Carbon Economy

58

Volvo abandons internal combustion engine

Via Reuters: Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said on Wednesday all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids, spelling the eventual end to nearly a century of Volvos powered solely by the internal combustion engine. The Gothenburg-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date, but

20

Three years to prevent climate change

Via The Guardian: Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change is still just about possible, but will require unprecedented effort and coordination from governments, businesses, citizens and scientists in the next three years, a group of prominent experts has warned. Warnings over global warming have picked up pace in recent months, even as the political environment

8

Finkel delivers, but for what?

Do-Labor Malcolm is happy at the AFR: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says chief scientist Alan Finkel’s report on energy security will take the “ideology and politics” out of climate policy. Dr Finkel will present his review to Mr Turnbull and premiers at COAG in Hobart on Friday. The centrepiece of Dr Finkel’s report is his recommendation

16

Loon Pond stirs on energy

From King Toad of the Loon Pond: Mr Abbott said the nation’s power system should be run to provide “affordable, reliable energy, not primarily to reduce emissions”. “My anxiety, based on the reports we have seen, is that the scenario which the Finkel report is recommending gives us not 50 per cent, but 70 per

21

Will the loons cause energy chaos AGAIN?

Via The Australian, even as just about every business interest in the country and world condemns the Trump Paris dump: A breakaway group of Coalition MPs is urging Malcolm Turnbull to consider pulling Australia out of the Paris climate accord after Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and shattered the international consensus on limiting global temperature

21

Trump walks, Europe and China bond on climate

At The Australian: US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Axios news outlet reports, citing two unidentified sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Trump refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more

52

Which suburbs will climate change sink?

Via The New Daily: Some of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs, major cities and crucial pieces of infrastructure, such as Sydney airport, could be underwater in just decades, according to an alarming new prediction. A newly developed map of Australia, based on data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) in the US, shows places like Port Melbourne, Sydney’s

16

Climate change floods Doomsday seed vault

File this one under human folly, Via The Guardian: It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary

8

British power logs first ever coal-free day

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

15

Coal-mad Coalition embarrasses itself

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

8

Coalition moves to install anti-carbon price

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

5

Renewables not saving the world…yet

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.

45

Records tumble through Straya’s “angry summer”

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

27

Turnbull tech wreck spreads from NBN to renewables

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

43

As gas and power prices rocket, Straya to ban home batteries

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.

24

Shorten reaffirms 50% renewables target

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

28

Who uses Australian electricity?

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,

40

One Nation drongo vs CSIRO on renewables

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

3

BHP gouges itself with gas

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

67

APRA warns on climate change risks

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,

82

SA to nationalise power market?

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

18

Pathetic Labor folds on RET

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

25

Devine retribution: Most stupid ever?

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

24

How smart solar can protect vulnerable power grids

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

36

Electricity death spiral hits WA

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

61

New coal plants wouldn’t be clean and would cost taxpayers billions

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.