Patrick Brown of Stanford University in California, working with Ken Caldeira, has found that the planet will warm 10 to 20 per cent more than previously thought. Here is the critical graph from their research:
They say that if you remember the 1960s you weren’t really there. I remember quite a bit about the 1960s. Who could forget Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies, British secretary for war, John Profumo, and the Soviet attaché Yevgeny Ivanov in what was known as the Profumo affair. Christine Keeler died on 4 December 2017, a young 75.
Andrew Vesey, CEO of AGL made his attitude to new coal clear:
- “It is very simple: We are overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas and the rest is details,” Mr Vesey told an investor briefing in Sydney, where he again forcefully ruled out any investment in new coal-fired power.
He said there were two strategic imperatives that govern all AGL’s investments – affordability and the tenet that the future will be carbon-constrained, making new coal too risky as an investment.
AGL has confirmed its plans to close the Liddell coal generator in NSW and “replace it with 1.6GW of renewables, plus storage and other technologies – saying it was a smarter, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable option than keeping the ageing and unreliable coal plant open.” Continue reading AGL’s $1.36 billion plan to replace Liddell
Miners are meant to rehabilitate old mine sites. An attractive alternative can be to turn them into money-making concerns by means of pumped hydro.
On 27 November Sophie Vorath wrote that the first phase of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub – a world-first solar and pumped hydroelectricity hybrid – would be generating power for the grid within the next 10 days, which means it started to operate while the votes were being counted in the Queensland election.
There’s more from ARENA, which contributed funding, at Renewable, reliable energy from an old, abandoned mine site? That’s gold Continue reading Turning old mine pits to electricity gold
Adrian Beaumont at The Conversation has a good summary of the election:
- At the Queensland election, held on November 25, the size of parliament was increased from 89 seats to 93. Comparing this result with 2015, Labor officially won 48 of the 93 seats (up four), the Liberal National Party 39 (down three), Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) three (up one), and One Nation, the Greens and an independent won one seat each.
With 45 seats held by parties other than Labor, Labor has won a three-seat majority. Continue reading Palaszczuk powers on to a new term
1. Checking Katter facts
Bob Katter is a colourful character, which allows him to get away with what other people might be accused of bigotry. However, I find he usually gets his facts right, it’s his solutions which are really weird. When he said that a person was being torn to bits by a crocodile in North Queensland on average every three months the ABC decided to check his facts.
Turns out he was stretching it a bit.
Stats show that there was one fatal crocodile attack every three years from 1985 to now. However: Continue reading Saturday salon 9/12
This year is shaping earily like 2010-2011. There was heavy rain around South East Queensland late in 2010, followed by a flood of the Brisbane River, backing up the Bremer River into Ipswich, so both cities suffered significant inundation and flood damage. A Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry was convened, and over 500 pages later came to the conclusion that the flood engineers had acted inappropriately and in breach of the Flood Manual, setting up the conditions for a class action. Three of the four engineers were recommended to be referred to Crime and Misconduct Commission.
In this post I mainly want to link to three comprehensive posts at the time at Larvatus Prodeo and summarize what I treated at length there. I think, modestly, they are essential reading if you want to understand what happened. The class action lawyers certainly have not, and are spruiking complete rubbish to the media. Continue reading Wivenhoe legal sharks start to rip and tear
1. How not to run a party or a government
Malcolm Turnbull in announcing a royal commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, to be led by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, told us that the inquiry was entirely unnecessary, but the government was a couple of seats short and had effectively lost control of the agenda.
Chris Bowen, shadow treasurer, formally wrote to his counterpart Scott Morrison (AFR, pay-walled), saying that the inquiry was neither far-reaching enough nor adequately resourced, that there had been inadequate consultation over the terms of reference, plus the deliberate targeting of union-dominated industry superannuation funds – a political strategy which diminished its credibility. Continue reading Saturday salon 1/12
1. South Australia going for broke
Malcolm Turnbull would call it a ‘reckless, irresponsible, ideological frolic’, but South Austria has been running 63% on wind and solar during the last few months, and is going for broke.
Giles Parkinson says SA must, and will, lead world on renewables.
The Weatherill and Koutsantonis strategy is to embrace new technologies, cheap wind and solar and storage, smart software and smarter management, and put into practice the sort of scenarios envisaged by the CSIRO, Energy Networks Australia and more recently by the storage review commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel.
All that can stop Weatherill and Koutsantonis is Nick Xenophon at the next election putting the LNP into office.
Turnbull and Frydenberg will be swept aside as irrelevant detritus.
If I get time I’ll do a longer post.
2. Finkel’s frustration
Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is fed up with our conservative national politicians:
- Finkel argues that Australia has managed a unique trifecta – high prices, high emissions, and high uncertainty – and fallen behind the rest of the world. And he has no doubt who is to blame.
“Everyone else has a strategy,” says one of the key points of his presentation (see above). The next line is equally damming: “Regulatory system suffering 10 years of policy paralysis.”
Energy insiders and observers know exactly what Finkel is referring to: the first is clear, the political impasse caused by the Far Right and its opposition to basic economics and science.
The second offender would be interpreted as the Australian Energy Market Commission – the rule maker that has stood in the way of blindingly obvious reforms such as introducing environmental considerations into the National Electricity Objective, and which has resisted and delayed nearly every proposed change that would nudge Australia’s ageing, creaking energy infrastructure into the 21st Century.
3. Finkel says there is no need to panic about energy storage
- While the ESB, in arguing for a National Energy Guarantee, speaks of the system threats and urgency to act with a level of “variable” renewables accounting for between 18 and 24 per cent of total generation, this new report says surprisingly little storage may be needed with 35 per cent to 50 per cent wind and solar.
I suspect that there will be real worries about the credibility of the ESB (Energy Security Board) while John Pierce chairs the Australian Energy Market Commission. You may recall that during the Finkel review, Finkel questioned the point of meeting with the AEMC because no engineers were present.
- Phew, that was close. That must be the reaction of the Australia solar industry, and local and international renewable investors, after a result that puts the Labor government within touching distance of a small majority or at least a workable minority government.
The re-election of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Saturday’s nail-biting poll will guarantee the medium-term future of the solar industry in Australia, along with several large-scale wind and hybrid projects, and some key storage installations.
It will also likely have a bearing on federal politics too, given that the Queensland government is unlikely to approve a National Energy Guarantee that seeks to choke the level of wind and solar that can be added to the national grid, or reinforces the power of the energy incumbents.
It was an important win for Queensland, the nation and the planet.
5. More gas on the way
The Adelaide press carries a story about New report into potential fracking expansion in the Cooper Basin
In Brisbane we have Queensland on cusp of new gas boom
- QUEENSLAND is on the cusp of a new gas boom with exploration for shale gas to start in the Cooper Basin.
In what could be a new money earner for the state — and ease the cost of energy prices — millions of dollars will be spent to determine if the extraction should start.
It is understood Geoscience Australia estimates prospective shale and tight gas resources in the Cooper Basin could provide 29 years of east coast gas at current production rates.
The Turnbull Government will use cash from the $30 million geological and bioregional assessments program to evaluate the priority area.
It’s basically the same story, just different parts of the Cooper basin.
Then there is this story – Arrow Energy strikes major gas deal with Shell in Queensland’s Surat Basin:
- A deal to extract gas from Queensland’s Surat Basin will create 1,000 new jobs, boost domestic gas supply, and unlock one of the largest gas reserves on the east coast, the resources industry says.
Arrow Energy has signed a 27-year agreement to supply more than four times the forecast east coast domestic gas shortfall to Shell’s Queensland Curtis Liquified Natural Gas project every year.
So there is plenty of gas around without NSW and Victoria changing their anti-fracking policies. Price is another issue. I recall Matthew Stevens in the AFR saying all the cheap gas had been developed. However, we should all hope that it is not necessary to burn the gas.
One might say it was an important step for mankind.
Apart from anything else, I’m told it is a tourist attraction.
- It marks a momentous day for the national grid, and a major step towards a modern network that will ultimately deliver cheaper, cleaner, smarter and more reliable energy than we have now.
It is the first of a number. They will have a role in grid stabilisation more than backup power. For that SA is relying on dirtier energy during this summer. In just 58 days (the Tesla took 66, I think) US firm APR Energy have just built a diesel-powered bank of generators capable of putting out 276 MW of power. The bank of generators can fire up from a cold start in just eight minutes.
I think this facility is to be replaced by a 300 MW gas plant designed for emergency standby, when it is built.
Syria has announced it intends to join the 2015 Paris agreement for slowing climate change, leaving the United States as the only country in the world opposed to the pact.
Syria, wracked by civil war, and Nicaragua were the only two nations outside the 195-nation pact when it was agreed in 2015.
Nicaragua’s left-wing Government, which originally denounced the plan as too weak, signed up last month.
8. A Kodak moment for coal
There is one thing I disagree with Quiggin in this article. He says no-one can reduce electricity prices by much. Prices, perhaps not, but Labor has reduced electricity bills by 16.1%. Why has no-one other than me noticed? And you could reduce them by a further 25% by nationalising retailing.
Other than that it’s a good article.
Christiana Figueres has really laid it on the line. She reckons Adani is a Kodak moment for coal.
She hopes to see coal, like those sentimental moments in time captured in photographs, confined to history — with the world remembering the contribution the fossil fuel has made to human development, while recognising the need to retire it as a fuel source because of its contribution to global warming.
And, she says, it’s happening.
“We just had 25 countries come together [at the latest international climate change talks] in Bonn to say that they are moving out of coal in the short term.
“That does not include Australia or India or China, but you can begin to see the trend.
“India is headed for peaking its coal consumption by the year 2027.”
News has just come through that China Construction Bank won’t grant loan to Adani.
That was Ben Eltham on 6 November. Then you can go anywhere, for example:
- Grattan: LNP’s Queensland election loss has implications for Malcolm Turnbull
- Jennifer Hewitt in the AFR – Most people have no idea what Malcolm Turnbull is trying to achieve
- Mark Ludlow in the AFR –Support for One Nation looms large over LNP seats in next federal election
We have been through a wild time here north of the Tweed, but the short version of the Queensland 2017 election is that cuts and chaos have been avoided:
I came across it via Facebook around midnight on Saturday night. Not sure when it was released but there’s been nothing in the media yet about it. Surely there will be, because it is more than a little stunning. It’s called Powering Queensland’s Future: Affordable, Stable and Balanced.
From a standing start after the LNP under Campbell Newman had ‘cleansed’ the state of renewable energy projects, since February 2015 the Palaszczuk Labor government has enough runs on the board to be dubbed “a leader in Australia’s renewable energy boom” in a report by The Climate Council – Billion dollar boom: Queensland’s bright renewables future. I’ll summarise what they said, but the Palaszczuk government is running even faster and further than you would be led to believe in that report. Continue reading The best kept secret: ALP electricity policy for Queensland