Via The Guardian: Friday was Britain’s first ever working day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid. The control room tweeted the milestone on Friday. It is the first continuous 24-hour coal-free period for Britain since use of the fossil fuel began. West Burton 1 power station, the only coal-fired
Cross-posted from Reneweconomy. [Coalition] Senators Chris Back and Jonathon Duniam – were included in the dissenting report to the Senate inquiry into the resilience of electricity infrastructure in a warming world…In essence, the Coalition’s report was a collection of renewable energy myths that might have been collected from far-right anti-wind and climate denying websites: For
From The Australian: The Australian understands that after the Coalition’s decision to rule out an emissions intensity scheme, which puts a price on carbon in the electricity market to encourage investment in renewables, the government is warming to an alternative market signal that would put in place a 50-year rule for Australia’s fleet of coal-fired
Via Macquarie: Last week we hosted BP’s Chief Economist, Spencer Dale, to hear the oil major’s latest views on the likely trajectory of global energy markets. A key industry reference point, the Global Energy Outlook 2035, is a deep dive into future energy scenarios and has major implications for renewables and climate change analysis.
From the Climate Institute annual report: KEY FINDINGS 1. The Australian summer of 2016/17 marked the return of the Angry Summer with record-breaking heat especially in the east of the nation. The Angry Summer was characterised by intense heatwaves, hot days and bushfires in central and eastern Australia, while heavy rainfall and flooding affected the
From Crikey: Just like his broadband policy, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he wants energy policy to be technology neutral. Perhaps he should re-examine his broadband policy before embarking on clean coal projects. When Turnbull kicked off his 2017 by targeting Labor on energy prices and security, he said the government needed to be
Last week, the local gas price, which determines prices in the National Electricity Market (NEM), rebounded to $11.01/Gj, roughly 400% higher than the long term average. Meanwhile, the very same Australian gas was being delivered in Japan for $8.45Gj, roughly two thirds below its long term average price: The reason is the east coast gas cartel.
From Reneweconomy: Opposition leader Bill Shorten has accused the Coalition government of policy vandalism on energy, and committed to an emissions intensity scheme that he insists will deliver Labor’s target of 50 per cent renewables in the country’s electricity system by 2030. In a landmark speech at the Bloomberg headquarters in Sydney on Thursday, Shorten
By Leith van Onselen The ABS yesterday released its annual energy account report for 2014-15, which revealed that Australian households have become more energy efficient: “Despite a small increase in energy use, Australian households are becoming more efficient in their use of energy”, said Lauren Binns from the ABS’ Environment and Agriculture Branch. “On average,
It’s a world turned upside down. From Reneweconomy: The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems. The CSIRO estimate
Via The Australian: BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, who took a $US105 million cost hit at the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia after recent blackouts, says the nation’s renewable energy schemes could raise costs and reduce power security while having no impact on emissions. The head of the world’s biggest
Guest post from Kate Mackenzie of the Climate Institute. APRA’s Geoff Summerhayes on Friday delivered a whole speech entirely about climate change risk at the Insurance Council of Australia conference on Friday. It’s the first time any of Australia’s financial authorities have so clearly addressed this topic (although many of their international peers have been doing so almost two years). So,
Big news here: Federal and state energy ministers will today be told by the Weatherill Labor government that it will “retake control” of South Australia’s fragile power network so blackouts “do not happen again”. The Weatherill government, which faces an election in just over 12 months, maintains last week’s forced power cut to 90,000 homes
From Giles Parkinson today: Federal Labor has effectively abandoned its 50 per cent renewable energy target after its leaders failed hopelessly to identify the obvious arguments to defend the policy. Instead – less than a week after the Coalition made idiots of themselves by bringing a lump of coal into Question Time, Labor appears to have
I’ve had a run-in with our Miranda over climate change so I completely get this, from Giles Parkinson: Heaven knows the competition is stiff: every day throws up extraordinary claims by any number of columnists in the Murdoch media. But we think we have found what could be the dumbest thing ever written by a
Cross-posted from The Conversation: Some commentators seem to be worried that our electricity networks are facing an impending voltage crisis, citing fears that renewables (rooftop solar panels in particular) will threaten the quality of our power supply. These concerns hinge on the fact that solar panels and other domestic generators can push up voltages, potentially
By Leith van Onselen The electricity “death spiral” has, for a long time, been a key risk facing electricity generators/distributors globally. The “death spiral” arises when demand for power declines, due in part to customers taking up solar, leading to higher prices to cover fixed network costs. That is, the more people that take-up solar
Cross-posted from The Conversation: Following a campaign by the coal industry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has argued for new coal-fired power stations in Australia. But these plants would be more expensive than renewables and carry a huge liability through the carbon emissions they produce. Major Australian energy companies have ruled out building new coal plants.
Juxtaposition is a nice word. Just as the world gears up for a new oligarchy – two days before the US presidential inauguration – comes news from NASA that 2016 was the warmest year on record. From the source: Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent
My favourite Economist section, The Technology Quarterly recently came out with a focus on voice recognition. The key reason for the focus is that Microsoft Switchboard reached a 5.9% error rate – which is the same error rate as a human transcriber and considerably better than the average offshore call centre operator I’ll bet… There are
Australian energy policy 101. Build enormous LNG plants for export only, reserving none of the cheap energy locally? Check Actively discourage any renewable energy production while heavily subsidising dirty coal power plants? Check Sell off publicly owned energy utilities to private sector who then gold plate it for excess profit? Check Household energy bills rising
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has published an extremely sobering report on the nation’s (and world) climate, with figures showing that 2016 was the fourth hottest on record for Australia. From the ABC: Assistant Director for Climate Information Services, Neil Plummer, said 2016 was an “eventful year” with significant climate drivers affecting the country’s weather.
From the AFR: Australia is on track to miss its 2030 carbon pollution reduction target, with official data released ahead of the Christmas break showing emissions are still rising. The federal government on Thursday made public the official quarterly emissions data for the year to June showing an increase of 0.8 per cent on the
The AFR is doing a good job on climate change in recent weeks (several years too late), carrying the torch for carbon pricing. More today: Households in the eastern states will pay an average $78 more for their power in 2018-19 thanks to the Hazelwood brown coal power station’s closure in Victoria – with South