Unviable for years-second gas-fired turbine at Adelaide’s Pelican Point power plant: operator

Pelican Point power stationUpdated yesterday at 5:28pm 
PHOTO: The second turbine at Pelican Point was sitting idle as blackouts were ordered. (ABC News)
After so many ridiculous claims, by COAL-ition and shock jocks, that renewable energy has been the cause of blackouts in SA, needing more coal and gas baseload power for solution, power company Engie has now appeared before a federal select committee hearing in Adelaide, where it was quizzed over the plant’s role in the load shedding.Head of corporate affairs, Jim Kouts told the committee that the second turbine was mothballed in July 2015.

Another power generator, AGL, was also scheduled to give evidence to the committee, but emailed at the last minute to say that it could not make it…to question AGL over forced outages at the company’s Torrens Island power station…listed as another factor that led to the load shedding earlier this month.

When will it be time to start de-privatising?

>more> ABC News


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Pollution in Deepest ocean trenches, high levels

Close up of the deep sea crustacean Hirondellea gigasPHOTO: Pollution levels in amphipods in the Mariana Trench were higher than in estuaries of polluted rivers in China (Wikimedia Commons: Daiju Azuma)

An interesting item which reminds of reference by Tim Flannery in book Atmosphere of Hope, about worries that emissions from Chernobyl, up in stratosphere then down again, would contaminate critters in food chain, from surface algae consumed by 4 levels of predators, so human food likely 10,000 times more concentrated. But it didn’t happen. Completely disappeared. Until deep ocean researchers brought primitive deep ocean life forms to the surface, finding Chernobyl contamination, after just over 3 months.

>more>ABC Since News

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Republican supremos proposing carbon tax?!?

Here’s a follow up from previous reference to item in Washington Post. It’s always good to hear audio as well as read print and it elaborates on why Emission Trading Scheme(s) are such a crock(except for benefit of merchant bankers). Republican Bob Inglis points out that we’re overdue for carbon reduction scheme to which all Nations can commit. With fee-and-dividend(abbreviated to carbon tax) it’s clean and easy to collect as fossil fuels come out of the ground. Dividend is then a simple credit, to you from the taxman, to compensate for higher energy cost until fossil fuel power goes the way of the Dodo. Main point is that the whole thing is “bankable” which means stimulating investment, rock solid confidence for renewables, lots of jobsongrowth,  in a cash strapped world. Additionally, “cheap” imports, from countries with “competitive advantage” from high emission coal, can be hit with import duty to raise price to a level playing field… “This ticks every one of their boxes,” said Halstead. “It’s pro growth, pro competition, pro jobs, deregulatory, and it will help the working-class voters that Trump promised to help.”

>more> ABC_RN

>more> WashingtonPost

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Solar record low bids – India – its vast commercial viability

Goyal’s target to cease thermal coal imports into India looks like a commercial certainty—imported coal-fired power generation is the risky, high cost option. Renewable energy capacity is targeted to increase fivefold to 258GW, and investment in other zero emission technologies (nuclear and large hydro) are targeted for a near doubling, to 94GW…Indian solar tariffs of US$54/MWh are likely to continue falling by 5 to 20 percent annually for the next decade…All this news from India bodes ill for international coal markets, and raises questions about an Australian project we have followed closely.

In IEEFA’s view the only way the Carmichael proposal can proceed is with a massive government subsidy to underwrite as much as AU$10 billion of project risk involved. While the North Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) has been pushed to provide a subsidy of $AU 1 billion, the balance remains unfunded and is a key project risk.

>more> RenewEconomy

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Coalition’s “clean” coal plan revealed to be an “idiotic” fantasy

untitledcoaljoyceNationally, spending of more than $62 Billion on these new coal plants would lock in not just much higher energy prices but also achieve just a 5 per cent cut in national emissions by 2030. The Coalition’s push to build more coal – and its attacks on renewable energy targets – have already been discredited by the fossil fuel industry itself, apart from the coal miners looking for a market for their product. AGL repeated on Thursday that there’s no way it would build new coal plants, citing costs and commitment to emissions reduction; and the main fossil fuel generator lobby has also conceded that such plant would be impossible to finance..The Australian Industry Group has pointed out that such a plan would impose huge costs on consumers and manufacturers..Looks like they’ve really lost the plot this time.

>more> RenewEconomy

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Carbon tax to replace Obama’s climate policies – Senior Republican statesmen!

James A. Baker is a member of the Climate Leadership Council. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

Representatives from a coalition of veteran Republican officials — including five who have either served as treasury secretary or as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — met Wednesday with White House officials to discuss the idea of imposing a national carbon tax, rather than using federal regulations, to address climate change…The newly formed Climate Leadership Council — which includes James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw — is proposing elimination of nearly all of the Obama administration’s climate policies in exchange for a rising carbon tax that starts at $40 per ton, and is returned in the form of a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration to every American.

The revenue-neutral “carbon fee and dividend” tax, as it is sometimes called, has been popular among economists for years. It has also been strongly embraced by some leading climate scientists, such as former NASA researcher James Hansen, and such advocacy groups as Citizens’ Climate Lobby. But never before have major Republican statesmen from past administrations aligned behind it as publicly as they’re doing now.Baker and his colleagues estimate that the average family of four would receive $2,000 annually in dividends from the fee if it starts at $40 per ton, and as the tax rises, so would their dividends. This would naturally create a constituency for ever-tougher climate change action. They also assert that the proposal would be fundamentally progressive because everyone would receive the same amount of revenue from the tax regardless of their income level, meaning the new source of income would make a bigger difference for poorer people than for wealthier ones.

A carbon tax is quintessentially conservative, Baker’s group argues, because it would not increase the size of government but would reduce it by canceling out President Barack Obama’s climate regulatory moves. Revenue from the carbon tax would go directly to taxpayers instead of toward new government programs…“This ticks every one of their boxes,” said Halstead. “It is pro growth, pro competition, pro jobs, deregulatory, and it will help the working-class voters that Trump promised to help.”

Note – How extraordinary is this?

>more> WashingtonPost

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Carmichael mine jobs need ’21 times the subsidies’ of renewables, says lobby group

Solar farm Solar panels. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has announced a $20m investment in the Ross River solar farm in Townsville, a 116MW project expected to deliver 150 jobs. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Federal funding for Adani project amounts to $683,060 a job, compared with $32,191 a worker in Queensland’s clean energy sector…Clean energy projects in Queensland are already on track to create more employment than Australia’s largest proposed coalmine, which if funded federally would cost taxpayers 21 times more per job, according to new study…Federal government agencies are investing $71.4m in seven solar farms and a windfarm in Queensland, which are set to deliver a total of 2,218 jobs

He cited the Australian Industry Group’s claim that a new coal-fired energy policy would double electricity prices, as well as ANZ’s policy of not lending to power stations emitting more than 800 kilograms per megawatt hour, which ruled out “most ‘clean coal’ generators”…Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, who is reviewing Australia’s energy security, last week said taxpayers should not subsidise new coal-fired power.

>more> TheGuardian

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Limit car emissions

untitledguzzlersgreenguideWhen Australia finally adopts up to date standard for car tail pipe emissions, how about maximum limit gCO2/km? Mercedes big donk guzzler performs much better than others but Europe is now down as little as 115 g/km, so how about max limit and penalty rego if you still choose to drive guzzlers?

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More heat deaths expected

Graphs Depicting Elements of Vulnerability to Climate Change

Click on the image for a larger view. A variety of factors can increase the vulnerability of specific demographic groups to health effects due to climate change. For example, older adults are more vulnerable to heat stress because their bodies are less able to regulate their temperature. Overall population growth is projected to continue through at least 2050, with older adults comprising a growing proportion of the population. Similarly, there are an increasing number of people who are obese and/or have diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, which makes them more vulnerable to a range of climate-related health impacts. The poor are less able to afford the kinds of measures that can protect them from and treat them for various health impacts.Children, who breathe more air relative to their size than adults, are also at greater risk of worsened asthma and respiratory symptoms from air pollution. More than nine percent of U.S. children live with asthma, which is the third leading cause of hospitalizations for children.3

Heat kills many more people in Australia than bush fire, cyclone and flood combined. It’s time we got timely warnings by headline news and make plans, well ahead of time, for evacuation to a safe place.

Figure source: Data from CDC; Health E-Stat; U.S. Census Bureau 2010, 2012; and Akinbami et al. 2011.
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The devastating impact flying has on the environment- time to wake up

untitledplanesmokeyAviation is essentially a fossil fuel industry, one which guzzles an eye-watering 5m barrels of oil every day. Burning that fuel currently contributes around 2.5% to total carbon emissions, a proportion which could rise to 22% by 2050 as other sectors emit less.
2nd problem is, as Air Asia puts it, “Now everyone can fly”. And in “generation easyJet”, those who already fly, fly more than ever. This increasing demand from new and existing travellers means the number of passenger aircraft in our skies is set to double by 2035
3rd problem is that unlike other sectors where there might be a greener alternative (solar not coal, LEDs not lightbulbs etc), there is currently no way to fly 8m people every day without burning lots of dirty kerosene…Aviation is a golden goose for politicians. In the UK, where sources of future post-Brexit economic growth are hard to identify, the industry looks set to continue its enviable historic growth-rate of 4-5% annually. The main problem for airlines now is finding enough space to accommodate planes at crowded airports such as Heathrow. Airlines’ seductive message to politicians is “If you build it, they will come.”

Tony Blair asked as prime minister in 2005 “how many politicians facing a potential election would vote to end cheap air travel?” His answer: zero. The political strategy seems to be passing the buck to the airline industry, and hoping for the best…And the primary reason that they will come is because flying is kept artificially cheap, while trains and cars become more expensive. The main reason for this is the so-called “Chicago Convention”, agreed in 1944 by a then much smaller air industry, which prohibits countries from imposing jet fuel tax and VAT on international flights.
>more> TheConversation

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