Don’t write Adani off

Adani Australia’s chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj – known in the industry as “JJ” – has done an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review saying that their team at Adani has not wavered in their vision to build the Carmichael mine, rail and port project in Central Queensland. They’ve been working on it for seven years, have spent $3.3 billion to date, have 800 people working right now and have put up arguments to answer their critics.

Hear him out and see what you think.

On demand for coal he says:

    The International Energy Agency predicts global energy demand will grow by 30 per cent in the next 22 years. To help meet this demand, power generation will increase 370 per cent. Power from coal generation will increase 250 per cent and power via renewables will increase 1750 per cent.

He says there are 55 super-critical and ultra-critical coal-fired power stations planned and under construction in India. He says that coal from India can’t meet the demand and Indonesia will be reducing exports in favour of using more at home.

He says that stage one of Carmichael will produce 27 million tonnes per year which represents about 10 per cent of Australian thermal coal production, and a tiny fraction of the coal used globally.

He says Adani has met every challenge to gain 112 approvals. He says Australia is at a crossroads:

    Australia’s prosperity has been built on investment in industries that create jobs, export earnings and government revenue such as agriculture, coal, natural gas and iron ore. That investment has been made possible by a framework of legislation, regulation and a robust legal system all backed by a reliance on fact and science that gives the public confidence and ensures checks and balances are in place to protect the environment.

Finally:

    I hope Australia chooses to continue on this path rather than on a new path wherein the loudest voices dictate public policy without regard to fact, consistency and robust governance processes.

On 27 February in the AFR Mark Ludlow reported on Adani’s response to some of the specific criticisms made.

The main one relates to the quality of the coal. Adani says that an independent report shows that Carmichael coal has an ash content of 22 per cent, about half that of domestic Indian coal. It is also cleaner than Indonesian coal. Two tonnes of Carmichael coal will produce as much energy as three tonnes of Indonesian coal. So while it is dirtier than Hunter Valley coal it is clean enough to be competitive with coal elsewhere.

The JJ article mentioned Adani “opening other markets”. Ludlow reports that of the 27 million tonnes pa, 17 million would likely go to India, 5 million to China and 5 million to Vietnam. In addition the coal would be competitive enough to sell on the spot market in South Korea and Taiwan from time to time.

Demand across Asia is expected to increase from 150 million tonnes in 2017 to 290 million tonnes by 2035.

In an article in the same paper, Jenny Wiggins reports that Adani needs $6.7 billion for the first stage, and is currently $3.3 billion short. That’s not an impossible sum and roughly about a fifth of the Adani family’s net worth. Equity partners may be sought.

Wiggins says the firm AECOM with design HQ in Madrid and offices in Brisbane and Townsville are still working on the design of the railway.

If Aurizon don’t come to the party, Adani may go alone on the railway and end up making money out of transporting coal from the other eight mines possible in the Galilee Basin.

We should remember that Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer also own coal tenements in the Galilee Basin. They may get involved, or pick up the pieces if Adani pulls out.

Meanwhile as people argue about whether Adani go ahead, there is plenty going on elsewhere. For example, this article in January – Queensland coal mining: Billion-dollar projects in pipeline for Surat and Galilee basins

    A RACE valued at billions of dollars for Queensland has started among a handful of mining companies with the potential to dwarf Adani’s megamine.

    GVK Hancock, in which Gina Rinehart has a minority stake, has revealed renewed interest in its Galilee Basin projects, while New Hope and Glencore have their sights on 2020 to 2022 for projects costing billions.

    GVK cited a report from the International Energy Agency predicting stronger coal demand in 2022 and that Asian countries, including India, were expected to more than offset lower demand in other markets in Europe, America and China.

    GVK has two Queensland projects, the $10 billion Alpha mine and rail line and the $6 billion Kevin’s Corner mine, and the renewed interest follows a major spike in coal demand, which has pushed thermal coal spot prices above $US100 a tonne.

    The two mines at full production will produce around 60 million tonnes, more than double Adani’s first stage of 27.5 million tonnes.

    “The shareholders of GVK Hancock remain fully committed to these projects…

Not a peep from Adani protesters.

The plain fact is that as these coal mines go ahead, the prospects for sustainable human civilisation continuing without major disruption on this planet diminishes. Our politicians should be saying that new coal-fired power stations must not be built anywhere on the planet, and if they do they will become stranded assets, sending their investors broke.

Burning coal is currently seen as the responsibility of those who burn it. Our politicians should change this, saying that ethically we are no longer prepared to supply the means of destroying life on the planet.

The Adani protests are a sideshow, to achieve short-term symbolic and political ends. Stopping Adani won’t necessarily stop Carmichael or Galilee, won’t save the Great Barrier Reef and will make the development of new coal elsewhere in Australia easier.

See also the earlier post The Adani Project: – is it good for Australia?, plus Adani casts a long shadow over Batman and Do we seriously want to save the Great Barrier Reef?

126 thoughts on “Don’t write Adani off”

  1. Brian,

    The Adani protests are a sideshow, to achieve short-term symbolic and political ends. Stopping Adani won’t necessarily stop Carmichael or Galilee, won’t save the Great Barrier Reef and will make the development of new coal elsewhere in Australia easier.

    Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – version 11.0 (Nov 2017) can be found here. The economic arguments for coal-fired power generation are dissipating. Renewable energy technologies are getting cheaper and cheaper and can be built faster – new coal-fired power is no longer cheap and is slower to build.

    Tim Buckley says a reluctance by banks to finance the controversial Adani coal mine is no longer an insurmountable hurdle because the billionaire family behind the proposal has enough wealth to fund the project itself. So, why the continued delay if the Adani Carmichael mine is a good deal?

    He says Adani has met every challenge to gain 112 approvals.

    Have they?

    What about reports of falsified test results and inflated job numbers? What about financial funds required have not been raised, and many announced deadlines have been missed? Where’s the water management plans required to ensure the mine doesn’t lead to the poisoning of the Great Artesian Basin, that affects farmers or farming land?

    The market is showing the transition from fossil fuels is already happening.

    From Jim Barry, at BlackRock, reported in the AFR on 26 May 2017:

    “Coal is dead. That’s not to say all the coal plants are going to shut tomorrow. But anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.”

    Some politicians still haven’t woken up yet to the realities.

  2. GM: We need to distinguish between thermal and metallurgical coal. At the moment there are no serious moves being made to avoid the need for met coal in blast furnaces. (However, electric furnaces do offer lower emissions and can use gas for reduction.)

  3. One way of handling a discussion is to throw out new information. Like Fake News. Adani has a track record of disrespecting the truth and while they say they are still committed is about what you’d expect them to say. John Quiggin analysed Adani’s viability and was clear that the mine was not viable. And Quiggin maintained, the coal was of such quality that it was sold at a 30% discount compared to Newcastle coal. Apparently it is high in ash and sulphur and a lower energy density.
    As far as a destiny for the coal, see this 2016 article:
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/read-my-lips-indian-energy-minister-repeats-no-coal-imports-within-3-years-73239/
    I am not aware that has changed but given Adani’s closeness to Modi imports may be allowed by Adani.
    I do agree that Adani is not dead in the water yet. Worse, it is possible he will still get the support of an Australian government.
    Not to forget also the traditional owners are still opposing the project and it is unclear where that will lead. See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-30/adani-in-court-over-carmichael-mine-native-title-claim/9373086

  4. Adani may be “worth billions” but this doesn’t mean that it will have enough accessible assets to build the mine. In other words, I would be surprised if they could proceed without getting substantial loans from someone. (There is also the question of the quality of some of the assets. I would be interested to know what value Adani is putting on the Adani mine for the calculation of the companies worth.
    Shorten is right about sovereign risk. We will find it harder to get overseas investment if our government bans Adani after it has successfully gone through all the steps to get approval.

  5. JD sovereign risk is a boogey man that could be turned around. If we were to revoke certain approvals, it is quite possible that there are grounds as GM mentions above. In that way we are saying to the world that we value integrity, don’t come here without it.
    I agree with your doubts about the quality of the assets but would also mention that ownership might be elsewhere, away from the reach of creditors. Again, Adani has a modus operandi that conveys money to tax havens. It is likely they conceal ownership of assets in obscure places.

  6. John Davidson (Re: MARCH 14, 2018 AT 12:38 PM):

    GM: We need to distinguish between thermal and metallurgical coal.

    As far as I’m aware, the Galilee Basin contains thermal coal deposits only.

    Here’s some stats from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on Australia’s coal production and exports, including both thermal coal & met coal.

    At the moment there are no serious moves being made to avoid the need for met coal in blast furnaces.

    Met coal won’t be available and affordable for ever.

    Last year on ABC Landline there was a segment on a proposal for a rail line running east-west linking the Queensland met coal mines with the iron ore mines in Western Australia, and blast furnaces at each end. The comment I recall was that the world had about 8 (or was it 12?) high quality, large reserves met coal mines, and Australia had 5 of these. The other detail recalled was that estimated demand would exhaust the Australian met coal reserves in about 70 years.

    At some time, civilization will need to find an affordable solution to make steel without met coal. Climate change makes the imperative to find a solution much more urgent.

  7. Brian,

    Here’s an IEEFA Update: A Tipping Point Is Coming, and Fast, dated 21 Feb 2018. It concludes:

    Renewables are not yet the least costly option in every market, but the pace of change demonstrates that a tipping point toward a new energy economy is coming, and fast.

    Also, dated 21 Nov 2017, IEEFA India: Peak Coal Demand in 10 Years. It includes:

    “IEEFA forecasts that India’s thermal coal use is likely to peak not more than 10 percent above current levels, a far lower peak than most other analysts are forecasting,” Buckley said. “India’s target to all but cease thermal coal imports by the end of this decade is now the logical economic outcome.”

    The conclusion is in stark contrast to the International Energy Agency’s forecasts, which have Indian coal use doubling by 2040.

    “IEEFA would challenge IEA’s coal-centric view of the world as entirely out of touch with energy developments in India under Prime Minister Modi,” Buckley said. “While IEEFA acknowledges that our forecasts are non-consensus, we believe strongly in them and note that we were ahead of the pack in predicting a similar transition in China.”

    Who do you think will be closer to the mark – IEA or IEEFA?

  8. Uranium? Uranium? Has everyone forgotten that India was a nuclear pioneer? Of course India will continue to utilize black coal but very little of it will be for generating electric power. So why all the fantastic enthusiasm for The Emperor’s New Clothes?

    Geoff Miell:
    Thanks a lot for mentioning the great east-west railway schemes. Certainly useful for bringing iron ore and coal together – for our greater wealth – but far more useful for moving shipping containers, specialized cargos as well as lots and lots of passengers. However, this is Australia where short-term greed always trumps long-term prosperity – and where the populace prefers pokies, booze, drugs, scammers and entertainment to investing in great ventures.

  9. First some general points.

    For years and years I listened to greenies griping that the great Barrier Reef will be stuffed because of farm runoff. Burning fossil fuels, warming, sea level rise and acidification was rarely mentioned.

    Now all we hear is Adani. Coal is the problem, not Adani as such.

    This is a copy of what I posted in Geoff Henderson’s Adani post:

    Carmichael illustrates what is broken in Australian politics, like few other issues. The planned mine is so large, it will materially affect the future of global warming. It will help destroy the Great Barrier Reef. As climate campaigner Bill McKibben wrote in 2016, “you can’t have both the Paris climate agreement and Adani’s Carmichael coalmine. Full stop.”

    Yet there is another question, we have not seriously begun to ask. What about the rest of the coal industry, numbered at around 100 mines, and more particularly its plans for expansion?

    This article explains that the opening the Galilee basin will negatively impact on plans in the Bowen and Surat basins as well as the Hunter valley:

    The study was commissioned by The Infrastructure Fund, which owns a 50 per cent stake in the privatised Port of Newcastle. It found:

    • Ten new mining projects or mine expansions in the NSW Hunter Valley would be displaced by the Galilee Basin output and shelved or delayed
    • Eight mining projects or expansions would be delayed or shelved in Queensland
    • Hunter Valley thermal coal output would fall by some 86 million tonnes, or 37 per cent
    • Bowen Basin output would decline by nearly a third, with 17 million fewer tonnes mined
    • The Surat Basin in south-east Queensland, which is yet to be developed, would produce 37 per cent less coal than it otherwise would

    Take a look at these truly gruesome graphs:

    That was the Bowen Basin, but look at the Hunter Valley:

    And here is the Surat, I think mainly the deferred large Wandoan mine, where a lot of the land resumption has already occurred:

    A bit further down I said:

    However the general point is that we should not stop the Adani mine so that we can, in an orderly way, nix the Great Barrier Reef from business as usual.

    That’s the main point we should be hammering to the politicians.

    Back in 2007 James Hansen said we should get to 350ppm CO2e as soon as possible.

    Back in 2013 in Climate change: reconnecting politics with reality I posted that we should have 100% renewables in 10 years, zero net emissions by 2030 and then draw down to reach 350ppm by 2050.

    Back in 2009 when I met Christine Milne for the one and only time she looked forward to coal power becoming stranded assets in the 2020s.

    I’m not hearing that from anyone now.

  10. Geoff H, JJ speaking for Adani may well be telling porkies. I think there were some issues in his previous job.

    John D, I think the Adani family comes in at around $15 billion net worth, and you are probably right if you think Carmichael and associated assets are a fair lump of that.

    Geoff M, Coal may be theoretically dead on price but the Australian industry outside Galilee seems to have sprung to life. People don’t always do what’s cheapest.

    I don’t know whether IEA is wrong, but does IEEFA have forecasts for countries other than India?

  11. To….

    The plain fact is that as these coal mines go ahead, the prospects for sustainable human civilisation continuing without major disruption on this planet diminishes…….

    I suggest everyone watch this video on living in a warmer world.

    https://youtu.be/HtHlsUDVVy0

    ….Peter Ward offers some sobering perspectives on how close dramatic disruption is. Then looking at just how corrupt the GOP/Trump is through the information lens of Ratchel Maddow (who Jumpybot chose to denegrate outright) the chance of change any time soon is very slim not because America’s impact is particularly critical, but because of the corporate influence that they peddle.

  12. Brian

    You are right IMO.
    Coal is the problem.

    I think some campaigners have seized on the Barrier Reef as an emotional anchor. Yes it is beautiful and a tourist wonder, but the whole planet is beautiful and all species need our consideration and respect; not only the cuddly or brightly coloured ones, if I can put it that way.

    Baby fur seals, so cute!
    Nemo, so cute!
    Koalas, so cute!

    Perhaps it’s well overdue that we think like adults, listen to engineers and scientists.

    Do the media and their habits tend to infantilise every debate??

    The Reef is not all that far from the Basin. So what? CO2 is a gas, which mixes rapidly into the atmosphere, diffusing world wide. Out of a flue, it gets a kick along by being temporarily hot and buoyant. Yes, I’ve heard of local inversion layers.

    Farm runoff sediment is more local in its effects: how much reaches and settles on the Reef? How does that component compare with other natural or man made sources of particulate matter? Ditto sediment from dredging or work to enlarge a port on the coast.

    Farm nutrient runoff is more local: are there algal blooms near river outfalls? If so, how do they affect the Reef?

    Ocean acidification is a global phenomenon. CO2 contributes, regardless of which country it is produced in. Ocean waters mix. Carbonic acid diffuses.

    Burning coal is the problem.
    Adani is a symptom of it.

    Cheers

  13. Brian (Re: MARCH 14, 2018 AT 11:49 PM):

    Back in 2009 when I met Christine Milne for the one and only time she looked forward to coal power becoming stranded assets in the 2020s.

    I’m not hearing that from anyone now.

    Anyone“? Are you just referring to Australian politicians?

    Ian Dunlop and David Spratt certainly are talking about “stranded assets”. So is Tim Buckley at IEEFA.

    Post Carbon Institute
    350.org
    Carbon Tracker
    The London School of Economics and Political Science

    There are probably a whole lot more people & organisations talking about “stranded assets” since the Paris Climate Agreement, if you care to look.

  14. Brian (Re: MARCH 14, 2018 AT 11:58 PM):

    Geoff M, Coal may be theoretically dead on price but the Australian industry outside Galilee seems to have sprung to life.

    Theoretically dead“? Are you questioning the figures from Dr Finkel – the Australian Chief Scientist, Lazard, and IEEFA on energy generation prices? Do you think Jim Barry from BlackRock is wrong when he said “Coal is dead…“? What’s the compelling counter-evidence?

    Fossil fuel proponents will talk-up future prospects – they must or investors will lose interest and take their money elsewhere.

    Australia is probably one of the most efficient coal producers in the world. The less efficient coal producers are closing down first as the global demand for coal declines. Global coal production peaked in 2014.

    I don’t know whether IEA is wrong, but does IEEFA have forecasts for countries other than India?

    Dated 9 Jan 2018, IEEFA Report: China in 2017 Continued to Position Itself for Global Clean Energy Dominance.

    Dated 17 Nov 2017, IEEFA Asia: Price Increase Highlights Growing Risk to Coal-Import Economies.

    Dated 14 Mar 2018, U.S. Coal Producers’ Hope for an Asian Lifeline Seen as a Long Shot.

    These are just a few examples from IEEFA.

  15. Geroff M, by “anyone”, I meant Australian politicians. I should have been more precise at 11..49pm last night. That said, the last sentence in your comment was a bit rude.

    You might care to have a look at the list of posts at the end of The folly of two degrees and under the tag Dangerous climate change if you want to know some of the things I’ve been looking at and writing about for over a decade.

    Nevertheless IEEFA is new to me and you didn’t care to answer my question.

    I suspect part of the problem is that Gina Rinehart, Glencore et al may be reading what the the IEA says. Also there is more than India out there planning/building coal power stations. I’m sure they are doing some research before investing billions in new coal mines.

    However, China and India did build a helluva lot of coal power stations this century, which need to end up on the scrap heap well before they run out.

    To be blunt, what I’m pissed about is that ‘Stop Adani’ is being exploited politically, when stopping Adani is not going to save the GBR or do anything substantial about saving civilisation as we know it.

  16. FWIW, Geoff, I think that Carbon Tracker and the LSE link are too complacent about the utility of 2C and the efficacy of the Paris Agreement, by a fair stretch.

  17. Brian (Re: MARCH 15, 2018 AT 10:25 AM):

    Geroff M, by “anyone”, I meant Australian politicians. I should have been more precise at 11..49pm last night. That said, the last sentence in your comment was a bit rude.

    I sense your frustration, and I share in it. I didn’t mean to be rude – I was highlighting that there are some people/organisations talking/writing about the growing risks of stranded fossil fuel assets. I think people have a low opinion of Australian politicians/politics (and the mainstream media) for good reasons.

    You might care to have a look at the list of posts at the end of The folly of two degrees and under the tag Dangerous climate change if you want to know some of the things I’ve been looking at and writing about for over a decade.

    I understand and are aware you have been engaging with these subjects much longer than I have – noted. My focus is more on our looming energy security challenges, but acknowledge that climate change is equally important. I think energy security has received less attention until recently.

    Nevertheless IEEFA is new to me and you didn’t care to answer my question.

    I have referred to Tim Buckley at IEEFA in my comments in earlier threads last year. I mentioned his testimony at the Australian Senate inquiry into the retirement of coal fired power stations.

    I think the links I provided in my comment (at MARCH 15, 2018 AT 10:20 AM) go some of the way to answer your question: “…does IEEFA have forecasts for countries other than India?” The first linked article includes a further link to a comprehensive report on China’s energy investment outlook. The Executive Summary includes:

    China continued to be a global leader of investment in clean energy projects in 2017, defying an overall slowdown in Chinese overseas investment as the country further positioned itself to dominate in new energy technologies such as batteries and electric vehicles.

    This report documents this trend and follows an IEEFA report published in January of last year —“China’s Global Renewable Energy Expansion”—that highlighted how, in addition to being the world’s largest investor in domestic renewable energy, China was taking the global lead.

    India & China represent 40% of the global seaborne thermal coal market, per Tim Buckley’s testimony at the Senate inquiry Sydney public hearing last year. That’s a big slice that Tim Buckley says he thinks is likely to disappear in a few years – I heard him say it. That’s bad news for Indonesian and Australian coal exporters. Was he right? A year on, the downward trend is still progressing.

  18. I seriously doubt Adani’s expenditure claim in every respect. They will or should have done a significant measure of geophysical research, but $3.3 billion? Prove it.

    Oh 800 workers? Even if they had 800 people working at an income of 100,000 per year for all of seven years that comes to $580 million. Where is the rest?

    Adani are shysters in my opinion and should be rejected for that reason alone. We have a responsibility to prejudge the reliability of operators at this level principally because it is always the Australian public who have to pick up the clean up tab when the crooks have left town leaving a massive mess behind.

  19. Geoff M, I didn’t see your comment at 10.20am when I was composing mine at 10.25am.

    So thankyou for the information.

    If you look at the IEEFA mission statement you get:

    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

    They are an advocacy group. Taking up your earlier question about whether they will do better than the IEA, the IEA mission is:

    The IEA works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and beyond. Our mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.

    Wikipedia tells us:

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) (French: Agence internationale de l’énergie) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.

    The IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, but also works with non-member countries, especially China, India, and Russia. The Agency’s mandate has broadened to focus on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection.[1] The latter has focused on mitigating climate change.[2] The IEA has a broad role in promoting alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies, and multinational energy technology co-operation.

    Under the heading Critics the IEA has been accused of being influenced by fossil fuel interests and consistently underestimating trends to renewables.

    So, my answer is, I don’t know. Good information about reality as distinct from hopes, aspirations and fears is hard to come by, especially when we are dealing with the future.

    Recently I’ve been talking to a retired engineer who worked at a senior level in oil and gas in Australia, the US and Indonesia. He has been telling me that important decisions are made in quite large companies in a manner that has little do do with the inputs from scientifically gathered information.

    Finance is obviously a problem for Adani, but who knows what their real strategy is? It may be to talk it up and sell it. If so it would be interesting what it would yield in $ and whether someone like Gina Rinehart would buy.

    All that will work its way through. irrespective of who the voters elect in Batman.

    So will the native title challenge, which may be our best hope in stopping Galilee. I’m not too hopeful that the unresolved groundwater issue will be an impediment.

  20. BilB, Adani also have a separate division in Australia working investing in quite a big way in renewable energy. If you add them all up there may be 800.

    I agree the question of whether the company, at least in its coal division, is a ‘fit and proper person’ is an issue. Geoff H has gone into how they operate in his earlier post. However, I don’t know whether that can reasonably invoked now.

  21. To criticise people for focussing on Adani is I think mistaken – a lot of the organisations involved are also working on other fronts e.g. disinvestment. I suspect one reason for entering a campaign on this is that a win here would mark a turning point in challenging the political influence of the fuel lobby and the automatic acceptance by politicians of its claims. That may or may not prove to be a good call but I can certainly see the logic of it.

  22. Doug: The powerful Stop Adani campaign seems to be having more impact on attitudes to new coal mines than a scatter gun approach would have had. The rest of the coal industry must be cursing Adani.

  23. I can see that the Adani campaign is increasing the awareness of the effects of coal, and we can be thankful for that.

    However, what I particularly dislike is that the Stop Adani mob are taking advantage of and distorting the political process.

    I’m also critical of the Greens for latching onto the Stop Adani mob and using it for political ends. I’m disappointed in Di Natali for not leveraging his position to make everyone aware of the nature of the climate change crisis and the need to act. In other words, I think he is taking a short-term political path rather than a long-term principled path.

    I think we would have gotten better from Christine Milne.

    There, I’ve said it.

  24. Douglas,

    An interesting view.
    Do you think there is a “fuel lobby”?

    I reckon there is a “roads lobby” and a PPP lobby, and there was once a “car manufacturers’ lobby” which has recently reduced its membership.

    But I think fuel and energy corporations may be pulling in a variety of directions::
    gas producers
    gas importers
    petroleum importers and refiners
    the range of renewables producers
    uranium miners
    coal exporters
    coal burners
    char producers

    etc.

    Don’t some of these have differing aims?

    See JohnD, “The rest of the coal industry must be cursing Adani”

    Well, yes JohnD. Unless of course the Adani project were soon to be exposed as some kind of massive fraud, that just happened to be perpetrated upon Qld and politicians across the land.

  25. Going back to your comment, Geoff H, in Phillip Adam’s India Now series, especially this week’s interview, Modi’s mob are shown as one of the most corrupt, racist and venal governments on the planet. When a minister says “read my lips” I’d rate his reliability no better than Adani’s. Nevertheless he may have been telling the truth, or the truth apart for exceptions for mates like Adani. You really wouldn’t know.

  26. Brian:

    I’m also critical of the Greens for latching onto the Stop Adani mob and using it for political ends. I’m disappointed in Di Natali for not leveraging his position to make everyone aware of the nature of the climate change crisis and the need to act.

    I think DiNatali has been effective by progressing desirable changes. I am behind his support of stop Adani because it puts pressure on thermal coal companies not to proceed and pressure on governments to stop subsidizing coal.
    Christine seemed more about being pure than effective with some people still not forgiving her for blocking Rudd’s carbon price and forcing Gillard to do things that led to Abbott getting into power.

  27. John

    The rest of the coal industry must be cursing Adani.

    Na, they’re loving Adani for taking all the heat. Wouldn’t be surprised if a large part of the employees stated are expensive lawyers and Gina and the rest are tipping in a few quid as a thank you ( likely the same lawyers firms advise them all )

    Remember the MEGA trawler ?
    The one that bought up a few fishing quotas at a premium, would have harvested zero extra fish, took all the heat, sold the quotas back cheap and nothing has been said about fisheries since ?

    Yeah, great campaign greens,

  28. John, I think a bit of pressure here and there is going to mean we come up well short.

    Going back the the CPRS, a lot of Labor people blame Christine Milne also, but the fact is that Rudd wouldn’t talk to her, or let Penny Wong talk to her, but then dropped the ball himself.

    He should have gone to a DD if climate change was indeed the greatest moral issue of our times, and he believed in what he was proposing to do.

    At the time the Greens position was that a scheme which effectively preserved coal past 2030 was simply not going to cut it. I’m with her on that, but unfortunately we’ve never been offered anything since that didn’t also see coal alive and well past 2030.

    Di Natali simply does not understand the urgency of the issue. If he did, we’d know.

  29. Jumpy: I seem to remember the mega trawler issues were more complex than that but it was not something I took much notice of. Have you got reliable links to support your claim?

  30. Brian: I understand the “urgency of the issue” but I also understand that one of the responses to overwhelming threat is to do nothing because we have become convinced that nothing we can do will make enough difference. If you like, the “eat drink and be merry because tomorrow we die” response.
    I think we need people who are urging a massive “war an climate change.” We need activists like the stop Adani campaign to help block the opening of new coal mines, end subsidies to fossil fuel and help convince investment in CO2 producing industries is a lousy business decision.
    But we also need the people who drive the smaller changes that can build up to big changes.
    As for the Greens, their poor showing in Tas should be getting them thinking about just how activist/radical a role they want to play on the issues they think important.

  31. Ambigulous:
    You hit the bullseye when you said, (6.31am 15th),
    “Perhaps it’s well overdue that we think like adults, listen to engineers and scientists.
    Do the media and their habits tend to infantilise every debate??”

    It is indeed the media that encourages the laziness and the herd-mentality among Australia businesses and political parties. Whilst they go chasing after the Adani pipe-dream, out “betters” excuse themselves from having to do anything at all about encouraging new industries and reviving existing industries, and from having to take the necessary considered risks to do so. There is no need for any vision and planning so long as they make themselves hostage to the Adani fantasy; they do not have to exert themselves at all persuading their shareholders or supporters and the general public to share their vision for a sustainable prosperity. Just sit back and bludge – they think Adani will make all of us filthy rich forever – so why bother doing anything useful and strenuous?

    While this bludger mentality prevails, nothing will be done about worsening social conditions (housing, secure employment, hope) and worsening infrastructure problems (float-away road surfaces, 19th Century roads and railways, Fourth World telecommunications, ancient and insufficient bridges). Certainly nothing about opening new metals mines. The worship of Adani and Coal is sufficient for all our needs.

    BilB (11.52am 15th) :

  32. BilB (11.52am 15th):
    Spot on.
    I’m not the only one in Central Queensland who can count past 10 and can see past the wild claims of Jobs!! Jobs!! Jobs!!; wild claims which have failed to pass the pub test. If mine workers in their dusty clothes, having a drink after work, can see through this incredible waffle about jobs galore, then why can’t business and political leaders do likewise?

  33. Brian (Re: MARCH 15, 2018 AT 12:00 PM):

    Thanks for the comparisons of IEA and IEEFA. I was aware of the different missions you’ve highlighted. And some of the criticisms of the IEA outlooks.

    Good information about reality as distinct from hopes, aspirations and fears is hard to come by, especially when we are dealing with the future.

    Indeed. Finding a range of data from different sources that corroborate the analyses together with reasoned arguments, provides more confidence in the potential projections of the future.

    I think the economic arguments for renewable energy keep building momentum – this is unstoppable and cannot be ignored. The question is: Will the transition be fast enough?

  34. Gotta fly, I’m an hour behind already today.

    Thganks, Geoff M.

    John D I get all that, but I think small incremental changes will come from Mark Butler and Labor. I was hoping for something more dramatic from the Greens, but I understand the need to come to terms with political realities.

  35. Brian (Re: MARCH 15, 2018 AT 10:25 AM):

    Back to your statement about not hearing anyone talking about stranded assets any more.

    Geroff M, by “anyone”, I meant Australian politicians. I should have been more precise at 11..49pm last night.

    From a Media Release, dated 5 Sep 2016, from Jeremy Buckingham MLC (NSW Greens):

    “Technological progress in energy generation, energy storage, the electrification of motorised transport, and climate related policies around the world will decrease demand for fossil fuels over the medium and long-term. Investments in new fossil fuel exploration will increasingly face the risk of being stuck with stranded assets or useless data.

    “From an ethical and financial perspective, Australia should invest in clean energy technologies rather than fossil fuels.”

    This Media Release is getting a bit old now, but some Australian politicians are still talking about “stranded assets”. Perhaps the media in your neck of the woods is not covering this issue and so you aren’t hearing about it.

    I note that Jeremy Buckingham MLC and Adam Bandt MP –
    Federal Member for Melbourne, attended public meetings in Lithgow and Hunter regions in NSW last year to put their case to people in the coal mining industries and the surrounding communities about the inevitable decline of the coal industry and listen to peoples ideas about alternative jobs to transition to. The Nationals and Labor have not done that, as far as I’m aware.

  36. Geoff, you have to go looking for media releases, unless you subscribe, but then you would get a flood. So, no I didn’t see a Greens media release from a NSW pollie 18 months ago, nor do I read the Lithgow Mercury. If the Greens were doing their job nationally I wouldn’t have to go looking for statements about stranded coal assets.

  37. Brian (Re: MARCH 14, 2018 AT 11:49 PM):

    However the general point is that we should not stop the Adani mine so that we can, in an orderly way, nix the Great Barrier Reef from business as usual.

    That’s the main point we should be hammering to the politicians.

    On Tuesday, February 20, I phoned Mark Butler’s electoral office (08 8241 0190) and spoke with a staffer. During my conversation, I drew attention to Geoff Henderson’s and your 5 Nov 2017 post The Adani Project: – Is it good for Australia?, highlighting the Wood Mackenzie figures in this post showing the estimated decline in coal jobs in NSW’s Hunter region and southern Queensland’s Bowen Basin, and my comment at NOVEMBER 6, 2017 AT 4:46 PM.

    There have been other politicians offices I have called also, highlighting The Adani Project: – Is it good for Australia? post.

    On Tuesday, February 27, on ABC’s 7:30 programme, Leigh Sales interviewed Geoff Cousins, click link here. As a lead-in to the interview, there’s an excerpt of Mark Butler in the Australian Parliament on Monday, February 26 (from time interval 00:52) making an interesting statement. From the 7:30 transcript:

    MARK BUTLER, SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY (YESTERDAY): The industry itself has been clear that any thermal coal mined from the Galilee to chase a declining sea borne market would simply displace coal and jobs, in existing coal regions like the Hunter Valley.

    What prompted Mark Butler to make that statement in the Australian Parliament that day, only Mark Butler can say.

    My point is: If you feel strongly about an issue, you need to engage (or at least try to engage) with the people that may influence the outcome.

    In your comment (at NOVEMBER 4, 2017 AT 3:32 PM) below your post Saturday Salon 28/10 you say:

    I’ve decided to out myself as a member of the ALP on the About page, but I haven’t joined a branch. That would mean doing stuff, which I’m too old for and I’ve never been the right person.

    My work is here, and available to anyone who wants to use it.

    Brian, I’m wondering: Are you “hammering” your views directly “to the politicians”? You have the knowledge and wit/intelligence to present credible/compelling arguments to back up your views. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to voice your frustrations and displeasure (I hope respectfully) directly to some of the would-be enablers (and in-your-eyes the apparently ineffectual obstructers) of the ones likely to bugger-up your family’s long-term prospects. Phone their offices, or send them emails or letters. What have you got to lose? Engage!

  38. Geoff, if you have more than three links in a comment it goes into moderation.

    I’ve said before, my role is to create the ammunition for others to use, and I thank you for using it.

    I get less than 2 hours a day to work in this on a regular basis. The fact that I’m here now has put me more than an hour late for work today. I’ll have to work until it is actually dark, and then being here will still cost me money.

    I’ll organise my life just as you organise yours.

  39. Yesterday I went looking for statements by Mark Butler about stranded coal assets, well before reading yours at 9.45am today, GeoofM.

    I did so because I thought I had heard him talk about them. I found very very little.

    Stranded assets are important fir investors, employees and the national future. You would think they should concentrate the minds of those who think primarily in financial terms!!

    Maybe folks who see the stranded assets just keep quiet and silentlt move their investment funds elsewhere…. ? No need to advertise their own acumen.

    A good result, if more funds flow into renewables infrastructure.

    GeoffM: please be polite to everyone.

  40. GM, it’s simple, and I am not being angry. I get to write about a fifth of the posts I’d like to write. I’ve got family and work commitments, and at my age you need to spend a few hours a day just keeping yourself in shape.

    I did ring a couple of people about Qld electricity prices during the election, but found that the relevant minister wasn’t in the central election planning group within the ALP, and after the election he was assigned to Transport, which if you know our politics was probably a promotion, being a hot button issue with ‘made in India’ trains unfit for purpose, driver recruitment and training issues and the massive disruption expected during the Commonwealth games.

    They just wren’t interested in what a random ALP member had to say.

    I simply don’t have time to do all that stuff and produce more than one post a week.

  41. Ambi, the media regularly get distracted from the issues that really matter and you’ve reminded me why I don’t invest time in Q&A.

    Geoff M, you will be happy to know I’ve been distracted on my son Mark’s Facebook telling the person that wrote Labor’s climate policy that she did well, but has to lift her game if we are to have a future on the planet.

  42. Yes, Brian.

    Often I don’t bother.
    Tired last night, was hoping to see Mr Butler talk about climate/energy policies.
    Gave up.

  43. At the SMH, online article headlined Coal plant construction extends dive – but not fast enough: report, link here, it includes:

    Coal-fired power is on track to start shrinking globally by 2022, dimming prospects for exporters of the fossil fuel, including Australia, according to a report by environmental groups.

    The article refers to the the annual Boom and Bust report by Greenpeace, Sierra Club and CoalSwarm.

    The SMH article also reported:

    The Australian Financial Review this week reported Adani is refusing to set a funding deadline after admitting that it would fail to meet a set-imposed target for the end of this month.

    Is Adani Carmichael mine dead? The accumulating evidence suggests so.

  44. Boob and Bust is a long but interesting article.
    I don’t think Adani will actually be dead until Adani says it is. My reasoning is an accounting one Quiggins pointed out about a year ago. He explained that Adani’s balance sheet needs the assets of Carmichael and Abott Point to offest the huge debt (~$3.5 billion) Adani has racked up. Removing either of those assets would make his bankers very uncomfortable.
    Adani also gave away the Mundra Power plant and that was a significant item on the books. See: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/2017/09/04/adani-loses-entire-investment-in-mundra-indias-biggest-thermal-power-plant
    Later this year Adania must satisfy at least some of its debt on Abott Point, although it claims that finance is in place.

    That said, it does not look good for Adani unless the Indian Government throws him a big life line. That would probably mean the Indian government would guarantee the Carmichael and ancilleries debt (the rail and port) and relax the Indian embargo on imported coal. After that there is whether the Australian governments will really allow the mine – expect strong opposition from NSW/Hunter Valley interests. Also expect some problems convincing Bowen Basin miners they have nothing to worry about. And of course there are still Indigenous interests to be resolved.

  45. Awwww Geoff H

    You called the article Boob and Bust and I thought, here’s something a bit s**y to brighten up a Friday arvo, but sadly…..

  46. Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 23, 2018 AT 12:50 PM):

    My reasoning is an accounting one Quiggins pointed out about a year ago. He explained that Adani’s balance sheet needs the assets of Carmichael and Abott Point to offest the huge debt (~$3.5 billion) Adani has racked up. Removing either of those assets would make his bankers very uncomfortable.

    I understand that’s the rationale for Adani to hang on for as long as possible. But from an investor’s perspective, why would you risk money – take a bet – on the Adani Carmichael mine or the railway with an outlook suggested by the Boom and Bust 2018: Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline?

    Renewables will get cheaper and cheaper; coal-fired electricity generation is only going to get more expensive (and likely become “stranded assets”) as the Paris Climate Agreement is taken more seriously.

    Follow the money. From Jim Barry, at BlackRock, reported in the AFR on 26 May 2017:

    “Coal is dead. That’s not to say all the coal plants are going to shut tomorrow. But anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.”

    Why would the Indian government risk their money to prop-up the Adani Carmichael mine and any associated projects, when they have indicated that they wish to cease all thermal coal imports into India by 2020? It makes no sense to me.

  47. At this point it is important to separate the thermal and coking coal markets.
    Thermal coal has the smell of death about it given that renewables has become the source of low cost, rapid response power compared with high cost, slow response coal.
    At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pressure to replace blast furnaces with something with lower emissions but this could change.
    I am sure many financiers understand how high risk book assets based on Adani or Abbott point are.

  48. Geoff M: Why would the Indian government risk their money? Well for a start it is not their money and as suggested by Brian recently Modi does not seem to have high ethical standards. But also, those “elites” have a bond to support each other – perhaps like the “Skulls” of Harvard. I believe that Adani would likely be supported by government action as US corporations got after the financial crisis.

  49. I’ve just done a bit of a search and it appears that the Boom and Bust report dates from March 2017.

    Later than that was the IEA report on coal, which says, in brief, that coal generation decreased from 2015, but despite that new capacity was still being built.

    Then in July we have an article in the Straits Times, which seems to emanate from the New York Times reporting on tallies compiled by Urgewald, a Berlin-based environmental group which say that Chinese firms are building 700 coal plants at home and abroad, and overall 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries which would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 per cent.

    There was a later report that 620 new plants were being built, which I won’t link to, rather go straight to the rebuttal by Adam Morton at The Guardian in October 2017.

    He says that last week (ie. last October) China announced it was stopping or postponing work on 151 coal plants that were either under, or earmarked for, construction. In India coal generation was running at on average a little more than 60% of its capacity, well below what is generally considered necessary for an individual generator to be financially viable.

    He reports that The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found China’s coal fleet ran at only 47.5% capacity last year (presumably 2016).

    Seems everyone uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal, including the IEA. It depends on when they look and how they spin what they find.

    He says that as of July 2017 154 new coal plants are being built and 113 are being expanded.

    Only one new coal plant is being built in Europe – in Germany. It was started in 2007.

    Britain’s Conservative party has promised to phase out coal by 2025, and Justin Trudeau’s Canadian government by 2030. The two countries last week said they would work together to push other countries to join them.

    The overall picture is that people are walking away from coal.

    However, here in Oz, in our government, the fossils are alive and well, as in August we were told that New coal plants have a role in Australia’s energy future, Josh Frydenberg says.

    I was very interested in Geoff H’s comment at 12.50pm. Sadly people in government and in corporations do not always use the best and most accurate information, and do not always run a rational filter over their decisions.

  50. John Davidson. (3:31pm 23rd):

    We need two completely different-sounding words taken into general use: one for thermal coal and another for coking coal. Though even worse linguistic confusion arises in Health, where professionals use different terms for very different disorders but the general public is still uses a single word, “cancer”, for almost all of those disorders.

    Geoff Henderson (3:56pm 23rd)

    Brilliant.

    Your comment must be read over and over again by every naïve business man and business woman in Queensland. No use forcing any politicians to read it: they know which side their bread is buttered on.

    But those Indian entrepreneurs and leaders are all such nice people, just like us. Surely, they wouldn’t be like that, would they?

  51. Brian (Re: MARCH 23, 2018 AT 11:17 PM):

    I’ve just done a bit of a search and it appears that the Boom and Bust report dates from March 2017.

    The link I provided in my comment (at MARCH 23, 2018 AT 11:56 AM) goes to Boom and Bust 2018: TRACKING THE GLOBAL COAL PLANT PIPELINE, published in March 2018 (not 2017).

    In the report, it includes Table 1. Changes in the Global Coal Plant Pipeline from January 2016 to January 2018.

    On page 2 of Boom and Bust it says under the heading ABOUT THE GLOBAL COAL PLANT TRACKER, it states (bold text my emphasis):

    The Global Coal Plant Tracker is an online database that identifies, maps, describes, and categorizes every known coal-fired generating unit and every new unit proposed since January 1, 2010 (30 MW and larger). Developed by CoalSwarm, the tracker uses footnoted wiki pages to document each plant and is updated biannually.

    The EIA report you link to was published on 16 May 2017 – not far off a year ago.

    If you click on the link to the SMH article given in my comment (at MARCH 23, 2018 AT 11:56 AM) and scroll down towards the bottom of the article you should see a tweet from Tim Buckley at IEEFA, dated originally at 9:53 PM – 20 Mar 2018, which says:

    Hey @WorldCoal, did you see #Indonesia just cancelled another 5 GW of proposed #coal plant developments + 10 GW of new imported gas plants? Countries continue to overestimate electricity demand growth, raising thermal power stranded asset risks.

    It seems the pace of change is accelerating.

    Brian, you say:

    The overall picture is that people are walking away from coal.

    You’ve got that right, but as the Boom and Bust 2018 report says in its Executive Summary (bold text my emphasis):

    While the prospect of an end to coal power expansion is a welcome development for climate and health, it is arriving late in the game relative to the stark imperatives of what is needed. In order to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the current pace of progress must be accelerated, including canceling coal power projects under development and hastening retirement of aging coal fleets in Europe and the United States.

    I don’t know why the above statement is restricted to only “Europe and the United States“. It should be everywhere on the planet.

    Brian, you say:

    However, here in Oz, in our government, the fossils are alive and well, as in August we were told that New coal plants have a role in Australia’s energy future, Josh Frydenberg says.

    People need to tell them that they are wrong, with evidence to back it up. (A friendly hint for a post on this subject)

  52. Brian: In the guardian article you linked to Frydenberg is quoted as saying:

    “Once we have the level of investment certainty that we all want for our energy system going forward, then the market will be best placed to work out the role of a HELE coal-fired plant, or another form of gas generator or a form of renewables with storage.”

    “If we can get affordable baseload power with a HELE plant or with renewables and storage then we’ll take it.”

    Me thinks he is being smart enough to have room to move. I wouldn’t be putting much effort into proposals for new coal fired power if I was an investor.

  53. Frydenberg is still hopeful that HELE will rise to save coal. So is former pollie Ian MacFarlane, now CEO of the Queensland Resources Council, a lobby group for a collection of miners, including Adani. He recently expressed a hope that an HELE power staion could be built in North Queensland.
    An essential component of HELE is carbon capture and sequestration. Whilst that is technically possible, it increases the cost of power markedly. See The Conversation’s 2015 article:
    https://theconversation.com/the-latest-bad-news-on-carbon-capture-from-coal-power-plants-higher-costs-51440
    How much CCS adds to the cost of producing power was guessed at in a 2007 paper “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”
    https://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/house/committee, /scin/geosequestration/report/fullreport.pdf (Page 85, 6.62)
    OK that’s an old report but so far as I know, the technology has yet to be economically viable. Aside from suitable geology for storage of CO2, the capital cost of sequestration must be paid for, and that revenue stream does not yet exist unless power prices are jacked up.
    Finally at the risk of boring everyone, here is a good link to a Crnegie-Melon presentation that goes through some basic stuff then looks at CCS as you go into it. See:
    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cmu.edu%2Fepp%2Fiecm%2Frubin%2FPDF%2520files%2F2013%2FCarbon%2520Capture%2520and%2520Sequestration%2520%2528CCS%2529_4.5.13.pdf&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=Ssm1WsapEbPu8wfUm4noDQ

  54. Geoff M, I think what happened was this.

    My first view of the comments is always in the admin section of the blog, where all comments appear serially irrespective of which post. I skimmed it to see that people were not killing each other, and it gives me a chance to release anything caught in moderation.

    I decided to do a Google search on coal power, which, apart from some shite from WhatsUpWithThat from July 2017 at the head of the queue, showed the 2017 Boom and Bust report, plus the other links I mentioned in the comment. So Google didn’t show the most recent report or the SMH link.

    I forgot to reread your comment closely, which refers to Boom and Bust as an annual report.

    The net result was that I wrote a comment which would have been appropriate late last year, and possibly up to when the new one came out.

    BTW just now I did a search on ‘coal Boom and Bust report’. The first two entries were the 2017 report, then the three days old SMH article, probably because I had clicked on it previously. The 2016 report was on the first page, but the 2018 report nowhere to be seen. So there is a problem in the Google algorithm.

    Geoff, I explained in the latest Salon that I just don’t have time to write sundry posts at present. Suggest you have a go. Put it in Word with the links, send it to me and we’ll see what we can do.

  55. Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 24, 2018 AT 1:48 PM):

    Frydenberg is still hopeful that HELE will rise to save coal. So is former pollie Ian MacFarlane, now CEO of the Queensland Resources Council, a lobby group for a collection of miners, including Adani. He recently expressed a hope that an HELE power staion could be built in North Queensland.
    An essential component of HELE is carbon capture and sequestration.

    Your references (from The Conversation, etc.) are a bit old. RenewEconomy.com.au has an article headlined Coal industry’s carbon capture dream is a dangerous fantasy, dated 23 Mar 2018, link here, where it outlines 3 reasons why CCS doesn’t work:

    One: It doesn’t work.
    Globally and at home, CCS has consistently failed to deliver on its promise to reduce future carbon dioxide emissions. These failures have come at eye-watering expense to companies and governments alike.

    It lists some specific failures.

    Two: investors are unlikely to fund CCS because it’s more expensive to produce energy with CCS than without.
    There’s basically no incentive for the private sector to invest in technology that is unlikely to provide a decent financial return in the short-mid term, if at all.

    Essentially, it’s much too expensive.

    Three: even if CCS was deemed successful in the short-term and employed economically at scale, CCS will not stop CO2 entering the environment.
    In order for CCS to be successful in the long term, the storage systems that hold the carbon need to last in perpetuity to prevent leaks. To put it another way, for CCS to work, it needs to hold on to the captured pollution forever.

    Who would want to live anywhere near a CCS reservoir? A rupture occurs and every oxygen breathing being is likely to be asphyxiated.

    And also at RenewEconomy is an op-ed by Ian Dunlop on CCS headlined Energy security from “clean coal”, CCS & CSG. What could possibly go wrong?, dated 28 Feb 2017, link here. Dunlop knows his stuff:

    Ian Dunlop was formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chair of the Australian Coal Association and CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a Member of the Club of Rome.

  56. Thanks Geoff M for tactfully for explaining that my references were old and therebye inferring they were suspect. I would not want to decieve any of our group with non-factual stuff.

    Allow me to point out, that in your haste to pounce on my post, the following:
    1) I aknowledged the age of my sources, I did not pretend they were the most recent. They were and are indicative of the present state of play. References can age, be usurped by later research, but as your citations confirm, my “old” refs were fine.
    2) That the technology is too expensive is made patently clear.
    Nothing has changed, not yet anyway.
    3) The CO2 must not be allowed to emerge from its storage. This is correct. I think I used the expression “suitable geology” to imply that the rocks had to be impervious and stable forever. An appreciation of geologic time would accept that those conditions, if they exist at all, might be very hard to identify. Again, that has been clear for many years.

    Geoff you have demonstrated an articulate and agile mind over the time I have seen you here, and you take time to construct comments. But I will request two things of you.
    First read what others write before you contribute.
    Second, I get the impression that your preference is to jump on other peoples comments, sometimes adding, sometimes correcting them. How about throwing up some new material for a topic of discussion. Lead the converstion with new items.
    How about some insights of yours into where the Trump age is going to take us, just as an example.

  57. CCS may actually make sense if we are talking about clean alternatives to current steel making technology. It may also make sense for other key industries where the zero greenhouse gas technology is a lot more expensive than the current preferred alternative.

  58. I don’t recall anyone claiming that CCS could capture all of the CO2 of combustion.

    It was touted as a way of reducing emissions. But it may well be too expensive (I.e. not efficient in achieving its purpose).

    Even secondary school chemistry could indicate that likelihood.

    Geoff H: blogs attract “pouncers” and pronouncers, unfortunately. You make some good suggestions about helpful contributions.

  59. Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 26, 2018 AT 1:25 PM):

    Thanks Geoff M for tactfully for explaining that my references were old and therebye inferring they were suspect.

    I said in my comment (at MARCH 26, 2018 AT 11:56 AM):

    Your references (from The Conversation, etc.) are a bit old.

    The inference that your references “were suspect” is yours; not mine.

    I was puzzled why you didn’t at least do a search for more recent material – that’s why I added my comment to include more recent material.

    First read what others write before you contribute.

    I certainly do. I think the tone of your comments suggests you are overly sensitive.

    Second, I get the impression that your preference is to jump on other peoples comments, sometimes adding, sometimes correcting them.

    Aren’t you “jumping on” my comment? Isn’t part of the purpose of commenting to:
    1. Add to other people’s comments?
    2. Correct other people’s comments if they are wrong, with evidence/examples to back it up?

    If I’m wrong, and someone picks up on it (and that may include me), then I acknowledge it and move on.

    How about throwing up some new material for a topic of discussion. Lead the converstion with new items.

    I think I’ve thrown up new material, that’s prompted some robust exchanges in past threads.

    How about some insights of yours into where the Trump age is going to take us, just as an example.

    I don’t wish to discuss Trump. Sorry.

    I’ll pick the times and subjects that I wish to engage in when I think it’s relevant. And I suspect that’s how everyone else operates on this forum.

  60. Ambi,
    I would expect CO2 from power station smoke stacks to be fairly efficient, particularly if they use oxygen instead of air to burn the coal. Would also expect that piping the CO2 and sending it down the drill holes would be efficient Bit harder to predict how long it will stay down the hole.
    On the other hand greenhouse gases will escape to atmosphere when the coal is uncovered and CO2 will be generated due to oxidation in mine waste, dust and coal stockpiles. It will also be generated by the operation of mining and processing equipment.
    The tricky and costly part will be finding suitable underground storage space.

  61. Geoff H

    Do you mean no coal mined ?
    So no coal exposed to the air, no dust heaps, as well as no smokestacks?

    John D
    Burnt using pure O2 produced by hydrolysis of H2O, using solar derived electricity?
    Partly to avoid N oxidation in furnaces?

    GeoffM
    folk posting here are entitled to defend their own posts. It is gratuitous to advise anyone that they are overly sensitive.

    There is an old saying (original is in French). Here is a rough translation:

    These animals are very dangerous.
    If you attack them, they defend themselves!

  62. Ambi – ” Do you mean no coal mined ?” Yes I do. In an earlier post in this thread coal, not Adani per se, was identified as the real problem. Whilst Adani is an actor to be stopped, a lot of the climate change worries diminish if coal burning stops.
    This is perfectly achievable and should happen.

  63. Geoff M thanks for your detailed but unecessary response. One part in particular was interesting- your (undisputed) disinclination to be drawn on Trump. You said:
    “I’ll pick the times and subjects that I wish to engage in when I think it’s relevant.” Do you not see that Trump is relevant to the World? I don’t want a stoush here, just saying…

  64. Geoff Miell (Re: MARCH 27, 2018 AT 8:19 AM):

    Geoff M thanks for your detailed but unecessary response.

    I’m puzzled why you produced your comment at MARCH 26, 2018 AT 1:25 PM? I think the references I included in my comment at MARCH 26, 2018 AT 11:56 AM reinforce and complement your comments and references at MARCH 24, 2018 AT 1:48 PM.

    Why is my response “unecessary“? What – I’m not allowed to defend my position? Or is it because you have no compelling counter-response? So the only thing you can say is that my responses are unnecessary.

    Do you not see that Trump is relevant to the World?

    What do you think I can do about Trump? What do you think you can do about Trump?

    I’m concentrating on things that I think I may have some influence upon. Like phoning or writing or presenting to Australian and NSW State politicians and asking inconvenient questions and providing evidence/knowledge, or lodging submissions/presentations to some inquiries and hearings.

    What are you doing to try to influence change?

  65. GM I don’t see any general interest in some sort of combative discourse with you.
    I will address just one thing: “What are you doing to try to influence change?”
    I’m trying to be informed, even about things I can’t directly change.

  66. Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 27, 2018 AT 12:12 PM):

    I will address just one thing: “What are you doing to try to influence change?”
    I’m trying to be informed, even about things I can’t directly change.

    I applaud you for seeking to be informed. But I ask, to what end? Are you seeking information just for the sake of it? Or do you intend making use of it for some good purpose; perhaps to try to influence/stimulate change for the better?

    Your comment (at MARCH 27, 2018 AT 8:07 AM) includes:

    Whilst Adani is an actor to be stopped, a lot of the climate change worries diminish if coal burning stops.

    This is perfectly achievable and should happen.

    What are you doing to influence/stimulate what you say is “perfectly achievable and should happen”?

    I presume you have the knowledge that the Adani Carmichael mine is not in Australia’s best interests (on so many levels). And you say that coal burning in general needs to stop. Presumably you’ve read and understood the threads and comments here on this weblog? Are you disseminating information that you have, to your state and federal parliamentary representatives to try to influence/stimulate change? Perhaps spend 10-15 minutes each to phone your state and federal representatives’ electoral offices on a specific issue and refer, for example, to yours and Brian’s 5 Nov 2017 post The Adani Project: – Is It Good for Australia? to highlight the issues of concern to you, or send some emails or letters asking them whether they would oppose the mine, and if not why not. Or there may be some other issue/subject you think needs urgent attention. Give it a try, if you haven’t done so already. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You must engage to influence change.

    Or do you expect someone else to do that for you?

    My message to you is this: Put what you know to good, effective use. Do what you can do. Can you afford not to? Can any of us afford not to?

  67. Just up in the last half hour on RenewEconomy.com.au is an article headlined Matt Canavan loves coal “unashamedly” – says it’s good for First Australians, link here. The article begins with:

    Federal resources minister has surprised no one and used his National Press Club address on Wednesday to “unashamedly” spruik the boundless potential and perceived upside of Australia’s coal mining, export – and burning – sectors; and to decry anyone who should think otherwise.

    Anyone who is a constituent of Queensland, who thinks Canavan is dead wrong, should be voicing their views to him / his office.

  68. Hi again Geoff M

    You have chosen a particular path, which as I understand it, is to be in touch with Parliamentary representatives and their offices, to raise your concerns about energy policies, using rational arguments, and citing economic analyses, engineering feasibility, scientific findings etc.

    You have taken the trouble to put in submissions to Parlt Inquiries and attended some sittings.

    You are an active and engaged citizen. You comment here. Your active participation in discussion is worthwhile indeed.

    But please recognise that other people take different paths. In my view many different paths will turn out to have been complementary, in making the transition to renewable energy, reducing waste and pollution.

    I’m confident you can think of many paths, but to indicate what I’m getting at, consider:

    × installing new solar pv panels that easily cover household or business power needs
    × buying an EV or hybrid
    × improving one’s home insulation
    × talking to friends and family about these
    × getting a local govt or school to take renewable power seriously
    × working on designing a process or device whose operation is C neutral or C negative
    × investing in a local power-sharing mini-grid

    Please be tolerant of other approaches to the challenges we all face.

    Cheers

  69. Nicely said Ambi. I was going to respond to that in less diplomatic terms. Hopefully that will be unnecessary.
    You correctly point out that we all navigate our earth in our own ways and in our own style in the arenas that we choose. It does not matter if our actions are different as long as there is good intent. That applies even to people with atrocious communication skills.

  70. For mine Geoff M walks the walk.

    I must confess to not doing what he’s doing, and only 2 of Mr As list.

    There are my cards on the table, anyone else ( not Brian )?

    ” What don’t you do and why not ? ” I think are valid questions.

  71. Geoff M, the post The Adani Project: – is it good for Australia? is posted under my name because I posted it on the blog, but the first sentence says:

    This is a guest post by blog commenter Geoff Henderson.

    I’ll just say that if you are interested in lot of stuff you should get better context and better perspective.

    Buddhism has a fair bit to say about wanting things directly. I won’t try to replicate it here, but volition is an interesting subject in itself.

    I take some comfort from the fact that 20 to 25 people visit the blog each day leaving no visible trace, but the number of separate posts accessed every day is usually upwards of 20, perhaps closer to 30.

  72. Brian (Re: MARCH 28, 2018 AT 10:31 PM):

    Geoff M, the post The Adani Project: – is it good for Australia? is posted under my name because I posted it on the blog, but the first sentence says:

    This is a guest post by blog commenter Geoff Henderson.

    That didn’t go unnoticed by me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your contributions to that post are extensive. I believe your contributions follow from Geoff Henderson’s end notes, and include, as you stated, “these truly gruesome graphs” from the Wood Mackenzie report that you sourced via abc.net.au.

    I think it is appropriate to attribute that post to both Geoff Henderson and you, Brian. And that is what I have done.

  73. Ambigulous (Re: MARCH 28, 2018 AT 4:58 PM):

    But please recognise that other people take different paths. In my view many different paths will turn out to have been complementary, in making the transition to renewable energy, reducing waste and pollution.

    Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 28, 2018 AT 7:59 PM):

    You correctly point out that we all navigate our earth in our own ways and in our own style in the arenas that we choose. It does not matter if our actions are different as long as there is good intent.

    Here’s a quote for you both to ponder.

    “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required.”

    ― Winston S. Churchill

  74. OK I’ll play:
    “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
    Dale Carnegie. c.1936

  75. Thanks for quoting Winston Churchill. He was a good writer, a great speaker and a fine wartime leader.

    If the quote indicates you think others are lethargic…. I ask: how can you tell??

  76. Ambi, in my experience it’s greenies and social workers most of all who tell us how we should live. The really successful ones start by being good listeners. They end up being more helpful.

    FWIW

  77. Yes, Brian

    In my limited experience it’s greenies.

    Sharing many characteristics with zealots of other ages: fundamentalist religious proselytisers down through the millenia; Stalin worshippers, Mao worshippers, Ayn Rand disciples, etc.

  78. Brian: Yep, those evil Greenies who support action to save the planet. Can’t let that happen can we? Then there was their demand we all move/don’t move to gay marriages? Or am I getting them mixed up with Cori Bernaldi?

  79. Brian wrote “greenies”, and I didn’t read that as
    Greens, in the party sense.

    FWIW, I meant “extreme greenies”, which I would be willing to expand on……

    I didn’t mean the Greens party in Australia, though I detest the politics of the Stalinoid Senator from Sydney who we have discussed before.

  80. I reckon Brian’s key point is that a person is more likely to be useful to others, if she is a good listener.

    Most Greens supporters I know, are good listeners.

  81. Ambi, in my experience it’s greenies and social workers most of all who tell us how we should live.

    Don’t forget the hard right (such as Abbott, Bernardi, Abetz) who are obsessed with controlling, amongst other things, our most private behaviour.

  82. There are no freedom loving hippies in the greens any more, they got purged.
    I’m a big fan of the true hippies that didn’t morph into the same authoritarians they rebelled against.

  83. Good point zoot.
    Bedroom superintendents.

    Jumpy, are you thinking of the free spirits who went to live on rural communes, hoping to be self-sufficient in food production? Some of those groups tried to live “off-grid” if I recall correctly.

  84. The original hippies were all about dropping out not joining forces to drive change. Having said that, the Brisbane city council Green Councillor might be described as a hippy by some even though he is very interested and active in driving change.

  85. I’m a big fan of the true hippies that didn’t morph into the same authoritarians they rebelled against.

    Do you have in mind anybody in particular?

  86. Just briefly, Ambi is right. If I say greenies, I mean greenies. I am simply not talking about The Greens. It doesn’t mean The Greens are in the clear.

    NB, I didn’t say all greenies.

  87. Ambigulous (Re: MARCH 29, 2018 AT 1:38 PM):

    If the quote indicates you think others are lethargic…. I ask: how can you tell??

    On 18 Dec 2017 Brian posted Is the Earth Toast? It makes rather grim reading. To date, only John D, Brian and Ambigulous commented below it.

    When I suggest people with knowledge should be trying to influence change for the better, it’s met with either scorn or silence on this forum. So I wonder whether any of you are sufficiently motivated to try to do anything outside your comfort zone. There seems to be very little information that suggests that you are influencing (or attempting to influence) change beyond the confines of this forum – you seem reluctant to want to discuss it here.

    In today’s The Sydney Morning Herald is an article headlined The fundamental operating model of Australian politics is breaking down, online link here. The article includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Is there any Australian left who hasn’t complained, or at least rolled their eyes about the state of politics in Canberra? Most of us tend to blame the politicians for all this, but a new analysis of voter data suggests a less comfortable truth. The problem is not just them. It’s also us.

    So, do you think there is a lethargy? Is there evidence to the contrary?

  88. In last Saturday’s (March 31) The Sydney Morning Herald paper edition there’s an article headlined Falling renewable costs ‘chilling’ for fossil fuels, online link here, it includes:

    A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report has found the price of renewables has fallen by almost a fifth over the last year, with wind and solar generators becoming cheaper than both coal and gas-fired power stations.

    The report suggests that Australian renewable energy will cost the same or be cheaper than fossil fuels as soon as 2020. It seems the economic case to continue using fossil fuels, including activating the Adani Carmichael mine and associated activities, is dissipating rapidly.

    Is the BNEF report wrong about falling renewable energy costs? What’s the counter-evidence?

    At last Wednesday’s (March 28) National Press Club address, Federal resources minister, Senator Matt Canavan, was reported to be “unashamedly” spruiking the boundless potential and perceived upside of Australia’s coal mining, export, and consumption sectors; and to decry anyone who should think otherwise.

    Canavan also vehemently denied that the global coal mining and export business was going into decline.

    Yet the week before, the Boom and Bust 2018 report, published by Greenpeace, Sierra Club and CoalSwarm, referred in my comment above (at MARCH 23, 2018 AT 11:56 AM), included in the Executive Summary:

    With declining deployment and high levels of retirement, coal power capacity is now caught in a squeeze: if current trends continue, by 2022 yearly retirements will exceed new capacity and the global coal fleet will begin to shrink.

    The Boom and Bust 2018 reported trend clearly conflicts with Canavan’s reported reference (to last year’s?) IEA forecasts, which he said it meant Australia would need to “produce more coal that it ever has in its history”, to meet demand.

    With the global coal-fired electricity generator fleet apparently beginning to shrink soon, that means less global coal demand, not more.

    Also, per BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, global coal production peaked in 2013 at 4006.1 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe), declining to 3992.4 Mtoe in 2014, declining further to 3887.3 Mtoe in 2015, and fell further to 3656.4 Mtoe in 2016, the largest decline on record so far.

    That means that Australian jobs and livelihoods associated with coal mining, export and consumption are at risk of contracting in future, and ultimately disappearing. Rather than resist the inevitable decline of the coal industry, governments should be preparing for and enabling an orderly transition to the new energy paradigm, and retrain/repurpose the affected workforce.

    And Canavan is also reported to have said “I also … absolutely contest that the coal industry … is inconsistent with the obligations we’ve got to reduce carbon emissions”. How does that work – to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, while still using coal? Or do we conveniently forget the “to net zero by 2050” detail/requirement?

    So, is Senator Matt Canavan living in a parallel universe? Is he out of touch with reality?

  89. Last Tuesday (March 27), Radio 2GB broadcaster Chris Smith had a chat with Steven Galilee, CEO of the NSW Minerals Council, about a Chinese corporation that controls south-west Queensland’s Cubbie Station declaring they want to invest in new “clean coal technology”, link to audio here. There’s no surprise about where Steven Galilee suggests Australia should be heading; here’s a sample (from time interval 4:01):

    “Any political leader that wants to be responsible in relation to our economy should be getting behind this and should be making sure that we are part of this new technology, a revolution in coal-fired power because we are a country that stands to benefit the most from that.”

    I took the opportunity to forward my thoughts/feedback to Chris Smith, on March 28, (subject to a 3000-character message limit) as follows:

    Chris,

    Last week the AEMO warned the closure of AGL’s Liddell coal-fired power station could mean blackouts for as many as 200,000 homes in NSW.

    When Liddell closes in 2022 (in only 4 years), an energy gap will need to be filled and AGL’s current plan isn’t sufficient.
    So, what are the available, affordable options?

    At reneweconomy.com.au/graphs-day-wind-fast-solar-faster-batteries-fastest-68311/ a graph titled “Generalised power plant years to deliver including resource and project lead time”, from Professor Ray Wills, shows that:

    Battery storage: <1 year to install;
    Solar PV: 1 to 2.5 years;
    Solar thermal: 2 to 3.5 years;
    Wind: 2.5 to 3.5 years;
    Gas: 3 to 5 years (excluding resource development);
    Geothermal: 5 to 8 years;
    Coal: 6 to 9 years (ex. resource development);
    Nuclear: 8 to 15 years (ex. resource development).

    Clearly, new geothermal, coal and nuclear electricity generator options cannot be built soon enough to replace Liddell when it closes in 2022. Even gas is marginal. And “Snowy 2.0” is at least 6 years away – also too late.

    I think the only viable timely ‘dispatchable’ option now remaining is for NSW to build at least five solar thermal “power towers” with molten salt storage – each unit with 200 MW min capacity generators, with 17 hours min molten salt thermal storage.

    South Australia has contracted US company SolarReserve to build a $650 million, 150 MW capacity concentrated solar thermal “power tower” with 8 hours molten salt storage electricity generator facility near Port Augusta, known as project Aurora, beginning construction this year, to be operational by 2020, and deliver electricity at no more than $78/MWh over the 20-year energy supply contract period – cheaper than SA gas-fired power.

    Per Dr Finkel’s Independent Review, published 9 June 2017, new ultra-supercritical coal-fired generators average Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for 2020 & 2030 is shown at $81/MWh. Clearly, new coal-fired electricity generation is not cheap power, and no cheaper than solar thermal with storage is now.

    It appears NSW has insufficient thermal coal reserves (NSW Gov. estimates at 15 Gt), at current rates of extraction (246.8 Mt/y raw coal extracted in FY2015-16), to sustain supplies for more than a few decades, unless “prime agricultural lands” & critical water resources are compromised.

    And the rest of the world is moving away from coal. Per the latest annual “Boom and Bust 2018” report by Greenpeace, Sierra Club and CoalSwarm:

    “With declining deployment and high levels of retirement, coal power capacity is now caught in a squeeze: if current trends continue, by 2022 yearly retirements will exceed new capacity and the global coal fleet will begin to shrink.”

    Renewables are the only long-term sustainable, affordable, reliable option available now to replace Australia’s ageing coal-fired generation fleet. The longer we fail to implement an effective energy plan, the greater the risk of unreliable, higher priced power in the 2020s.

    Included with this feedback message, I attached a 1310 kB pdf file sourced from the NSW Government Department of Industry, Division of Resources & Energy, titled New South Wales – Coal investment profile, dated Oct 2016 (document identified as PUB16/482).

    It seems to me some people won’t let facts/evidence get in the way of vested interests and/or ideology. I think it requires people with the knowledge/evidence to challenge dubious or baseless assertions/comments to try to keep the commentary honest.

  90. And this has emerged today. The Australian appears to have reported it first, link here. The Guardian reports in an article headlined Coalition backbenchers unite to lobby for coal under banner of Monash Forum, online link here, that includes:

    Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews and George Christensen among named members of new forum that claims 20 MPs.

    Kelly – the chairman of the government’s backbench committee on the environment and energy – confirmed the existence of the Monash Forum, which supports the use of coal-fired power.

  91. That is a very good summary, GeofM. I hope that it is accurate as I will be quoting it (after I’ve checked some of the parameters).

    My new campaign is that all politicians will be held accountable for their comments and action on Global Warming and Climate Change (not the same thing). The y need to explain their views and the source information to support those views.

    See how a Judge in the US cut through the BS to come to a consensus, creating a legal precedent in the process.

    https://news.stanford.edu/2018/03/30/case-questions-climate-change-culpability/

  92. The Monash forum is a good initiative because it highlights where the support for another coal fired plant is coming from. Hardly a team to inspire confidence.

  93. JD I agree. It is good that we can now see at least some of the people who are pro-coal.

  94. 1. Geoff M
    Since you directed yours at 12.02 to me, I will give you a considered response.

    2. John Monash was a great Australian, and played a pivotal role in developing electricity generation from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley, almost one hundred years ago… a different era, with very old industries and very different local and global conditions. Leave him in peace.

  95. BilB (Re: APRIL 3, 2018 AT 1:35 PM):

    That is a very good summary, GeofM. I hope that it is accurate as I will be quoting it (after I’ve checked some of the parameters).

    By all means, please check. If and when you are satisfied, I urge you to start quoting.

    Yesterday, I phoned Andrew Gee MP’s office (Federal Member for Calare) and spoke with a staffer to highlight my comments at APRIL 3, 2018 AT 12:11 PM and APRIL 3, 2018 AT 12:47 PM. I reiterated my statement:

    Renewables are the only long-term sustainable, affordable, reliable option available now to replace Australia’s ageing coal-fired generation fleet. The longer we fail to implement an effective energy plan, the greater the risk of unreliable, higher priced power in the 2020s.

    I also rang Paul Toole MP’s office (NSW Member for Bathurst) to do the same thing, and request that Don Harwin MP, NSW Minister for Energy be also advised of my concerns.

    I also rang a few other federal politician’s offices to highlight the same comments, and ask why I’m not hearing any counter arguments from them to the proponents calling for new coal-fired power. Apparently one had on Sky News earlier that day – I don’t subscribe. It was suggested some of the media is to blame for not providing an opportunity to air counter-arguments.

    In yesterday’s Canberra Times is an online article headlined A new coal-fired power plant would cost $3 billion, drive up energy prices and take eight years to build, link here, that includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Mr Kelly cited coal industry data released last year that said the cost of generation from highly efficient coal plants was cheaper than variable renewable energy.

    But respected energy economist Bruce Mountain, a consultant who has advised government departments and regulators, said such a project “absolutely will not reduce energy costs”.

    Thanks for your link. Have you highlighted the Stanford case law article to your local State and Federal reps yet? If so, any reaction (although perhaps too early to tell)?

  96. John Davidson (Re: APRIL 3, 2018 AT 2:07 PM):

    The Monash forum is a good initiative because it highlights where the support for another coal fired plant is coming from. Hardly a team to inspire confidence.

    It’s good that a spotlight is being cast on these characters. But I think this is pure politics to destabilize Turnbull at the expense of Australia’s energy security and economic stability.

    The memory of Monash doesn’t deserve this crass piece of marketing spin.

  97. Here’s a SMH article headlined Deadheads of coal wars aren’t worthy of a giant like John Monash, link here, includes:

    What a squalid exercise.

    What a pathetic moment in Australian history.

    To have pulled this stunt, clearly designed to undermine their own prime minister, serves only to prompt the thought that none of the members of the new pro-coal Monash Forum is worthy of licking the boots of a giant like Sir John Monash.

    Indeed.

  98. At abc.net.au today is an article headlined Tony Abbott dismisses Scott Morrison’s warning about new coal-fired power plants, link here, that includes:

    Electricity from new coal-fired power plants would cost twice as much as power from existing coal power stations, Treasurer Scott Morrison has warned.

    However, former prime minister Tony Abbott said Mr Morrison made more sense when he brandished a lump of coal in Question Time last year.

    What would Tony Abbott know?

    Mr Morrison said new high-efficiency low-emissions (HELE) coal generation plants would sell power for between $70 and $80 each MegaWatt hour — or at least twice as much as the old power stations.

    That’s roughly comparable to Dr Finkel’s Independent Review figures in Appendix A -Levelised Cost of Electricity, where the average LCOE for ultra-supercritical (or HELE) coal generators in 2020 & 2030 is at $81/MWh.

    Methinks Abbott doesn’t want facts to get in the way of the real mission – to destabilize Turnbull.

  99. GM: Yes, and driven by revenge. Not so christian of him really, still the pugilistic could-have-been righteous priest.
    I wonder if he had any knowledge of what some sectors of his Church were up to, and if so, why, when he was well positioned to act, he seems not to have intervened.

  100. On an old power station, Fairfax reports that the CEO of a company known as AGL has warned the PM not to interfere in the market (by urging foreign corporations to buy and operate Liddell).

    He also claims that AGL is attempting to assist in reducing CO2 emissions.

    ***
    Comment: apparently AGL wishes to take something known as the “Paris Climate agreement” seriously, whatever that might be. Has anyone heard of such an agreement? Should the PM be told??

  101. Ambi for some time now I have some of the incumbent generators align themselves somewhat at least with renewables. AGL appears to be the most active.
    My thinking is that these collies are seeing the change as inevitable and are positioning themselves to still be very strong players in the market as coal diminishes. AGL’ s rilt at the PM is a part of the posturing that has been going on for some years now I think.
    Disclaimer: this is my unresearched personal opinion and does not have a rigorous research program in place to test the objective worth of my views. I invite any reader to offer their own view, especially if they have asked similar questions.

  102. Errata: my previous post…
    “…I have seen some of…

    collies = coalies

    Too early, getting old….

  103. I’m suggesting that the Commonwealth simply get out of the way. They are actively making things worse.

    Hallelujah !!
    That’s exactly what I’ve been saying.

  104. Geoff H

    Your unresearched personal opinion, sans references, figures, market predictions, modelling, and the full paraphenalia of what academics love to call
    scholarly apparatus

    sounds pretty convincing to me.

    Every clever company looks to the future, at least as much as to the present. I recall BilB has told of some such “straws in the wind”. (Where a corporation’s investments indicate it may be planning to veer away from its current style of operation.)

    Cheers

    Ambi, Duke of Opinion
    Duchy of Ignorance

  105. Ambigulous,

    You asked me a question at MARCH 29, 2018 AT 1:38 PM):

    If the quote indicates you think others are lethargic…. I ask: how can you tell??

    I gave you my response at APRIL 3, 2018 AT 12:02 PM and asked you specifically (but the question is open to anyone):

    So, do you think there is a lethargy? Is there evidence to the contrary?

    At APRIL 3, 2018 AT 7:54 PM you responded with:

    1. Geoff M
    Since you directed yours at 12.02 to me, I will give you a considered response.

    And finally at APRIL 6, 2018 AT 3:01 PM you still haven’t answered my question – “So, do you think there is a lethargy? Is there evidence to the contrary?

    You say in your latest comment:

    Your unresearched personal opinion, sans references, figures, market predictions, modelling, and the full paraphenalia of what academics love to call
    scholarly apparatus

    If you (and anyone else) have a problem with anything I state, then call me out on the specific issues/sentences – don’t be vague about what displeases you and (just as important) why. If it’s a point of fact you are disputing, then you need to supply compelling counter-evidence. If you think I haven’t supplied a reference, then ask me to supply you one (remember, there’s a 2 link limit, otherwise the comment waits in moderation for Brian to clear). If it’s a matter of opinion, then it may come to agreeing to disagree. And if you expect me to abide by the standards that you are saying I should uphold, then you need to do the same – otherwise you are a hypocrite.

  106. Please re-read.
    “Your unresearched…. ” was directed to Geoff Henderson, not you; and I agreed with his opinion.

    Cheers

  107. “If you (and anyone else) have a problem with anything I state, then call me out…”
    I’ll take you up on that Geoff M. Try to take my remarks objectively…please.
    I admire for the most part the content that you post. You are clearly driven to produce quality.
    But I do find your style of response (to other posts) abrasive and confrontational, and quite needlessly so. It’s your right to deliver in whatever form you choose but over time now I observe your demands and I wonder why the need for that style. We are a forum of mild-mannered people here who enjoy exchange and the mix of ideas and information that is part of the Climate Plus makeup. I might be wrong but I don’t think any of us enjoy being hounded to your “standards”, however virtuous.
    Geoff M I doubt you’ll take my post all that kindly, but you are of course free to respond. But before you do, reflect a little on just how you respond huh?

  108. Ambigulous

    My apologies to you – I was hoping to see your response to my question by now (it’s almost a week) – perhaps I was expecting too much – I saw your response to Geoff H but misread who it was for.

  109. Geoff Henderson (Re: APRIL 9, 2018 AT 12:48 PM):

    I’ll take you up on that Geoff M. Try to take my remarks objectively…please.

    I don’t have a problem with that.
    My “standards” are simple as I outlined to Ambigulous, reiterated here:

    If you (and anyone else) have a problem with anything I state, then call me out on the specific issues/sentences – don’t be vague about what displeases you and (just as important) why. If it’s a point of fact you are disputing, then you need to supply compelling counter-evidence. If you think I haven’t supplied a reference, then ask me to supply you one (remember, there’s a 2 link limit, otherwise the comment waits in moderation for Brian to clear). If it’s a matter of opinion, then it may come to agreeing to disagree.

    That’s what I try to follow. If you do something similar then I can’t see why we can’t get along. We all have things to contribute.

  110. Not many of us have great confidence that Modi and Adani operate at a high level of integrity. When reports of India’s intent to wind back its use of coal in favour of renewables many were sceptical.
    However, Tim Buckley of IEEFA has penned this article in the Conversation today:
    http://ieefa.org/ieefa-india-new-national-electricity-plan-reinforces-intent-toward-275-gigawatts-of-renewables-generated-electricity-by-2027/
    The report is consistent with India’s public policy to advance renewables and allow coal to decline. Someone should tell Monash et al.

  111. Geoff Henderson (Re: APRIL 21, 2018 AT 9:58 AM):

    Thanks for the link to the Tim Buckley ( IEEFA) article.

    Someone should tell Monash et al.

    “Someone” has already informed Craig Kelly of The Conversation article republished in RenewEconomy.com.au headlined Solar PV and wind on track to replace all coal, oil and gas within two decades, and a prompt response was returned by Craig Kelly’s office. The exchange and comments can be seen here.

    Perhaps you could forward a link for the Tim Buckley (IEEFA) article to the known members of the “Monash Forum” and see what reactions (if any) you get?

  112. In response to an op-ed in the Australian Financial Review, Tim Buckley, on behalf of IEEFA, wrote an open letter, dated March 1, link here. Tim Buckley’s open letter included:

    Three years ago, the Indian government called an end to thermal coal imports. That call, which has been repeated time and again since, marked the absolute peak of Indian thermal coal imports, which have declined almost every month since. While the Carmichael proposal was entirely consistent with India’s energy policy in 2010, nearly a decade on now, it appears more and more like a receding pipe dream that cannot achieve financial close and stands today as the very definition of a stranded asset.

    Is Tim Buckley wrong? What’s the compelling contrary evidence?

  113. I found this interesting:

    It is telling that the piece is credited to Frontier Economics, a coal lobbyist working for Adani Australia

    That’s amazing, and makes me wonder about Tim Buckley.

    Danny Price and Frontier Economics have worked for the SA Labor government, did the modelling on the NEG and mounted a frontal attack on Audrey Zibelman and AEMO, which Price says should be gotten rid of to save the NEM.

  114. Brian (Re: APRIL 23, 2018 AT 10:44 PM):

    That’s amazing, and makes me wonder about Tim Buckley.

    What do you wonder about Tim Buckley? Are there any thoughts that you wish to share?

  115. I said it in the comment, Geoff M. To label Frontier Economics as a coal lobbyist seems to me strange. In the link I provided Danny Price ” slammed the Turnbull government’s ‘rank hypocrisy’ in making the $6 billion-$8 billion Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped hydro scheme the centrepiece of its climate and energy policy and squibbing the introduction of a carbon price.”

    From memory, Danny Price and Frontier economics advised Nick Xenephon on a carbon price scheme and also advised the (Labor) South Australian government on its go-it-alone energy policies. Doesn’t sound like a shill for coal to me, which makes me wonder about Tim Buckley’s judgement.

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