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).
The latest CEDEX electricity report now incorporates data on solar generation, which alongside hydro manages a rise in generation as coal stalled. This brought a halt to what had been a steady rise in emissions since the carbon price was axed.
The International Energy Agency believes half of new power additions globally will be made up of wind and solar in the coming five years. But it provides a warning about investor confidence almost perfectly targeted at the Australian Government.
India's pledge for the forthcoming climate conference in Paris reinforces a set of plans to massively upscale investment in renewable energy. Meanwhile its coal generators have suffered record low utilisation of 58.4% last July. It spells bad news for Australian coal exports.
Lawrence Berkeley chart illustrates plummeting 70% drop in contract prices that now average $50 per megawatt-hour, driven not only by large drops in the capital costs of projects but also improved capacity factors.
The renewable energy certificate market is booming, yet retailers aren’t much interested in bringing on new supply. Origin’s credit problems provide a new insight into why, but it can’t explain AGL’s contradictory climate stance.
Greg Hunt's confirmation that the Government will embrace renewable energy will be music to the ears of investors who have spent the past 18 months cowering in fear over the Coalition's war on renewables.
A satirist once ridiculed Tony Abbott's statements about coal's big future by superimposing 'fax machine' in the place of 'coal'. Then he resigned by fax and the circle of ridicule was complete - he was a man afraid of the future.
The fact that Australia has been prioritised for the Powerwall is illustrative of the fact the country has become the test-bed for the future evolution of the solar industry. Yet we got here much like a drunk stumbling in the dark.
It appears Greg Hunt now has responsibility for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It likely signals that Turnbull will quietly dump attempts to abolish the agencies and the Government’s ideological crusade against renewable energy.
In 1962, President Kennedy delivered one of history's most inspiring speeches asking his people to each sacrifice 50 cents per week in order to achieve an amazing scientific and engineering feat that they weren't even sure was possible, requiring technologies that didn't yet exist. We sorely need that same leadership today, not to reach the moon but to save our planet.
We face an immense threat from climate change, yet renewable energy receives less than 2% of publicly funded R&D. A concentrated global technological research effort like the Apollo Program to make renewable energy as reliable and cheap as coal is required.