Policy & Politics

Nuclear power at 'lowest levels since 80s'

Decline difficult to reverse amid rising costs, construction delays, public opposition: report.

How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your power bills?

Deloitte might be right that the RET will add $15 to your quarterly power bill ... if you think gas prices will stay low, adding 7500 MW of wind and 10,000 MW of solar to the market by 2030 will not markedly affect wholesale prices, and solar costs $1000 per kilowatt more than you can buy it for now.

Europe's power auction atrocity

The European Commission has managed to ditch the successful market-based feed-in tariff in Germany and introduce a direct action-style system based on renewables auctions, doomed to be complex and expensive.

Briqs in our heads: Burnt by the carbon games companies play

Built for another age, HRL's horrendously polluting power plant and briquette factory in Morwell is finally on the way out. Its dogged survival is a harsh lesson for policymakers.

Solar split after UK-German renewables reforms

The week in clean energy saw UK solar economics take a hit via approval of set renewable payments while analysis found Germany's new self-consumption tax won't slow rooftop PV.

Smart grid better because it discourages solar?

The $100m the government has allocated to smart grid trials led by Ausgrid has come up with a counter-intuitive result that smart grid technology will be of moderate benefit in reducing peak demand and network investment, but will be very good at deterring solar installations.

Carmichael mine is a game-changer for Australian coal

Australia’s largest coal mine has been decried by many but the economic boost is significant, and emissions are essentially a zero-sum game if Indian power companies simply source their coal from elsewhere.

Govt to attach roads plan to supply: report

Hockey believed to be considering new tactic to get $5.9bn plan pass Senate.

Labor reaffirms RET support amid 'political' review

Butler says review panel 'ad hoc', vows no change to renewables target.

California eyes southern border for ETS expansion

Pact between US state and Mexico could lead to carbon market link.

Japan signs another international permits deal

Asian giant to allow permits from Mexico to rein in emissions post-Fukushima.

Climate inaction could cost $US150bn

by AFP
White House says delaying efforts to reduce emissions could cost economy $US150bn a year.

Network charges fight looms in ACT

Regulator asks public to consider whether ActewAGL proposal is 'justified' amid improving investment conditions.

The truth about wind's back-up 'burden'

Texas grid figures show integration costs for conventional generation are far larger than those of wind with the former needing more reserves, and more expensive reserves, to protect against outages.

Solar over wind, says Lib MP

Taylor suggests solar should be priority under a restructured RET.

Can Hunt sell the Senate a half-baked Direct Action?

1 comment
Environment Minister Greg Hunt is urging opposition parties to join him at the negotiating table to discuss Direct Action. But can Labor and co really commit to an unfinished vision?

US failing on methane progress: watchdog

Voluntary regulation of potent greenhouse gas 'yielding minimal reductions'.

Will nothing remain after carbon tax repeal?

20 comments
With elements within business and the Coalition supportive of an ETS, and electricity-intensive industries losing clout, surely something must re-emerge to fill the climate policy void.

Hunt approves giant Carmichael coal mine

Minister vows 'strict conditions' for record project but economic value and environmental sustainability questioned.

The fugitive elephant in the room

1 comment
To determine whether shifting to more gas-fired power generation is a good 'bridging' option, we need to better understand the real levels of fugitive methane emissions from shale projects - and quickly.

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