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Worse news for Australia as India taps solar, Beijing bans coal

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As Australia’s federal government commits to a future digging up, burning and most of all exporting the nation’s vast coal resource, two of the countries upon which this shaky economic plan is most dependent – India and China – look to be closing the door on the heavy polluting fossil fuel.

In Delhi last week, the Indian government committed to a plan to provide low-cost loans and grants to set up some of the world’s largest solar PV parks across the country, each of them comprising as much as 20 gigawatts of capacity, about 10 times what India has built to date.

The parks will host large plants ranging between 500 megawatts to 1,000MW that will be connected to the grid. State utilities will be expected to purchase at least 20 per cent of the power generated at the parks, leaving project owners free to export the remainder of electricity to consumers elsewhere in the country.

“We’re preparing a scheme for solar parks and it will be out after cabinet approval in about one month,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint-secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, speaking at the EQ solar Summit on Friday.

India’s plans are to use scale to drive down solar costs and produce power from at least four of these so-called ultra-mega projects at a maximum of 5,500 rupees a megawatt-hour – that is about 32 per cent below the global average for solar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and well below the average for coal-fired power generation. The land used for the projects will also be subsidised by the government to keep project costs low.

Separately, India also plans to auction 1,500MW of PV capacity in its biggest tender yet, the final guidelines of which will be issued this month. The first 750MW are expected to be awarded in bidding by the end of September, according to the state-run power trader overseeing the process, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd.

As Tim Buckley wrote on RenewEconomy in May, in the context of waning coal consumption in China, India has become increasingly critical to the stability or continued growth of the seaborne coal market.

Add to this India’s five-year solar lighting goal – a pledge from the newly elected Indian PM, Narendra Modi, that every home in the power-starved nation would be able to run at least one light bulb by 2019, powered by solar – and you have what looks like a much diminished future coal equation for Australia.

China, meanwhile, is moving ahead on plans to address its pollution problem by phasing out coal, with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau announcing on Monday that the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan would stop using coal and its related products, and close coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities, by 2020.

According to official Chinese government statistics, coal use accounted for 25.4 per cent of the capital’s energy consumption in 2012 – a figure that is expected to shrink to less than 10 per cent by 2017.PWCS-Destination

As we have noted before on RenewEconomy, China’s plans to slash its already declining coal use poses a major – but certainly not unheralded – problem for Australia’s coal industry.

According to data from Newcastle’s Port Waratah Coal Services, China has accounted for just over 25 per cent of coal through the Port of Newcastle, the world’s biggest coal export hub in 2014.

On top of this, the price for thermal coal has plunged more than 10 per cent in the last two months – due largely to major importing nations like India making it clear that renewable energy is offering a competitive energy alternative.

Currently, thermal coal is sold for less than $70 on the spot market, well below the mark for Australian producers to make money, let alone the cost of production and the level to get the finance for the massive new projects Prime Minister Tony Abbott is hoping to encourage – or those projects already in the pipeline, like the multi-billion dollar development of what would be one of the world’s biggest coalmines, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, largely earmarked for export to India.

But, as Buckley noted, problems for Indian coal electricity generators, compounded by a range of other challenges, “mitigate against the chances that India policy makers will favour large-scale centralised coal fired power generation in the future.”

As for China, Greg McKenna says it well on Business Insider today: “there is some hope that a base is being formed and that this news is already baked into the cake but as China moves away from coal use and invests in clean energy it seems any chance of a boom as China grows may prove ephemeral.”  

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  • juxx0r

    “Currently, thermal coal is sold for less than $70 on the spot market, well below the mark for Australian producers to make money”

    Don’t let facts get in the way.

    • Askgerbil Now

      The thermal coal price is heading south. Spot prices are below $70. And a third of Australia’s coal mines are operating at a loss.
      One fact is missing from the article though. South Korea introduced a carbon tax on imported coal from 1 July. The outlook for coal is bleak.

      • michael

        so you agree that two thirds of australian coal mines are profitable at this price? haha, great rebuttal!
        and as for the graph, you do realise what you are showing is flat line price since 2009 which you could argue represents a robust industry in supply/demand equilibrium

        • Askgerbil Now

          Increase the supply with a new coal mine, the price of coal falls further, and even more mines lose money.
          The price in 2009 is not adjusted for inflation. So costs of production which increase with inflation mean profit margins are vanishing.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Changes in exchange rates are even more important to consider than inflation and in this case, rather than looking at the US dollar or Euro, it would be appropriate to look at the exchange rates of countries we export coal too. Yes, it’s a bit confusing, but sometimes passing through the veil of confusion is the best way to get a clear understanding of something.

          • Common Sense

            Let’s also remember that they are purposely been reducing their profits due to the mining tax and investing in infrastructure in the meantime, waiting for the tax to be repealed. So, now they can open new mines and scrape the top layers off. Really good coal is deeper but harder to get to, so opening new mines is in fact cheaper and quicker. The race to make a quick buck at our children’s expense has begun. China will not be buying coal forever and are in fact stockpiling it. Japan is buying for obvious reasons, not only coal but gas as well. Hence the mad push for CSG atm. Problem there also is, we must be the only country in the world the sells it’s own resources domestically at export prices. We allow these multi-national companies to rape our resources under the threat of job losses and sourcing it elsewhere. I say let them go elsewhere. Building rail lines to get these resources elsewhere is much harder than it is here. The Hunter Valley (which most of these figures are coming from) for example, has a nice simple low gradient to the port. It nearly loads onto the ships without any help. In fact, 3 years ago they cut out a very small hill they had to go over so they didn’t have to waste fuel to go over it. While they did that, they also dredged the port and built 2 new terminals. While all of this is going on, we are being left behind in renewable’s and our own energy prices are rising. Now that our power is no longer state owned, every time they rise the price, profits go overseas and we are stuck with the bill for our own resources. Makes total sense…not.

      • Carl Hewitt Smith Nicholls

        True, Askerbil Now.
        This year, even in cloudy old Europe, Germany was able to sustain a day with 50% electricity produced with alternative energies.
        included is my picture from Nasa, of their solar panel house. obviously hi-tech, these solar panels continue to wind back the electric meter even on cloudy days.
        Australia has no excuse. Plenty of sunshine produced should mean plenty of alternative energy producd. It’s Grade One maths.
        Abbot needs to pull his head out and stop acting like Little Hitler.
        Also he needs to extract digit and begin to run the country rsponsibly instead of like a little boy in a candy shop.

  • johnnewton

    Wonderful stuff.

  • Sam N

    Definitely a discussion for a better day, but one imagines the dominant manufacturing power in the renewable energy sector of these 2 nations will further strengthen their grip on their respective regions. Cambodia/Vietnam you need energy? Big brother China will look after you till the end of your days. Good on you China, for having tremendous foresight in securing your control of the region. Don’t worry Australia, we’ve got this.

    Who cares about geo politics right? How’s that for fear mongering? Maybe the discussion for renewable investment should be shifted this way? Or will that only serve to further discredit RE? A technology that displaces and builds empires for allegedly more questionable governments?

    You want to maintain conservative, then think Global Sustainability Australia.

    • Liz

      Hmm maybe, but bear in mind that once you’ve purchased the PV or windmills, you’re no longer dependent on anyone else to keep the energy flowing. Not quite the same as a gas pipeline or coal port- where supplies can be instantly cut off.

      • Sam N

        Good point. While I agree maintenance costs will be a small factor, I feel like the issue lies in the lack of capacity building/development within the countries themselves. At least with Australian business you get a diversification in your economy without the usual Big Brother stranglehold. It might not be too much of a stretch to consider that the extra energy purchased within these less developed countries would be for larger Chinese based projects. We already see their labour at work in parts of Africa and investment in Australian land. While inflows in a developing country might be good news, it isn’t significant unless you’re building your own capacity and not having to continue to depend on someone else. Vietnam, in this sense has done relatively well but I wonder about the other SEA countries already in China’s grip.

        Not too sure about the Indian region/sphere of influence.

  • Marcelo

    Great news from both India and China. All of this easily foreseeable. The current batch of policy-maker’s legacy of failures is sure to deepen.

    • david_fta

      “The current batch of policy-maker’s legacy of failures is sure to deepen.”

      In years to come, Greg Hunt may breathe a sigh of relief that neither Abbott Point expansion nor Galilee Basin coal mines never happened – and he got away without having a fight he couldn’t win with his colleagues.

      • Ben Wilson

        if the current trend continues they won’t happen, public pressure won’t even be needed because financiers will not fund a dead end project in a dying industry

        • shinytop

          This is already happening with HSBC and others stating no finance for Abbott Point, no port expansion, not enough coal out to make it viable even if the price was right.

          For some reason our leaders seem to be having great difficulty in grasping the fact that the world is changing, unfortunately this setting us up for a very bleak future,

  • Mick

    This is great news and hopefully a good wake-up call to the misguided policy makers of Australia still banking on antiquated fossil fuels.

    • david_fta

      Perhaps someone might explain this to Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane?

      • Calamity_Jean

        Would he listen, or would he stick his fingers in his ears and say, “I can’t hear you!” Sadly, I suspect the latter.

  • David Forster

    20 gigawatts isnt even a fraction of india’s power use its 0.00181340103363858917399582917762%

    Maybe if they got to a sizable number say 1% then there would be a story but 20 gigawatts from solar PV is nothing

    • David Osmond

      Sure about that?
      According to Wiki, India has generation capacity of 250 GW, so by my calcs 20 GW is about 8% of installed capacity.

      • David Osmond

        Or if you want to go by electricity consumption, assuming a ~17% capacity factor for the solar PV, those 20 GW will generate about 29,000 GWh, which is about 4% of electricity consumption.

        • Ronald Brakels

          Yep. And a capacity factor of well over 17% is quite reasonable for Indian utility scale solar. They really have excellent solar resources. An optimally aligned panel in Mumbai will operate at a capacity factor of 26%. In practice heat will reduce that since it’s not a cold country, but capacity figures of well over 20% are still reasonable. So maybe bump that up to say 5% of grid electricity consumption.

          • David Osmond

            Happy to be corrected Ronald, good to hear that they’ll do even better than I calculated.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Actually I was surprised myself to read that Mumbai gets so much sunshine. I would have thought the haze at least would have cut that. Looking at the mean hours of sunshine for Mumbai makes me question whether or not the figure I gave is correct. I see Bahavnagar has a figure of 23%. I would have expected Mumbai to get a lower figure than Bahavnagar, so I think we can safely assume that I wrong to use the 26% figure I gave above. So while Indian solar resources are excellent, and I’m certain currently averages over 20% capacity factor, a 26% figure for Mumbai seems impossible to me after giving it some thought. Sorry for error I made in not checking a figure that I should have realized needed checking.

          • David Osmond

            Quick question for you Ronald: are these capacity factors normally based on the panel installed capacity, or the inverter capacity? It seems this can make quite a difference. I gather for the Moree solar farm it appears that it has 70 MW of panels but just 56 MW of inverter capacity. I guess you can get much higher capacity factors (based on the inverter capacity) if you oversize the panels relative to the inverter, as Matthew Wright often suggests we do for our home PV systems.

          • Ronald Brakels

            These figures are for an optimally aligned fixed panel before inverter losses. For utility scale solar, which is mostly what India has, the panels will be optimally aligned and inverter losses should be quite small. For Moree I don’t understand why it would have 70 MW of panels but only 56 MW of inverter capacity since it is a tracking facility and should average a lot more than 56 MW of output through the day when it’s sunny. I assume there is a sensible reason, but I don’t know what it is.

            Looking it up, I see that it has single axis tracking, so there is going to be a reasonable amount of seasonal variation in output. That might account for some of the inverter undersizing, but I’m still not sure what’s going on.

            As for undersizing an inverter for home solar, I would suggest considering doing the opposite on account of how inverters are so cheap now. But it depends on a person’s situation. If someone wants to “fire and forget” and, fingers crossed, have their solar system run without a hitch for decades it might be worthwhile to oversize the inverter so it won’t run so hot and extend its life. On the other hand people might want to upgrade to an inverter with energy storage in say 5 years time so maybe they’d want to use a cheap and undersized inverter for now and update it later.

          • David Osmond

            Thanks Ronald,

            I get the impression that many grid scale PV systems have inverter capacities ~20% lower than the panel capacity. For example, the Royalla one just south of Canberra has 24 MW of panels, but 20 MW of inverters. I guess the projects have been optimised economically (ie, the reduced capital expense due to only having 20 MW of inverter exceeds any losses that may result from slight clipping of power at noon). Or perhaps the grid connection may only allow a maximum of 20 MW of exports.

            But to get back to my point, these projects always seem to be referred to by their AC (inverter) size. ie, Royalla is always referred to as being a 20 MW project. The Moree project as 56 MW. So it makes sense that if you are using the inverter capacity to calculate capacity factor, it will be ~20% higher than if you use panel capacity. Perhaps this explains the surprisingly high 26% figure you had for Mumbai.

            And to get back to the article, who knows if India is targetting 20 GW of solar by panel capacity, or AC rating (inverter).

          • Ronald Brakels

            Good question. I don’t know if India is aiming for panel or inverter capacity. However, I do notice Indian press releases etc. giving the panel capacity and not the inverter capacity, so maybe that’s the way they roll in India. But the PV capacity factors I am using are supposed to be for solar irradiance before inverter losses. My guess is someone simply entered the wrong figures for Mumbai into the data base. Looking up what the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay says on the matter, they give a figure of about 22.2% for an optimal panel in Mumbai and that seems much more reasonable to me.

          • David Osmond

            May I ask what database are you looking up for your capacity factor figures? Is it available to the public?

          • Ronald Brakels

            It’s all here:

            http://solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.html

            Unfortunately it’s not quite perfect. It doesn’t give a straight capacity figure so you have to crunch the numbers yourself to work that out. Secondly, in the Southern hemisphere it thinks north is south. If you can overlook that it’s quite useful, but as we just found out you might want to double check the results it gives you. If you need any help with it, let me know.

          • David Osmond

            thanks

          • Motorshack

            With single-axis tracking the losses from seasonal variation are actually surprisingly small.

            The power generated is proportional to the cosine of the angle off vertical. So, if your tracker is pointing straight at the sun on the equinoxes, it will be 23 degrees off vertical on the solstices. The cosine of 23 is about .92, so you will still get around 92% of the maximum power even at the least advantageous times of the year.

            Daily variation is much bigger because it goes through a full 180 degrees (on average). Since the cosine of + or – 90 is zero, power output starts at zero at sunrise, reaches full power at noon, and goes back to zero at sunset.

            So, single axis tracking keeps your losses to no more than 8%, and most of the time much less. Average loss is about 4% throughout the course of the year. Obviously the cosine function is not linear, so 4% as a simple linear average is not quite accurate, but it is within a percent or so, one way or the other.

            As I said, surprisingly small.

          • Ronald Brakels

            I was just vaguely wondering if they maximised the single axis tracking for winter output. Not really sure why they’d want to do that, though. ut mMaybe they think in the future early morning and late afternoon winter wholesale prices will be relatively high.

          • David Osmond

            When you search through google images for single axis tracking, it appears most of the systems have a horizontal axis (ie, not angled for optimal or summer or winter output).

            If it is true that most are horizontal, then this would make seasonal variation losses greater.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Horizontal ones are only likely to be used in the tropics. Moree is roughly in the middle of Australia with regards to latitiude and so to generate the maximum amount of electricity they would be tilted about 29 degrees to the north and then they would track the sun through the day at that angle. It is possible that you saw some pictures of trackers before they were actually installed and once they are installed they would be tilted at an angle appropriate for their location.

          • David Osmond

            You are right, the Moree project is planning to use a tilted tracking axis according to the environmental report.

            Having said that, looking at the images in Google (or in the wiki link below), it looks like the horizontal ones are likely to be much more economical. They have long rows of panels powered by a single motor, whereas the tilted ones have much fewer panels powered per motor.

            Also, the wiki mentions “Tracker tilt angles are often limited to reduce the wind profile and decrease the elevated end height”.

            So it seems plausible that they may use horizontal axis versions further from the equator than may seem sensible just because horizontal ones are more economic & easier to build. As always, I guess which ever gives the best economic return for the site will be used.

            Best of all would be if the solar farm was to be built on the side of a hill that was sloped at the optimal angle. Then you could use the cheaper design of the ‘horizontal to the ground’ version while still having the correct tilt.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_tracker

          • David Osmond

            Hi Ronald,

            Looks like I spoke too soon, Moree is planning to use horizontal tracking (though I see you’ve already seen and commented on this).

            So it appears the simplicity and economy of the horizontal tracking outweighed the increased output you could get from a tilted tracker.

            This would help to explain why it has 70 MW of panels but only 56 MW of inverter capacity.

            http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/11/construction-set-begin-australias-first-single-axis-tracking-solar-pv-project/

        • Jennifer Gow

          You make the rater heroic assumption that the installed coal generating capacity is 100% Even the newest and best maintained coal fired plants can’t manage that. Indian coal fired plants are mostly neither.

          • David Osmond

            Hi Jennifer, I agree completely that we shouldn’t assume 100% capacity factor for coal or other base load generation.
            However I am pretty sure that I did not. I’m happy to be corrected if you can point to where I did.

    • Blair Donaldson

      They have to start somewhere David F. Why the negativity? The point is that India and China see the need for developing renewables and doing something about incorporating them into the generating infrastructure. What’s not to like? If nothing else they demonstrate a grasp on reality that our current leadership choose to ignore. And once countries start deriving the majority of their electricity from renewables and taxing imports from polluting countries, will see how far out of touch Tony Abbott and his wacko bunch of denialists really are.

      • michael

        when you put India and China on a pedestal in relation to PV capacity installed, how does that compare with the percentage in Australia?
        I seem to recall articles in this publication saying australia has the highest per capita uptake of solar pv on homes in the world, which I would suggest is driven mostly by the generous rebate schemes introduced by our politicians. however, I could be wrong.

        • David Osmond

          Australia currently has about 3.5 GW of solar, and about 51 GW of grid connected generation capacity (excluding residential solar). So solar makes up about 6.5% of our generation capacity.

          It appears India is aiming for 8%. Hopefully by the time India reaches that, we will also be 8% or higher.

        • Blair Donaldson

          Lately “generous rebate schemes” have effectively disappeared yet people are still installing solar at a reasonably steady rate. BTW, I’m not putting India and China on a pedestal, just pointing out that they see the sense in getting out of polluting generation options. Compared to fossil fuels and nuclear, wind and solar have only recently reached the point where they can compete against the old guard. The next five years are going to be interesting despite apologists like Alex spinning stories about his cherished nuclear power.

        • Common Sense

          Germany has the highest uptake. They also encourage and subsidise local storage which puts a lower demand on the grid and can also lower the chance of blackouts by spreading the load. We export ours back to the grid so we can buy our own generation back at a higher price than we sell it for or we can use it as we generate it, in the day time, and still pay for peak rates at night. So, more profits for our multi-national energy companies. It also overloads our transformers in areas that have a high uptake, so we have all been stung by the “gold plating” of our network. Yes, we had a generous rebate scheme, but that is long gone now. I’m glad I installed solar on my father’s place when the 60c deal was still going. It’s due to run out soon, but by then it will have paid for the installation. Next step will be local storage and hopefully the cost will come down soon with the inroads the Germans are making in that field, a field that Australia should be investing in but our current politicians don’t believe climate change exists, just ask Abbott and Murdoch. They know more about it than 98% of the worlds most respected scientist. Seems the word “profit” is much more important than the word “future”. Makes sense…not.

    • Dave-East Coast

      India’s generation capacity is 250 gW, so 20gW is a substantial extra capacity

  • Rob G

    India and China are in great position to start fresh with a renewable infrastructure. It just makes good sense to tap energy locally (renewables of course) rather than mine, ship, train then burn. Once the momentum starts it won’t stop and it will finish coal for good. We already know how quick China can roll things out.

    And all the while Australia will be stuck on pause. When it should have been leading the way and becoming the Germany of the Southern hemisphere bring large scale manufacturing back to Australia…

    • Brendan Thomas Punton

      I was working with the two German/Danish companies Vestas and repower when repower was taken over by a super rich Indian guy who was looking to take it to India…everyone had knowledge of this in 2007! Abbott is more than a step behind what’s going on… Someone should give a rocking chair and 20 cats

  • Alen

    It’s astounding just how many indicators all seem to point towards the decline of coal consumption, and we still have individuals claiming coal has a prosperous future… Please forward this article to Greg Hunt’s office, I really doubt he’s up-to-date with the current global energy scene.

  • david_fta

    BTW, this is not “worse” news for Australia – this is the best news possible.

    • Alen

      Well said

    • Ben Wilson

      its meant “worse” news in the way that its going to severely undermine any plans for these giant environmentally destructive projects to go ahead, Adani still needs to source billions of $ worth of capital and if its made clear to Australian corporations that its just a huge waste of money for a dead end project it will never eventuate

  • michael
  • Dr. A. Cannara

    “solar parks” — since when have parks become no-man’s lands, no-species lands…?

    Local solar is great and it’s long been known that there’s more than enough sunlit human structure on earth than needed to meet peak daytime loads.

    Local solar, EVs, efficient storage and India’s new nuclear are all it (or we) will ever need.

    • JonathanMaddox

      You never heard of an industry park? Or a car park, for that matter?

      • Dr. A. Cannara

        Industrial ‘parks’ have jobs, offices, whatever greenery they want and multiple stories to minimize land consumption.

        Solar ‘farm’s’ conscript all their land for no one’s use but the cleaning & repair crews. Haven’t been able to percweive the difference between a valley floor covered with panels and access roads… and an industrial park?

        All those panels could simply be on structures, closer to loads and so not wasting power & land. But you knew that, eh Jon?
        ;]

        • JonathanMaddox

          Yes, of course it makes more sense to co-locate solar panels with existing structures, especially those with on-site electricity demand. It’s even generally competitive, because it’s behind the meter.

          Ground-mounted solar PV does not eliminate all life forms in the vicinity. Pavement laid directly over the soil does that far more effectively than does an aluminium rack and a bit of shade.

          https://goo.gl/maps/klGHD

          “Solar farms” in reasonably well-watered areas generally have plenty of grass around, which needs to be mowed or grazed just like any other paddock.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/us/sheep-power-at-a-san-antonio-solar-farm.html

          Shade-tolerant crops can share the land just as well.

          http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/japan-next-generation-farmers-cultivate-agriculture-and-solar-energy

          • JonathanMaddox

            Hmm, I added some pretty pics but they don’t show. Just do a google image search for “solar and grazing” or “solar and crops”. Plenty of ground-mount solar panels in the world with green stuff growing around and underneath.

          • Dr. A. Cannara

            Jon, the issue with any ‘farms’ is that they’re not needed. As the Lewis Group at Caltech reported years ago, there’s more sunlit human structure on earth than needed to meet all peak daytime loads with just PV & hot-water panels.

            If someone offered us 10% more income by making a simple change in our lives, we’d think on it, right? Local solar gives about a 10% benefit simply from lower transmission losses. Add in the absence of environmental intrusions, and there’s no logical support for ‘farm’ deployments.

            Local solar also offers the opportunity for utilities to add local storage at their switching/sub-station sites, close to loads, from which they derive further efficiencies and perhaps revenue opportunity. Local generation & storage provides obvious robustness to the resulting grid — something we’re short on today.

  • SEEYA COAL, SEEYA POLLUTERS, SEEYA CORRUPTION!

  • Vic

    The Galilee/Abbot Point deal seems to be getting as murky as the waters in Gladstone harbour…

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/getup-fears-dirty-tricks-after-youtube-pulls-video-20140728-zxots.html

  • RogerDty

    Not sure why you say this is bad news?
    You have embraced a misleading metaphor for the Australian economy as a corporation with exports somehow equal to revenue. (A metaphor embraced by coal industry, of course). In fact, economic activity is determined within Australia with trade and external capital flows cancelling each other out. Externality of burning coal would be a negative for Australia as other comments point out.

  • DavidSG

    My neighbour grows pumpkins. I grow pumpkins. My neighbour’s pumpkins are fat and juicy. Mine wither on the vine. I can see how my neighbour does it. Yet I chose to tell my wife that my way is the right way, and keep on doing like I’ve always done it.

    Think of the neighbour as Norway (or any other wealthy Scandinavian country). I am Australia.

    That’s how politics work here.

    • Blair Donaldson

      Sadly your analogy is spot-on.
      I think it’s odd that the NLP are determined to prop up outdated industries rather than promote the development of new ones. They say they are not about picking winners (when it suits) but they are, and have been, clearly supporting coal.

  • Wow! Most of you people have completely bought the Rockefeller line, you know? RINGO’s (Rockefeller Initiated NGO’s). Tim Buckley works for one, the “stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom” plan was funded by Rockefeller funds. The Rockefeller family still own a stake in Exxon. Bill McKibben is works for a RINGO too. Here’s the rub. Shortly after Obama got ‘tough on coal’ the first ever large scale CCS project got funded, but it gets worse! The NRG Energy W.A. Parish CCS Project is designed to deliver CO2 to a CO2 Enhanced OIl Recovery project ( a market has been manufactured for CO2). Tough on coal and climate inaction have delivered us to the point where mobs like the Poola funded Climate Institute are supporting research into CCS (Poola also help fund the ACF). Wrongtown!

  • Rikaishi Rikashi

    I wouldn’t get married to the idea that the LNP are oblivious to coal’s limited lifespan. In fact, I think their unseemly haste in digging it up is evidence that they know it very well, and are trying to sell off this national asset before it becomes worthless.

    Of course that’s an idiotic plan for two big reasons; Climate change, and the eventual cost to the economy of a gimped renewables sector.

    To the conservative mind, the first problem is easily dismissed because “Climate change is crap.” The second is given little consideration since the renewable industry is a threat to their mates in the big three power companies, thus they appear to have internalised the view that renewables are an “eyesore” as Smokin’ Joe so helpfully explained.

  • CTN

    Australia, land of dumbfucks. wouldn’t touch these assholes with a barge pole. stupid as fuck.

  • Mark

    It was inevitable given their population growth and diminishing air quality that they would move away from coal fired power, it doesn’t surprise me that our government would try and wring every last cent from the coal industry while the going is good, but it will be a while yet before supply surpasses demand.