Carbon Economy


Professor Ian Lowe: Mass immigration is a mass environment killer

By Leith van Onselen Back in March, Dr Jonathan Sobels – a senior research fellow at the University of South Australia and the author of a key 2010 report prepared for the Department of Immigration entitled Long-term physical implications of net overseas migration: Australia in 2050 – gave a brilliant incisive interview on ABC’s Radio


As the earth cooks, the NEG burns

The BBC has it: It may sound like the title of a low budget sci-fi movie, but for planetary scientists, “Hothouse Earth” is a deadly serious concept. Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come. Even if countries succeed in meeting their


Musk looking to privatise Tesla

by Chris Becker Elon Musk has “surprised” the market by laying out a tentative plan to privatise the currently publicly listed Tesla electric car/solar energy company with a $420 per share price offer. Shares lifted nearly 11% to finish at just below $380 per share in response, following a similar surge after the Q2 earnings


Why the NEG is unlikely to lower power prices

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The final design document for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), released this week, contains a range of claims about the policy’s ability to drive down both greenhouse emissions and electricity prices. But still there is precious little detail on how exactly these assertions are backed up. Specifically, two claims in the


Tesla shorts ram into a wall

by Chris Becker Long term Macrobusiness readers have grown savvy to the underlying ideologies that imbibe the media narrative. Domainfax pushes property, The Australian raison de etre is to kill Labor, The Smage and Guardian espouse the faux left empty shrillness. The AFR says business is awesome. You won’t believe what says, click here


Coalition errupts in civil war over NEG

By Leith van Onselen First the company tax cuts. Now the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has divided the Turnbull Government, with various Coalition MPs slamming the policy. Here’s Tony Abbott: Tony Abbott has attacked the final design of Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy, labelling claims it will reduce prices as “wrong” and “completely implausible”. The


The lunacy of gas imports exposed

Via The Australian: Fresh gas shortages on Australia’s east coast could emerge from mid-2019 — two years sooner than official forecasts — due to a sharp decline in Victorian offshore gas production piling renewed pressure on domestic prices, a private firm fronted by former BHP executives has warned. Venice Energy, the Mitsubishi-backed venture that aims


Pauline to kill NEG

Sometimes you have to look on in a kind of reverse awe, via The Australian: Key Senate crossbenchers Pauline Hanson and David Leyon­hjelm have warned Malcolm Turnbull they could sink his ­national energy guarantee if he is forced to rely on independent support to secure his signature ­energy reform. The One Nation Leader said yesterday


Labor right to trash NEG

Via The Australian: Federal Labor has condemned Malcolm Turnbull’s national ­energy guarantee, declaring its “pathetic’’ emissions cuts will ­stifle renewable energy investment, threatening to extend a decade-long policy deadlock that has sent electricity prices soaring. Labor hardened its position on the NEG yesterday as the government offered an olive branch to wavering states, pledging a


NEG gets marginally less stupid

Via The Guardian: Josh Frydenberg has offered an olive branch on the national energy guarantee, telling state energy ministers the emissions reduction target can be reviewed after five years – stepping back from an ambit claim that it be locked in for a decade. The concession is flagged in a commonwealth paper circulated to the states late


NEG collapses into fossil fuel farce

Via Reneweconomy: Barely a week after submissions closed on the Turnbull government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, a “decisions” paper of the controversial policy proposal has been delivered to state and territory governments, ahead of the crucial August 10 COAG Energy Council meeting. The 39-page Energy Security Board document has been distributed and a copy obtained


Gupta: Renewables cheaper than coal

Via The Guardian: The British billionaire who rescued the Whyalla steelworks from administration and is spending more than $2bn on clean energy and green steel developments in regional South Australia says most Australians are yet to grasp that solar power is now a cheaper option than new coal-fired electricity. Sanjeev Gupta, an industrialist whose family-owned GFG Alliance group of companies


How Snowy Hydro storage works

Via Westpac: As investor and energy industry interest runs high in Snowy Hydro’s big expansion plans, Chief Executive Paul Broad predicts greater reliability and lower electricity prices. As the balance of Australia’s energy generation moves inexorably towards renewable sources, battery storage is becoming critical. By its nature, renewable energy from wind and solar sources is


Trash the NEG

Via The Guardian: A national energy guarantee with a more ambitious emissions reduction target of 45% by 2030 would lead to power prices falling over the life of the scheme in contrast to the Turnbull government’s proposal, according to new modelling. With the Neg bound for a make-or-break meeting in August, the new number crunching


Industry, unions, experts condemn NEG

Via The Australian: “Although the technology is evolving, batteries are not ready for widespread grid-scale application for extended periods and pumped hydro is not available in all areas,” Dow’s Australian president, Louis Vega, said in its submission to the Energy Security Board. “Similarly, there is insufficient demand response to offset rapid changes in supply. To


Adani white elephant ‘almost locked in’, says son

By Leith van Onselen With the Turnbull Government confirming that the Adani Carmichael coal mine will not receive NAIF funding, Australia’s largest rail freight company – Aurizon – stating that it will withdraw its application for a federal government loan to build the rail corridor, as well as deep public opposition, the project should have


AEMO confirms the end of coal

Via Reneweconomy: The Australian Energy Market Operator, in a ground-breaking study, has confirmed that the cheapest and smartest replacement for the country’s ageing coal capacity will be in solar, wind and storage technologies. In the long awaited release of its Integrated System Plan, AEMO says much of Australia’s coal capacity will retired by 2040 because


Industry exposes the idiocy of the NEG

Via the AFR: Big business, energy companies industry groups have called on the Turnbull government to allow future governments to be able to adjust the emissions reduction target more often than every five years to ensure Australia meets its international climate targets. With the Energy Security Board finalising the design of the National Energy Guarantee


GetUp and Greenpeace right to trash the NEG

Via The Guardian: The Queensland and Victorian governments will be hit with a new television advertising campaign in an effort to persuade them to torpedo the national energy guarantee at a critical meeting in early August. The activist group GetUp has combined with Greenpeace to bankroll what it describes as hard-hitting television advertisements targeting the


ACCC energy idiocy exposed

From Bartho today: It is a measure of the complexity of the issues, the scale and number of the deficiencies and the difficulty of responding to them that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into energy affordability has come up with 56 recommendations. It is also a pointer to the convoluted nature of our


Three-quarters of cafes in on migrant wages scam

Via The Guardian: Businesses have been forced to pay back almost half a million dollars to 616 workers following Fair Work ombudsman audits of the hospitality industry in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane that found 72% of businesses had breached workplace laws. Fair Work inspectors visited 243 businesses on Victoria Street in Melbourne’s Richmond, Glebe Point Road


Battery power tipping point approaching fast

The shoe is on the other foot for a change with a Chinese company (recently listed Contemporary Amperex Technology – the world’s largest EV battery manufacturer) announcing a new factory in Germany yesterday. From Bloomberg: CATL and the state of Thueringia in central Germany Monday announced a plan to build a 16-gigawatt lithium-ion plant close to


Why would anyone listen to ACCC advice on energy?

The ACCC is breathing fire, via The Australian: The competition watchdog has called for radical reform of the ­National Electricity Market to bring down prices, claiming the gouging of households and business consumers has reached an “unacceptable” level with widespread abuse of market power by the larger energy companies. Recommending the most significant shake-up of


Macquarie calls out Twiggy gas gouge

I’ve been a lone voice on this as usual but no more. Via The Australian: A spat over gas prices has erupted between the Andrew Forrest-backed consortium planning to build Australia’s first import facility and Santos as concerns grow that the domestic producer may be forced to shelve its controversial Narrabri project in gas-starved NSW.


Any royal commission into power must include gas

Via The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure from both sides of politics to establish a royal commission into retail electricity pricing, with the Greens to table a bill for a wide-ranging inquiry amid a push by Coalition backbenchers for the Prime Minister to launch an ­investigation into the conduct of power companies. The Greens


Gas cartel carbon tax drives Aussie households into battery boom

Via AFR: Last year the combined power of batteries installed by Australia’s 1.8 million solar rooftop homes and businesses and grid batteries such as Tesla and Neoen Australia’s 100 megawatt Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia was 246 MW, a report by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel says, citing the Greentech report. That was well ahead of Germany and


How can China stimulate as it slows?

For some time now I have been describing China’s “impossible trinity”, the difficulty it faces in managing capital flows, currency value and interest rates as the US Fed tightens while it slows. Goldman today mulls what its options are: In the past week we met with investors in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and the tone remains


Throw out the NEG

It’s a strange row that we hoe on energy. Via the AFR: Renewable energy generated nearly 19 per cent of national grid power in the year to June 30 and is on track to meet the Turnbull government’s emissions target without the National Energy Guarantee, a new report says. New wind and solar generation being


The dirty heart of Frydenpork’s coal push

Via The Australian: Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will meet pro-coal Nationals MPs and visit a coal-fired power station in a tour of marginal Queensland seats as he comes under pressure from the minor Coalition partner to underwrite three new baseload power plants. Mr Frydenberg will meet ­Nationals MPs Michelle Landry and Ken O’Dowd — two