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Friday, August 8, 2014

Reviewing a renewable energy target

The Abbott Government recently announced a review of Australia's Renewable Energy Target.

A briefing paper contains a mind-boggling fact:
Coal in Australia is worth about $1.50 per gigajoule.
Natural gas is worth about $9.00 per gigajoule.
See -
RET Review
Modelling assumptions workshop ACIL Allen Consulting
Stakeholder workshop
Presenters: Paul Hyslop / Owen Kelp / Guy Dundas
Date: 23 April 2014
  1. Why burn coal when it can be increased six-fold in value by converting it to natural gas?
  2. Why drill coal seam gas wells all over the place when you can make natural gas from coal worth about one-sixth of the value of natural gas?
The ACIL Allen Consulting figures under-estimate the cost of coal. This biases the RET review in favour of coal.

The estimate of $2 per gigajoule of thermal coal in NSW (about 25 gigajoules per tonne) requires a price of just $50 per tonne. The current price of NSW thermal coal however is closer to $80 per tonne or $3.20 per gigajoule.

Gas and coal prices

Natural gas and coal prices used in 2013 emissions projections work

ACIL Allen Consulting, Electricity Sector Emissions:
Modelling of the Australian Electricity Generation Sector, September 2013