“Australians should be able to choose the type of car they drive,” said the Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor on Friday when he released a national plan to reduce carbon emissions from Australia’s road transport sector — a plan without a target, without incentives, and with relatively meagre investment in bringing about essential change.
New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission today released its long-anticipated advice to the government on how to reshape the economy to meet the country’s domestic and international climate change obligations. The document sets out three emissions budgets, covering 15 years to 2035 in five-yearly plans. It also provides advice on the direction policy should take to achieve the country’s 2050 net-zero goal.
For the transport sector, which is responsible for half of New Zealand’s energy-related emissions, the commission suggests a sweeping set of changes to electrify the country’s car fleet and to replace imported fuels with local renewable electricity. It’s exciting to see a national-level plan that actually cuts emissions. But it raises two questions: is it feasible, and is it the best or only option?
Moves by Japan’s trading houses to de-risk their upstream portfolios make sense. Faced with falling domestic oil and gas demand and an accelerating energy transition, future E&P investment is far less certain. Strategy reviews are switching focus to new growth areas – covering everything from fintech to pork bellies – with the increasingly diverse businesses of Japan’s trading houses challenging upstream for future capital.
An aggressive US climate policy rollout could provide a much needed dose of reality to the climate discourse in Canberra. It may also prompt Australia’s major parties to acknowledge the inevitability of a transition to a zero carbon economy.
The end of coal-fired generation in Australia is inevitable. Zero marginal cost, zero emissions energy is now a reality. Wind and solar are cheaper sources of new electricity than coal in most cases, putting significant pressure on the profitability of the inflexible, ageing coal generators. The only questions are when coal-fired power stations will close and how well Australia will manage that phasedown.
The sooner you invest in a solar battery the better off you’ll be, says Lightning Solar & Electrical’s George Panayides. After installing hundreds of solar batteries throughout Australia, Panayides says that demand is picking up and the future is bright, but notes that while high prices may inhibit uptake for some, the savings to be made with batteries and VPPs are a sure thing.
South Australia rounded out 2020 with a record-setting day, in which solar and wind supplied 99.6% of demand on the state’s electricity network on Dec. 27. But as solar veteran and Amrock MD Pierre Verlinden explains, there is some serious infrastructure needed if the state is to realise its 100% renewable ambition.
In light of the Morrison Government committing another $94 million to Marinus Link, Cornwall Insight Australia Senior Analyst, Jake Dunstan, asks whether Tasmania can do both; support the mainland and develop a renewable hydrogen industry locally.
The world is still combating Covid-19, with Europe now impacted by a second wave of the virus. While the market reported delays for a few projects, the impacts on the PV sector remain unclear. But if the world fails to curb the Covid-19’s spread, governments may be forced to reintroduce strict measures, thereby sapping PV demand. PV InfoLink’s Mars Chang expects module demand to hit 126 GW by the end of this year.
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