Tag Archives: renewable energy

‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

On Wednesday morning Ben Potter’s article in the AFR Coalition fiddles as renewables remake grid told business leaders and politicians what is actually happening before their eyes.

Over at the Oz the headline was:

      Abbott call: Pull out of Paris deal

    and

        NATS DEMAND THREE COAL POWER STATIONS

      So, what is going on? We’ll look at the Nats first, then Abbott, and finally, the real world. Things are coming to a crunch point which will determine how Malcolm Turnbull’s stewardship is seen by future generations. Continue reading ‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

      National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble

      The Australia Institute has instituted a National Energy Emissions Audit , which Giles Parkinson wrote about at RenewEconomy.

      The April-May update tells us:

      • The capacity of large-scale solar generation supplying the National Electricity Market tripled between March and early May.
      • South Australia became a net energy exporter for the first time in March, selling the state’s abundant wind-generated power into Victoria.
      • NSW coal-fired power stations have been consistently at 65% capacity despite three closures and speculation over Liddell, with imports switching from Victoria to Queensland post Hazelwood.

      Continue reading National emissions audit shows NSW in some trouble

      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.

      Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

      About a month ago Meridian Australia’s CEO Ed McManus said that while the electricity market can turn on a dime, stability had returned to the market and the trend looks good. They had just concluded a swag of hydro, wind and solar power deals which will deliver cheaper electricity than the company could buy in the wholesale market. So their retail arm Powershop was offering a 5 per cent price cut to consumers.

        Electricity contracts for delivery in 2019 were trading at more than $92 per megawatt hour in Victoria and $108/MWh in South Australia a year ago, when SA and NSW had just suffered power shortages and the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station loomed.

        Contracts for 2019 have since fallen to $82.90 in Victoria and $94.36 in SA, while contracts for delivery in Victoria in 2020 and 2021 are trading at $76/MWh and $69/MWh and contracts for 2020 and 2021 in SA are trading at $86/MWh and $85/MWh.

      Continue reading Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

      Climate clippings 221

      I’ve just noticed that last September I followed CC 214 with CC 115. My bad.

      1. Solar, wind and hydro could power the world, at lower cost

      That is according to an updated study by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark summarised by Giles Parkinson.

        it lays out three different methods of not just providing 100 per cent renewables for electricity, but also for heating and cooling, for transportation, and even agriculture, forestry and fishing.

      Continue reading Climate clippings 221

      AGL’s $1.36 billion plan to replace Liddell

      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

      Turning old mine pits to electricity gold

      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

      Climate clippings 118

      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. Continue reading Climate clippings 118

      Turnbull’s New Energy Guarantee – ‘shambolic policy’ or ‘innovative and elegant’?

      Bruce Mountain in an opinion piece in the AFR (pay-walled) said the NEG was “shambolic” policy which “snatches defeat from the jaws of victory”. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, according to Laura Tingle (also pay-walled) says “the concept is innovative and elegant, and could well prove ingenious”. Continue reading Turnbull’s New Energy Guarantee – ‘shambolic policy’ or ‘innovative and elegant’?

      Turnbull does energy policy on the back of an envelope

      For over a month now I’ve been trying to do two posts – one on climate as an existential threat, and another on whether 1.5ºC is at all still possible. I keep being diverted.

      Malcolm Turnbull has been dithering for months over whether the government would accept the Finkel review recommendation for a Clean Energy Target. For some time now, it has been clear that the climate contrarians in his own party, and the Nationals starting with Barnaby Joyce, would not accept anything that is negative about coal. In the end they asked the brand new Security Energy Commission for advice, in terms that were severely constrained. They got their advice, faithful to the brief in an eight-page letter, and announced a “breakthrough” in the form of a National Energy Guarantee to deliver affordable, reliable electricity with industry and stakeholder consultations to follow, plus the necessary modelling to be undertaken only after the states have agreed. Therein lies the problem. Continue reading Turnbull does energy policy on the back of an envelope

      Queensland powers up for a warm summer

      One morning recently, 10 October I think, local ABC radio host Steve Austin called up Queensland energy minister Mark Bailey to ask him about an announcement the Queensland government had made. Something about, on a voluntary basis, turning down your aircon so it runs at 26C and being paid for the power saved.

      Bailey obviously had a story to tell, but wasn’t given a chance to tell it. Austin is not a boofhead, but he sometimes does a good imitation of one. In this case Bailey was bullied and harassed, “Just answer my question!”, which was whether the purpose of the scheme was to save people money, or to keep the lights on, I think there was a third option which I’ve forgotten. In any case the answer “All of the above” was not permitted, and we never found out what the scheme was about.

      With Bailey dispatched, Austin gave LNP spokesman Scott Emerson the opportunity of a free rant, presumably in the name of ‘balance’ with no right of reply for Bailey. Later in the morning Austin told us he had trouble getting people to come on the show! What a surprise! Continue reading Queensland powers up for a warm summer