Adelaide FoE Notes

These posts are to appear in the fortnightly newsletter

Little storage needed for 35-50% renewables: new Finkel report

A new report commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel, The role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix, says the required investment in energy security and reliability over the next five-10 years will be minimal, even if wind and solar deployment moves far beyond levels contemplated by the Energy Security Board.

“At an aggregated national level, Australia can reach penetrations of 50 per cent renewable energy without a significant requirement for storage to support energy reliability

The contrast with ESB modelling – and the attempts by Coalition parties at state and federal level to dismiss high levels of renewable energy as “reckless” – could not be more pronounced.

While the ESB, in arguing for a National Energy Guarantee, speaks of the system threats and urgency to act with a level of “variable” renewables accounting for between 18 and 24 per cent of total generation, this new report says surprisingly little storage may be needed with 35 per cent to 50 per cent wind and solar.

Even in the 50 per cent variable renewable energy scenario – more than double that contemplated at the high end by the ESB – the new report suggests enough battery storage may be available “behind the meter,” households and businesses, to meet the storage needs.

Pointedly, the study models levels of “variable”renewable energy – wind and solar” that are far higher than that contemplated by the ESB in its argument for an “urgent” reliability option.

The new study’s “low renewable” share – 35 per cent – is twice the amount of wind and solar modeled by the ESB for 2030, at just 18-24 per cent, and yet it sees little need for a lot of added storage.

The study’s medium renewables scenario aims at 50 per cent share of variable renewbles by 2030, while its “high” share models 75 per cent wind and solar penetration.… Read more >>

Doctors for the Environment call for NEG to be rejected

A letter on Nov 19th from Doctors for the Environment Australia addressed to State Premiers, Energy and Environment ministers points out the problems with the Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG):

The States must continue their strong leadership at the approaching COAG Energy Meeting, totally rejecting the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) because of its egregious denial of action on pollution and global warming and its deleterious effect on Health.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) represents hundreds of medical experts across Australia. We are supported by a Nobel laureate, recipients of the Australian of the Year award and many other distinguished health professionals.

DEA is deeply disturbed by the health implications of the Government’s proposed (NEG) plan. As more analysis accumulates it is increasingly evident that the NEG is designed to encourage continued burning of fossil fuels. It is also clear that the NEG will lead to much less investment in decarbonisation of the energy market, leading to more pollution and rising CO2 levels. It is extraordinary that the design proposes no further reduction in CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2030. It thus fails Australia’s commitment to COP 21 in Paris.
— read the full letter at the DEA website

Read more >>

NEG needs more work

COAG energy ministers agreed today (Fri 24 Nov) to commission more design work on the Turnbull government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, forcing the renewable energy industries in Australia into a new era of policy uncertainty.

The decision was expected, given that Queensland could not vote due to its state election tomorrow, the Liberal governments in NSW and Tasmania would always support it, and Victoria earlier this week declared itself open to finding out more about the plan.

This left South Australia and the ACT in the minority in their opposition to the NEG – or, as federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg put it in a press conference in Hobart this afternoon, they “they had their say today, and they lost.”

The federal government was forced to abandon its original tactic of asking the states to actually approve of the NEG, instead merely seeking consensus on doing further work.… Read more >>

GM Moratorium

Bob Phelps writes:

A big win this week with SA’s GM Moratorium extended till 2025. The Greens Mark Parnell shepherded his Bill through the SA Upper House. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/5064557/sa-set-to-extend-gm-moratorium/

Our media release is here.

But passage through the SA lower house isn’t a formality. The SA Government must pass it in the last sitting week (27-29 Nov) before Parliament rises for the March 18, 2018 election.

To ensure the Genetically Modified Crops Management Regulations (Postponement of Expiry) Bill 2017 passes into law, please email:

  • “Health Minister Peter Malinauskas MLC ” <Healthministerforhealth@sa.gov.au>
  • “Premier Jay Weatherill” <cheltenham@parliament.sa.gov.au> and
  • “Leon Bignell – Minister for Agriculture” <ministerleonbignell@sa.gov.au>

— from the Gene Ethics newsleter… Read more >>

Stop the Government shredding the rules on GMOs

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) plans to deregulate a range of new dangerous new genetic modification techniques such as CRISPR.

Late last week, while the entire media was consumed with the High Court ruling on dual citizenship, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) quietly emailed stakeholders with its proposed changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations. These would deregulate new genetic modification (GM) techniques such as CRISPR, classified as “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation” in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community. They would also make Australia the first country in the world to deregulate genetically modified animals.

If the OGTR deregulates these new GM techniques anyone would be free to use them to genetically modify plants, animals and microbes. They could enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The results could be catastrophic.

TAKE ACTION: STOP THE GOVERNMENT SHREDDING THE RULES ON GMOS

More info: FoE’s Emerging technology website

 … Read more >>