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.
Giles Parkinson says Turnbull does not need baseload, he just needs balls. Continue reading AEMO sees electricity markets reshaped
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.
It’s no surprise, then, that Turnbull, as Malcolm Farr told Patricia Karvelas, is trying to turn our attention to other matters.
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
1. Finished with sex, it’s time for reason
There are articles at the SMH, at the ABC, but the best was in the AFR (pay-walled).
The Australian Sex Party is being closed down to make way for the new Reason Party, in good time for the next federal election. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/8
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.
Here’s a photo of Californian Redwoods: Continue reading Awesome awe
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.
Butler said that if anyone could get the Clean Energy Target (CET) through the LNP party room it would be Josh. Continue reading A tsunami of renewables
1. Australian politics becomes completely ridiculous
Laura Tingle called it a week of low, low farce.
Must share this David Rowe cartoon:
Continue reading Saturday salon 19/8
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.
Sophie Vorrath at RenewEconomy has a post Failed experiment: Now it’s retail arms gaming energy consumers with the grisly details. Continue reading Electricity retailers reap rich rewards
When Prof Jason Sharman told Phillip Adams that half a million dollars was stuffed into the new intelligent deposit machines installed in the Commonwealth Bank from 2012, and then did the same for the next three years, it sounded incredible, and if true, could only happen with complicit corruption. Seems it didn’t happen quite like that, but what authorities say did happen is staggering and quite bizarre. Continue reading Drug syndicates turned CBA into a money pump, but the whole financial system is at risk
1. Made in Australia by the Turnbull government
The Liberal Party Has Overwhelmingly Decided To Keep Its Plebiscite Policy, so because the Senate again failed to pass the necessary legislation, we are off to a $122 million postal vote, which is really a voluntary survey to be conducted by the ABS, if the High Court lets them.
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.
Peter FitzSimons asks, How did the Liberal Party get into such a mess? Continue reading Saturday salon 12/8