Carbon Economy


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


Rising global temperatures mean more extreme weather

Let us repeat together: localised weather does not equal global climate conditions. Extreme weather events of increasing magnitude and frequency, almost all of which have been predicted by climate change models, however are climactic. A record heat wave in Australia, with Sydney experiencing its hottest day in nearly 80 years might embolden those who are trying to get


Record temperatures to shut down Aussie factories

The world’s hottest country with the world’s largest energy reserves can’t power its nearly non existent manufacturing industry – a paltry few paper and steel mills – over the weekend because its populous is addicted to air conditioners. No, not a headline from The Onion, but reality in PolicyfailureLand, aka Australia. From The Australian Energy Market Operator,


2017 was hot, real hot even without an El Nino

In case you missed it, its hot. Real hot. Damn hot. And that’s just the last couple of days. 2017 on the other hand… From Futurism: According to NASA data pulled together by The Guardian, 2017 was the second hottest year ever recorded, and the hottest ever if we don’t consider years when El Niño’s influence drove


Population ponzi means Australia will badly miss its emissions targets

By Leith van Onselen Late last year, it was revealed that Australia’s carbon emissions are on the rise and the nation is on track to badly miss the scientifically based targets set by the government’s Climate Change Authority, as well as those under the Paris agreement. Then in July, the federal government released data showing


AGL, NAB: Coal dead

Via Reneweconomy: AGL says no private investor would invest in new coal plant, but says battery storage is coming and will be major game changer as costs fall – which may not be far away. Several days after formally rejecting federal government requests that it invest hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the ageing


MB Fund webinar: The future of energy

For 12.30 today: Fossil fuels have a limited time as viable sources of energy. And I’m not talking about saving the planet or carbon taxes, simply economics. Coal, gas, oil, all have economics based on a “scarcity curve” – the more we use them, the deeper we need to dig to find more and more expensive they


Here comes the electric truck

Via Platts: E-trucks matter because growth in commercial transportation is a key factor expected to keep the oil market on a low but steady growth path out to 2040 and beyond, at least according to most long-term outlooks. If commercial transportation can adopt electrification, it would result oil demand peaking much earlier than most forecasts


NEG to kill large scale wind and solar boom

By Leith van Onselen Modelling by Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests the federal government’s proposed national energy guarantee (NEG) will deter investments in large renewable energy projects if the emission reductions target that the government prefers is not changed. This modelling comes as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and his state counterparts meet to discuss the


Renewables to eventually lower power prices

Via The Guardian: Modelling commissioned by the Turnbull government as part of its efforts to back in the national energy guarantee says renewables will drive the first wave of price reductions under the policy. It also floats substantial regulatory intervention to stop the electricity market becoming even more concentrated. The work by Frontier Economics, obtained


March to renewables unstoppable

Via AFR: The global head of energy at Acciona, the world’s biggest green utility, is undeterred by the uncertainty of Australia’s future energy and climate policy and is earmarking about $600 million for new solar, wind and storage plants over the next three to four years. Rafael Mateo said Australia would capture almost one third


Chief Scientist: Labor 50% renewable target easy

Via The Australian: Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has contradicted the government’s claims that Labor’s 50 per cent ­renewables target by 2030 is irresponsible, issuing a major report that says it could be met easily without jeopardising reliability and without the need for significant investment in energy storage. The study into Australia’s ­future energy storage needs


Scientists: population growth “primary driver behind ecological and societal threats”

By Leith van Onselen 15,364 scientists from 180 countries have put their names to a BioScience journal article calling for population growth to be limited, and governments to stop only focusing on economic growth. According to the ABC article attached to the report, “the number is believed to be the largest group of scientists to


Global greenhouse gas emissions surge

Via the ABC: Global CO2 emissions have risen for the first time in three years as scientists warn Australia’s 2030 Paris agreement target is slipping out of reach. In a report published on Monday, researchers say the increase in global emissions is largely due to growth in coal-fired electricity generation and oil and gas consumption


World greenhouse gas emissions leapt in 2016

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Global average carbon dioxide concentrations rose by 0.8% during 2016, the largest annual increase ever observed. According to figures released overnight by the World Meteorological Organisation, atmospheric CO₂ concentrations reached 403.3 parts per million. This is the highest level for at least 3 million years, having climbed by 3.3 ppm relative


High density living worse for environment

By Leith van Onselen A new report has been released which argues that high-density living is less environmentally friendly than suburban living. From All Homes: In a revelation that challenges the long-held assumption that it’s more efficient to reside in a vertical village than a horizontal one, the three-year US study shows that apartment dwellers


Inundation: Warming sea level rise models revised up

Via Domain: Coal use will have to be “pretty much” gone by mid-century if the planet is to avoid sea-level rise of more than a metre by 2100 as Antarctic ice sheets disintegrate faster than expected, new modelling by an Australian-led team has found. On business-as-usual projections, sea-level rise by the end of the century could exceed 1.3 metres compared


Another week, another Adani scandal

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, ABC’s Four Corners revealed that Adani has set up secret tax havens so that it can avoid paying tax to Australians once the Carmichael mega-coal project is up and running: …experts say an opaque web of companies and trusts behind its Australian assets gives it ample opportunity to


Greens win! Population ponzi hands Straya silver in biodiversity loss

By Leith van Onselen Australia is one of seven countries responsible for more than half of global biodiversity loss, according to a study published today. From The ABC [my emphasis]: Scientists based their findings on the worsening in conservation status of species between 1996 and 2008 on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature


NEG does not end the climate wars

Via the AFR: The key Labor states of Victoria and South Australia have left the door open to the National Energy Guarantee while maintaining their rage against the Turnbull government for shifting the policy behind their backs. …Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said Labor will seek concessions for its support so as not to be


Labor to take its time on NEG

Quite rightly: “What’s very clear is that the government is scrambling. We have policy on the run. We have an energy policy being put together with strings and bandaids,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Tuesday morning. “What is very clear and has been publicly confirmed by the Energy Security Board, is that this policy that


Has Do-nothing Malcolm “ended the climate wars”?

I am going to do back-flip with a triple pike here. Do-nothing Malcolm has circumvented Tony Abbott on carbon: The Coalition party room has endorsed the government’s new energy plan, despite objections from Tony Abbott and others that the policy still has a component aimed at reducing emissions….Energy retailers will be required to meet standards


Loons take over the energy asylum

According to the AFR, it is all Trump’s fault: As Donald Trump given Malcolm Turnbull international cover to backtrack on climate change policy? At the same time the government this week was signalling its intention to abandon a clean energy target, President Trump was dumping Barack Obama’s limits on carbon emissions from power plants. You


Farewell internal combustion engine

We’ve been pointing out for some time that global electric car sales outlooks are generally far too bearish. They generally show a steady rise but the history of the uptake of new technologies once past certain tipping points shows are parabolic trend: Today we are joined in that view by an excellent report by BofAML