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).
Industry groups are pushing the Government to concede to the Clean Energy Council's compromise offer on the Renewable Energy Target with backbenchers adding to the call. But will environmental groups hold Labor back from such a deal - a move which would condemn large-scale renewables investment to the deep freeze.
The Clean Energy Council has blinked, conceding to a reduction in the large-scale RET to 33,500GWh. With Ian Macfarlane refusing to budge and Labor holding out too, have they just given ground for no pay-off? Don't give up hope just yet.
Greg Hunt might like to celebrate Australia having curtailed CO2 growth relative to where error-riddled forecasts thought we would be. But on an emissions per person basis, Australia has some serious explaining to do.
Monday's Q&A program revealed an undercurrent of anger in rural communities over the real and imagined impacts of coal mining and CSG. And with the economic case for such projects waning, the Nats may find their Coalition partner has hitched them to a wagon taking them over an electoral cliff.
While Macfarlane says 32,000GWh is locked in stone, Hunt disowns the number leaving himself wriggle-room to negotiate. Yet his inaccurate verballing of the Climate Change Authority reveals a deal will be difficult to achieve.
AGL's 102MW Nyngan solar farm is now generating with the help of more than $200m in grants. Meanwhile another, almost secret, solar farm has been generating for almost year without getting a cent in government grants, and it provides a better demonstration of solar's potential.
Australia's emissions task is shrinking in the government's favour as projections fall short of reality. But for Direct Action to deliver our meagre 5% target, Greg Hunt will have to find abatement at remarkably low cost.
With the federal sphere a complete mess, several state governments are now saying all the right things about wanting to encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency. But translating it into action is far harder. A cross-state joint renewable energy procurement auction would be a good start.
The Industry Minister has upped his original offer of 31,000GWh for the large-scale RET, but the magic behind why 32,000GWh is the right number isn’t explained. Is this Coalition strategy, or just a shambles?
ARENA will fund WA utility Synergy to do yet another trial involving batteries, solar PV, energy efficiency and smart meters with developer Lend Lease. It could cut the cost of connecting new homes to the grid by thousands, but may also be the very definition of insanity.
BHP, Rio and Rinehart's company are expanding iron ore production investing billions to supply an already oversupplied market. By Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane's own economic logic on the electricity market and renewable energy, they must be crazy because no one will buy their extra output. Or perhaps it's the Minister who's crazy?