Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
AEMO's recent analysis of battery uptake also looked at the potential increase in electricity demand from households abandoning gas. It found not that big an increase in electricity demand, but once you take into account electricity appliances' superior energy efficiency it suggests residential gas consumption would plummet.
Fairfax is reporting the apparent revelation that Queensland Treasury advised the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine was unviable. But it's hardly a secret. The only way this mine will get up is if Governments bankroll it, which they might just be stupid enough to do.
The energy regulator showed that SA Networks tried to pull the wool over others' eyes with its selective use of customer demand data. Networks are on the verge of making some changes to tariffs with far bigger impacts than the carbon price. Yet we lack the data to ensure such changes are in the community's interests.
In trying to protect their electricity business network distributors are trying to distort the idea of reforming power prices to be more 'cost-reflective' by making them like unavoidable fixed charges. This will then make consumption of a unit of energy from electricity appear far cheaper. Which incidentally will then drive an exodus from gas, hurting these same utilities' gas businesses.
With carbon pricing on the agenda at Paris, it's worth considering whether cap-and-trade or taxation is the best way to go. For most countries it will be the former - but there are likely to be exceptions.
Energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport would bring Australia’s emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Then switching to renewables in the electricity sector, and powering more sectors with that green energy, plus some land use changes and a switch to biofuel and gas in some areas, would finish the job.
The e-version of the popular seller is a major step towards mass adoption of all-electric transportation, and if Australia helps facilitate this transition it will herald a 90% reduction in fuel consumption.
Batteries, microgrids, automated devices ... these are the ideas dominating our view of Australia's future grid. But changing lifestyle patterns too, such as our rapidly evolving approach to pet ownership, means the grid'll be defined by more than just technologies.
The regulator's decision to reject South Australia's punitive solar network tariff is a welcome first. But multiple network businesses nationwide still have discriminatory tariffs for solar households.
Beyond just Adani's hedge on solar and Piyush Goyal's push for domestic coal development is the agrarian nature of India's power poor, which is another nail in the coffin of centralised coal-fired power's business case there.