While Malcolm Turnbull equivocates on a Clean Energy Target, he has called the electricity retailers to Canberra once again to jawbone them about electricity prices. Yet the industry keeps telling him the single factor most needed to bring electricity prices down is more investment in renewable energy, which would be facilitated by a Clean Energy Target (CET).
Whether the CET is central or not, it is what the industry believes. But Turnbull will not move until he has a report from AEMO on what the future need for ‘baseload’ power will be, which in the minds of hardcore recalcitrants within his own party, means coal-fired power, throbbing away.
Phil Coorey in the AFR reckons Turnbull has three wishes, all of which must be fulfilled if he is going to get to Christmas with the Government in good shape – he needs a Yes vote on same-sex marriage, he needs a Clean Energy Target that makes some sense, and he needs his three National Party ministers to be given a ‘get out of jail’ pass by the High Court.
Firstly, he was in full visionary nation-building mode, announcing the feasibility trial for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped storage scheme that had already been announced. Then he called in the electricity retailers again to be wacked around the ears about electricity prices, which is more of the same. Continue reading Kill Bill or any distraction vs a fair go→
Two ambulance-chasing firms are inviting CBA shareholders to punch themselves in the head and pay the firms for the privilege.
A narrower version of the story is that lawyers Maurice Blackburn and litigation funder IMF Bentham are out to profiteer by provoking one group of innocent CBA shareholders to rip money off another group of innocent CBA shareholders and further damage the share price in the process.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says it is providing $12 million towards the $30 million cost of a major battery storage installation to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and create a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm.
The battery will pair with the local 90MW Wattle Point wind farm and local rooftop solar PV to form local micro-grid to ensure grid security and so keep the lights on in case the network failures elsewhere in the state. Continue reading Climate clippings 212→
We plant about 9 billion trees each year. Unfortunately we also clear about 15 billion, leaving a deficit of 6 billion.
A system of using drones is being developed which could plant trees at 10 times the rate of hand planting and at 20 per cent of the cost by firing germinated seeds into the ground. Continue reading Climate clippings 211→
I was struck by an article in the New Scientist (paywalled) on the effects of the experience of awe, such as being stopped in our tracks by a stunning view, gobsmacked by the vastness of the night sky or being transported by soaring music, or a grand scientific theory.
The article says that such experience can dissolve our sense of self, making us more open to other people and bring benefits to mind and body including lowering stress and boosting creativity.
The AFR reports that Josh Frydenberg and Labor’s Mark Butler had a bit of a love-in when they shared a platform late last month. Ben Potter said they were peas in an energy pod.
Frydenberg waxed lyrical about the shrinking cost of solar photovoltaic – from $1.6 per kilowatt installed in 2014 to 19 cents per kilowatt last year. Battery storage has also halved in cost and added half as much capacity again in just five years, he enthused, and “demand response” – where customers curtail their usage or offer their batteries and smart appliances to the grid during demand spikes to avert blackouts – has an “incredibly” important role.
Butler took his cue, noting that the system is undergoing a “massive, profound and irresistible transition which will just continue whether we like it or not”.
For a billing service that needs to invest no more than renting an office, hiring some staff and buying office furniture and computers, rewards for an electricity retailer are rich indeed. In this post I publish some comments I sent to our local ABC Mornings presenter, Steve Austin, who has taken up the cudgels on behalf of consumers who are hurting from electricity price rises. Austin is fighting the good fight but unfortunately regularly misfiring. Then, while I was writing those comments, information came through of another Victorian investigation, which is a bit of a bombshell.
Except, we already know what the people think, because they’ve already been surveyed, and people who know about these things say that the proposed survey is incompetent as a survey, lacking proper sampling. Of course, the opponents of same sex-marriage see this as their best chance of getting a “no” vote and kicking the can down the road.