We have 9,000 megawatts (nine big power stations equivalent) of excess capacity in electricity generation … We have more than 15% overcapacity in generation in A
The carbon tax repeal legislation received Royal Assent on Thursday, 17 July 2014. So, at the time of this writing, we now have over six weeks data to assess the response of Australia’s National Electricity Market. And respond it has, with renewable generation falling by some 27 percent, and coal generation (particularly brown coal) and emissions up, compared to the equivalent period in the last year of the tax in 2013.
A key issue in the climate debate relates to the role of natural gas as a potential climate bridge. Judging by the hype surrounding the US shale-gas revolution, you might guess that natural gas was a sure-fire solution. Certainly, enfant terrible of the environmental movement, Bjorn Lomborg, thinks so. In a recent piece in the Australian, Lomborg argued the case that ‘Gas is greenest in the short term’, citing the experience of the US shale-gas revolution. To do so, Lomborg uses a logic for which I may have been at least partly to blame. But for the reasons outlined below, I don’t think the data support the case. First, the background …
A top economic advisor to the Australian Government recently suggested in an op-ed published by the national daily The Australian that one scenario we should be prepared for is global cooling due to a possible change in solar activity. Certain reports in the U.S. media have also suggested cooling may already be upon us because of the sun. What is one to make of this?
At the heart of the current debate around energy is the question of storage. In cars, how to build batteries that run for hundreds of kilometres; in electricity, storing energy from solar panels for when the sun doesn’t shine. Our analysis shows that the past very high storage costs are now rapidly falling. This suggests that the financial appeal of electric cars and stationary storage is set to keep increasing considerably in years ahead. First introduced by Sony in 1990, lithium-ion batteries are already the dominant type of battery for technologies such as mobile phones, laptops and electric cars, and are expected to remain so for some time. Their strength lies in being able to store a high amount of energy in a relatively small and lightweight package, as well as being capable of charging and discharging thousands of times while retaining most of their storage capacity.