Category Archives: Australia news

Renewable energy listed for first time as one of Australia’s top infrastructure priorities

Australia should prioritise large-scale renewable energy options to replace ageing thermal generators, infrastructure body says

Renewable energy zones and dispatchable energy storage have been listed as “high priority initiatives” by Infrastructure Australia for the first time.

The energy initiatives are among 44 new infrastructure proposals on the priority list, released on Friday, which together represent a $59bn pipeline of potential investments.

Related: Renewable energy could render five of Australia’s remaining coal plants unviable by 2025

Related: Australia was the first casualty of the big blackout lie blaming wind power – the US could be next | Ketan Joshi

Related: Can Australia’s Labor party match Joe Biden’s winning message on climate action? | Van Badham

New South Wales – greater Sydney water security, digital infrastructure at Western Parkland City, social housing, Parramatta outer ring-road capacity, and the western Sydney freight line and intermodal terminal

Queensland – south-east Queensland level crossings congestion and safety

South Australia – Adelaide’s outer ring route capacity, and road maintenance to reduce congestion

Northern Territory – enabling infrastructure for developing the Beetaloo Sub-Basin for potential gas market opportunities

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Renewable energy could render five of Australia’s remaining coal plants unviable by 2025

A new report suggests previous estimates understated the amount of cheap solar and wind energy entering the national electricity market

Up to five of Australia’s remaining 16 coal power plants could be financially unviable by 2025 due to a flood of cheap solar and wind energy entering the electricity grid, a new report suggests.

An analysis by two groups – the consultants Green Energy Markets and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) – found previous estimates had understated the amount of renewable energy likely to enter the national electricity market in the next five years, and its ramifications for the ageing coal fleet.

Related: Australia needs to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030 to meet Paris goals, experts say

Related: Recent Australian emissions cuts likely to be reversed in recovery from Covid and drought

Related: Australian farmers call for renewable energy zones as Nationals push coal and nuclear

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Recent Australian emissions cuts likely to be reversed in recovery from Covid and drought

Scott Morrison says Coalition is ‘getting on with’ reductions, but analysis finds end of lockdowns and drought will reverse trend

Most of the reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions last year is likely to be wiped out as transport rebounds after Covid-19 lockdowns and farming recovers from the long-term-drought, according to an audit of national climate data.

Scott Morrison told the National Press Club earlier this month the government was “getting on with” reducing emissions, citing official data that found emissions were down 3% in the year to June to their lowest levels since 1998. He declared “these are the facts”.

Related: Spinning emissions: Australia’s climate projections are not what they seem

Related: By 2020 standards, Angus Taylor’s low-emissions technology statement is not really a climate policy | Adam Morton

Related: Soil carbon: what role can it play in reducing Australia’s emissions?

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Australian farmers call for renewable energy zones as Nationals push coal and nuclear

National Farmers’ Federation and business groups call for pandemic recovery regionalisation strategy

Renewable energy zones must be “at the centre of any regionalisation agenda”, the National Farmers’ Federation has said.

In a policy paper released on Tuesday, the NFF makes the call for renewable energy to be part of new investment to address the $3.8bn annual shortfall in infrastructure in regional Australia.

Related: Michael McCormack says agriculture could be excluded from 2050 net zero emissions target

Related: Soil carbon: what role can it play in reducing Australia’s emissions?

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Australia was the first casualty of the big blackout lie blaming wind power – the US could be next | Ketan Joshi

As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble

Climate change is full of surprises. We were warned about heatwaves, hurricanes and high-intensity firestorms. What we didn’t see coming was a cynical, cyclical economy of blackout bullshit. As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble. Those blackouts are usually blamed on wind and solar – and used to extend the lifespan of existing fossil fuel generators. Opportunity costs increase, climate impacts worsen and blackouts intensify. It’s an accelerating death spiral.

Last week Texas suffered an outage likely to be the worst on record in the US. Millions of people were without power for days, initially at a scale roughly equivalent to all of eastern Australia going dark at once. A burst of winter weather froze vital components at power stations, gas supplies were limited by frozen pipelines and, consequently, a third of the state’s thermal power stations were offline (mostly gas). An unspecified proportion of wind turbines were disabled due to icing and low-temperature shutoffs, but “gas and coal were actually the biggest culprits in the crisis”, Eric Fell, director of North America gas at Wood Mackenzie, told Bloomberg.

Related: Why the cold weather caused huge Texas blackouts – a visual explainer

Related: Green giants: the massive projects that could make Australia a clean energy superpower

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