- A New South Wales Labor government would establish a state-owned renewable energy company to support the rollout of enough renewable energy to power more than three million homes across the state in the next decade.
On Monday the NSW opposition leader, Michael Daley, announced that if elected on 23 March, Labor would deliver seven gigawatts of extra renewable energy by 2030.
- “I want to make NSW a global leader of the clean energy industry. I want NSW workers and families to reap the benefits,” Daley said in a statement.
“NSW cannot be a supplicant state for energy. We have to produce our own energy, create our own jobs and give energy security to our own people. If we don’t move now, we will completely fall behind and lose our advantage.”
He’s been looking at what other states have been doing with reverse auctions, and has grasped that the states can actually plan a sensible energy future working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
There’s more at RenewEconomy, where Giles Parkinson says the Labor plan would get NSW to about 40% renewables.
2. 100% renewables possible, but we need a plan
Giles Parkinson also reports on a 3-day seminar of national and international experts gathered to test a proposition put by Andrew Blakers and Matthew Stocks that 100% renewables was achievable by 2032.
The bottom line was that rapid transition was achievable, but only if we had a plan.
Stanford University’s Mary Cameron:
- “Transitioning to 100 per cent WWS (water, wind solar,) in all energy sectors is technically and economically possible,” Cameron said. “The main barriers are social and political.”
CSIRO and AEMO produced a study late last year saying that wind, solar and storage are definitively cheaper than new coal.
Indonesia’s two presidential candidates have pledged to achieve energy self-sufficiency by boosting the use of bioenergy, particularly fuelled by palm oil, to cut costly oil imports by southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, has been pushing for all diesel fuel used in the country to contain biodiesel to boost palm consumption, slash fuel imports, and narrow a yawning current account gap.
President Joko Widodo if re-elected planned to implement the B100 program to 100%, completely replacing fossil fuel and using 30% of the country’s palm oil for biofuel. Indonesia’s current crude palm oil production was said to be 46 million tonnes a year.
His main challenger, Prabowo Subianto, said if elected he would also “boost the use of palm oil, palm sugar, cassava and ethanol from sugar (cane)”.
The bad news is that global demand for coal will survive largely undented for at least the next 20 years unless much stronger action is taken to tackle climate change, according to energy giant BP. I’ll take a longer look at that one, because if that happens we’re cooked.
5. Adani still has problems
Adani has been complaining that the Queensland Government has come up with an 11th-hour snag with a new review questioning the company’s plans to provide a safe future for the black-throated finch. An article in the Oz says the Department of Environment and Science outsourced the issue to a Melbourne academic Brendan Wintle, who is Professor in Conservation Ecology in the Biosciences School at the University of Melbourne.
The CFMMEU reckon Wintle is biassed because last November he tweeted a photo of two children holding a placard that read, “I’ll stop farting if you stop burning coal”. Politically it would not make sense for the union to go rogue, but they may restrict their active support to Labor candidates who support coal. Apparently they have found one in Capricornia and one in Flynn.
Adani were invited to make a submission to Wintle’s review, but declined because they found his draft so flawed that it was “not, in our view, amenable to rectification”.
CSIRO has yet to provide advice on water.
The importance of Adani is that if they build the rail line another five large mines will open in the Galilee Basin, creating 14,450 construction jobs, 11,211 ongoing jobs, $35.4 billion in investment, mine 165 million tonnes of coal each year, yielding 27 billion tonnes in decades to come.
A Palaszczuk government spokesperson said Labor had facilitated more than $9 billion of resource investment since 2015, creating 5500 jobs.
Of course, no mention of global warming in the article, or indeed the negative impact opening Galilee would have on coal jobs elsewhere in Australia.
Luckily the CFMMEU is but one of 103 unions, the political influence of unions is over-rated in my opinion, and the election will not be decided in central Queensland. Remember, redistribution puts the LNP two seats behind their current parliamentary strength, and the LNP holds 21 of 30 in Queensland which last election voted 55-45 in favour of the LNP. Something of a high water mark, one would think.
Capricornia is presently held by Michelle Landry for the LNP, Ken O’Dowd holds Flynn likewise for the LNP, with both sitting with the Nationals in Canberra.
Matthew Stevens has more at the AFR.
6. Sh*t a brick!
Some call it biosolids, or more expansively “the dried, disinfected leftovers of wastewater (also known as sewage) treatment”. In plain talk it is concentrated, treated human poo, or if you prefer, pooh.
A lot of bricks are produced in the world – around 1,500 billion each year, which takes a lot of clay soil – about enough to fill London’s Wembley Stadium 1,125 times. In recent times there’s been a push to incorporate various waste products into bricks – everything from sawdust to rice husks – to reduce their environmental footprint. Now Associate Professor Abbas Mohajerani of RMIT has worked out how to produce bricks with a 10, 15, 20, or 25% content of poo.
Biosolid-bricks showed lower thermal conductivity than the control bricks, which suggests they could help provide a level of thermal insulation. The 25% batch was produced using half the energy to make a normal brick.
The downside is that they are a little weaker, although strong enough for low-rise buildings.