1. Byron Bay’s world fist solar train
It looks sexy, the new solar train in Byron Bay pioneered by reclusive rich lister Brian Flannery, who made his fortune in coal mining:
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
It didn’t happen, but the phone call was made during the early February heatwave:
Just after we had heard about 100 MW batteries being installed in South Australia to keep the lights on, Malcolm Turnbull announced a giant ‘battery’ in the form of pumped hydro in an expansion of the Snowy hydro scheme.
Michelle Grattan reports that the media were dragged up to Talbingo in the Snowy Mountains for Thursday’s big Hydro announcement. But then his press conference couldn’t be beamed direct because there was no way of transmitting the signal.
It was all a metaphor for the shambolic national energy debate, in which the process is chaotic and politics trumps policy.
Craig Emerson says we can get the gas we need, but is it necessary?
Craig Emerson has an article in the AFR, also on his site, suggesting that politicians need to urgently turn their minds to gas supply in east Australia. Emerson had warned them back in 2014, but they took no notice, and AEMO assured everyone there was no problem.
Suddenly there is. The price of gas-fired electricity threatens manufacturing jobs, and gas is needed to replace coal-fired power. Continue reading Gas, pumped storage and energy futures