Adani’s great big coal mine gets green light, but hits solar wall

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Queensland Labor government’s all-clear to develop world’s largest new thermal coal mine shows Australia’s major political parties are not yet ready, or willing, to let go of the fossil fuel dream.

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If the Queensland Labor government’s final all-clear of plans to develop the world’s largest new thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin signifies anything, it is that Australia’s major political parties are not yet ready, or willing, to let go of the fossil fuel dream.

But while the Palaszczuk government seems determined to keep the coal fires burning, even Adani – the Indian energy giant behind the much-derided Carmichael development – appears to have moved on. Largely, to solar.

As we write, Adani Group is reportedly hovering over the Indian solar assets of America’s SunEdison, as the former PV giant lurches towards bankruptcy.coal import

And in Australia, the company is showing more active interest in the potential development of a large-scale solar plant in the heart of another Queensland coal region, the Bowen Basin.

RenewEconomy reported last October that Adani executives had been meeting with landowners in the Isaac Regional Council to gauge their interest in hosting a large solar farm.

Since then, the company has confirmed it is chasing investment opportunities in Australia’s solar generation sector, with a focus on potential opportunities in Queensland and South Australia.

Meanwhile, Adani responded to the news of the state government approval of the Galilee Basin coal project by pushing it out yet another year.

That is because, as Fairfax media’s Michael West has rightly pointed out, a green light from the Queensland Labor – dispiriting though it may be – means very little in the big scheme of this project.

As Adani well knows, the true hurdle for this project – and it’s a big one – is finding the $10 billion-odd of financial backing required to progress the mine and connected port and rail expansion, in a market where coal prices and demand are falling off a cliff.

As IEEFA analyst Tim Buckley wrote here in February, the Indian government’s draft Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) policy guidelines, released in December 2015, formally acknowledged that the capital construction cost of coal-fired power generation rose by 35-40 per cent over the last five years or so, mainly on the requirement for modern ultra-super critical (USC) power plant technologies with full emissions controls built in.

“By comparison, the cost of renewable energy is forecast to continue to decline at a rate of 5-10 per cent per annum over the next decade. This follows a staggering 25 per cent year-on-year decline in unsubsidised installed solar costs in India in the year to January 2016 to a new record low of Rs4.34/kWh (US$64/MWh).”

The world over, Buckley writes, “financing for old coal-fired power plants is progressively disappearing, just as debt and equity financing for new coal mines across Australia, America and Indonesia has evaporated over the last year and bankruptcies progressively claim most of the US industry. As capital flight from the global coal sector continues, the stranded assets risks increase.”

Certainly, Australia’s big four banks – not to mention a number of international financial groups – have signalled they want little to do with the project, which is about as environmentally toxic as it is financially risky.

In climate terms, a November 2015 report from The Australia Institute projected that the digging up and burning of the 2.3 billion tonnes of coal contained in the Galilee Basin deposit would effectively cancel out the pledged annual emission reductions of Australia, and for New Zealand nearly 10 times over.

carmichael carbon-2015-11-12-at-11.32.19-am

 

In terms of the global carbon budget, TAI’s report finds that the cumulative emissions of the Carmichael coal mine over the course of its life would account for 1/180th of the world’s remaining carbon budget between now and 2050.

So why on earth would the Palaszczuk wave through such a carbon bomb? As West puts is, “it is all about the appearance of commitment to jobs, jobs that will never occur unless the coal price doubles, and it is about the government not getting bashed up by the opposition for being anti-jobs and abandoning its election commitments.

“Coal price $US50 a tonne, transport costs $US25/t. It’s not going to happen.”

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120 Comments
  1. Keith 3 years ago

    What I don’t understand is how state and federal politicians can think it is good for their careers to be so out of touch. Are they really so insulated from what is happening in the world concerning fossil fuel investments?

    It is almost as if they are in a time warp bubble….

    • Pfitzy 3 years ago

      Insulated? No.
      Indentured? Yes.

      Remember that mining (beyond just fossil fuels) tips a lot of money into various political areas in order to ensure they sit at the head of the table. Particularly when it comes to subsidies.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        Yes your right but we can’t burn coal for much longer. Coal and oil can’t get easy finance anyway, so will die, Gold and other precious metals we need. Just as long as they don’t allow the bastards to f&ck up the environment. Agree?

        • Pfitzy 3 years ago

          Yep all of that. We still need to mine stuff – hard to make solar panels, batteries of any chemistry, or any other consumer goods without it! For now that still needs oil to power machinery.

          Where we need to get smart is recycling all this stuff we make, and renewable energy can definitely help with that.

          If anyone wants a decent read, have a look at David Brin’s “Earth” – for a bloke writing in the late 80s he made some startling predictions:

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_(Brin_novel)

    • Chris Fraser 3 years ago

      Also read Michael West (SMH) today on the Galilee White Elephant. It is implied the QLD Labor Government made a high-viz hard-hat announcement on site yesterday after their approvals because they didn’t want to be seen as anti mining jobs. They’re smart … but want you to think they’re stupid. Apparently their stupid look is a pinnacle of successful politics.

      • Pfitzy 3 years ago

        Best part from that article: “Coal price $US50 a tonne, transport costs $US25/t. It’s not going to happen.”

        • NB 3 years ago

          This is not the website for a pro coal person such as myself to make a long winded statement so i won’t stoke your collective fires any more than i have to. All politics aside; Adani and Alpha have feasibility studies, concluding FOB costs of under $50 (AUD) per tonne. Adani’s Port and rail costs are $12-14. The figures quoted for transport of $25 are incorrect. simple as that.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            Great. So they should have no problems getting finance then.

          • Pfitzy 3 years ago

            Cool. I can read the studies myself if they’re publicly available, and you can point me in their direction.

          • NB 3 years ago

            Its just what I’ve heard around the camp fire…You don’t have to believe me.

          • Coley 3 years ago

            The coal burning ‘camp fire’ no doubt-;)

          • NB 3 years ago

            Transport costs in Australia are firstly measured in $AUD, not $US, same as mining costs. The fact that the drop in thermal coal price (for the last 18 months at least) has simply tracked the AUD/USD fall, means that the 5500 bench price sits today at around AUD$70/tonne, take a bit off for less energy value/higher moisture, add a bit for a shorter freight and cleaner ash, it would still clear $10/t profit today. Assuming their cost estimates are right of course…

          • Petra Liverani 3 years ago

            Why are you pro-coal?

          • NB 3 years ago

            Hello Petra. I’ve never been asked that before and it’s a really interesting question. The answer would be an essay which I’m not prepared to write, and I’m sure it’s not something you wish to read. Here’s the shorthand.

            Obviously, the coal industry pays my (like many others) bills, mortgage and feeds my family. I’ll defend that. Who wouldn’t? But mostly it’s because I have over the years been involved in studies of both a technical, marketing and commercial nature. I know for absolute fact (and I obviously can’t disclose the sources so please don’t be like others here and make childish requests for me to do so) that the vast majority of facts and stories written about the industry and the Galilee basin in particular are simply untrue. I am an honest person and this tactic (for that’s what it is let’s be honest) does not sit well with my moral code. I do believe and hope that coal will be phased out, and replaced with renewables. I want my boy to grow up in a clean world. When they become economic according to my household I will have solar battery storage in a heartbeat. I recycle everything and I hate the impact we have on other creatures on this planet. That story last week of the dead sperm whales full of plastic broke my heart.

            That said I know that (for example) an increase in carbon emissions will not harm ‘the planet’. The planet will be just fine and dandy for many billions of years no matter what we do to it. I know that the impact on the reef from dredging 42km away will be miniscule. Part of me (the irrational part) almost wishes that the earth would demonstrate a real volcanic eruption. Lake Toba, Taupo, yellowstone etc…One that forces us to us appreciate the true meaning of climate change and makes us appreciate that we are mere fleas living on the back of this beast.

            I’ve travelled through India extensively. I wish I believed that solar could replace coal as a baseload power source but I just don’t. I even read a report recently that suggested coal powered grid electricity is a dumb idea for an entire state in India because they didn’t have heavy industry to support it.They don’t have heavy industry so who cares if they have baseload power.

            I despise the sneaky and immoral way that anti coal people/groups are cleverly and expensively packaged up as independent analysts and think tanks. I hate the way that media regurgitate this stuff, even publications like new scientist. Which still have my respect for their content, but less so than before.

            I sat in the midst of an Eagle St Adani protest and looked around me. I didn’t like the people. They were bitter and mean, they were not balanced or rational in thought. I got the feeling they didn’t work or pay bills or feed families. They’re opinion is not relevant to the vast majority of peoples lives. Certainly not mine.

            I despise the way that we as industry professionals (I understand this statement may raise heckles) have to abide by rules and codes and ethics. (And we absolutely do). Whereas our industries opponents can go no holds barred.

            I hate the way that a few years back Queensland farmers were the enemy of the reef because of nitrate runoff etc. Now they are lock the gate allies (until they get the money they are after) and nothing has changed.

            That will do. It just feels like a witch hunt, and I always back the underdog 🙂

          • Petra Liverani 3 years ago

            Thanks for your reply NB. So you “despise the sneaky and immoral way that anti coal people/groups are cleverly and expensively packaged as independent analysts and think tanks.” I have to admit I’m a volunteer with Beyond Zero Emissions – one of the world’s top think tanks to watch, according to the Lauder Institute’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. I’m impressed to hear we seem expensively packaged cos we operate on a shoestring budget. What do you think of Elizabeth Farrelly’s article in the SMH about the IPA? http://www.smh.com.au/comment/institute-of-public-affairs-the-think-tank-with-arms-everywhere-20160406-gnzlhq. I heard Farrelly speak at the Beyond Coal and Gas Conference held over the weekend. She said she received a letter from a retired journalist saying that her article only addressed the tip of the iceberg. Also at the conference were Indigenous people and other Australians from all around the country as well as Asians and an American who told distressing stories about how ruthless fossil fuel companies and their mining has so badly affected their lives.

      • Duncan C Mills 3 years ago

        Lets hope that is the case!

        • john 3 years ago

          $70 plus to land at a new coal burning plant.
          Energy produced too expensive for the poor to afford.
          Impossible to pay back interest let alone the loan so not viable for the foreseeable future.

      • Thucydides 3 years ago

        That is indeed the only rational explanation – they are playing a duplicitous game to forestall political attack from the usual suspects. But I would not call this ‘smart’. The whole world, this country included, faces an unprecedented challenge trying to limit the extent of an unfolding climate catastrophe. To deal with a climate emergency we need real leaders who can explain the truth, however unpalatable, and persuade everyone to face the facts and get behind the effort. Instead we have weak leaders who don’t have the guts to speak the truth and who continue to lie to voters by pretending ‘we can have thousands of new mining jobs and still save the Great Barrier Reef’.
        History will record that, like Neville Chamberlain, Premier Palaszczuk chose to kick a political problem even further down the road and left looming disaster to continue unaddressed.

        • Coley 3 years ago

          Good points, but in fairness many historians believe Chamberlain was attempting to buy time for Britain to rearm, the same can’t be said for Turnbull whose policies seem to be unconditional surrender to the FF lobby.

        • Frank 3 years ago

          I think it makes more sense to think of the political process as a way of choosing followers, not leaders. Politicians try to figure out “the will of the people” and then tell them what they think they want to hear, so they can get elected. Of course the will of political donor people is more important than a normal voter, or an irrelevant non voter.

          Now in the case where the populace percieves a crisis, they may accept some leadership, but when they aren’t ready to listen, they don’t want to hear it. Also, when public opinion is fairly evenly divided, they can pick a side, but sometimes just try to be quiet.

  2. John Saint-Smith 3 years ago

    I’ll be generous and assume that by approving a mine that has no chance of actually exporting a tonne of coal, the Palaszczuk Government is being ‘tricky’ and ‘agile’ like Turnbull. The PM makes outrageous tax reform proposals that he knows will never be passed by the Senate, ensuring that he gets his DD trigger, and tough talk (of irresponsibility and punishment) that plays well to the conservative peanut gallery looking over his shoulder.

    • Coley 3 years ago

      Unfortunately the peanut brains of governments and those of the media seem to have a disproportionate influence on the general population, is the answer to give the Simpsons an RE/ EV message?
      While I personally despair! If it does the job, go for it-:)

  3. rick 3 years ago

    I find it hard to believe that our political leaders (HA HA) can be so stupid as to approve another coal mine and next to the Great Barrier Reef and to expect it to be exported through the reef without problems EG running aground. Yes it happens even with pilots on board. Look renewables are the way this planet has to go and If we put more of our efforts into research and development then we can achieve what at the moment is out of our reach. Start thinking about it people you can have a much better planet to live on than the polluted one we have now.

  4. Geoff 3 years ago

    You have to remember Adani is a vertically integrated energy company servicing its home base which is the largest electricity starved market in the world. Adani is a mining company, a transport company, I suspect a construction company, and an electricity generator and an electricity retailer. It clips the ticket all the way through to energy process.
    Adani running the rule of the many failed solar generators is not surprising. SolarEdison will likely go for a song with the banks and investors taking a massive haircut. At a fire sale price Adani may be able to make a buck. Solar won’t have any impact on its intent in India which is to provide cheap reliable 24/7 base load grid electricity to the masses. Something solar and wind can’t do.

    • Alistair Spong 3 years ago

      Except that solar and wind can help provide more reliable power than the present Indian system, so called baseload power is a myth perpetuated to support archaic fossil generators . Generators that can quickly fill shortfalls from variable renewables will win the day – this isn’t coal or nuclear , possibly gas – more likely to be solar thermal

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        Correct!

      • Geoff 3 years ago

        Solar thermal. Really? You must be theist person on that bandwagon. Re Grids. How do you think the massive solar farms distribute their electricity? Of course distributes only between 10am and 4 pm. Coal generation is 24/7 and scales up to meet demand. With solar demand has to be reduced to meet available solar electricity availae. Big difference.

        • Suburbable 3 years ago

          Solar thermal works differently to PV solar fsrms. Big solar thermal plants can store heat in saline and other solutions, extending their ability to supply power. Solar thermal has the advantage that the heat is used to generate steam to turn the generators. This means they are directly compatible with currently coal fired power stations. The turbines in the power stations don’t care where their steam comes from. This also means solar thermal csn be used with existing infrastructure for distributing power. ST wins over coal all the way and even wins over PV when applied to our model of centrslized power generation.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Like the one that just went bust?

          • Coley 3 years ago

            Have a look at the share prices of the coal producers worldwide, and here in the UK, our biggest coal producer, UK Coal went bust last year. Dream on hinny.

          • Suburbable 3 years ago

            One solat thermal went bust trying to help shape a better future, how many cosl fired plants are on the verge of going bust but survive purely on politicsl will. Dinosaurs will go the way of dinosaurs soon enough.

        • Chris Fraser 3 years ago

          I still feel we’re coming at this from a ‘only minimum change’ perspective. The perceived issue that solar is for only part of the day and but coal is 24/7 surely comes with a desire to not shift loads to the middle of the day – such as we have seen recently with Energex soaking up PV export to heat water under controlled load switching at 12pm.Surely this desire for coal energy comes with not recognising appliances and electronics are increasingly efficient. In addition, homes are now better insulated thanks to building technologies and hey just better designed for lifestyles each in their own climatic zone.None of us are assured the old diurnal coal era load patterns are fixed and we then have to find ways to consume all its capacity. We have to think of better ways of using new technology and meeting our needs.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Let me know as you go with rationing power to consumers. That will work….

          • Chris Fraser 3 years ago

            Ah, just there ! Can readers spot the ideology ? The fear of energy rationing is the antithesis of increasing energy independence.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Just noting that what we have now, by definition, base load cranks up or winds down to meet current consumer demand. This what we call base load and throughout the world is provided by Nuclear or Hydroo which is emission free or coal, oil, gas, biomass which have emissions. Renewables cannot do that. Using current available technology, renewables need base load backup from one or more of the base load fuel sources. Just a fact. Personally I believe thorium reactors will be the future. Abundant thorium no nuclear waste and actually uses existing spent nuclear fuel as it’s fuel source. That or fusion. There never has been a shortage of energy and there never will be. It is always a matter of what energy source to use. Fossil fuels remain an incredibly abundant and versatile source of energy. Look around you and try to find an activity that does not use fossil fuels in some shape or form. Fertilizers, plastics, medical, cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships, earning, fishing, night football, heating cooling, rubber on your jiggers. An amazing resource….. It is even essential in making solar panels and windmills.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            Actually, no. “Baseload” – those large coal and nuclear generators, have limited or no ability to “crank up and down” as you suggest. That’s why they need expensive gas as back-up, to respond to surges in demand. And why demand such as hot water systems has to be shifted to night-time to ensure that the coal and nuclear don’t produce useless energy. The future lies in “flexibility: – plants such as solar thermal with storage and batteries that can respond to changes in demand and supply.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Giles. You are completely incorrect. Base load generation whether fossil fuel or nuclear or hydro like Snowy River are run to meet expected peak levels. Turbines are progressively brought on line or taken off to meet the rise and fall in demand. Gas turbines are needed to supplement the erratic supply coming from solar and windmills. Nobody can forecast when cloud cover or wind starting or stopping breaks the supply/demand balance. The demand side is fairly predictable. It is the renewable supply side that is the problem and hence the quick fired gas turbines. Obviously the gas turbines are essential at night if people still want to watch live footy at the MCG or boil a kettle or catch a tram or any of the thousands of activities we do at night…….. when the sun don’t shine.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            Wow. Just how ignorant are you:
            You say: “Gas turbines are needed to supplement the erratic supply coming from solar and windmills.”
            Actually gas turbines have been used for decades to respond to changing demand. Their use since introduction of wind and solar has actually decreased, as they found out in south australia.
            “Nobody can forecast when cloud cover or wind starting or stopping breaks the supply/demand balance. ”
            Actually they can, in South Australia, the forecasting for wind is 95% accurate within 30 minutes, 92% accurate 24 hours out. A lot more predictable than demand.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Giles. South Australia gets its base load from Victorian Brown Coal generation via the connector. This will continue forever as SA is heading down this loopy path of “100% renewable energy” whatever the fuck that means. SA ain’t the sharpest toll in the shed. It has progressed to be the financial basket case of Australia. Giles. Trust me. If you ever wish to get blocked on social media just ask Christine Milne and Di Natali a simple question. (I have asked both many times$
            “In your 100% renewable society how do you intend to get your Green MOs and Senators to Canberra for Parliamentary sittings without using follis fuel?”
            Second question
            ” How will you make a pizza and get it delivered to Di Natali’s hotel room in Canberra…… Without using Fossil Fuel?”
            They have no answer to simple implementation questions for a 100% renewable society. Giles. Look around you. Identify every fossil fuel activity and propose a replacement. Good night. Time to push out zzzzzzzs.

          • Coley 3 years ago

            ^^^
            Above seems to indicate you have lost both the plot and the argument, don’t despair, the Christopher Booker comments section in the UKs ‘Sunday Telegraph’ offers a refuge-;)

          • Coley 3 years ago

            Ok, gas turbines to supplement renewables in the medium to short term, as an accepted transitional supply, most, I believe have no problem with that, given that many RE projections give them a max future of approx twenty years.
            And aye, and no problems with safe affordable nuclear, but clear the decks, pig squadron is about to lift off-;)

          • Vincent Lopez 3 years ago

            Of course fossil fuels are abundant. That doesn’t mean we should burn it all.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Of course. I agree. Once we get a replacement for baseliad fossil fuel electricity generation then sure swap over. Nuclear does the job. New Zealand has a very high base load generation from Hydro because of its topography and rainfall / storage assets. The whole argument is getting some sort of alternative base load generation that can do what current fossil fuel generation does ( and does very well)
            It is peculiar that Tasmania has an abundant Hydro resource but greens over the years have blocked further development of this resource. Now due to admittedly a convergence if circumstances now uses electricity from Victorias Brown Coal in La Trobe valley. Seems a terrible waste of an abundant and clean energy resource. It is also weird we are the major producer of yellow cake for nuclear electricity generation throughout the world but we don’t use it here. If we follows Frances example of the last few decades we too would generate 80% of our electricity via a network of 50 or so nuclear power plants. UK is heading in this direction with their new generation nuclear power plants being built. Ironic isn’t it. I mean we get slagged because our per capita carbon footprint is highest in the world. Why? Because unlike France, most or EU, USA, Canada etc use nuclear to varying degrees instead of fossil fuel. But allegedly educated Australia is one of the FW First World countries who don’t use nuclear. A Green boogeyman man myth that we all simply accept. Even Japan with all it’s terrible accidents has restarted its nuclear generators. Australia must look pretty dumb in the eyes of the world. My bedtime. Gotta get some shut eye. Have enjoyed the discussions.

          • Coley 3 years ago

            Have a good look at our ( the UKs) first dip into nuclear for years, it’s an unmitigated disaster, only progressing (very slowly) because of Tory politicians being unable to admit they got it wrong ( or being reluctant to give up a very lucrative income stream)

          • Chris Fraser 3 years ago

            I wasn’t going to introduce fissile technologies, but at least you are clear about those. In regard to grid independence I am only saying that my own household production reduces the risk of sudden shortages which happen regardless of the generator being used. It improves the situation for both me and grid-wedded people. You now wish to promote the grid as the only source of energy available because of modern nukes which I clearly can’t keep at home.

          • Suburbable 3 years ago

            We are on the same page on this one, thorium reactors are one of my hopes for the future. Hydro and biomass are renewable in my book, but the base load fallacy is an economic one, not a technical issue.

          • Suburbable 3 years ago

            Why would you need to ration? When you view things from an integrated renewables perspective you need to see things from the view of abundance, not scarcity. Come out of your cave, Geoff, and into the light (pun intended).

        • RH 3 years ago

          The massive solar farms are all in developed countries with very reliable transmission systems. Indian generation transmission distribution and pricing is all Work In Progress. Your comparison has a poor basis. And it is amazing that you forget that close to half a billion people in South Asia HAVE NO ELECTRICITY AT ALL. They are in the Poverty Trap and talking to them of solar is like throwing a life jacket to a drowning man in the middle of the Pacific while you sail on.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            Having trouble following your argument.

          • Coley 3 years ago

            Whey, thons a surprise., you aren’t/were a coal,miner were you Geoff? I was,and the closure of mines here in the UK was hard to accept, and done for all the wrong reasons, but in retrospect it means I, my children and grandchildren will have clean air to breathe.
            (Even better when EVs come to dominate)
            Do what I did, do a bit research and see where the future lies.

      • Geoff 3 years ago

        Guys. I read the same article debunking base load. What do you think runs hospitals, airports, trains, hi rise buildings, lifts, lighting, heating/cooling manufacturing.etc etc etc….24/7?
        Day AND night, windy or no wind? Yep that “unnecessary”base load.
        Don’t waste your breath on batteries or thermal, tidal chatter.

    • Pfitzy 3 years ago

      You can’t prove baseload without a grid. You can’t build a grid to people who can’t afford it. India (and other third world economies) have massive uptake in mobile technologies because traditional Western concepts cost too much.

      Yes, there are big cities who need power, and maybe even need our coal. It isn’t going to realise $22B in making another giant hole in the ground thousands of miles and an ocean away.

      But there are many communities who don’t have grid power, for whom solar is the quickest, best answer.

      Read the article on this very site about the baseload myth.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        You too are correct. Have a biscuit!

        • Pfitzy 3 years ago

          I like biscuits

      • Geoff 3 years ago

        That is the guys of Adanis business plan. Bring cheap and stable electricity via the grid to metropolitan India. Hence the high quality coal and efficient mining and delivery Australia can provide. Geographically we are a straight line to India. Don’t have to pass around Capes in the Southern Ocean or traverse Suez or Panama canals. Adani has a long term plan. We should be grateful. Progressively Australian manufacturing is going offshore as you crow eaters are painfully aware. Who do you think provides the foreign exchange to fund our imported lifestyle (ironically including imported windmills and solar panels…..) you guessed it. The miners. Thank god for the natural gas exports coming on line.

        • Vincent Lopez 3 years ago

          No Geoff, Adani’s business plan is just to make a heap of profit under the ‘guise’ of helping poor Indians. Adani doesn’t care about them. Best to leave the coal in the ground and let the Indians have clean air and water, and put solar panels on every house, like they are doing in Bangladesh.

        • Ian 3 years ago

          The other nice thing about Australia for Adani is that most of the costs to set up their mine will be covered by the government and with the best of Indian creative accounting they will never be required to pay any tax. The only costs will be transportation to get the coal to India, they might even get the Queensland government to pay for that.

      • Suburbable 3 years ago

        Right. Baseload is an economic myth, not a technical fact.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      Solar and wind can do and will do a lot cheaper. Get ya hand off the other one Jeffy.

      • Geoff 3 years ago

        Try to stick with sensible comment Solarguy. Please name one city, anywhere in the world, that has solar/wind as 100% supply without fossil fuel generation providing the base load. Melbourne has been voted Worlds Most Liveable City twice and 80% of its electricity is generated from brown coal. Vics also sell their electricity to South Australia and Tasmania.

        • Marcus 3 years ago

          Uruguay, was 95% renewables in 2015

        • Rodney Lloyd 3 years ago

          Geoff, Try living in Latrobe Valley and wonder if we can do electricity better; of course we can. Problems around emerging technologies that many put up, are just solutions in the making. Get yourself an Apricus evacutaed tube solar hot water unit and count the summer days with no gas or watts to back it up, grinning. If we had all day I could tell you about PV.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            I have solar hot water system with mains backup. Works a treat. My hot water bill is about $7 per 3 months. What I like about the La Trobe generation is it uses a resource that is totally useless except for making abundant and cheap electricity. Brown Coal. There is supposed to be 500+ years worth. Remember this is a resource we don’t have to import which is great because everything we touch these days comes from somewhere else by ship or plane. Why allan is going bust because we can’t make steel competitively. Car manufacturing is all buy gone. All the wind and solar is imported even our food. Sad.
            Here is an interesting link. Hhh

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            This is an interesting article. Read it to the end. Covers many technical difficulties of a large melted salt solar hybrid system

            http://m.pe.com/articles/plant-783703-gas-energy.html

          • Giles 3 years ago

            rE, Geoff. You do realise that the Ivanpah plant does not use molten salt, and does not produce electricity at night. It just boils water.

            The solar thermal plants that do use molten salt, and do store at night, such as Gemasolar in Spain, use no gas at all.

        • JeffJL 3 years ago

          thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/14/3701210/third-american-city-renewable-energy/

          Google and you shall find. OK it has hydro but no ff generation.

        • Jordan Hanson 3 years ago

          Obviously, that’s the problem. Bhutan is carbon negative. A combination of solar, hydro and wind will provide energy for all hours. Actually it’s handy having solar for the peak energy usage which happens to be during the day.

        • Coley 3 years ago

          Memo to Koch brothers, stop wasting money on internet disinformation, save it for your lawyers, you’ll need every penny-;)

        • Solar Sparky 3 years ago

          I’ll go 4 better Geoff.

          Aspen, Colorado. http://www.aspentimes.com/news/17972193-113/aspen-is-third-us-city-to-reach-100
          Burlington, Vermont.
          Greensburg, Kansas.
          Feldheim, Germany (admittedly a little on the small side but it was a while ago)
          Wildpolsreid, Germany (generates a meagre 500% of their requirements via renewable sources and exports to other surrounding municipalities)

  5. rick 3 years ago

    Solar can provide the base load that you mention with molten salt used to provide the motive force to drive generators that create steam to propel the electricity generators now as I said the work needs to be done to improve our renewables and all the associated gear needed, once again it is up to you to do the required homework for yourself to see that coal etc is not the way we should be looking to. Look overseas to see what other countries are doing that we are not. knowledge is what we need to help the environment Just a hint America and Spain both have solar molten salt generators in operation its just that in Australia our banks and investment institutions do not invest because they do not care and do not have the right type of research being done to give the correct direction for investment in any thing that is outside their narrow range of what they consider the place they should be putting money.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      I think Ozzie banks will change their tune in due course, for they too buy money to lend if they don’t have enough of their own. But before that happens they’ll see the trend and follow suite.

      • Geoff 3 years ago

        Without government subsidies banks won’t touch large scale windmills or solar.

        • Pfitzy 3 years ago

          Without government subsidies, the miners wouldn’t still be here. The vehicle manufacturing industries would have collapsed long before now.

          People who complain about solar and wind subsidies tend to forget that. And the scale at which subsides are handed out – typically 10:1 over renewables.

        • Coley 3 years ago

          Aye,they are just pouring their money into coal infrastructure ain’t they?-;)

    • Geoff 3 years ago

      The solar salt generator went bust. The natural gas needed to initially warm the salt in the mornings was equal to 25% of the entire output. Do some current research.

      • Rodney Lloyd 3 years ago

        Geoff, This is interesting, can you provide a link? The coal at Loy Yang was too wet, they dried it before combustion. Not sure of current practices.

        • Geoff 3 years ago

          http://m.pe.com/articles/plant-783703-gas-energy.html
          Read this rather lengthy article. It is about the large solar plant in the Mojave Desert. It uses mirrors to melt salt for night electricity production.
          Explains the technical difficulties and analyses current output and gas use.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            Er, Geoff. You do realise that the Ivanpah plant does not use molten salt, and does not produce electricity at night. It just boils water.
            The solar thermal plants that do use molten salt, and do store at night, such as Gemasolar in Spain, use no gas at all.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            Different link. Same solar plant. It does not use molten salt or store energy.

          • Geoff 3 years ago

            ffs Giles. The least you can do is read the article.

            “……Solana, however, also can store heat in massive tanks of salt to continue producing electricity for six hours after sunset……”

    • Geoff 3 years ago

      Google Arbengoa. It has gone into receivership in Spain and US.

      • Keith 3 years ago

        Hi Geoff,

        Or try the US coal industry…..

  6. Ian 3 years ago

    We all know the coalition are energy policy Palookas, but labor is showing its true colours by approving Adani’s environmental rape. These two parties are two sides of the same coin. Heads FF wins, tails renewables loses.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      Clearly you didn’t read the last part of the article or you wouldn’t have said that Ian. Please go back for a look, yeah.

      • Ian 3 years ago

        Read the first paragraph of the article. Labor’s Palasczcuk did the final approval for the Carmichael mine. Just as culpable as the Liberals.

        • solarguy 3 years ago

          Ian, seeing that you didn’t spot it, here is the drum. The QLD Labor government has done this to appease out of work miners, but knowing fully that the mine won’t go ahead because nobody, including the government will not finance it. Got it.

          Read the last to paragraphs.

  7. Geoff 3 years ago
    • Coley 3 years ago

      Aye, I’m going to flog me SUED shares and buy as many Peabody coal shares as I can get me hands on-;)

  8. rick 3 years ago

    To Geoff I think you know what the internet is and what it is useful for so start searching Solar Thermal I am sure you will find the info you need to remove your doubts.

  9. rick 3 years ago

    Geoff the Grid is just a highway electricity drives down which can be basically built where you need it, infrastructure is what you call it. people with foresight yes people with brains to look at providing the large scale long term building blocks of an energy system that is going to be needing continual additions and changes as technology changes, improves and takes wrong turns it is all part of the you have to build it before you will know if it works well or it was not quite right for the application. Look back 50 years what was the internet absolutely nothing it was only a telephone system that did not work very well then( it was based on American military system of communicating and guess what it became the Internet). Guess what technology improved to the rough model we now have with fibre optics the latest form of delivery, I just need the price to come down to a level I can afford, this will happen with large scale adoption as with any new technology and changes bring with it,open up the top of your head and let new ideas in some work some don’t but that is how we learn its called trial and error. The solar, wind, and all renewables need people to stand behind it and adopt the technology and any of you ostriches out there keep eating your coal I’m sure you coal dependant dinos will go the way of the dinos if we ignore you for long enough. Now like I said before do your own research, look to as many sources for your info as some will be right some wrong , some will try to lead you in the wrong direction through the need to push their own wheel barrow and to take you with them. Now start looking for your self you will ne amazed at what you can find.

  10. rick 3 years ago

    Geoff I cant keep up with every thing but like most new technology it gets attached by the existing players that do not want to wear new boys on their turf.

  11. rick 3 years ago

    Geoff both India and China both recently said they would cut back coal imports by 50% apiece I guess it is because of all the pollution and in China the number of people die from air born particulates released from the burning of coal.

    • john 3 years ago

      Here is a series on air born particulates in China and is a real eye opener.

  12. rick 3 years ago

    Geoff the state of monetary backing in Australia is driven by the existing people in the power stream ( banks, investment funds ). They do not want to push something new this has to come for the general public its called people power. Get out there push back tell the investment people what you want them to invest in with your money.

  13. rick 3 years ago

    Phitzy the need to mine is true but like every thing we do to this poor planet we need to be gentile to it with out making a mess.

  14. rick 3 years ago

    Geoff the mix between coal, solar,wind is what is currently required, the mix of all these until the technology comes of age at the moment it requires money to be pored in to new tech, it needs to massaged to be nurtured to grow so all you need is to watch as the tech grows and matures Take a look at what Microsoft put out as Operating System and you will know it took them along time and guess what money . This what we need.

    • Coley 3 years ago

      Pretty spot on , but substitute gas for coal, coal is a Zombie.

  15. rick 3 years ago

    Rodney lloyd hi I have had an Apricus solar tube hot water for about 7 years now and have not paid for hot water in that time except when we have had solar non event days ( heavy overcast days 5 to 7 in a row) then I turn on the off peak ( yes from the grid ) but not real happy about cold showers. PS I put a manual override on the off peak so that I control the only time it can operate. Along with my solar system to provide electricity yes most pumped back to grid and redrawn as needed. Battery back up is next after I finish my off grid 5 KW system then set up disconnect switches so that I use my own power and hopefully no grid. All these ideas running round in my head when will the fun ever stop.

    • John Knox 3 years ago

      We’ve got evacuated tube solar hot water as well and have recently moved to a Methven Kiri Ultra-low flow shower head (4.5l/min) to try to make our hot water 100% solar powered.

      • john 3 years ago

        Put on solar hot water over 20 years ago.
        If 3 days of rain in winter use solar power which is sufficient to heat the 300 liters.

  16. rick 3 years ago

    fitzy yes this the narrow sighted banking world we have in this country and around the world it has to people power push to convince bankers to look in the right direction to help the planet and our selves.

  17. rick 3 years ago

    thuycdids yeh polies don’t have a clue, wrong input wrong output we have change them, my preferred method is a piece of 4×2 but would not be allowed. Anyway this is a process and we are all responsible for the outcome.

  18. rick 3 years ago

    RH solar can be scaled from very small to large extra large on and off grid ( no grid needed) and ginormus take a look at Nextracker and their videos and you can get an idea of scale that can be done, flip open the top of your head and wait to be amazed . The only thing holding you back is a small mind and no imagination.

  19. Radbug 3 years ago

    You have no idea how naked this country is in the wake of the China boom. We have NOTHING, not even a Barrier Reef. As the man said who fell from the 100th floor, as he passed the 70th, “so far, so good!” That’s Australia. We bet EVERYTHING on the China boom. No wonder the politicians are clinging to every straw.

    • Coley 3 years ago

      No, you have a wonderful vibrant country with immense opportunities, just get rid of those politicians who would put self interest before your country’s future, ask them how many jobs does the GBR provide compared to coal extraction!

  20. Robert Comerford 3 years ago

    The only thing that needs coal is a historic steam locomotive tour.
    Qld Labor show their real face in this decision.
    Yes, support jobs but not in a product that destroys our life support.

  21. Geoff 3 years ago

    http://m.pe.com/articles/plant-783703-gas-energy.html
    Good article to read about solar salt hybrid

    • Coley 3 years ago

      Good platform for denier fruitloops.

  22. rick 3 years ago

    A reply to anyone who thinks Nuclear, should go and live at Fucasimer ( well and truly a bad idea) or then again what was that other place Chernobloweabull now.the Japenese are restarting Nuc plants because they cannot provide enough power without coal or Nuc . After Fucashima went you could not buy solar panels from Japan as they where all for their own consumption only so they shut down Nuc plants in difference to the public who were scared of this form of power. Now anyone who thinks Nuc is pollution free should be made to eat the waste ( the old fuel from Nu reactors) or have it dumped in their backyard, definately not mine. Splelling mistakes made on purpose so that you can see we all make them but if you try you can correct them if you have the will. Just like what we should do with the environment and our power supply system.

  23. rick 3 years ago

    Coley my hope is that coal will be banned as a way of producing power now I am not going to hold my breathe until it happens but if we are serious about a better environment and living conditions for all humans and all the animal life left on this rock it is time we got our act together and start to do something constructive about it. How about everyone that posts states what they do for a job, their aligned to and where they see this planet going in the next 10 20 30 50 years I might just be here to see it. My job is in Solar installs and I am looking at building electric vehicles turning petrol powered into electric. I see renewables of various types and configurations the future is not to be covered in a fog made by burning coal etc. Peoples opposing positions can be annoying but it is good to see what is actually happening some peoples heads even if I don’t like it so make you position known then we can get to what is behind your post.

    • Coley 3 years ago

      Rick, totally agree, anyone wanting to know my connections to various organisations and industries would get an honest , more important, a verifiable answer, but would would the various denier trolls who keep infesting this place be prepared to do the same?
      Regards, Coley, 20 years a coal miner.

  24. rick 3 years ago

    Frank we will of the people is mostly baa baa they will follow just about any thing if it is sold to them enough times they way Liberals do they know if you tell a lie often enough it becomes true just look at all the people that vote for them. The best thing you can do is to start thinking for your self, disregard popular opinion and start your own, it is free and if you do not follow all the other sheep you wont end up being culled along with the rest of them, think for your self it wont hurt for long and once you get the hang of it will become pleasure to have new ideas floating around in your head. Give it a try.

  25. rick 3 years ago

    Coley look take Nuclear out of any mix of energy supply all the others are ok, coal as much as I hate it is at the moment necessary, long term it has to be fazed out with the improvements coming through in renewables of all kinds we can have clean future we just have to make it known that the Liberal hatred of renewables and their interference with will no longer be tolerated. they can sit at home and munch coal all they like but the rest of us want a clean future. Now we own the future and we can state what we want it to be. PS on the nuclear if they want to set it up they want Billions in government freebees to get them started my tax dollars in Nuclear not on your nelly or mine plus they need on going funding to keep going. Take a look at the videos on China and India of their pollution the hundreds of thousands that die from ling cancer. Like I said its our country our planet we have to fix it our selves by our will to do the right thing .

  26. rick 3 years ago

    Coley in one of my previous posts I asked that everyone state what they do as a job, this will show the alliegence that they follow I think it is a good idea EG I work in solar installs so you can guess where I am coming from, for me it is so easy to see the benefits of renewables as I see it all the time to me just like walking out side to see the sun shining is all the impetus I need. Get someone to make emoji for all the different jobs and they can be attached to the name I would need a few as I do plenty of different jobs. Think about it. plus you would know who you are talking to.

  27. rick 3 years ago

    Coley now I agree that ( cartoons is about all most people can understand) but a change of government is what is needed. PS look at the petition to stop the Carmichael coal mine. Change .org sign up to stop it,it just need enough concerned people to sign and we can stop another useless coal mine and take a look at where they want to build it Right next to the great barrier reef
    complete insanity just to employ some coal miners who could be retrained to make electric vehicles of all types ( not only cars but utes trucks buses electric just about any thing that moves) now that makes more sense to me plus it will cause a flow on effect in the car industry suppliers who are also going to be out of work. Go annoy your local polly it will give them something to think about in their miniscule brains other than what lies they need to tell to get reelected in the up coming election this chance is coming don’t waste it because you will have the next 4 years to regret it or the rest of your life depending on how bad their decisions are. Remember some of these decisions can take decades to undo . Please sign the Change.org petition and sign up for to be notified when issues arise.

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