against proposed voluntary “buy out” of premium solar feed in tariffs in exchange for battery storage, but announces new rules to stop premium tariffs being rorted by batteries.
  • Rooftop solar’s new boom – when installing PV becomes a no-brainer
    Falling technology costs and yet another hike in electricity prices are combining to make rooftop solar an economic no-brainer for most Australian households and businesses. Just ask Cory Bernardi.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Battery storage project Victoria. 2 more solar farms Queensland

Victoria
$660m battery project to give business new power options
A new large-scale solar and battery storage project in Victoria, involving 2.3 million solar panels, is touted as a possible solution for businesses struggling with Australia’s volatile energy market.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-20/new-solar-battery-storage-project-for-nowingi/8632628 
 
Belectric completes second solar farm, plans two more
Germany solar and storage developer Belectric says it plans to complete two more solar farms in Australia by the end of the year, after finishing a 4.77MW solar plant at Goondiwindi , Queensland, using a new, low cost installation system.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/belectric-completes-second-solar-farm-plans-two-more-65632/

June 21, 2017 Posted by | energy, solar | Leave a comment

The facts on wind farms and bird deaths

Wind farms are hardly the bird slayers they’re made out to be. Here’s why, The Conversation, Simon Chapman Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney, June 16, 2017, People who oppose wind farms often claim wind turbine blades kill large numbers of birds, often referring to them as “bird choppers”. And claims of dangers to iconic or rare birds, especially raptors, have attracted a lot of attention.

Wind turbine blades do indeed kill birds and bats, but their contribution to total bird deaths is extremely low, as these three studies show.

A 2009 study using US and European data on bird deaths estimated the number of birds killed per unit of power generated by wind, fossil fuel and nuclear power systems.

It concluded:

wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fuelled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.

That’s nearly 15 times more. From this, the author estimated:

wind farms killed approximately seven thousand birds in the United States in 2006 but nuclear plants killed about 327,000 and fossil-fuelled power plants 14.5 million.

In other words, for every one bird killed by a wind turbine, nuclear and fossil fuel powered plants killed 2,118 birds……

And in Australia?

In Australia in 2006 a proposal for a 52-turbine wind farm plan on Victoria’s south-east coast at Bald Hills (now completed) was overruled by the then federal environment minister Ian Campbell.

He cited concerns about the future of the endangered orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster), a migratory bird said to be at risk of extinction within 50 years. The Tarwin Valley Coastal Guardians, an anti wind farm group that had been opposing the proposed development…….

Perhaps the final word on this topic should go to the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It built a wind turbine at its Bedfordshire headquarters to reduce its carbon emissions (and in doing so, aims to minimise species loss due to climate change). It recognised that wind power is far more beneficial to birds than it is harmful.


Simon Chapman and Fiona Crichton’s book, Wind Turbine Syndrome: a communicated disease, will be published by Sydney University Press later this year.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, wind | Leave a comment

Dennis Matthews reviews Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’s report on ENERGY SUPPLY OUTLOOK

Dennis Matthews June 2017, Comments on “ENERGY SUPPLY OUTLOOK Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), June 2017”  This 30 page report has more acronyms than you can shake a stick at. The average full page of text contains some 20 acronyms. For example, on the first page of CHAPTER 1 we have

“New information since the November 2016 updates to the ESOO and EAAP, and the March 2017 GSOO, which has been included in the ESO modelling, includes:”

In the majority of cases, the acronym is defined only when first used. There is no list of acronyms.

Needless to say, this makes for very difficult reading except for those working in the energy industry and bureaucracy. The typical energy consumer would be continually frustrated trying to find out what many of the acronyms mean.

Referring to thermal electricity power stations as coal-powered, or as gas-powered, generators (CPG or GPG) suggests a degree of technical confusion. The coal or gas is in fact an energy source (fuel) rather than a power source.

To avoid ambiguity and confusion, the acronym NEM (National Electricity Market) should be reserved for the actual market and not used for the region covered by the market.

A relatively new term (and acronym), ‘unserved energy’ (USE) seems bound to confuse. USE is defined as:

“the amount of energy that cannot be supplied to consumers, resulting in involuntary load shedding (loss of customer supply), because there is insufficient generation capacity, demand side participation, or network capability, to meet demand.”

In other words, it is a demand that is not filled (met, served). A more correct term would seem to be ‘unfilled energy demand’ (UFED).

In considering climate conditions that could lead to peak demand, the report concentrates on temperature, especially high temperature in summer. What is driving peak demand is an ever increasing desire for comfort, throughout the whole year. Ever increasing affluence has led to ever increasing ability to pay for more and more comfort and convenience.

The major determinants of comfort would appear to be temperature and moisture. In summer, high moisture makes hot days less comfortable, whilst in winter, high moisture makes cold days less comfortable. For a given ambient summer temperature, the higher the humidity, the greater the demand for cooling. Whilst for a given ambient winter temperature, the higher the rainfall, the greater the demand for heating.

Exacerbating the trend for more and more comfort and convenience is a trend to houses with larger open spaces, fewer occupants and worse insulation. Nowhere in the report is there any consideration of managing energy demand through better building design and construction. Demand management has come to mean paying consumers to turn off energy guzzling equipment during periods of peak demand (demand side participation, DSP).

The statement that “Extreme weather conditions typically occur on summer weekdays, between 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm” is obviously nonsensical. Presumably, it is meant to refer to energy demand.

In considering risks to ‘electricity supply adequacy’ due to extreme weather conditions, the report does not seem to have included bushfires and floods.

 

June 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Dennis Matthews Scrutinises the Finkel Energy Report

“The report recommends a Clean Energy Target as the mechanism for the electricity sector.”

The trouble with recommending ‘clean’ as distinct from ‘renewable’ is that ’clean’ means ‘low greenhouse gas emissions’, and hence opens up the electricity sector to nuclear power, which is definitely not environmentally clean in the more general sense and nuclear advocates will attempt to argue that, from an Australian viewpoint, nuclear power is ‘low emission’.

Dennis Matthews June 2017  Comments on“Independent Review into the Future Energy Security of the National Electricity Market Blueprint for the Future Alan Finkel June 2017”

INTRODUCTION

The Finkel report recommendations involve greater regulation of an already highly regulated electricity market. These regulations are due to serious market failure, especially in those states that have privatised the electricity industry, yet nowhere is the possibility of de-privatisation (re-nationalisation) considered. The report’s answer to market failure is more, and more complicated, regulation and government funding. For example:

  • the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) “should develop a list of potential priority projects, in each region, that governments could support if the market is unable to deliver the investment required”.
  • For the priority projects, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) should give guidance for governments on the circumstances “that would warrant government intervention to facilitate specific transmission investments.”
  • “The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission should make recommendations on improving the transparency and clarity of electricity retail prices”.

The Finkel report, and its recommendations, contain many references to frequency control and fast frequency response but there are only two brief mentions in the report of direct current (DC) electricity, for which frequency control and fast frequency response are irrelevant.

The way in which the report refers to the financial year is ambiguous, for example: Continue reading

June 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Drop in peak energy demand, as Western Australia goes for rooftop PV solar

Boom in rooftop PV shifting peaks, and taking market operator by surprise, http://reneweconomy.com.au/boom-in-rooftop-pv-shifting-peaks-and-taking-market-operator-by-surprise-46984/ [good graphs] By Giles Parkinson on 16 June 2017 The growth of rooftop solar PV in Western Australia has taken the market operator by surprise, but has resulted in a dramatic reduction in both the scale and the timing of peak demand in the state.

According to the latest statement of energy market opportunities for WA, the Australian Energy Market Operator says that rooftop solar PV – now on one in four homes and businesses in the state – reduced peak demand by 265MW, or 7.2 per cent in the last summer.

It says the uptake of rooftop solar in WA, which has been double expectations over the last two years – driven by falling costs of rooftop solar PV and the rise in grid prices – is “accelerating a paradigm shift” for the energy industry.

The biggest impact is on peak demand. The biggest peak in the state occurred on March 1, reaching 3,670MW in the 1700-1730 trading interval – the lowest since 2009.

 This was helped by the contribution of rooftop solar (265MW in that peak interval), and from demand response (124MW), a technology that AEMO wants to deploy more in the eastern states for the same reason.

“The rapid adoption of rooftop solar is not only slowing annual operational consumption growth but also eroding the mid-day grid demand and shifting peak demand to later in the day,” said AEMO’s Executive General Manager – Western Australia, Cameron Parrotte.

“With the strong growth in rooftop solar installations anticipated, AEMO expects demand in the middle of the day to shrink further, resulting in a rapid increase in demand in the lead up to the evening peak once the sun sets.” Continue reading

June 19, 2017 Posted by | storage, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s energy problems – solved by battery storage?

Battery storage: How it could solve our energy problems http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-16/how-does-battery-storage-work/8624378   7.30  By Matt Peacock If chief scientist Alan Finkel gets his way, battery energy storage will be central to Australia’s energy future.

The move to battery technology is a worldwide trend and three state governments — South Australia, Victoria and Queensland — are already going it alone, commissioning their own battery storage to ensure energy security.

So how does it work?

Batteries are used to store energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. Dr Finkel recommends all large scale wind and solar generators in Australia should have energy storage capacity.

The batteries will be particularly helpful on days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

“It can be used alongside a solar farm to help smooth the output and make any disruptions less likely and much more manageable,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of Asia Pacific economics and policy at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“Storage is also very likely to go in at your local substation. Your suburb is probably going to have a lot of storage in it because it adds a lot of resilience to the system. It makes operating the network better, stronger and also cheaper.”

growing number of Australian homeowners are installing their own energy storage batteries for personal use.

The most common technology being used is lithium ion batteries.

“[It’s] the same battery that sits on your mobile phone and it’s actually the exact same battery pack that is being put into all these electric vehicles that are now coming to market,” Mr Bhavnagri said.

“So it’s a huge new industry that’s been created to manufacture large-scale battery packs for electric vehicles and for energy storage.”

Mr Bhavnagri predicts solar-plus-batteries will carve out a major slice of the Australian grid.

“We forecast that by 2040 almost half of [all] buildings in Australia, be that a factory or a household, will have a solar system. And a quarter of all those buildings will have a storage system as well,” he said.

“So when you add all of that together, we see distributed energy supplying about a quarter of Australia’s national energy needs in 2040.”

In South Australia, after a string of damaging blackouts Premier Jay Wetherill announced a major grid-scale battery storage facility to be completed this year.

Not to be outdone, the Prime Minister is investigating another form of stored energy, with a study into expanding the Snowy Mountains Scheme, where at the touch of a switch water can be released to drive the turbines.

Now both Victoria and Queensland have also commissioned huge battery storage units to be up and running within three years.

“All of those governments now are turning to storage as a way to bolster the system and the beauty of storage is that you can get that built in six months,” Mr Bhavnagri said.

“And you can also build a new solar farm in under 12 months, whereas it would take three or four years to build a new gas-fired power station or a coal-fired power station.”

Which other countries are doing it? Ike Hong represents the massive South Korean battery manufacturer Kokam, which is bidding for the power storage contracts in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

South Korea has already adopted battery technology, even though almost a third of its power is generated by nuclear reactors. Last year when a nuclear reactor tripped the batteries saved the day.

As battery prices continue to fall other countries are getting on board.

“In the United States, UK, Asia, and everywhere globally, the utilities start picking up the storage system. They understand the need of the storage system,” Mr Hong said.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, storage | Leave a comment

Peter Martin’s guide to the Finkel review, and Tony Abbott’s obstructionism

Doing nothing, as Abbott and other non-readers seem to want, doesn’t offer a way out.

Worse, it allows the system to become more fragile.

Finkel wants to keep the lights on and wants to keep the system stable so that new operators feel able to invest. Abbott is standing in the way.

Finkel review: a bluffer’s guide for those who haven’t read it  How Finkel would keep the lights on, and why Abbott’s not so keen http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/how-finkel-would-keep-the-electricity-on-20170614-gwqwqo.html Peter Martin  So much does Tony Abbott dislike the Finkel review of the electricity market that he hasn’t read it. On Monday, three full days after it was released, he branded its key recommendation a “magic pudding” and a “tax on coal” while conceding that he had been guided by “reports of the report” rather than the report itself.

I understand where he is coming from. Who wants to wade through 200 pages of a report they won’t like? But I’d feel better about it if I thought that at least some of the 20 or so other backbenchers who spoke out against the Finkel Report at the Coalition party room meeting on Tuesday had taken the time to read it.

I fear that most haven’t, and I reckon you probably won’t as well.

So in the interest of ensuring the people deciding the future of our electricity system have some idea of what they are talking about, here’s my potted summary.

First up, electricity prices. While the wholesale price accounts for only 31 per cent of the typical bill (the rest is distribution, retailing and the like), wholesale prices have been soaring in recent months.

It’s happening because unreasonably cheap electricity is leaving the system. Until March the Hazelwood power station in the La Trobe Valley supplied as much as 25 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and 5 per cent of the nation’s. It was cheap partly because the brown coal that fed it wasn’t good enough for much else, and especially because its owner, a French firm called Engie, had bought it for next to nothing. It didn’t need to recoup the cost of building it.

It’s the same at the nearby Loy Yang A power station. Its owner, AGL, bought much of it from the Tokyo Electric Power Company in a fire sale after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Whatever replaces Loy Yang A and Hazelwood will cost real money, which will have to be recouped.

Seven coal-fired power stations are due to close in the next 20 years, each having reached the “retirement age” of 50. Each is roughly the size of Hazelwood.

But for a decade now scarcely anyone has felt confident enough to put up real money to build a new conventional power station. The rules about carbon prices and targets keep changing against the ever-present backdrop of an official emissions reduction target that means they will have to change again.

Plenty of investors have been prepared to build new wind and solar plants (having little to fear from a change in the rules) but those wind and solar plants don’t operate around the clock, meaning gas has had to close the gap. Continue reading

June 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Liberal hard right oppose the Finkel Clean Energy Target

George Christensen signals he won’t vote for Finkel’s clean energy target
LNP backbencher says he and most of the Nationals won’t vote for any clean energy target that penalises coal, Guardian, Katharine Murphy, 15 June 17, 
The LNP backbencher George Christensen has signalled he won’t vote for a new clean energy target because it won’t end the decade long climate wars – because Labor will “out Finkel us on Finkel”.

Christensen said on Wednesday evening that he saw no prospect of achieving policy stability on climate and energy policy through bipartisanship, because the gulf between the major parties was too wide.

“Given the history of climate policy in this place, given we’ve got the Labor party pushing 50% renewable energy targets … given we’ve got some Labor MPs talking about no more coal-fired power at all – how are we, honestly, going to have policy stability?” the outspoken MP told Sky News.

Christensen said he had no intention of voting for a clean energy target that penalised coal and neither would the bulk of the National party. “I’m out. I won’t support that”.

He said that, rather than legislating a clean energy target, the government would be better off building high-efficiency coal-fired power stations to replace the ageing coal fleet. Christensen contended that approach would reduce carbon pollution.

The backbencher’s public declaration of opposition follows an extraordinary Coalition party room meeting on Tuesday night in which government MPs ventilated their concerns about the Finkel review, which recommends introducing a clean energy target to deliver policy certainty for investors and reduce emissions……

The former prime minister Tony Abbott – who was a vocal participant in the special party room meeting, and floated the desirability of the government buying the Hazelwood power station – continued his public critique of the Finkel reviewon Wednesday afternoon.

Abbott said the “problem” with the review was it was “all about reducing emissions”. He said Australia did not need to conform with the commitments he made as prime minister in the Paris climate accord if those commitments “clobbered” power prices…..

In an interview with Guardian Australia this week, the chief scientist said it would be surprising if governments used the overhaul of energy policy to incentivise new coal-fired power stations.

He pointed out that modelling associated with the review did not envisage new coal power stations being built…..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/14/george-christensen-signals-he-wont-vote-for-finkels-clean-energy-target

June 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

More Australian renewable energy news

Eco Energy gets approval for three more Qld solar farms
Eco Energy World says approval of three new solar projects, including 280MW solar farm in Bouldercombe, bring “ready to build” portfolio to total of 570MW.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/eco-energy-gets-approval-three-qld-solar-farms-20528/
Northern Territory
Firm offered to fit jail solar panels for free
SOLAR energy wasn’t considered an “economically viable” option to power Darwin’s $1.8 billion prison – despite the Northern Territory Government receiving a proposal in 2013 from a company that offered to install the infrastructure for free
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/firm-offered-to-fit-jail-solar-panels-for-free/news-story/4f13a19c0d1da8d58d16d4af3a1059ae

June 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment