1. Queensland electricity day-time prices to zero six days in a row
We’ve had unwelcome dry weather this ‘winter’ in Queensland but the good news is that electricity prices have dropped to zero six days in a row:
With a bit more solar we should be looking at storage via pumped hydro and then releasing it to take gas out of the system in late afternoons and early evenings. However, the system is still running largely on coal, which is being ramped in a way that I imagine would be quite testing. Also the effect on pricing may bring the viability of coal into question, which is why ideally the whole system would be more logically run as a state monopoly.
Setting up a new company takes time, but Cleanco, promised by Labor before the last state election, is now underway. Renewable energy assets fron Queensland’s two other public power generation companies, Stanwell and CS Energy, have been transferred to the new company. Cleanco will use its balance sheet to borrow money to develop further publicly owned renewable energy generation assets.
The aim is to keep the balance of around 65% government owned assets in this sector.
Logically this could have been more easily achieved if Stanwell and CS Energy had used their larger balance sheets to borrow money to create renewable energy. However, Cleanco helps keep the ideologues at the ACCC off their case, and helps the dimwitted media to notice that the Queensland government is actually committed to climate action. Perhaps.
3. China going clean
China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement was to peak its emissions in 2030 while continuing to develop its economy Now a Joint Study Says China May Hit Carbon Emissions Goal Early:
- According to the study published as the cover article in the latest online monthly journal Nature Sustainability, the carbon emissions in China should peak between 2021 and 2025, about five to ten years ahead of the Paris target.
The story is that in China’s 50 major cities infrastructure to support a modern economy is installed. Emissions will increase in this phase. When average incomes reach a certain point in these cities money can be invested back into environmental sustainability to produce a kind of tipping point in favour of the environment.
It is estimated that when emissions peak incomes in those cities will average 21,000 US dollars per person.
4. Germany plans to exit coal
In Germany their cabinet has approved a $44 billion plan to exit coal.
Imagine that happening here, with a PM who once famously fondled a lump of coal in the parliamentary chamber!
Here, we have BHP CEO says company likely to exit coal mining business. That’s well and good, but it means someone else will carry on the dirty work. Meanwhile we give taxpayer support of billions to a mangy company that wants to set up a thermal coal mine in Galilee Basin which is almost certain to become a stranded asset. IEEFA notes a study which:
estimates that the Adani Group is set to receive over $4.4 billion of tax exemptions, deferrals and capital subsidies from Australian taxpayers to get its soon-to-be-obsolete Carmichael thermal coal mine up-and-running and operational for the next 30+ years.
According to Richard Dennis When it comes to coal, Australia has transitioned away from economics and common sense.
5. Renewables are driving the economy
Not all is gloom. In fact Michael Pascoe explains how Renewables are driving the economy:
- Industry research company Macromonitor has found the $9 billion increase in renewable energy construction over the three years to 2019-2020 has been greater than the growth in road, rail or other infrastructure.
Basically renewables investment is keeping the economy afloat.
Mike Bruce looks at the potential of hydrogen:
a report on hydrogen generation by the World Energy Council branded Australia as a “giant with potential to become a world key player”.
- The analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) found the falling cost of extracting hydrogen gas from water and better economies of scale could reduce the cost of hydrogen power to as little as $US24 ($35.50) a megawatt-hour by 2030, and $US15 ($22) by 2050.