Carbon Economy


Half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead

Via The Atlantic: Once upon a time, there was a city so dazzling and kaleidoscopic, so braided and water-rimmed, that it was often compared to a single living body. It clustered around a glimmering emerald spine, which astronauts could glimpse from orbit. It hid warm nooks and crannies, each a nursery for new life. It


Frydenberg mummifies energy truth with red tape

The combination of an evil government and the reflexive support of Newscorp has doomed the Australian energy market. Via The Australian: Major Australian companies and small businesses are struggling to cope with record electricity price hikes that have forced them to seek alternative power sources, consider cutting thousands of jobs and pass costs on to


Victoria: There is no NEG

The truth comes out: Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio says the state will not sign up to Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy tomorrow, demanding more information before the Andrews government makes a final decision by August. …Ms D’Ambrosio said Victoria was engaged in the policy but wanted a more detailed design of the NEG, demanding


MB Radio: Australia’s hidden normal comes out

  Ahead of the May budget Gunnamatta spoke with Leith van Onselen and David Llewellyn-Smith about the economic outlook and the unfolding Australian economic narrative.  In a wide ranging discussion Leith and David cover Australia’s reliance on commodity exports and the implication a subsiding global commodity market has for this dependence, as well as the potential


Adani to drain Australia’s scarce water reserves

By Leith van Onselen Late last year, The Conversation created the below infographic explaining the key impacts expected from Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine, which is well worth a look: </p> For mine, the most damning information contained in this infographic is that: Adani would be allowed to extract unlimited volumes of water from the


ACCC warns on Do-nothing energy guarantee

Via the AFR: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has warned the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee could stifle competition in the energy sector or push up prices for businesses and consumers if it was not properly designed. While the Energy Security Board said competition issues could not be given further consideration until


Greens push to ban petrol cars

Via The Guardian: The Greens have proposed introducing mandatory fuel efficiency standards, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and imposing a four-year 17% tax on luxury petrol and diesel cars as part of an electric vehicle policy announced on Tuesday. Under the proposal Australia would adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency


Do-nothing Energy Guarantee roundly trashed

The AFR kicks it off: The chief executive of 10 retailers who represent 10 per cent of the National Electricity Market – including ERM Power, 1st Energy, Covau, Locality Planning Energy, Energy Locals, Click Energy, Winconnect, Next Business Energy, Globird and Bluenrg – said while the transition to renewable energy was inevitable it would not


Turnbull Government ‘rattles the tin’ for Adani

By Leith van Onselen Following last month’s confirmation by the Turnbull Government that the Adani Carmichael mega coal mine would not receive Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) funding for the rail line, I thought the project would die a quiet death. Not so, with Fairfax today reporting that the Turnbull Government is seeking to provide


Arctic heatwave spooks scientists

Via the Fake Left: An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change. Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once


Update on battery pricing

I had a few questions from investors about how the numbers from Reneweconomy earlier this week showing that batteries+solar are at grid parity in Adelaide stack up against our analysis.  The short answer is that salesmanship is all about framing. The numbers are similar, with high electricity prices, relatively good solar resources in Adelaide and


Carbon emissions march higher

Via WaPo: Barely two years ago, after weeks of intense bargaining in Paris, leaders from 195 countries announced a global agreement that once had seemed impossible. For the first time, the nations of the world would band together to reduce humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to hold off the most devastating effects of climate


Weatherill ups renewable target to 75%

Absolute legend: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is lifting his state’s renewable energy target to 75 per cent by 2025, doubling down a controversial approach to energy policy that has angered the Turnbull government. Mr Weatherill, who faces an election on March 17 in which energy policy is one of the main issues, said on Wednesday he


Turnbull’s NEG begins to fall apart

Via AFR: The Energy Security Board’s discussion paper on the National Energy Guarantee shows the ESB has begun to recognise “the complexity of the beast it has created” but made no progress in resolving it, says Bruce Mountain, director of Carbon + Energy Markets. The ESB paper released Thursday posed 79 questions to be resolved


Fake Left appalled at its own environmental destruction

By Leith van Onselen Fake Left sheet, The Guardian has labelled a “national disgrace” the loss of biodiversity across Australia as massive rates of land clearing and urbanisation over-run the natural habitat: More than 1,800 plant and animal species and ecological communities are at risk of extinction right now… Australia’s management of threatened species… has seen


Adani are environmental vandals

By Leith van Onselen Back in October, a former Indian environment minister sounded the alarm on Indian mining giant Adani’s poor track record: India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is “absolutely appalled” by the Australian Government’s approval of the Adani Group’s massive coal mine in North Queensland, which he says will threaten the survival of


Another nail in Adani’s coffin

By Leith van Onselen The likelihood of Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine project going ahead has shrunk some more. Following this week’s confirmation by the Turnbull Government that the Adani Carmichael mine will not receive NAIF funding for the rail line, Australia’s largest rail freight company, Aurizon, says it will withdraw its application for a federal


Is this the final nail in Adani’s coffin?

By Leith van Onselen The likelihood of Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine project going ahead continues to shrink. Before its re-election last year, Queensland’s Palaszczuk Labor Government promised to veto Adani’s application for a loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for a vital rail line. Last week, federal Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, stepped-up his


Why Greens’ urban infill utopia will make our cities hotter

By Leith van Onselen With scientists claiming that Sydney and Melbourne need to prepare for 50℃ days by the end of the century, The Conversation has produced an interesting podcast examining ways to make our cities cooler, with the main solution being to plant more trees, especially deciduous ones. One area that does not receive


Why does the Coalition hate electric cars?

Via GovernmentNews: Australia is a laggard compared to other countries when it comes to encouraging the use of electric vehicles (EVs). The ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia which offers any sort of incentive to motorists to go electric. This is in stark contrast to most of the rest of the developed world. Most


Renewables go boom!

Via AFR: As of the end of December, there were 4,417 megawatts of renewables projects under construction around the country, up by almost 500 MW from a month earlier, according to data released on Thursday by Green Energy Markets, an adviser on clean energy. Wind farms under construction will produce twice as much power every


Australia to make electric cars or die of Frydenbergitis?

Some Coalition in-fighting on electric cars and a new electric “Black Cab” in London caught my eye overnight and given our investment interest in electric cars I thought it worth an update on the investment arithmetic. Electric Vehicle investment numbers Of more interest, given our view that electric cars are at the cross-over point for taxis


Is the oil to gas switch making climate change worse?

Via Desmog: Over the past few years, natural gas has become the primary fuel that America uses to generate electricity, displacing the long-time king of fossil fuels, coal. In 2019, more than a third of America’s electrical supply will come from natural gas, with coal falling to a second-ranked 28 percent, the Energy Information Administration predicted this month, marking the growing


2017 was the second hottest year in recorded history

Yes its getting hotter. From the Washington Post: The year was the second-hottest in recorded history, NASA said, while scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 2017 was the third-warmest they have ever recorded. The two government agencies use different methodologies to calculate global temperatures, but by either standard, the 2017 results make the