Carbon Economy


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


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