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).
A joint ABC Lateline-Climate Spectator investigation of landfill gas projects awarded large contracts under the Emission Reduction Fund finds many date back over ten years, indeed as far back as 1997. It suggests that a third to a half of the abatement volume contracted in the first auction would have happened anyway.
Origin Energy says it now has greater confidence to invest in wind and large-scale solar with prices at a 'level required for new wind projects'. While AGL continues to say its wallet is shut unless gov't moves to address overcapacity by shutting down existing coal plant.
AGL believes that solar is here to stay irrespective of what happens with government policy and regulations. But without new models of selling solar as a packaged power service they believe 50% of the market will remain uninterested in solar, and this spells the demise of the small solar installer.
Back in 2009 and even 2011, if all we cared about was reducing the largest amount of emissions within just a few years solar PV would be towards the bottom of the list. Yet in the 3½ years since I left the Grattan Institute solar PV costs have dropped so far that it's worth celebrating rather than lamenting.
NSW consumers already pay twice as much as Victorians in network charges. The energy regulator in its latest determination failed to address this discrepancy, yet the NSW Government via Networks NSW has sent in the lawyers to get even more money from consumers.
Making native forest wood waste eligible under the RET is unlikely to make a material difference to solar and wind projects by itself. But anti-RET senators Leyonhjelm and Day could use it for ends that extend beyond just wood waste.
Bank survey finds 50% of Australian households interested in purchasing sub-$10,000 battery system. Foresees market of 2.4m households with solar and batteries that will hit Origin and AGL earnings by $100m each.
‘A ridiculous waste of taxpayers money’ is probably a good description of the iron ore inquiry being pushed by Twiggy Forrest, but it’s an even better description of the countless inquiries the wind industry has been subjected to. Comic relief is the only cure for the Aussie epidemic of 'wind farm inquiry' sickness.
The big power retailers have fought tooth and nail to have the Renewable Energy Target wound back. But with money now clearly on the table and changing circumstances devaluing other options, who knows – they might even live up to the rhetoric in their advertisements and save the RET from a still sword-brandishing minister.
Home energy storage is a bit like teenagers and sex – everyone’s talking about it, not many are doing it. Tesla’s Powerwall isn’t even available for sale, but by the sheer power of Elon Musk’s mystique he is already forcing everyone else to convert his dream into reality.
Origin Energy is now offering to install solar for a power price that is around third what it would charge for power from the grid. It is potentially revolutionary, low enough to suggest that solar could soon be plastered across businesses’ rooftops around the country.
The Andrews government has again called for repeal of federal legislation precluding states from introducing renewable energy targets. While it puts welcome focus on the issue, there's a lot more Spring Street could do to fight climate change.