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 Senate inquiry into power networks says batteries, solar and energy efficiency are on the verge of driving a death spiral of increasing power prices. But in screaming over whether networks should be punished for past gold plating, they’ve lost sight of the future.
Back in November no one paid much attention to a think-tank warning that the Australian Government was making policy based on hopelessly optimistic forecasts of demand for coal, gas and iron ore consumption. They’re paying attention now, yet the government is still making the same mistakes.
The state premiers are now asking Abbott why he can't sign onto a renewable energy target everyone else agrees to, while countries including the US, Europe and China are raising doubts over the Direct Action fund. Unless things change, he will find himself increasingly isolated and vulnerable.
The energy giant's new chief is obviously trying to reposition the company's image with its climate policy announced today. While a welcome development, for the most part it’s a bit symbolic or represents business-as-usual behaviour.
Super fund investor Industry Funds Management has a big appetite for infrastructure assets, but the growing risk profile of renewable energy developer Pacific Hydro appears to have left a bitter taste it couldn’t palate.
Despite AEMO declaring a false alarm on gas crisis hysteria, some are suggesting more CSG is essential to save manufacturing jobs. Yet the odds are more CSG development in NSW will make little difference to gas prices.
Energy efficiency improvements in homes and commercial buildings, in combination with advancements in vehicle fuel economy mean energy demand is increasingly becoming detached from economic and population growth as shown by new US energy agency data.
The government can't win in this forthcoming abatement auction. Abatement supply will be too small to suggest they can hit targets, and to improve things in the future they'll need to pay prices for abatement that suggest the budget will blow out.
We were told NSW was at imminent risk of running out of gas, with 'more CSG' the only solution. Now prominent figures, including current and prior energy ministers, have egg on their faces with the supply threat shown to have been resolved, sans CSG.
The government refuses to respond to questions about whether they remain committed to containing global warming to 2 degrees. The Climate Institute responds by pointing to threats to Australia's own interests from the current climate change trajectory.
When it comes to climate change the Abbott Government seems to think that if you repeat a falsehood enough times it will somehow become accepted as fact. Abbott is backing up his ministers trying to suggest the last 12 months of RET negotiations haven't happened. But then Jacqui Lambie's big mouth intervenes.
A US think tank believes the economics of solar PV plus batteries will mean it will become the dominant source of power for households across regions including Los Angeles, New York State and Hawaii by 2030. The scary thing is the economics are more compelling for Australia yet the Energy White Paper recommendations hark back to 2002.
Not content with being on his own against the two main business lobbies, heavy industry, the renewables sector and Labor, Ian Macfarlane is also wrong on his claim Australia can't meet that group's clean energy target - or even a higher one.
The White Paper bravely proposes CO2 be captured and utilised in other products, like carbonated drinks. But the global demand for this sort of CO2 won't even soak up Australia’s electricity emissions, let alone China, the US or India's.
The other day I got to live out my environmental technology and car fantasies all in one go. Plus an added bonus - this car can fit in a few mates and their surfboards too while making a round trip down to the coast and back without a drop of petrol while making a Porsche Cayenne SUV owner repent their evil ways.
Labor's Bill Shorten is proposing a side deal to exempt heavy industry from the Renewable Energy Target, and leave resolving the level of the target to later. It would be great for Shorten's old union but may be horrible for the renewable energy industry. What's he up to?