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Friday, March 29, 2013

Joe Hockey talks about the Australian economy under Labor

612 ABC Brisbane

Mornings with Steve Austin 

Joe Hockey in Brisbane
28 March 2013 , 10:24 AM by Sally Rope
Opposition Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey at 612 ABC Brisbane
In eight weeks, on May 14th, the Treasurer, Queenslander Wayne Swan will deliver another budget. Then on September 14, you will be asked to vote in a Federal Election. The opposition say they may move a no confidence motion against the Federal government if they don't like the May budget. Joe Hockey is the Federal Member for North Sydney and Shadow Treasurer, and he came in this morning to talk to Steve...
Opposition Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey
at 612 ABC Brisbane
Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Steve Austin at 612 ABC Brisbane
Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Steve Austin
at 612 ABC Brisbane


Some extracts from the interview are available below.

Listen to or download the complete interview at the 612 ABC Brisbane website, Mornings with Steve Austin.

The high Australian dollar under the Gillard Labor Government

Opposition Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey talks with Steve Austin, 28 March 2013, Radio 612 ABC Brisbane, about the high Australia dollar under the Labor Government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

And well we might ask... "But Mr Hockey, what about the carbon tax? ...So it REALLY doesn't rate a mention?"



Tony Abbott finds out Australia's 'AAA' credit rating reaffirmed



Low Interest Rates under the Gillard Labor Government

Opposition Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey talks with Steve Austin, 28 March 2013, Radio 612 ABC Brisbane, about low interest rates in Australia under the Labor Government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Antipodean - Look What Happened Again

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a great article by Matt on his Happy Antipodean bog:

Australian business response to carbon price: "Wut?"
After watching page views climb quickly over the next 10 hours, Matt tweeted a link to another interesting article on what resulted from the activity quite a number of people had generated:

Thanks to those who helped ... and look what happened! 

Well, guess what -


Another article, one I posted, "Direct Action hits brick wall" received similar concentrated exposure over the last 24-36 hours.
Thank you to the many tweeters who generated a lot of page views to the article. Nearly 370 pageviews now.

And look what happened! Again!



Coalition climate policy yet to be costed
Tony Abbott has hinted the coalition's climate change policy  cost will be similar to a 2010 figure.
Tony Abbott has hinted the coalition's climate change policy
cost will be similar to a 2010 figure.

THE federal opposition has yet to put a budget figure on the cost of its "direct action" plan to tackle climate change but has hinted it will be similar to its 2010 election pledge.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to rescind the carbon tax and replace it with a system of incentives to help consumers and businesses achieve a five per cent national cut in carbon emissions by 2020.

Read more ...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Direct Action hits brick wall

Research by the University of Western Australia undermines the Coalition's costing of its plan to meet Australia's emission reduction target through Direct Action.

Research by the University of Western Australia

The "Coalition's Direct Action Plan" shows the Coalition has "bet the bank" on storing 85 million tonnes of carbon per year in the soil of Australia's farms at a cost of just $8 to $10 per tonne.

Update, 19 November 2013: The link  "Coalition's Direct Action Plan" to Greg Hunt's web site no longer contains a copy of the Coalition's Direct Action Plan.

By modeling the cost of required changes in farming practices researchers estimated the profit lost for each additional tonne of CO2 stored on the model farm was $80.00 which is far more than the initial buying price of $23.00 per tonne under the Gillard Labor Government's Clean Energy Future legislation.

This is ten times greater than the costing assumed by the Coalition for its Direct Action Plan - 

A copy is here - 


Executive Summary (page 1)

A Coalition Government will implement a climate change strategy based on direct action to reduce emissions and improve the environment.

Direct action on soil carbons will be the major plank of our strategy, supported by other direct action measures that will reduce CO2 emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 based on 1990 levels and deliver significant environmental outcomes - without the need for a great big new tax.

Emissions Reduction Fund 

To facilitate direct action, a Coalition Government will establish an Emissions Reduction Fund to support CO2 emissions reduction activity by business and industry.

Through the Fund, we will support 140 million tonnes of abatement per annum by 2020 to meet our 5 per cent target [of which 85 million tonnes per annum will be met by increasing soil carbons in agricultural land. (See table of CO2 Emissions Reduction Estimates at page 22.)] This is a once in a century replenishment of our soil carbon.

Soil Carbons - Once in a Century Replenishment of our Soils (page 16)

The single largest opportunity for CO2 emissions reduction in Australia is through bio-sequestration in general, and in particular, the replenishment of our soil carbons. It is also the lowest cost CO2 emissions reduction available in Australia [sic] on a large scale.

Significantly improving soil carbons also helps soil quality, farm productivity and water efficiency, and should be a national goal regardless of the CO2 abatement benefits.

Through the Emissions Reduction Fund a Coalition Government will commit to a 'once in a century' replenishment of our national soils and farmlands. Through the Fund we will support up to 85 million tonnes per annum of CO2 abatement through soil carbons by 2020 - and reserve the right to increase this, subject to progress and evaluation.

Farmers will be entitled to tender for all verified new additions in soil carbon beyond the commencement of the Fund.

We will commence this work by offering to purchase 10 million tonnes of CO2 abatement through soil carbons for 2012-13.

Related posts

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carbon tax and Australian jobs

The Coalition claims job losses at Penrice Soda in South Australia are due to the carbon tax.


  1. Penrice Soda was losing money for 2 years BEFORE the carbon tax began.
     
  2. Its market for sodium carbonate was disappearing as glass manufacturer after glass manufacturer either closed factories or scaled back operations.
     
  3. On closing its antiquated, inefficient plant, Penrice Soda signed an import licence under which it will supply Australian glass manufacturers with the cheapest available sodium carbonate from the world's most efficient producer - in the United States of America.
     
  4. This U.S. manufacturer implemented carbon capture and re-use technology 35 years ago. Instead of dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it uses it as a raw material in the efficient production of sodium carbonate.


1. Penrice Soda lost $90 million in the two years to 30 June 2012 - before the carbon tax


October 30, 2012 | Brian Robins | SMH
Penrice Soda first company to strike out

The company has been hit by weak demand for its soda ash from glassmakers, as some winemakers have opted to bottle their product offshore, reducing demand for glass produced locally.

Penrice Soda lost $64 million in the year to June, up from $26 million a year earlier, on revenue of $149 million. (Read more ...)



2. Australian glass manufacturers were closing down before 30 June 2012 - before the carbon tax


November 30, 2010
Penrice increases list prices of soda ash

Dear Valued Customers,

Penrice announces today that effective 1 January 2011 ... it will increase the list prices for all bulk and packaged soda ash by $60 per metric tonne (to prices from $535 to $655 per metric tonne). (Read more ...)

July 20, 2011
Glass Manufacturing Jobs in Australia 457 Visa Sponsorship

Are you looking for an employer sponsored job in Australia in the glass manufacturing field?

If so, we want to hear from you! (Read more ...)

September 2, 2011 Sarah Falson | Manufacturers' Monthly
CSR cuts 100 jobs at Viridian Glass

Viridian Glass is now expected to generate a loss of around $6 to $8 million for the six months to 30 September 2011. (Read more ...)

January 23, 2012 | Annie Dang | Manufacturers' Monthly
Glass manufacturer shuts down furnace; 74 jobs lost

Glass manufacturer OI Australia will close one of its three furnaces in Spotswood leaving approximately 74 workers without jobs.

Production at the Melbourne-based Spotswood plant is largely geared at making glass bottles for the beer and wine industry.

The closure of one furnace comes as a result of a fall in demand for beer and wine production nationally, the ABC reports. (Read more ...)

July 30, 2012 | Eli Greenblat | SMH
More cuts loom as bottle giant blames local market

THE world's leading glass packaging supplier, Owens-Illinois, could again be forced to shrink its Australia operations, leading to potential job losses, as the US manufacturing giant cites a sluggish local beer and wine market. (Read more ...)

3. Penrice Soda signs agreement to supply soda - 40 percent cheaper for its customers


January 17, 2013
Penrice forms joint venture to resell and distribute soda ash

Penrice’s sodium bicarbonate business, a predominantly export business to food and pharmaceutical customers, has doubled sales and profits over the past five years.

Penrice’s soda ash business has been under extraordinary pressure. Imported soda ash continues to be substantially (over 40%) cheaper because of a number of factors which are likely to continue for the foreseeable future...

These same pressures are also playing out across Penrice’s soda ash customer base - mainly glass and detergent manufacturers - creating significantly less demand for soda ash.

The company has decided to import soda ash rather than manufacture it. This will reduce production and impact 60 jobs at its Osborne plant in South Australia from May 2013 onwards.

The soda ash will be sourced from American Natural Soda Ash Corporation (“ANSAC”), which represents three leading producers of natural soda ash in the United States.  (Read more ...)

4. U.S. manufacturer implemented carbon capture and re-use technology 35 years ago


1978
Start commercial carbon dioxide (CO2) capture

Soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is an important inorganic chemical that is used by many industries for various applications. The United States is the world's largest soda ash-producing nation with the world's largest natural deposit of trona, the ore from which soda ash is refined.

The IMC Chemicals Facility in Trona has been performing CO2 capture from flue gas since 1978, longer than any other such plant in the world. CO2 is separated from flue gas of a coal-fired boiler, which is used to produce electricity. The captured CO2 is used for carbonation of brine from Searles Lake.

This facility is able to capture up to 800 tons of CO2 per day, using sodium carbonate based scrubbers. (Read more ...)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Liberals threaten Tony Abbott on trade

Simon Benson and Tim Vollmer The Daily Telegraph August 31, 2011

SENIOR Liberal frontbenchers have privately threatened to withdraw support for Tony Abbott if he continued down a "protectionist" economic policy agenda.

The warning came after a keynote economic speech where the Opposition Leader appeared to hedge his bets on a commitment to free trade, and promised to protect jobs in the ailing manufacturing industry.

A senior Liberal source said there had been a flurry of phone calls following the speech, expressing concern about the mixed messages Mr Abbott was sending.

They fear the Liberal Party's economic credibility is on the line if Mr Abbott did not start articulating a strong economic argument, which also meant tackling the "elephant in the Liberal Party room" of industrial relations and labour market practices.

One frontbencher, an Abbott supporter, said they would have to "pull the pin" on Mr Abbott if some "sense" wasn't re-established in the Coalition party room - a reference to the National Party's Barnaby Joyce having too much say in the joint party room. (Read more ...)

Abbott lines up with left-wing union on protectionism


Chris Berg The Sydney Morning Herald August 14, 2011

The Coalition's position on anti-dumping laws is part of a worrying trend.

RARELY does the federal opposition line up with the Australian Workers' Union on economic policy but that's where they are on free trade. Unfortunately, the nominally market-orientated Coalition is playing fast and loose with one of its core philosophies. (Read more ...)


Abbott must spell out policies


EDITORIAL | THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW | 02 NOV 2012

The parliamentary vote on legislation to abolish Wheat Exports Australia has cast the Liberal Party led by Tony Abbott in a role which it should never play – that of opposing deregulation. Instead the Labor Party has forced the bill, which abolishes the authority and its small levy on wheat, through the House of Representatives against Liberal and Nationals party opposition. The bill is now expected to pass the Senate.

Although their position was not to halt deregulation, only delay it and retain certain safeguards, this is a sad day indeed for the Liberals. The party should never be seen on the side of protectionism, even when that protectionism was a shadow of its former self. The Liberals’ opposition to the bill also highlights the broader question of Mr Abbott’s failure to articulate his policies. What exactly does he stand for? (Read more ...)

Abbott stuns WA wheat growers with experience claims


October 29, 2012

Western Australian farmers are stunned over Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s claims that the WA wheat industry remains divided over the issue of deregulation...

“It is incredulous that Tony Abbott and his Federal Liberal cohorts continue to make the case for collectivised wheat marketing by taking their advice from those ‘senior and experienced wheat growers’ who fully supported the activities of the corrupt Australian Wheat Board rather than listening to those growers who simply want to exercise free choice in the sale of their product,” PGA Western Grain Growers Chairman, John Snooke said.

“He now diminishes and refuses to listen to the same growers whose advice he ... desperately sought when, under Brendan Nelson’s leadership, the Liberals broke free from the Nationals and voted to begin the process of deregulation.”
...
“It would appear that the Liberal Party’s short holiday from the protectionist policies of the Nationals is truly over and their brief flirtation with supporting a free market for wheat is at an end.”

“One has to wonder whether this refusal by Mr Abbott to allow the Liberals to stand up against the Nationals on a simple issue like wheat deregulation is an indication of things to come if the Coalition ever forms Government.” (Read more ...)

Coalition conflicts clear between the lines


Dennis Atkins From: The Courier-Mail December 08, 2012

"Turnbull says any commitment to freedom [by some forces in the Coalition] was overshadowed by a willingness to transfer the private property of farmers and miners to feather-bed manufacturers through tariffs..."
Malcolm Turnbull launched The Modest Member: The Life and Times of Bert Kelly, a biography by author and polemicist Hal Colebatch this week and gave us some coded insights into the forces that would be at play if a Tony Abbott-led Coalition is in government this time next year.

Turnbull was, of course, talking about one of the Liberal Party's great anti-protectionists, the late South Australian farmer and politician Bert Kelly, who was first elected to federal Parliament in 1958.

Kelly was a free trader who devoted his political life to the causes of consumer rights and open markets, neither of which were in vogue in post-war Australia when the self-interested policies of strong-willed conservatives such as the Country Party's John "Black Jack" McEwen held sway.

The lesson Turnbull takes from Kelly's policy advocacy is to warn his colleagues that not all "opponents of freedom - economic, social, political - are only to be found on what we like to call the left" and people pushing for "big government" are often found on the right of the spectrum.

Political watchers who like reading between the lines will not miss the coded message in Turnbull's speech.

Abbott's handout proclivity, which is best illustrated by his generous parental leave scheme, might meet some resistance in a Cabinet containing Turnbull and Hockey. As Turnbull said recently he will be in Cabinet, if people vote for Tony Abbott. His Bert Kelly speech told us a little of what's behind that promise. (Read more ...)

Peter Costello demands Julia Gillard axe advert


KATE LEGGE | The Australian | August 10, 2010

PETER Costello yesterday sought to cleanse his criticism of Tony Abbott's economic credentials from the public record....

Mr Costello's dim view of Mr Abbott is set out at length in the former treasurer's memoirs published in 2008.

"Never one to be held back by the financial consequences of his decisions, he had grandiose plans for public expenditure," Mr Costello wrote of Mr Abbott.

He then lists the projects Mr Abbott wanted the commonwealth to fund. ...

"He used to tell me proudly that he had learned all of his economics at the feet of Bob Santamaria," Mr Costello revealed in his book. "I was horrified. ..." (Read more ...)

Related posts

UK Carbon Price Floor - Budget 2013

Extracts from UK "Budget 2013 documents",
20 March 2013


Chapter 1 - Budget Report

- at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/188360/budget2013_chapter1.pdf.pdf

Support for private investment in infrastructure

(Chapter 1, page 35-36)

1.90 The Government is acting to give private investors the confidence to invest in the UK’s energy sector. From April 2013 the carbon price floor announced at Budget 2011 will come into effect, providing a clear and credible long-term signal to support investment in low carbon electricity generation.

1.91 The Energy Bill, currently making its passage through Parliament, will introduce Electricity Market Reform. By providing stable revenues for investors at a fixed level known as a strike price, Contracts for Difference, as set out in the Bill, will provide long-term certainty for investors in low carbon generation. This will lower the cost of capital and help developers secure the large upfront amounts of capital investment required. Support available for low carbon electricity investment through the Levy Control Framework up to 2020 will rise to £7.6 billion a year (in 2012 prices), more than triple the £2.35 billion available in 2012-13. Together with the Government’s Energy Bill and Gas Generation Strategy, published in 2012, this will provide the framework needed for new energy investment.

1.92 The Government intends to take forward two Carbon Capture and Storage projects to the detailed planning and design stage of the competition. This represents the next step in the £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage commercialisation programme and follows a period of intensive commercial negotiations with a number of bidders. The Department for Energy and Climate Change will set out the details of the preferred bidders, next steps on these front end engineering and design studies, and the process to final investment decision.

Chapter 2 - Budget policy decisions

- at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/188361/budget2013_chapter2.pdf.pdf

Carbon Taxes

(Chapter 2, page 85)

2.159 Climate change levy (CCL) rates – CCL rates will increase in line with RPI from 1 April 2014. (Finance Bill 2013)

2.160 Carbon price floor (CPF) rates – The Government will set 2015-16 carbon price support rates equivalent to £18.08 ($AUD33.83) per tonne of carbon dioxide in line with the carbon price floor set out at Budget 2011. The Government will continue to provide support to energy-intensive industries to compensate for the indirect cost of the CPF in 2015-16. Further details will be announced at the next spending round. (Finance Bill 2013)

Carbon Price Floor - Briefing Paper

- at www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn05927.pdf

Fluctuations in the price of carbon in the form of EU ETS allowances have resulted in uncertainty for investors in low carbon technologies. This has contributed to a lower level of investment in these technologies, below what is required to meet UK carbon reduction and renewable targets.

To address this, the Coalition Government committed to introduce a floor price carbon and published a consultation on carbon price support in December 2010. Following this it announced in the March 2011 Budget that it would be introducing price support via the Climate Change Levy and fuel duty with a target price of £30 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2020. The floor price will start at about £16 per tonne. At the time of the announcement the trading price was around £15 per tonne, but by January 2013 it had fallen to under £4.

Detailed proposals for the carbon price floor were published by HMRC in December 2012 as part of the draft Finance Bill 2013.

1 Background

1.1 The EU ETS

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is a mandatory cap-and-trade scheme for carbon dioxide, which is central to the EU’s climate change target of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020. It sets a decreasing cap for emissions from energy intensive sectors, and allocates or auctions emissions allowances (EUAs) which can be traded on the open market. It is currently in Phase II, which imposes reductions of 6.8% compared to 2005 emissions.
...

1.2 Is the price of carbon too low?

Over allocation of permits in Phase I led to the price falling to only a few cents. The consensus is that an allowance price of at least €30 a tonne is needed to drive investment. For Phase II the price reached €29 in 2008. However prices have fallen significantly since and at the end of January 2013 were hovering around €4.

The response from the Commission has been to consider raising the emissions reduction target for 2020 from 20% to 30%. This has full support from the UK Government and most Member States, although it has so far been strongly resisted by Poland. The EU Commission has also proposed holding back future credits due for auction – or backloading – but there is opposition to this from the EU Parliament.
...

3 Coalition Position

The Coalition Agreement made the following commitments with regard to the EU ETS:
  • We will push for the EU to demonstrate leadership in tackling international climate change, including by supporting an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30% by 2020.
  • We will introduce a floor price for carbon, and make efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits.
Further details on a floor price were provided in July 2010 in response to a written parliamentary question:
The creation of a floor for the carbon price is an important commitment in the Programme of Government. As announced in the Budget, the Government will publish proposals in the autumn to reform the climate change levy in order to provide more certainty and support to the carbon price. Further detail will be published as part of the consultation process.
...

4 Government Budget Announcement

The Government announced its decision in the March 2011 Budget:
Carbon price floor – The Government announces a floor price for carbon in the power sector from 1 April 2013 to target a price for carbon of £30 ($AUD56.13) per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2020. The floor will start at around £16 ($AUD29.94) per tonne of carbon dioxide and the carbon price support rates for 2013-14 will be equivalent to £4.94 per tonne. The Government intends to introduce relief for carbon capture and storage and combined heat and power (CHP), and remove an existing exemption in the climate change levy for electricity CHP plants supply indirectly to an energy consumer. Anti-avoidance provisions will be introduced to prevent forestalling with effect from 23 March 2011. (Finance Bill 2011)
The then Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, welcomed the decision, together with the commitment in the Budget to a Green Investment Bank:
“There’s a clear, long term signal to energy investors in today’s Budget. A Green Investment Bank with substantially more capital and borrowing capacity and a stronger, more stable carbon price put investment in green energy technologies at the heart of the coalition’s strategy for sustainable, balanced economic growth.”

4.1 Costs and Benefits

The costs and benefits for a target price of £30 for 2020 were set out in the regulatory impact assessment. This concluded that the resource cost – investment in new technology – would be around £6.1bn for 2013-2030. Over the same period there would be a carbon saving of £7.2bn and savings due to improvement in air quality of £0.9bn. This results in a total benefit in net present value of £1.9bn.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Solar, Science and Technology Clips

Latest Solar Clips Latest Science & Technology Clips

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Summer Study 2013 Update


SUMMER STUDY UPDATE

Summer Study videos, photos and
international events


Videos and Photos of the Summer Study

A2SE is on YouTube! What better way to kick off our YouTube channel than with two of the most requested Summer Study speaker videos: The Hon Greg Hunt (Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage) and the charismatic and passionate Benoit Lebot of the United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility.

Greg and Benoit's videos can be viewed on the A2SE YouTube channel. Be sure to add our channel to your subscriptions list to be notified when new videos are uploaded.

We've also popped some of our favourite Summer Study photos on our website.
Check them out at our website.


Summer Study Presentations Coming Soon

Yes – we know you're all eagerly awaiting presentations. We appreciate your patience while we prepare the presentations for our website. They will be up on our website early next week.


EE Global Forum hosted by (US) ASE

The United States Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)
 is hosting this year’s Energy Efficiency Global Forum on 20 and 21 May, 2013 in Washington DC. Public registration for this event opens 1 April. To learn more about this gathering of influential international energy efficiency professionals, please visit the EE Global website. For more information about ASE, please visit www.ase.org.






European Summer Study Registration now open

Registration for the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s Summer Study in the French Riviera is open now! The event will be held from June 3-8, 2013. For more information on the event, program, venue and registration, please visit the ECEEE Summer Study website.



The 2nd A2SE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency and Decentralised Energy was a not for profit event
run by the Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE).  The A2SE is an independent, not-for-profit coalition of business, government and environmental leaders. It supports the widespread introduction of the world’s best practices and technologies in energy efficiency. The organisation informs public and policy discussions on energy efficiency, demand management, environmental protection and sustainability through high quality, unbiased research. A2SE’s key research partner is the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, and it has established links with global leaders in energy efficiency and decentralised energy including The American Council for an Energy Efficient Future, The Alliance to Save Energy (USA), The Energy Saving Trust (UK), The World Alliance for Decentralised Energy (WADE), European Alliance to Save Energy, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (India). www.a2se.org.au

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body representing Australia’s clean energy and energy efficiency sector. It is an industry association that provides a unified voice for over 550 member companies involved in the development or deployment of technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, wave, bioenergy, cogeneration, storage and energy efficiency.  The Clean Energy Council provides a variety of services to members but its primary role is to develop and advocate effective policy to accelerate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies. The council also promotes awareness of the industry, thought leadership and clean energy business opportunities through industry events, meetings, newsletters, directorates and the media.  For more information visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

Follow A2SE on Twitter

The Australian Alliance to Save Energy
Level 11, UTS Building 10, 235 Jones St, Ultimo, NSW, 2007, Ph: 02 9514 2044

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tony Abbott and protectionism

Leader of the opposition Tony Abbott in Australia has made a number of statements that reveal a desire to implement protectionist economic policies.

To remain competitive in the global market-place two Australian steel makers adopted different strategies. One was successful - (from Crikey, "How OneSteel stole the march on BlueScope", Glenn Dyer | Aug 22, 2011 1:06PM)
The contrast between the business strategies of the noisy, very political BlueScope and its smaller, quieter and better-run rival, OneSteel (the other half of the old BHP Steel), are illuminating.

Both companies were spun off when BHP Steel was broken up in 2000: BlueScope Steel stuck to its modern, export-oriented steel plant at Port Kembla in NSW and smaller processing operations here and in Asia and other countries. OneSteel all but avoided export markets, preferring to stick to the domestic steel products markets based around its Whyalla blast furnace and two electric arc furnaces.

But from 2004 the companies parted ways, BlueScope stuck to basic steel making and processing, while OneSteel fixed on a strategy that will see it having spent well over $2 billion from 2004 till the end of next year re-jigging its basic processes and plunging into the export markets for iron ore as well as high-grade steel products.

While the dollar was cheap, both old approaches were acceptable strategies. But the 2004 move by OneSteel to change its steel-making process and enter the iron ore export sector was a significant move and risky, coming before the first iron ore boom from 2006-07 onwards, OneSteel could see the financial futility of using high-quality iron ore in Australia when it could get more value for it from export markets.

At a then cost of $250 million (that later grew and grew), OneSteel spent four years switching its iron ore product feed at Whyalla from high-grade hematite to upgraded magnetite pellets and exporting the hematite into world markets. The move wasn’t without criticism from the investment classes who questioned the strategy, the cost and said the company should be giving money back to shareholders.
The result of BlueScope's business strategy was less successful -
It is the big point of difference with BlueScope, which has had no control over its raw materials and was caught by the surge in iron ore and coking coal costs. Looking back it should have geared up and both a coal mine or two to replicate the OneSteel strategy.

So it is instructive that as BlueScope was revealing 1000 job losses and a total financial loss for the June 30 year of $1.05 billion this morning, OneSteel was announcing a $346 million deal to double the size of its iron ore export business to 12 million tonnes by the end of 2012.

In his Address to the Australian Steel Convention 2011, Canberra, on Monday, 12 September 2011, Tony Abbott assumes that BlueScope is to be guaranteed raw materials at a discounted price protected from the price set in the global market place. 

In an answer to a recent question from a journalist (Doorstop Interview, Rockhampton, 28 February 2013) he makes the same assumption about the price at which natural gas is to be made available to Australian industry and power generators. 

Related posts


What does media bias look like?

1. Accuse the Prime Minister of taking cheap energy from Australians


If The Telegraph has disabled access to the above article, a copy is available here: "Lucky country tossing away its advantage"

2. Explain that "cheap energy" is a myth. The Prime Minister did not take it away.

The link in the following tweet is now broken: The linked article has been deleted.

3. Again accuse the Prime Minister of taking cheap energy from Australians


If The Telegraph has disabled access to the above article, a copy is available here: "Nothing super about this catastrophic mining tax"

4. Delete the second of the above 3 articles: the one that explains the Prime Minister did not take cheap energy from anyone.


5. Fail to realise "Deleted" articles on the internet can be recovered. (See the recovered post...)


6. Yet again accuse the Prime Minister of taking cheap energy from Australians


If The Telegraph has disabled access to the above article, a copy is available here: "The carbon tax is a crime"

Monday, March 18, 2013

More coal seam gas for Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott transcript - Joint Doorstop Interview, Rockhampton

...where Tony Abbott expresses a belief that coal seam gas is needed to have affordable energy and fails to acknowledge the Liberal Party export-parity pricing policy that will see natural gas prices in Australia increase by about 500 percent, from a price similar to that in the United States to the price paid by natural gas importing countries such as Germany and Japan. 

See related post: Energy Prices and Policy in Australia

Natural Gas Prices Planned for Australia  "Export Parity" in Red Bars, USA Price in Blue Bars
Natural Gas Prices Planned for Australia
"Export Parity" in Red Bars, USA Price in Blue Bars

26 February 2013

...
TONY ABBOTT:
I want to congratulate the Newman Government for the way it has put the coal seam gas industry onto a more sustainable footing. We need to develop our resources. We need to have affordable energy, but we've got to extract that energy in ways which is fair to farmers and respects the environment and I think by the changes that Campbell has made, we do get a system of extraction which respects the environment and is much fairer to farmers.

QUESTION:
In WA, they’re making sure a certain amount of [inaudible] prices down. Should Campbell Newman do that in Queensland as well?

TONY ABBOTT:
... Really, what we need here in Queensland and in New South Wales for that matter and around the country more generally is more gas and if we've got more gas, we can keep power prices down and we can develop the industries which depend upon gas in order to flourish.


Related posts


Carbon arithmetic

Arithmetic of a recipe the coal, shale gas and coal seam gas industries don't want you to know

  1. Combine coal and/or biomass containing 180 kilograms of carbon with 270 kilograms of water to produce 120 kilograms of methane and 330 kilograms of carbon dioxide. 
  2. Separate and store the 330 kilograms of carbon dioxide. 
  3. Compress or liquefy the 120 kilograms of methane to use as fuel in a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle or in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicle, truck, train or ship. 
  4. Alternately use the 120 kilograms of methane as fuel in a gas power station to produce 1 megawatt-hour of electricity with emissions of just 330 kilograms of carbon dioxide. A carbon price of $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions would add nearly 1 cent to the cost of each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. 
Coincidentally, the 1 cent per kilowatt-hour for a carbon price is about the same amount saved because this recipe uses less coal to produce electricity than a coal power station.

IN SALAH

Industrial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) in action

In Salah, an industrial-scale CCS project in Algeria has been in operation since 2004. More than three million tonnes of CO₂, separated during gas production, have been securely stored in a deep saline formation. BP, Sonatrach and Statoil, the project operators, aim to store a total of 17 million tonnes over the next 20 years. (Read more...)



Related posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Energy All-Star Awards Winners

All Star Energy Award Winners and Thank You
 
    Energy All-Star Awards Winners and Thank You!




Thank You!

A big thank you to everyone who contributed, supported, and attended our 2013 Summer Study.

To our 320 attendees, we hope you found the event relaxing, informative, and valuable.

To our panel leaders and speakers, thank you for your contributions to our sessions and for sharing your insight and knowledge.

To our sponsors and supporters, we could not have done it without you.

We are already looking forward to planning the 2014 Summer Study to be held in Melbourne!

 

Congratulations to the Energy All-Star Awards Winners

Thank you to the Hon. Yvette D’Ath, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (pictured below with the Award Winners) and The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel for speaking at and presenting this year’s Energy All-Star Awards. It was evening to remember, even more so for our Energy All-Star Awards Winners:

Energy Efficiency All Star Winner: Rod Sheppard, Carbon Reduction Industries 

Rod won for his dedication and passion in striving for a more sustainable and energy efficient future,  and more specifically, his product, the EcoSwitch (www.ecoswitch.com.au).The EcoSwitch has been used to reduce standby power in thousands of households, businesses and educational institutions across Australia helping 'average' people to reduce their carbon footprint and also for the savings on electricity bills!
While the EcoSwitch has gone on to win many awards for it's simplicity and innovation, Rod himself remains an unsung hero. He has persevered in taking the product to market (despite the many challenges) and his belief in real-world sustainable change is an inspiration.


Peak Demand Management All Star Winner
: Mark Lendich, Energex  

Mark set up the Energex Energy Conservation and Demand Management group for Energex, which is delivering the largest Demand Management program in Australia. The program delivers services to both residential as well as commercial and industrial customers and is well ahead of our targets.






Distributed Generation All Star Winner
: Ric Brazzale, Green Energy Trading  

Ric won for his unwavering commitment to reducing Australia's greenhouse gases by employing distributed generation as a methodology. Not only does he talk the talk, but walks the walk. After forming and leading the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy (now known as the Clean Energy Council), Ric used his depth of knowledge and business acumen to build a substantial group of businesses' concentrated on distributed generation/energy efficiency. He deserves recognition from his peers as a fierce advocate for the uptake of distributed generation in this country.




Joint Rising Stars Winners
: Nicky Ison (pictured) and Jarra Hicks, Community Power Agency  

Nicky and Jarra are the co-founders of the ground-breaking Community Power Agency (CPA). Both have strong backgrounds in advocacy for a sustainable energy future.

CPA was established to grow the community renewables sector in Australia. CPA aims to ‘decarbonise, decentralise and democratise’ the energy system, based on the premise that an energy revolution must encompass social and political concerns. To set up CPA, both Nicky and Jarra undertook self funded study tours of community renewable energy projects around the world.

CPA works with communities around Australia to set up renewable energy projects, and has created a consortium (government, community renewables developers, research institutions, NGOs and community groups) to explore and address the systemic barriers to such projects in Australia. CPA’s advocacy was also instrumental in establishing the recently announced NSW Government funding program for community renewable projects.



Congratulations to Meg Argyriou - Winner of trip to ECEEE Summer Study in the French Riviera

Meg (of ClimateWorks) was the lucky Summer Study delegate to win a trip to attend the 2013 European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study at Belambra Les Criques, France! Congrats, Meg! We wish we could join you!  


Coming Soon: Summer Study presentations, videos, and photos!


We will soon have the presentations and select video and photos from the Summer Study on the website for you to enjoy and refer to. In the meantime, here are a few photos to start with:

            
        

        

            

               


      




The 2nd A2SE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency and Decentralised Energy was a not for profit event
run by the Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE).  The A2SE is an independent, not-for-profit coalition of business, government and environmental leaders. It supports the widespread introduction of the world’s best practices and technologies in energy efficiency. The organisation informs public and policy discussions on energy efficiency, demand management, environmental protection and sustainability through high quality, unbiased research. A2SE’s key research partner is the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, and it has established links with global leaders in energy efficiency and decentralised energy including The American Council for an Energy Efficient Future, The Alliance to Save Energy (USA), The Energy Saving Trust (UK), The World Alliance for Decentralised Energy (WADE), European Alliance to Save Energy, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (India).
www.a2se.org.au

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body representing Australia’s clean energy and energy efficiency sector. It is an industry association that provides a unified voice for over 550 member companies involved in the development or deployment of technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, wave, bioenergy, cogeneration, storage and energy efficiency.  The Clean Energy Council provides a variety of services to members but its primary role is to develop and advocate effective policy to accelerate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies. The council also promotes awareness of the industry, thought leadership and clean energy business opportunities through industry events, meetings, newsletters, directorates and the media.  For more information visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

Follow A2SE on Twitter

The Australian Alliance to Save Energy,
Level 11, UTS Building 10, 235 Jones St, Ultimo, NSW, 2007,
Ph: 02 9514 2044

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Public company evisceration

Pity the White Energy shareholders

SMH | Michael Pascoe | 11 Dec 2012
Put aside the fascination and entertainment of the ICAC's hearings into colourful and outrageous aspects of the former New South Wales government for a moment and spare a thought for the suffering White Energy shareholders. No, not the extremely rich insiders' club running the thing, but the mug punters who trusted them.


Duncan’s White Energy donated to Liberals 

AFR | Updated 11 Mar 2013
Updated | Coal mogul Travers Duncan’s public company White Energy donated $60,000 to the Liberal Party in late 2010 when Mr Duncan and his partners at Cascade Coal were negotiating a secret deal to buy out the family of Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid from a coal exploration licence at Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley.
(Read more...)


Taped call has mogul in sticky spot

SMH | Kate McClymont | 7 Dec 2012
The 80-year-old mining magnate, Travers Duncan, one of the richest men in the country worth an estimated half a billion dollars, sat expressionless in the witness box at the Independent Commission Against Corruption as he listened to an intercepted phone call in which he was talking to his business associate John Kinghorn.

White Energy, which had as its directors several of the owners of Cascade Coal including Mr Duncan, was negotiating to buy Cascade Coal for $500 million.

Cascade's only asset was the licence it had bought from the NSW government for $1 million.
(Read more...)


Mining magnate tries to shut down ICAC inquiry

SMH | Kate McClymont | 8 Mar 2013
Millionaire mining magnate Travers Duncan has taken the extraordinary step of launching legal action aimed at shutting down the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry in which adverse evidence has been given about himself.
...
Mr Duncan was one of seven wealthy business figures whose company Cascade Coal is alleged to have won a rigged government coal tender...
(Read more...)


‘Whiff of corruption’ over coal deal

AFR | MICHAELA WHITBOURN | 03 DEC 2012
In mid-2010, Cascade was negotiating to sell its assets to a related company, White Energy, in a $500 million deal abandoned last April.

Five of the shareholders of Cascade Coal, including Mr McGuigan, a lawyer, and his business partner John Atkinson, Felix Resources founders Travers Duncan and Brian Flannery, and RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn were also directors of White Energy.
(Read more...)


Pity the White Energy shareholders

SMH | Michael Pascoe | 11 Dec 2012
Like every "independent expert" report, the Deloitte job for White Energy on Cascade Coal found what those commissioning the report wanted it to find: the deal was "fair and reasonable".

More than that, the "independent expert" report made the $486 million price sound like a bargain: Deloitte priced Cascade in a range from $459 million to $587 million. White Energy chief executive Flannery highlighted that "bottom-of-the-range" pricing while releasing the report to the market with full fanfare on February 23.

On the other hand, Deloitte seemed not to notice what an anonymous engineer did about "capitalised mining costs of $41.8 million" that "relate to the carrying value of acquisition, rights and other mining costs relating to the Mount Penny and Glendon Brook mining sites".

The engineer reportedly couldn't see how Cascade could have spent so much and suggested to the ASX that it make further inquiries.

The detail of the Deloitte "independent expert" report shows the Cascade takeover could have sent White broke. Having paid Cascade's owners (mainly White directors, friends, associates and Obeids) a fortune
(Read more...)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Australian energy innovation jobs

The UltraBattery™, developed by CSIRO Energy Technology in Australia

The UltraBattery™ in a hybrid electric vehicle is able to deliver and absorb charge rapidly during vehicle acceleration and regenerative braking, respectively. In wind turbine applications it can also absorb the noise generated by the variation in wind speed, delivering a smooth power output.
Australia energy innovation jobs
Australia energy innovation jobs

For both advanced automotive applications, and grid-connected wind energy applications, UltraBattery™ has shown excellent performance and has the potential to remarkably improve the economic viability, and therefore the 'uptake rate' of HEVs and better utilisation of renewable energy. This, in turn, will reduce the global consumption of fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

The UltraBattery™ technology has been licensed to the Furukawa Battery Co., Ltd, Japan and the East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., USA.

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd, the name behind BlueGen


Formed in 1992 in Australia from the CSIRO and a number of industry consortium partners, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd.  (CFCL) is now leading the world in the development of fuel cell technology for stationary power generation.

CFCL has made a significant investment in its future manufacturing capabilities with a € 9.5 million fuel cell assembly plant in Heinsberg, Germany and a ceramic powder plant in Bromborough, United Kingdom.


University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (UNSW) - Photovoltaic Engineering

Photovoltaic companies linked with UNSW-developed technology form an amazing 4 of the top 6 manufacturers in 2010.
Suntech was the first of the UNSW-linked photovoltaic companies to commence production in China.
It claimed the number 1 position in the rapidly expanding market with close to 1.6 GW of photovoltaic product manufactured during the year.
Number 2 on the list of manufacturers with over 1.4 GW produced in 2010 was JA Solar.
Number 4 on the list was Trina Solar with 1.1 GW produced.
Number 6 on the list and another member of the “gigawatt” club with just over 1 GW produced in 2010 was Yingli Green Energy Holding.


Suntech manufacturing sites, located in China, Japan and the United States, follow the strictest production guidelines and are staffed by highly-trained manufacturing experts.
JA Solar designs, manufactures, and sells monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar cells primarily in China. It also sells the solar cells it produces to solar module manufacturers in Germany, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, and the United States.
Trina Solar is based in Changzhou, China.
Yingli Green Energy production facilities are located at Baoding, Haikou, Tianjin and Hengshui in China.

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (UNSW) - Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

The original vanadium battery patents were bought by an Australian company in 1998, which sold them to a Canadian company.
They were subsequently acquired by Prudent Energy in a firesale during the global financial crisis. Prudent started out as a Chinese company but is now based in US and has secured a huge amount of investment from venture capital companies and the US government stimulus package.

Prudent Energy, is the designer, manufacturer, and integrator of the patented Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage System (VRB-ESS®) – a large-capacity energy storage system delivering high performance with low operating costs. Founded in 2007, the Prudent Energy group of companies maintains corporate offices in Bethesda, Maryland in the United States and Beijing, China, with research, development, and assembly facilities in the United States, Canada and Asia.