Category: Energy

Zero sum game: questions surround Australia’s electricity transition – Michael West

Australian electricity market

The Australian Energy Market Operator is not the right organisation to be conducting the dramatic overhaul required for the economy, writes Zacharias Szumer.

Source: Zero sum game: questions surround Australia’s electricity transition – Michael West

Australia’s Gas Crisis Proves It’s Time to Renationalize Energy

Australia’s Gas Crisis Proves It’s Time to Renationalize Energy

Although in the short-term, we are still reliant on the environmentally destructive gas industry, in the long term, it must be eliminated. As Matt Bruenig from the People’s Policy Project has pointed out, it’s exactly industries like these that ought to be publicly owned and managed. The private market has already shown it can’t lead us towards decarbonization — and now, it can’t even guarantee a reliable supply. It’s time to renationalize energy.

The cost of renationalizing the energy industry is hardly a problem. Purchasing a profitable asset means that it will eventually pay for itself. The only real cost, therefore, would be the interest paid on the debt to purchase it, a fact that even critics of nationalization are willing to acknowledge. And considering fossil fuel subsidies already cost the government an absurd $11.6 billion last year, it’s not as if governments are unwilling to spend big to keep the industry afloat.

Politicians and energy companies say there’s a gas supply crisis, but huge price increases are caused by profiteering private corporations. It’s long past time to renationalize them.

Australia’s Gas Crisis Proves It’s Time to Renationalize Energy

They’re not shivering in Honkers: Australians’ electricity pain is two billionaires’ gain – Michael West

EnergyAustralia

Overseas transfers

Last year, $322 million, compared to just over $1 billion the year before, was transferred overseas before being taxed in the form of transfers to related companies, while another half-billion was siphoned off in recharges to unspecified associates. 

There is simply not enough disclosure about where the money is going or why, but the activities of EnergyAustralia on the tax front have not escaped the attention of the Tax Office. The group disclosed that the ATO had been investigating its affairs.

One of EnergyAustraia’s Mount Piper generators in NSW came online on Tuesday morning, but too late according to a release filed in Hong Kong which said that the company is out billions in potential profit from electricity forward contracts. The company was forced to purchase expensive electricity from the market after having troubles with both its Mount Piper and Yallourn power stations in Victoria.

The company said the overall increase in energy prices will yield higher returns in the long run, so long as it can keep its coal and gas power stations in operation and “purchase fuel as required, generate and dispatch electricity at the higher prices”.

As Australians pay the price for decades of poor energy planning two Hong Kong billionaires Michael Kadoorie and Li Ka-Shing are cleaning up.

Source: They’re not shivering in Honkers: Australians’ electricity pain is two billionaires’ gain – Michael West

How your spiking energy bills are making foreign investors rich – ABC News

An aerial shot of the Gorgon gas project on the coast of Western Australia.

Two decades ago, then-treasurer Peter Costello blocked Shell from a takeover of Woodside, arguing that a foreign takeover of the North-West Shelf was against the national interest. It’s happened anyway.

Source: How your spiking energy bills are making foreign investors rich – ABC News

Power companies accused of engineering crisis for profit

power companies

Compo claim Australia’s highly-regulated markets have created infinite opportunities for manipulation and even the government-owned Snowy Hydro has been accused of gaming the system. Power companies say their hands have been forced by perverse incentives. On Tuesday, the nation’s top energy regulator wrote to power generators to remind them of their legal obligations and to suggest they may have engineered recent shortfalls in order to access the compensation payments that companies receive under emergency shortfalls when the government can force them into business.

Source: Power companies accused of engineering crisis for profit

You might be warm and cookin’ with gas… if only it wasn’t 95.7% foreign owned!

The cost of living is through the roof, as gas prices make it hard for Australians to keep warm this winter. Labor needs to stand firm against foreign interests and reserve domestic supply. Dave Donovan looks at how we got to this cold, dark place.

Source: You might be warm and cookin’ with gas… if only it wasn’t 95.7% foreign owned!

All of a sudden energy from the sun and wind is looking very affordable – » The Australian Independent Media Network

He couldn’t tell the truth before he was elected how could he be expected to tell it before this recent election? Energy prices were going up despite the Ukraine not because of it.

On 30 April, less than a month before the election I penned this piece, about the foreshadowed spike in energy prices, about to hit Australian consumers: Coalition promises higher electricity costs! I wrote it because it was quite clear that the Coalition were not going to come clean before the election and it was a known major factor that was going to hit Australian businesses and consumers as winter came on.

Source: All of a sudden energy from the sun and wind is looking very affordable – » The Australian Independent Media Network

2021 Toyota Mirai: Australia’s First Hydrogen Car On Sale To The Public

2021 Toyota Mirai: Australia's first hydrogen car on sale to the public 'within a couple of years'

Not if Morrison can help it

Australians will be able to buy a hydrogen-powered car within “a couple of years” – as soon as enough refuelling points are installed so motorists aren’t left stranded.

Source: 2021 Toyota Mirai: Australia’s First Hydrogen Car On Sale To The Public

‘That’s not sustainable’: Big Oil squeezes green energy profits

Offshore wind sites sell for record prices as oil companies battle for the right to develop renewable energy projects.

The world’s largest oil companies are bidding up prices for renewable energy projects, squeezing profits from wind and solar farms just as they’re needed most to avoid climate catastrophe. Companies from BP to TotalEnergies are paying top dollar for clean energy assets as they transition away from fossil fuels, boosting competition and compressing margins for developers. Wind giants Orsted and Vestas Wind Systems reported lower returns in the first quarter, while turbine maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy lost money as materials rallied.

Source: ‘That’s not sustainable’: Big Oil squeezes green energy profits

Renewables for first time on Record generated more Electricity than either Coal or Nuclear in US in 2020: EIA

Renewables overall increased 9% between 2019 and 2020. About half of US clean energy now comes from solar and wind, and the other half from hydroelectric power.

Source: Renewables for first time on Record generated more Electricity than either Coal or Nuclear in US in 2020: EIA

We could be a superpower: 3 ways Australia can take advantage of the changing geopolitics of energy

Australia should embrace the opportunity to become a renewable energy power. If we don’t act now, with the global energy transition gathering pace, Australia could be exposed to a hostile international energy environment with profound economic, security and diplomatic consequences.

Source: We could be a superpower: 3 ways Australia can take advantage of the changing geopolitics of energy

The world’s electric cars are leaving Australia for dust

The Volkswagen ID.4 is set to the be first mainstream electric vehicle in the US, but not here.

If you ask Scott Morrison about electric vehicles he throws poor, and inaccurate, marketing lines at you, such as they will “end the weekend”, they “won’t tow your trailer – it’s not going to tow your boat”, as he did when former Labor leader Bill Shorten backed fairly modest objectives concerning the electrification of our vehicle fleet in the run-up to the last election.

The world’s electric cars are leaving Australia for dust

Texas was a warning. Australia needs to rethink the design of its electricity market

Australia’s electricity market is unsustainable. Texas shows us why. A week ago Texas experienced a bout of severe weather as arctic air reached deep into the state, driving temperature down to levels that had not been experienced for 30 years. The full human toll is yet to be counted, but 20 deaths have so far been associated with motor accidents, from fires lit for warmth and from carbon-monoxide poisoning after residents used their cars to try to warm their homes. At the peak, 4.5 million people were without power in many cases for extended periods. The Texas Poison Centre received 450 calls about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Texas was a warning. Australia needs to rethink the design of its electricity market

A Politics of Hope: How we Can go completely to Green Energy

A project on the scale of transforming the energy system will create jobs – many jobs – which is perhaps the economic measure of most importance to the citizenry.

Research from me and others shows that fully renewable electric grids are feasible with current technology at current prices; barriers to using renewable electricity are more political and cultural than technological or economic.

via A Politics of Hope: How we Can go completely to Green Energy

Minister’s blast: Power company ‘record profits’ must stop

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor on Sunday used a combination of company statements and analyst forecasts to claim the three largest power companies – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia – would see their collective profits almost double in the five years from 2015 to 2020.

via Minister’s blast: Power company ‘record profits’ must stop

How government inaction fuelled Australia’s renewable energy boom – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wind farm

Like many other countries, Australian business and consumers have left their political leaders behind, opting for renewables backed up by gas, hydro and, to a smaller but growing extent, batteries.

via How government inaction fuelled Australia’s renewable energy boom – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Letting Craig Kelly dictate energy policy is as stupid as letting Tony Abbott destroy the NBN – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The head of the misnamed Coalition backbench environment committee, Craig Kelly, has been all over the media with ever more strident calls to stop all subsidies to renewable energy. His argument, which has been adopted by that jellyfish Frydenberg, is that, if renewables are cheaper then they don’t need subsidies. On June 25, Mr Kelly…

Source: Letting Craig Kelly dictate energy policy is as stupid as letting Tony Abbott destroy the NBN – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Coalition wants to shift the energy policy blame. Voters just want it fixed | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Voters are tired of the old hyper-partisan blather, the posturing and the blame-shifting. They just want a solution

Source: The Coalition wants to shift the energy policy blame. Voters just want it fixed | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Next time you read your increased power bill, blame Tony Abbott | Matt Grudnoff | Opinion | The Guardian

For the last four years we’ve had a fact free zone of bad politics and no interest in understanding energy policy. The biggest losers are electricity consumers

Source: Next time you read your increased power bill, blame Tony Abbott | Matt Grudnoff | Opinion | The Guardian

What’s powering your devices? US consumers want to know when their power is coming from renewable sources — ScienceDaily

Image result

Americans, regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, want to power their homes with renewable energy, according to a new study.

Source: What’s powering your devices? US consumers want to know when their power is coming from renewable sources — ScienceDaily

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It seems like a good time to ask: is privatisation of electricity networks ever a good idea? | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

South Australia’s energy wars really began with the privatisation of the electricity network in the 1990s. It’s worth looking at what we’ve learnt since then

Source: It seems like a good time to ask: is privatisation of electricity networks ever a good idea? | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

Developer of $20 million Australian-first solar thermal pilot plant predicts sunny future under Turnbull – Localisation Information – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

An Australian company says its new solar thermal technology could produce power more cheaply than coal

Source: Developer of $20 million Australian-first solar thermal pilot plant predicts sunny future under Turnbull – Localisation Information – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The great energy spend that is costing us billions – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

As Australia becomes a leader in solar and battery power, our electricity bills will continue to skyrocket thanks to a massive over-investment in the network that we didn’t ask for and will never need.

Source: The great energy spend that is costing us billions – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

House batteries could help the grid as well as consumers

Tesla Motors plans to bring its new batteries in 2016 to Australia, which will join Germany as the company's first two markets outside the US.

House batteries could help the grid as well as consumers

How battery-powered homes are unplugging Australia

Australia, with the highest rate of residential solar penetration in the world, as well as a large number of communities and industry sitting off the grid, is an ideal laboratory and test market for storage technology. Already, Australian companies are reaping the benefits, exporting off-grid renewable energy, storage and control systems internationally.