Category Archives: Climate Action

Coal power fading fast

Some time in the last few days I heard a person who should know better say that 1800 coal-fired power plants were being built around the world. One wonders where this (dis)information comes from. It went unchallenged by the ABC interviewer, showing once again that ABC journalists and presenters need an update on climate change – in the national interest.

As Adam Morton at The Guardian writes The world is going slow on coal, but misinformation is distorting the facts. Back in June, John “Wacka” Williams asked the Parliamentary Library how many coal plants there were, how many were being built, how many closed etc and could he have the information by 4pm?

The Library included the information that 621 units were being built, the point here being that power plants typically have multiple units. Hazelwood had eight.

Unfortunately, this information was wrong. Continue reading Coal power fading fast

The die is cast – Turnbull chooses political power over the future of the planet and humanity

Here are the last four feature articles from Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy (as of last weekend):

It’s quite likely that politicians don’t read RenewEconomy. Here’s Ben Potter in the last Weekend AFR:

Continue reading The die is cast – Turnbull chooses political power over the future of the planet and humanity

NEG becomes a farce

Malcolm Turnbull specialises in scapegoating and threatening, while Josh Frydenberg sits there looking vacant, as well he might, until it’s his turn.

Danny Price in an article well worth reading, says Politicians have destroyed the trust needed to make the NEG work.

Kane Thornton CEO of the Clean Energy Council says NEG car is worth buying, even if tyres need pumping up, the flat tyre to him being the 26% emissions reduction target, which will be met by work under way before the NEG starts. If you want to use that analogy, the NEG is like a car without an engine, because it does no work.

David Leitch has two compelling articles – Energy (In)security Board and its modelling spreadsheet and Know your NEM: The ESB is becoming a laughing stock. If, however, you want to read just one article, read Simon Holmes à Court’s NEG promises death of wind and solar, and even battery storage. Continue reading NEG becomes a farce

NEG policy disaster won’t fly

On the weekend Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gently reminded the Coalsheviks in the LNP Coalition that they should not be flirting with the idea of coal-fired power, because

    we have to factor in a “carbon-constrained future”.

He warns that they may be investing in what will become ‘stranded assets’ before they wear out.

Why doesn’t he tell them like it really is? Tell them to look out the window.

The heatwave in Europe this year has been assessed as ‘five times’ more likely because of climate change. The northern summer’s heat is being recognised as the strongest climate signal yet. Wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. Drought is threatening food supplies: Continue reading NEG policy disaster won’t fly

BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

In the largest solar power purchasing deal ever by an industrial energy user in Australia BlueScope Steel will take the bulk of the electricity from the 133MW (AC) Finley Solar Farm to be built 100km west of Albury.

There’s more at RenewEconomy: Continue reading BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

Adani will cost jobs

The development of Adani’s Carmichael mine has always been sold as a job-creating venture. In fact it will be a highly automated mine, creating jobs mostly in the cities. A new report has found that the development of Carmichael and the subsequent development of the Galilee basin will cost about 12,500 jobs in existing coal mining regions and replace only two in three workers. Continue reading Adani will cost jobs

EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure

EnergyAustralia looks set to sink $400 million into a new peaking gas power station, but have warned that the investment case would collapse if Canberra’s Coalshevik politicians force AGL’s ageing Liddell plant to stay open or if a new coal plant is built.

Their new gas plant will not supply ‘baseload’ power. rater, it will be fast-start and run on demand, operating only at peak times or when other plants suffer outages. This indicates it will mainly operate on the spot market, but in doing so will help prevent spikes up to the maximum $14,000 a megawatt-hour limit. Continue reading EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure

Climate clippings 225

1. Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, by Elisabeth Rush

A review by Dave Hage at Star Tribune of Elizabeth Rush’s new book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore says it is “a lovely and thoughtful book, so lyrical that you forget how much science it delivers.”

    Rush, who teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University, has chosen to examine climate change through the lens of American places and people devastated by rising seas and higher temperatures. Reading her book is like learning ecology at the feet of a poet rather than a scientist.

Continue reading Climate clippings 225

Snowy Hydro and the future of renewables

Snowy Hydro 2.0 was, I thought, being justified at the political level by its capacity to back up with pumped storage some of the “reckless” development of wind and solar energy around the place. RenewEconomy now reports that Snowy Hydro is itself planning to develop 800 MW of wind and solar capacity. It has put out an expression of interest document, aiming to conclude contracts by September:

    “The initial aim is to procure 400MW of wind and 400MW of solar off takes,” the document states, although the company may change its mind on the 50/50 split between wind and solar depending on the offers made.

    “Snowy Hydro’s goal is to construct a portfolio of wind and solar offtakes such that the resulting portfolio benefits from diversification of fuel sources (wind / sun), geography (across NEM States, latitude and longitude) and supply profile (intra-day, week, month and season).”

Continue reading Snowy Hydro and the future of renewables

Climate clippings 224

1. Oil and car companies are suddenly investing in electric vehicles. Here’s why.

Joe Romm’s article was also posted at RenewEconomy.

AEMO wants ‘demand response’ as strategic reserve

You will recall that after the closing of Hazelwood Power Station at the end of March 2017 fears were held that the 2017-18 summer would see extensive blackouts. AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator, was tasked to assemble a strategic reserve to keep the lights on.

AEMO assembled a reserve of 1150 megawatts mainly “demand response” capacity with capital cost approaching zero, but the mechanism the agency had used called the Reliability and Reserve Trader or RERT, can’t be automatically rolled over for the summer of 2018-19. And perhaps it can’t be done at all, because the rule-maker, the Australian Energy Market Commission, has changed the rules governing the RERT so that the mechanism can only be used on 10 weeks notice in an emergency as a last resort, which is simply impractical.

So what is going on? Continue reading AEMO wants ‘demand response’ as strategic reserve

Flannery rescues the planet

Tim Flannery says A decade ago climate experts were deeply worried. Now they are terrified.

We need to perform superbly in the next 10 years, he says, but the task is doable.

Robyn Williams talked to Tim Flannery at the Planet Talks, part of Womadelaide, in April 2018. There is a transcript available at the link above. Continue reading Flannery rescues the planet