The long wait is over as the independent MPs allign with Gillard to form a minority government.
Miners’ nightmare is coming true
The worst case scenario for the miner is the Green controlled senate which is complemented by the representation in the lower house with the alliance with the labor government. The resources super profits tax is no looking likely with Bob Brown in a good position to negotiate it’s final structure. This means the RSPT may eventually cover more commodities than just iron ore and coal.
NSW Energy Sale
The price renewable energy credits (RECs) has plunged in recent weeks as the proposed privatisation of the NSW electricity retailers prevents them from purchasing RECs on the market.
The spot price of RECS has returned to level near $34 and the contract price as also dropped which could effect the viability of projects and delay their development/construction.
The bids for the NSW electricity retailers are due by November 1, so it is possible they will stay out of the REC market until then.
Renewables giant Acciona has started initial production from a new 16MW biomass plant in Briviesca, Spain. The €50m ($64.2m) plant, which uses waste straw as fuel, will create around 100 jobs.
Briviesca is in the Burgos province, which is part of the central Castilla y León region.
Acciona has signed contracts with more than 100 farmers and 38 companies in the area to supply agricultural waste for the project. The plant is 85% owned by Acciona and 15% by local power utility Ente Regional de la Energía.
Acciona started its first straw combustion biomass plant, the 25MW Sangüesa facility in Navarre, in 2002. It also has two 4MW biomass plants that use forestry and timber waste in the provinces of Soria and Cuenca.
Acciona is also developing five more biomass projects in Spain. They are
- 16MW in Almazan, Soria;
- 25MW in Valencia de Don Juan, Leon;
- 16MW in Alcazar de San Juan, Ciudad Real;
- 16MW in Mohorte, Cuenca;
- 9MW in Utiel, Valencia
A contract to develop 240MW of geothermal power in Indonesia has been won by a consortium of India’s Tata Power, Australia’s Origin Energy and PT Supraco Indonesia.
The Sorik Marapi geothermal project, located in northern Sumatra, will be developed by PT Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power (SMGP), formed by the consortium for the project.
Tata Power and Origin Energy have equal stakes of 47.5% in SMGP, while Supraco Indonesia holds 5%. Over the next 18 months, the consortium will carry out a detailed exploration program. The project is scheduled for commercial operation in June 2015.
“Tata Power has a strong mission to achieve at least 25% of its generation portfolio through renewable sources of energy by 2017, geothermal energy being one of the prime renewable growth engines,” says Prasad Menon, managing director of Tata Power.
Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, announced that a A$300,000 grant has been jointly awarded by Renewables SA (renewablessa.sa.gov.au) to Syngas Limited (ASX: SYS) and the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group (YPASG). This grant, in addition to in-house resources, will be used to complete large scale logistics management field trials on the Yorke Peninsula and Mid North.
This is the first step in establishing the commercial viability of an entirely non-food Biomass-fed 1,200 barrel-per-day, liquid transportation fuel plant in the Yorke Peninsula area. The field trial outcomes will also allow other Biomass projects to be assessed, for example, bio-power generation.
The program will involve specialised equipment trials, business process mapping, collection, storage and transportation process measurements (i.e. time, product quality, and costs) as well as comparative process/method performance measurement.
The focus will be on commercial scale collection, storage and transportation of:-
• Cereal crop by-products, namely chaff and residual straw; and
• Non-food biomass energy crops, planted as part of an overall farm management / crop rotation cycles to maintain or enhance overall soil productivity and primary crop production capacity.
Engineers have poured cold water on Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee’s draft energy strategy involving reduction of fossil-fuel power and more emphasis on wind generation.
Prime Minister John Key’s government has called for 90 percent of New Zealand’s electricity to be generated renewably by 2025, a significant lift from the current level of 73 percent generated from hydro, geothermal and wind resources.
The nation last generated more than 90 percent of its electricity from renewable sources in 1981. Even if all electricity generators now under construction and consent were built, the level of renewable sources in the electricity consumed in 2025 was likely to be 68 percent, he said.
Mr Davin said one scenario involving the partial closure of Huntly Power Station and two major gas plants with more emphasis on South Island wind generation was “not going to happen”.
Italy’s wind farms, hailed as a source of clean energy, are generating more than electricity after becoming the latest industry to be infiltrated by the country’s mobsters.
Attracted by the prospect of generous grants designed to boost the use of alternative energies, the so-called ”eco Mafia” has begun fraudulently creaming off millions of euros from the Italian government and the European Union.
And nowhere has the industry’s reputation become more tarnished than Sicily, where turbines now dot the horizon in Mafia strongholds such as Corleone, the town better known as the setting for the Godfather films.
ACWA Power International, back HSBC, may be primed to being Lynch bid for all of Alinta Energy’s assets on September 10, but the message being put across by the Alinta camp is contrary to popular from opinion, it’s by no means the utility only contender.
Origin Energy is understood to removed itself from the race for Alinta assets, with its focus squarely on the NSW electricity privatisation process. AGL hasn’t ruled itself out, but with a similar focus to Origin the company would be unlikely to bid.
Queensland is facing electricity shortages by as soon as 2013-14, while both Victoria and New South Wales will face blackouts later than predicted, according to the latest annual forecast drawn up by the electricity market manager.
The annual Statement of Opportunities by the Australian Energy Market Operator has put back until 2015-16 when Victoria will face shortages.
NSW is not predicted to face power shortages until 2016-17 - well after the 2013-14 date put forward by Professor Tony Owen in 2007, when the NSW state government was pushing for the sale of state-owned electricity assets.
Premier John Brumby has called on Victorians to support his landmark climate change law which, for the first time, has set a bipartisan, ambitious target to cut carbon pollution.
The proposed legislation sets a carbon cut of 20 per cent of 2000 emission levels by 2020. Taking into account population growth, the target translates to a 40 per cent cut in emissions per Victorian.
The Sunday Age believes that the government is likely in the next few weeks to announce a second solar plant in the north, to cost about $100 million. A key part of the government’s climate change pitch is the target of 5 per cent of the state’s energy coming from large-scale solar farms by 2020.
A significant cut in pollution will come from the plan to close a quarter of Hazelwood, Victoria’s worst-polluting coal-fired power station. But the plan relies on co-operation from Hazelwood’s owners and federal government funding.
INFIGEN Energy reports a $73.5 million net loss after failing to sell its US and German wind farms and offloading French assets at a loss. Profits were also hurt by a strong Australian dollar, which contributed to a 3 per cent fall in revenue to $314.3m from $324.9m, slow wind speeds and lower electricity prices in the US.
The annual net loss compared with a $192.9m profit in the previous year, when earnings were boosted by the $2.4 billion sale of assets in Portugal and Spain.
Infigen cut management ties with debt-laden investment house Babcock & Brown in late 2008 and was hoping a successful sale of its European and US assets would take more strain off its balance sheet, giving it more capital to invest in Australia.
But its shares were hammered earlier this year after the French assets were sold for a $12.9m loss and Infigen terminated the US and German auctions after failing to attract adequate bids.
Hunger striking farmer Peter Spencer lives to fight another day in the High Court.
He’s been granted leave to appeal to the High Court after all seven judges unanimously granted his appeal and set aside the earlier Supreme Court decision of Justice Emmett, relating to property rights and land clearing on his Shannon’s Flat property.
The Commonwealth was ordered to pay Mr Spencer’s costs. Mr Spencer claims that land clearing laws denied him the ability to farm and that carbon credits were stolen from his property by the Commonwealth without compensation.
CBD Energy had plans to develop the area for a proposed wind farm before the negative press.
Glen Innes Wind Farm
Infigen’s proposed 26 turbine Glen Innes wind farm is expected to proceed with a slightly modified layout following an agreement between the wind farm proponents and residents, the Department of Planning said today. The Department of Planning has issued this statement following media reports on the issue this morning.
The NSW Government last year gave planning approval for the 26-turbine, $150
million wind farm, located 12km west of Glen Innes. The approval was challenged in the Land and Environment Court by the Glen Innes Landscape Guardians. However, prior to the start of the hearing, the wind farm proponent and the guardians group were able to come to an agreement on a revised layout of the project, including various amendments to the conditions of approval. The amendments included:
• Deleting one turbine from the project;
• A commitment by the proponent not to seek the re-instatement of one turbine
deleted by the former Minister for Planning as a condition of the approval; and
• The relocation of several turbines further away from residences.
The NSW Government supported the revised turbine layout and the parties entered
into a consent orders hearing at Armidale Court house on 9-10 August 2010. The Court approved the parties’ agreement in a verbal decision delivered in Court on 10 August 2010. However, the Court is still to hand down its written judgment and provide stamped conditions of approval.