New renewable energy projects in South Australia will get big tax breaks, says the state government. From July next year, investors in large-scale renewable energy projects will get payroll tax rebates for the labour associated with direct, on-site construction.
Rebates will be set at a maximum of $5 million for each solar project and $1 million for every wind power project and will remain in place for the next four years.
The premier said the investment incentives would help SA reach its target of having 20 per cent of all electricity generated from renewable energy by 2014 and 33 per cent by 2020.
See the SMH 16th December 2009 for the full article.
The $11 billion a year national electricity market will require significant extensions because of the Rudd governments greenhouse polices, including capital upgrades to boost power exports from QLD, VIC and SA, a new report shows.
A report to be released by the federal Minister for Resources & Energy, Martin Ferguson, finds that the government’s enforceable renewable energy target and proposed emission trading scheme could lead to a 450 per cent increase in wind power in five years and a tenfold increase in gas power generation over two decades.
See the AFR 17th December, for the full article.
A proposed increase in France’s tax on wind turbine installations is unfair and may slow planned expansion of the alternative energy, a trade organisation said.
The proposed tax is contained in an amendment to a bill under consideration by parliament that would eliminate France’s professional tax. It’s aimed at getting the “very profitable” wind power industry to “contribute more significantly” to local government finances, according to the amendment on the Web site of the Senate. The high rates paid for wind by consumers are “difficult to justify,” according to the proposal.
France has sought to boost wind power to as much as 25,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2020 from 3,400 megawatts at the start of this year. The government has said it wants to surpass the EU target and has promoted wind parks as the biggest contributor to the alternative-energy boom, anticipating investment of 15 billion euros over the period.
See Bloomberg 17th December for the full article.
First Solar Inc., the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar-power modules, forecast revenue will climb to $2.7 billion to $2.9 billion next year on rising demand for renewable energy from Germany to China. The shares jumped in late New York trading.
First Solar plans to spend $500 million to $550 million next year to expand annual production capacity to 1,800 megawatts. Production will be added in Malaysia as well as at a new factory in France.
First Solar has increased efforts to win utility orders in North America and China. First Solar plans to build a 30- megawatt system in China next year, part of 2,000 megawatts the company plans to build there through 2019.
See Bloomberg 16th December for the full article.
The potential for a lucrative wind farm industry on the South Coast has contributed to the decision to commission a massive crane worth more than $11 million at Port Kembla.
Industrial services provider Boom Logistics Australia purchased and assembled the giant German machine, the first of its type in Australia and among the largest. The Liebherr LR1750 crane can stretch up to 105m and lift 750 tonnes.
Boom Logistics chief executive Brenden Mitchell said the crane would be transported to a number of jobs on the east coast, but was set up at Port Kembla because of its proximity to BlueScope Steel, where it will do much of its work.
Mr Mitchell said the crane’s mobility and size made it ideal to build wind farms for what was expected to be a growing green jobs industry.
“This is the only crane of its type in Australia and (it) meets the immediate and long term needs of wind farm construction and other major industrial project work,” Mr Mitchell said.
“One example of the crane’s versatility is its short offset jib and wide track features which have been specifically designed to meet the needs of wind farms.
See the Illawara Mercury, 15th December 2009 for the full article.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration may announce tomorrow another $5 billion in tax credits for makers of renewable-energy products including solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
About $2.3 billion in similar tax credits were made available as part of the $787 billion stimulus package created in February, according to the WSJ.
See Bloomberg 15th Dec for the full article.
The state’s pricing regulator, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today recommended that electricity prices rise by up to 62 per cent, including inflation, over three years.
Electricity prices are already rising at a double-digit pace, following agreed price rises to allow big capital spending programs by electricity retailers such as EnergyAustralia and Integral Energy.
IPART says the biggest impact on the proposed price rises is the Federal Government’s recommended emissions trading scheme and increased network prices.
By 2013, the impact of the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme would increase the average bill of EnergyAustralia customers by 23 per cent, Integral Energy customers by 25 per cent and Country Energy customers by 21 per cent.
See the SMH 15th Decemeber 2009, for the full article.
The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.
The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administration’s first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.
The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source.
See The New York Times 11th December 2009, for the full article.
The Carbongate “Trick”
The “trick” is how Australia, with a rapidly growing economy over the last two decades, has been able to achieve this. Emissions from energy and transport have increased by 23% over 1990 levels. Australians might wonder how with our rapidly growing population and economy over the last two decades, as a nation we seemed to be in a position to claim that we only increased our total emissions by 9%. Well, we haven’t. Our emissions have increased by 30% but thanks to the “carbongate” swindle we can claim it’s only 9%.
Here is the “trick” and it is not PM Kevin Rudd’s “trick”, it was actually the Liberal / National Coalition Howard Government’s master stoke. At the Kyoto negotiations in November 1997 Senator Robert Hill was able to negotiate into the agreement what controversially became known at the “Australian clause” . Clive Hamilton documents the trickery of the Coalition’s bargaining that brought about the inclusion of the Australia clause in his book “Scorcher”. Indeed he devotes a whole chapter to it – Chapter 6 Drama at Kyoto. From page 72:
“As emissions from land-clearing had decline sharply since 1990, their inclusion in the base year would give us a cushion of ‘free’ emissions reductions. our fossil-fuel emissions would be able to increase to at least 120 percent of 1990 levels by 2010 while still coming in under overall target of 105 to 110% . The Australia clause represented a loophole in the Kyoto Protocol that a couple of Bulldozers with a chain between them could drive through.”
The brilliant “win” for the Federal Government at Kyoto was only the first part of the “trick”. To make it work the Howard Government then had to stop private property owners land-clearing. Not only did they have to stop them but as private property it had to be done at no cost to the Commonwealth. This in the face of the Constitution which states that if the Commonwealth takes a private citizen’s property for its’ benefit it must compensate the citizen on “just terms”.
The Howard Government then set about having the Carr and Beattie State Labor Governments introduce Vegetation Management laws that effectively locked up 109 million hectares of privately owned land into the world’s largest privately owned carbon sink. The “trick’ is with the Native Vegetation laws being passed by State Governments Under the Constitution the State Governments have no obligation to pay private landholders compensation. Brilliant, they’d created the world’s largest carbon sink – at no cost to the Commonwealth.
With the “trick” now in place Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 22% when you add back in the 83.7 millions tonnes of CO2 that was not emitted from land that may have been cleared at no cost to the Commonwealth. This and this alone has allowed Australia to meet its Kyoto Protocol Treaty Obligations and in doing so has saved the Commonwealth tens of billions of dollars in compliance penalties by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Australian family farmers have never been compensated for this Kyoto “free kick” that the nation and in particular the energy and transport industries have received.
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong being interviewed in Copenhagen on the ABC 7.30 report admitted that the only reason Australia was able to claim it had met its’ Kyoto commitments was thanks to the blanket ban on broad scale land clearing.
“I think what you’re referring to is the way we account for emissions from land clearing, which was agreed at the Kyoto Protocol. And Australia did respond to that. We did reduce our land clearing. We took active steps, particularly in Queensland, and Queensland is to be congratulated for fact that the reduction in land clearing in that state and also NSW has reduced Australia’s national emissions.”
Follow the following link for the full article: