Renewable Revolution? Aussie Authorities Simply Handed $Four Million to a Coal Plant Feasibility Examine

Keith Pitt. By Division of International Affairs and Commerce web site –, CC BY au, Hyperlink

The elevation of vocal coal advocate Keith Pitt to the job of Federal Assets Minister just a few days in the past has despatched shockwaves of dismay by Australia’s renewable vitality enterprise group.

Coalition palms out $Four million to pursue new coal generator in Queensland

Giles Parkinson eight February 2020 

The Australian Coalition authorities has introduced a brand new $Four million grant to pursue a brand new 1GW coal fired generator in north Queensland in one of many first acts of the brand new pro-coal assets minister Keith Pitt.

A joint announcement from Pitt, Nationwide chief Michael McCormack, vitality minister Angus Taylor and Queensland MP and assistant minister for norther Australia Michelle Landry says the $Four million might be given to Shine Power to conduct a feasibility research for a proposed 1GW HELE coal plant at Collinsville in Queensland.

An extra $2 million might be allotted to a pre-feasibility research for a rival mission, a 1.5GW pumped hydro-electric plant proposed by Renewable Power Companions which is to be developed at the side of the proposed Urannah Water Scheme, and situated between Collinsville, Proserpine and Mackay.

The funds are being allotted by the $10 million “Supporting Dependable Power Infrastructure program.” It’s not clear whether or not that is a part of, or extra to,  the $10 million introduced to check totally different era choices, together with coal fired era, that was introduced as a part of the Underwriting New era Funding program within the lead as much as final yr’s election.

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What has triggered this crack within the facade of bipartisan Australian political help for renewables?

I believe the most important problem driving this new push for coal is mounting extreme points with Australia’s nationwide vitality grid, endlessly for the issues. Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia all issued blackout warnings this Summer time, exposing severe shortfalls within the reliability of provide. Total industries are beginning to flee Australia’s spiralling vitality prices and unreliable grid.

This yr’s bushfires threatened to trigger substantial harm to very important nationwide electrical energy grid infrastructure. An enlarged, distributed grid, which might be required to service an enormous future community of renewable electrical energy suppliers, could be much more weak to pure disasters than the present system.

Family photo voltaic panels took substantial hail harm this yr in Canberra, Australia’s capital metropolis, giving federal politicians and senior authorities staff first hand and in some circumstances very private expertise of the fragility of renewables.

If local weather change really did drive the world’s climate methods loopy, renewable infrastructure could be the primary casualty. All these huge acreages of skinny glass or plastic lined photo voltaic panels, and enormous however weak wind generators, the vastly enlarged community of energy strains renewables would require, all of this might not stand an opportunity within the face of an precise local weather apocalypse.

However a 4 million greenback feasibility research into coal energy isn’t a brand new coal plant. Keith Pitt’s unwavering help for dependable, reasonably priced electrical energy is undermined by a robust block of renewable supporters in his personal political coalition, and rabidly local weather activist political opposition events. Frequent heavy handed authorities intervention in Australian vitality markets has frightened off non-public traders. If the Australian authorities finally decides they need a brand new coal plant, they are going to nearly definitely should finance or fund it themselves.

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