Carbon Economy


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


Aussies oppose Adani. So why are politicians persisting?

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, thousands of Australians across the country joined protests against the Adani Carmichael mega-coal project. From The ABC: Rallies in locations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in North Queensland heard messages against Indian company Adani’s proposed mine in the Galilee Basin… Protesters spelled out


Adani white elephant won’t even pay Australian tax

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, it was former Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, and the former head of India’s Ministry of Power, E.A.S Sarma, sounding the alarm on Adani’s track record and the Carmichael coal mega-mine’s viability: “Adani Group’s track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired,” Mr Ramesh


Former Indian minister slams Adani’s poor track record

By Leith van Onselen The justification behind the proposed $1 billion concessional loan from Australian taxpayers to Adani to build the Carmichael coal project has taken another hit today with a former Indian environment minister sounding the alarm on Adani’s track record and the mega-mine’s viability. From The ABC: India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh


Why renewables will soon be cheaper than coal

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In a recent Conversation FactCheck I examined the question: “Is coal still cheaper than renewables as an energy source?” In that article, we assessed how things stand today. Now let’s look to the future. In Australia, 87% of our electricity generation comes from fossil fuels. That’s one of the highest levels


Renewables must double to meet Paris Agreement

Via The Australia Institute today: Under the Abbott Government, Australia signed the Paris climate agreement, committing to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. The electricity sector will play a significant role in meeting these targets, as it accounts for 35% of the country’s total emissions. A central question concerning the electricity


BHP sacks Minerals Council coal trog

The winds of change are upon us: BHP’s falling out with the Minerals Council of Australia has claimed the scalp of the lobby group’s chief executive, Brendan Pearson. …his advocacy for coal and opposition to the Finkel review’s Clean Energy Target left him and the MCA increasingly isolated from BHP, with the simmering tensions coming


An island made of coal

Coal is fast disappearing from the future of the global energy mix. As the EIA noted this week: The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040. Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the


Do-nothing Malcolm spruiks coal to stop climate change

What kind of a hollow suit is this bloke? Malcolm Turnbull has slapped down Tony Abbott, declaring the former prime minister was wrong in saying the emissions targets signed in Paris Agreement were aspirational. The Prime Minister said his predecessor was being disingenuous in arguing Australia could scrap plans to cut emissions by 26 to


Science systematically understating climate change

A new report from David Spratt who is Research Director for Breakthrough and co-author of Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action. His recent reports include Recount: It’s time to “Do the math” again, Climate Reality Check, Antarctic Tipping Points for a Multi-metre Sea-level Rise and Disaster Alley: Climate change, conflict and risk, and


Go the pope, not the dope

by Chris Becker First the Pope: Pope Francis, called upon world leaders on Wednesday to “listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology.” Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Orthodox Christian Church, will issue a joint message to commemorate


Coalition doyen: Strayan Sun no good for power

From Nick Cater executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, the Coalition’s chief think tank: Last week the Victorian government showed casual disregard for the findings of the Finkel review by committing itself to a renewable energy target of 40 per cent by 2025. It announced the construction of yet more solar farms and promised households


Earth swelters

From the NOAA: The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for July 2017 was the second highest for the month of July in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back 138-years to 1880. The year-to-date global temperature was also second warmest on record. This monthly summary, developed by scientists at NOAA’s