Just a few days in the carbon price scheme and it seems increasingly clear that the carbon price is here to stay, despite the repeated but carefully phrased pledges of the Opposition. Even as reports suggested that Labor and the Greens were locked in talks about how to manage the floor price – a tricky proposition – and both Labor and the Coalition would be open to a more rapid move to a (cheaper) emissions trading scheme, a new survey suggests that business is convinced that the carbon price is here to stay, and will continue to price it even if it makes a temporary exit.
A survey of emitters, carbon financiers and other experts by the Crawford School of Public Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, found that 79 per cent think that there will be a carbon price in 2020, even if 38 per cent think the current scheme will be repealed by the end of 2015. Of those who expect the scheme to be repealed, half think that a carbon price will be reinstated in Australia by 2020. “The research shows a pervasive uncertainty about the future of Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism. But most respondents think that the carbon price is here to stay,” lead author Frank Jotzo said.
“The result is a powerful one in light of the current deep political division in Australia between parties supporting carbon pricing, and parties rejecting it,” said Dr Jotzo. Price was a big swing factor. While 20 per cent of respondents expect a zero effective carbon price at 2020 and 2025, another 20 per cent of experts expect a carbon price of $35 tonne or more in 2025.
Carnegie in talks on desalination PPA
Wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy says the WA Water Corporation is negotiating a power purchase agreement for its proposed 2MW demonstration plant on an exclusive basis. Water Corp has already signed offtake agreements with the Greenough River solar PV project now under construction and the Mumbida wind farm, and is looking to add ocean power to its portfolio supplying energy to its desalination plant. Carnegie says the Water Corporation is open to either a short term or long term electricity supply arrangement.
GE has been forced to suspend construction of its thin-film solar module plant in Colorado – billed as the biggest in the US – because of the plunging prices for modules caused by a glut in global manufacturing. GE announced this week that work on the factory would be halted for at least 18 months, giving it time to focus on modifying the $300 million plant’s design, and boosting the efficiency of its modules. GE hopes to rival First Solar as a manufacturer of thin film solar PV modules. It represents the largest investment in solar for the world’s biggest supplier of energy components.