Australia’s renewable outlook is better than Biden’s

The radicalised ABC was in foment over the weekend that the Biden Administration is about to ramp pressure on Australia to accelerate energy transformation:

Pressure is increasing on Australia to toughen up its emissions reduction policies, as US President Joe Biden launches what’s been described as an “assault on climate change.”

President Biden has signed executive orders to boost renewable energy and transform America’s reliance on fossil fuels.

It’s part of his goal to have the US reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to encourage other countries to do the same.

Perhaps. But the two country’s outlooks don’t really bear it out.

Australia’s AEMO has a central energy mix scenario based upon current policy settings:

The Central scenario demonstrates a moderate pace of change, with new developments required to replace aging assets in the next 20 years across the NEM and support existing federal and state government policies.

The Central scenario forecasts some regional concentration of large-scale renewable generation development over the near term, with renewable energy targets in Queensland and Victoria driving developments in those regions. New transmission augmentations to increase the connectivity of South Australia and Queensland into New South Wales will increase the capability of energy sharing to Australia’s most populated state, reducing the need for significant local resources in the near term.

In short, by 2035, Australia will be producing only 20% of its energy from fossil fuels, down from today’s two thirds.

On the other hand, the US outlook over a similar timeframe if we assume 750bn in renewable investment is worse, via Goldman:

The Biden Administration has flagged it would like to generate $5tr in renewables investment so there’s scope for it to do better but the Goldman outlook assumes the realistic constraints of politics.

Adjusting for the need for baseload power, the US will still be producing half of its energy from fossil fuels in 2035. Gas will be predominant but even at 50% cleaner than coal, the US will be well behind the Australian transition in terms of emissions intensity in power. That will hold back its transport revolution.

Moreover, the Biden Administration aspires to commit to 2050 net-zero whereas all Australian states have already done so even if Canberra refuses.

How will it ramp up pressure on Australia from that vantage point?

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

    • It’s fine. Straya can always buy nuclear fuel and reactors by selling more residential properties after the rest of the world has demonstrated its worth. After all, there should be insatiable demand for Strayan houses?

    • Nuclear power pretty much DIED in March 2011.

      And it will probably take another 20-60 years to become a new viable
      source of power (too late by then for commercial purposes..).

      Japanese is known for their engineering precision and
      attention to details that would make the Germans jealous!

      And the failure of Fukshima pretty much ended it all, if
      the Japanese cant do it right then..

      Its 30+ years since Chernobyl … back then the radioactive
      clouds spread across Scandinavia and Europe causing warnings
      against raised radioactivity in wild life, grazing farm
      animals and veggies for a long time.

      And Fukshima just proved the same point once again.. making it
      commercially untouchable for decades!

      Talking about nuclear power is nothing more than distraction
      these days it has zero chance of being a commercial power
      solution for at least another 20+ years.

    • Thank the gods for that.no nuke plants in Aus. Geez who wants an erroneous GE designed nuclear slice of hell. Like fukishima and all down the Mississippi.
      The current cosmic energy input is raising the activity of nuke core of plants . As well the planet is getting more cosmic energy into its plasma core and growing . Look at the massive increase in seismic activity over the past few years.

  1. Well before the Capitol riot, it became instant received wisdom across the Fake Australian Left that the world is now “racing” to net zero, with Biden as climate cop for Morrison and the “pariah” Australia.

    How distasteful to have this invigorating fairy story attacked with mere facts, whatever they are.

  2. David WilsonMEMBER

    It’s official: 2020 ranks as the second-hottest year on record for the planet, knocking 2019 down to third hottest, according to an analysis by NOAA scientists.
    2016 was the hottest recent year so our planet is not heating up as per alarmists predictions so why all the drama about cutting emissions when science also tells us that any change from the current CO2 level of around 401 ppm will have virtually no impact on our climate.
    Yes climate changes and yes our built environment has a substantial local impact increasing local temps by 2-4 degrees.
    Just to analyse my local environment there was one house sorrounded by trees.with two cars and a cloths line, this has now been replaced by 16 units, 32 cars, 16 microwaves , 16 gas cook tops, 16 dishwashers, 16 ovens, 16 refrigerators, 16 washing machine, 16 cloths driers, 32 air conditioner split systems 16 BBQ’s and a large area of concrete for visitor parking…. yep our heat output for the same block of land in Brisbane has increased at least 16 fold but none of this has anything to do with CO2 and our massive destruction of our what was once a low cost energy production system.
    If we want to get clean and green nuclear is the only way to go and for the knockers it is not 10 times dearer than solar when solar takes up to 400 times the land mass of a nuclear power station plus it needs to be replaced every 10-20 years whilst a nuclear power station last 80 years. Solar panels also have a massive impact on heating our atmosphere.

    • A good analogy to renewables is public transport.

      Public transport is subsidized because the full economic fares would be too expensive. The reason is that public transport is underutilized most of the time, that is, outside of the commuting hours. But you have to keep paying the drivers and the other workers for the other hours, too, and the costs add up.

      Is public transport useful in large cities to alleviate congestion? Sure.
      Is public transport worth subsidizing, especially in large cities? Yes.
      Is public transport economically competitive? Of course not.

      Renewables are not economically competitive if the full economic costs are accounted for, as they should. If a dam is required for hydro-storage, for example, both the costs of the land the dam will occupy and the construction costs of the dam should be included, not to mention the costs of the power lines between the dam and the generation sites and the costs of the land on which they stand.

      The renewable advocates have been less than honest in their accounting methods and still expect to be treated seriously.

    • TheLambKingMEMBER

      It’s official: 2020 ranks as the second-hottest year on record for the planet, knocking 2019 down to third hottest, according to an analysis by NOAA scientists.
      2016 was the hottest recent year so our planet is not heating up as per alarmists predictions so why all the drama about cutting emissions

      Wow. Amazing logic and one of the finest examples of cherry picking data to prove your argument! Lets grab 3 dates while ignoring the last 150 industrialised years.

      when science also tells us that any change from the current CO2 level of around 401 ppm will have virtually no impact on our climate.

      Your ‘science’ is an Andrew Bolt column? I would love to see your peer reviewed science (no, don’t send me a youtube link!) as the ‘science’ says the world will warm as we increase the CO2 levels. 500ppm will get us to 3C

      • “Lets grab 3 dates while ignoring the last 150 industrialised years.”
        That is also a cherry picking of data. How do those 150 years compare to the 5000 before that? Was the climate warming pre industrialisation?

          • Yes. Search “little Ice age” and “Medieval warm period” and the papers linked below.

          • Without a control without CO2 increase then it absolutely is cherry picking. The closest thing to a control we have available is pre industrial revolution, but it isn’t actually a very good one, and the data isn’t all that good either.

          • The question asked was “was the climate warming pre-industrialisation”.

            “We don’t have a control” in no way refutes the science behind probably the most closely scrutinised field in human history. If you have a better hypothesis and evidence to support it, by all means elaborate – but if it’s something anyone can find in thirty seconds on Sceptical Science, don’t expect to be taken seriously.

          • You disregard anything that doesn’t fit your narrative.

            Sceptical science links to all the papers you want.

      • https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1akI_yGSUlO_qEvrmrIYv9kHknq4&ll=12.60987487697489,25.80380556269847&z=2
        Was the 9th-15th century warmer than the 20th? You would say not- I would say so.
        Touch the markers on the map then the abstract and you will be diverted to he original scientific papers, the red ones suggest a warmer period and the blue cooler. The map is effectively an index to 1242 papers on the existence or otherwise of of the MWP. If this exists Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick is BS. The red markers overwhelm the blue. Don’t take my word for it. Read them yourself.

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          Are you really arguing that the world is not warming because of human activity releasing CO2 in the atmosphere?

          What are you arguing? The medievial period has no baring on what is causing the rapid warming in the last 150 years!

          • “The medievial period has no baring on what is causing the rapid warming in the last 150 years!”
            Without properly understanding it, how do you maker that claim?

          • The real point is that the Michael Mann chart is BS. If the climate was warm in the MWP and cooled to the little ice age (when the Thames repeatedly froze) and has been warming since the end of the 18th century this is not reflected in the IPCC Michael Mann chart, on which catastrophic global warming is based. If we survived self-evidently the earlier greater warming unrelated to CO2 then we will survive the current warming as we come out of the little ice age. Co2 is not a tuning nob that can dial up and down global temperature; the climate can change independent of CO2.

          • I don’t say that CO2 has no bearing, just that it is a minor player. It is a trace gas, no more. There are much more important greenhouse gases eg water vapor.
            Looking at the ice cores one can examine the effect of CO2 at historic temperatures. Temperature increase leads to CO2 coming out of the oceans into the atmosphere with higher atmospheric concentrations, not the other way around.

          • Unfortunately NOAA have prior convictions (you may not believe the source) but then again I am skeptical of NOAH.
            https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/02/20/delingpole-noaa-caught-adjusting-big-freeze-out-of-existence/

            I do trust this fellow who worked at NOAA. Like him I thought that Co2 was the cause. Like him I changed my mind. He is an insider who says that NOAA fiddled with the data for political reasons.
            https://onenewsnow.com/science-tech/2019/08/03/former-noaa-scientist-from-climate-change-alarmist-to-denier
            Listen to Rex Fleming who worked at NOAA for ages and then retired.
            Do you think he is a liar? Listen and make up your own mind.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz9v2vKSyN8

  3. Jumping jack flash

    The future is everyone provides for themselves. This is also the green utopia, without the burning of dung outside a yurt, even though dung is a very good source of energy due to its high calorific value and a yurt provides adequate shelter for even large families.

    Renewables are the perfect opportunity to achieve that future. Electric cars will allow total energy independence, which is something that we haven’t had as a society since the days of horse and cart.

    I’m looking forward to implementing this within 5 years. It is a shame that electric cars are still prohibitively expensive. I’m hoping that this changes over the next few years since Biden has reveled his vision for the future.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      After installing a small household battery with my PV system I’m confident that this will be the path going forward. Any future forecasts for behind the meter storage are way too low.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Don’t look too closely at China. Our rules don’t apply to them.

      Someone needs to keep making the stuff we use, while everyone else keeps their economies growing using nice, clean, perpetual debt, forever. Making stuff is so dirty and harmful to the environment. A pile of debt never hurt the environment, and conveniently China remains a “developing” nation forever – with an economy larger then the US’ depending on how you look at it, making all the stuff we need.

      But don’t you worry about that.

      I’m sure all of China’s pollution produced to make the stuff we need will be more than mitigated by all the wonderful planet-saving programmes all the other nations will embark on using their clean, perpetual debt. Its all about the equilibrium, after all.

  4. TheLambKingMEMBER

    Its rather (relatively) trivial how much hydrocarbons Australia consumes, and very near how much the USA consumes, at the global level.

    Ah, the old “we can’t make any difference so why do anything” argument. Classic. Let’s not pick up our rubbish at the beach. Let’s all keep having long showers in a water shortage, as we don’t make a difference! The trouble is that Australia is ACTIVELY hindering action on climate change globally – not just stalling action.

    Unless China & India start to walk the talk, the world is wasting its time as these two mega-polluters will cook the planet on their own

    China has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060. The US will have do the same soon. The mega-polluters are committing!

    • Jumping jack flash

      “China has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060. ”

      2060 might as well be 2600.
      Nobody cares about 2060. We will easily need to have median house prices of 10 million by then, and nobody stops to think how.

      The fact is that China gets a free pass while everyone else needs to achieve targets.
      That’s admirable and all, they are a “developing” nation, but the question is always, “why?”.

      It is fairly easy to see why. Just look around and see what’s happening. Connect the dots.

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        The fact is that China gets a free pass while everyone else needs to achieve targets.

        No they don’t. If the EU and the US both have policies to put carbon tariffs on imports then China & India will need to act.

        A public target is a start and sets policy. Give it time to see action and change. A 2050-2060 target means a carbon free electricity grid by about 2035.

        • Jumping jack flash

          “If the EU and the US both have policies to put carbon tariffs on imports then China & India will need to act”

          That’s great, but do they and will they?
          Why would they want to? Also, what would the WTO say about this?
          And would China just roll over and let that happen? Are “carbon tariffs” any different to any other kind of tariff?

          So many questions.

          I’m not sure I’m convinced.

    • pledges are bollocks!! China will NEVER be carbon-neutral, just like most over-populated nations, developed or otherwise.

    • Lamb King

      what’s the point in going rubbish collecting at the beach if China and India are cooking the planet? you need to prioritise your activities

  5. Besides the flaws noted above as to who is doing what in Australia vs America. The ABC seem to be ignoring that It might not be smooth sailing for Biden domestically.

    Headlines on http://www.news.com.au

    Texas preparing to sue Joe Biden over ‘hostile’ policies

    Biden will be more focused on handling the fallout locally rather than pointing any fingers at Australia as suggested by the ABC.

  6. The continual bet on the renewables wind+solar+hydro+batteries boondoggle is doomed to failure

    https://newmatilda.com/2021/01/27/delusion-and-dirty-neighbours-help-sa-cruise-through-another-heat-wave/

    ” So the wind-solar-battery bandwagon continues on its short-sighted environmentally destructive path towards that dead end. A path, of course, which has our miners of lithium, cobalt, nickel and rare earths salivating with opportunities to dig up more stuff to make more disposable energy systems.”

    But hey – don’t let maths and evidence get in the way of an ideological preference – Australia will be doomed to learn the hard way when the lights start to go out

    • “But hey – don’t let maths and evidence get in the way of an ideological preference – Australia will be doomed to learn the hard way when the lights start to go out”
      Is this a statement about renewables or the privatisation of the electricity grid? Applies to both I think.