Climate Change in Australia


Oops...I read it as saying Brisbane's metropolitan area is miles bigger than Melbourne...which is true, but misleading...comparing contiguous metropolitan areas.

That'll learn me for not reading it properly.


Why the ■■■■ does Australia need subs? Do any of our neighbours have subs?

And sunken PNG dugout canoes do not count as subs.


My suspicion is that Malcolm and a lot of other liberals would love to do it, but the clowns led by Abbott and Dutton want less sunlight for the obvious reason that Dutton is a vampire.

Has anyone ever seen Dutton and Dracula at the same time - not counting mirrors?



Battery-makers on Turnbull's Tesla chat: 'Give Australian companies a fair go'

Industry wants more support from federal government now prime minister has ‘taken interest in the tweets of an American billionaire’

Malcolm Turnbull should encourage Australia’s battery energy storage industry now he has “taken interest in the tweets of an American billionaire”, Zen Energy chairman Ross Garnaut says.

Garnaut was referring to Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of electric car giant Tesla, who tweeted that Tesla could solve the power shortage issue causing price spikes and blackouts in South Australia within 100 days by installing 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage.

Turnbull subsequently tweeted that he had phoned Musk and enjoyed a “great, in-depth” conversation.

But Australian companies had been working on large battery projects for years, Garnaut said, including one by Zen Energy in the upper gulf of South Australia which it had discussed with the market.

The core of the project would be to supply baseload renewable power to large energy users, initially in South Australia and then more broadly, Garnaut said.

“In this Trump era, we have a world where nothing is real until an American billionaire tweets about it,” Garnaut said.

“What we’re working on is having it ready for summer, the time of greatest stress on the grid and that’s when you really need to bring all your grid to stability.

“Zen Energy has funded it all so far, and there has been a lot of technical work and economic modelling done to see what is required in the market. We have a lot of close relations with energy providers and communities as part of the development work. When it comes to investment in the large equipment, we have the support of external investors.”

Zen would manage the battery and its interaction with the grid, but the owners of the battery would be external investors, Garnaut said. The battery would absorb electricity when it was cheap and abundant on the wholesale power market, and make it available when scarce.

“The other value of the large battery is to grid stabilisations services,” he said. “We are focusing on providing 100Mwh of battery storage of energy, so it will make a substantial contribution and will be ready by summer.”

On Tuesday the South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, is due to release his energy plan, which is expected to address the blackouts and his vision for renewable energy. He did not return calls from Guardian Australia requesting comment on Monday.

The chief executive of the Energy Storage Council, John Grimes, said there were a number of Australian companies that were more price-competitive than Tesla and which, in a consortium, could also deliver the project to stabilise South Australia’s energy grid in 100 days.

“This isn’t just a ploy from Musk,” Grimes said. “He’s right, this really can be done.”

He said there were a number of reasons the potential of battery storage hadn’t captured broader public attention before. Although Turnbull has a solar system and battery storage on his own Sydney property, Grimes said that “politically we have been in a backward-looking, unhelpful debate talking about so-called clean coal technology and running down state renewable energy targets”.

“The second thing is rapidly changing economics,” Grimes said. “If you thought about doing this even three years ago the price would have been something like four times higher than what you can do it for today.

“Really cheap battery technology, cheap solar and really smart energy technology systems, or smart computers, that will run this network are about to change everything. A massive transition is about to occur.”

Within less than 10 years, the technology would be such that people could take control of their own energy requirements and enter into “Uber-style” energy sharing arrangements, he said.

“We are not advocating people getting off the grid altogether, but the tech will allow us to trade electricity between ourselves so when I have excess solar power at 2pm I can offload it, for example, to a supermarket that needs two freezers running.

“This revolution in energy begins in 2017 and it will be all done and dusted within 10 years.”

He urged the federal government to show strong support for the battery sector as Australia risked losing some of the country’s best researchers. While Turnbull had been entertaining clean coal, the battery sector had advanced rapidly and come up to “bite him on the bum”, Grimes said.

“We are slugging our guts out to build the business in this sector, but a tweet from Elon Musk grabs the government’s attention,” Grimes said. “I’m not saying Tesla should be excluded, but don’t fast-track a discussion with an overseas company when you have capability right here, right now, in Australia. Let there be a transparent bid process. And let’s give Australian companies a fair go.”

The co-founder of Lyon solar, David Green, said not only had battery prices fallen substantially, but their functionality had increased significantly.

Lyon is developing an advanced combination solar and battery storage plant in South Australia known as the Kingfisher project, which is connected to a grid with operational mining activities. Lyon expects it to be operating commercially and delivering 100Mwh of solar PV with up t0 40Mwh of battery storage by the end of the year.

“The amazing thing is batteries are a technology with a range of functions,” he said. “They can function like a generator, they can act faster than any other generation facility to stabilise voltage, and they can provide power to isolated areas.

“In Australia at present there are some issues that can be barriers to a commercial role for them, and some of those are institutional and some are cultural.”

One barrier was the way regulators defined batteries under market rules, which differed depending on whether they were used as part of transmission networks or as generators. And Australian markets were not as familiar with the operation of batteries, he said.

Lyon had well-advanced battery projects in every state, Green said. The company is working with US-based energy giant AES Energy Storage to develop 200-250 megawatts of large-scale battery storage using AES Energy’s technology.

“All of our projects we have raised capital for, and it is the private sector who should be funding these projects,” Green said.

“The principal role for government should be to get market settings right so projects like this can be commercialised. The government needs to help to create an environment where batteries can capture maximum revenue so they become commercial in their own right so that governments aren’t needing to provide subsidies.”

The power the projects generated would be directed into the electricity grid for retailers to buy and sell on.

“We will either sell the power directly into the market and take the risk on what pricing we get out of wholesale, or we will enter into a contract with a retailer who will buy a certain amount of power at a certain price and they put that into their portfolio of other contracts and on-sell that,” he said.

Contract negotiations were under way between energy providers and Lyon, and an announcement would be made within weeks, Green said.

The chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, Kane Thornton, said Australia was about to find out how close to being truly commercial battery energy storage technology was.

“Sometimes it takes rockstar tech entrepreneurs having a Twitter conversation to create the excitement around technology breakthroughs,” Thornton said. “There’s nothing new in what Tesla are proposing. But I don’t think anyone should complain about Musk getting the attention of the prime minister about it. These are exciting times times ahead.”


Love the comment 'it starts in 2017 and will be done and dusted within 10 years'

Meanwhile our governments doing sweet FA


That's right. Coal, CSG and renewables ALL have a future in Australia. Oh, but we don't want anyone setting renewable targets over 10%. And we think wind farms are ugly and make people sick. And we pulled funding for a bunch of solar plant projects when we got into power.


Another dismal article with the premise being energy / battery / clean energy suppliers pushing their own businesses. Literally an advertisement for them. I hope you get a cut reboot.


Well they have too, they are competing against the government pushing coal


It's not because they want to make money? It's hardly newsworthy to see some organisations pushing their businesses to make money.
If it were me I'd do the same for my business - free publicity and appealing to the lefties - win-win. But in terms of being meaningful its a zero.


WW's best argument - climate change is a natural phenomenon, therefore human activity cannot be causing the current warming trend.


It's true. Businesses will be involved in energy supply and production.


Gave australians a fair go for nbn and myki, aussie businesses can gagf.


Yeah, but IBM ran the backend for the census, so...


I like articles like the ones below because we rarely hear about the research that goes into capturing CO2.

Chemists create molecular 'leaf' that collects and stores solar power without solar panels
March 8, 2017
Indiana University
An international research team has engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction." The discovery is a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.


The new molecule employs a nanographene complex (on left) to absorb light and drive the conversion of carbon dioxide (upper center) to carbon monoxide (on right).
Credit: Ben Noffke and Richard Schaugaard, Indiana University
An international team of scientists led by Liang-shi Li at Indiana University has achieved a new milestone in the quest to recycle carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere into carbon-neutral fuels and others materials.

The chemists have engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently than any other method of "carbon reduction."

The process is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"If you can create an efficient enough molecule for this reaction, it will produce energy that is free and storable in the form of fuels," said Li, associate professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry. "This study is a major leap in that direction."

Burning fuel -- such as carbon monoxide -- produces carbon dioxide and releases energy. Turning carbon dioxide back into fuel requires at least the same amount of energy. A major goal among scientists has been decreasing the excess energy needed.

This is exactly what Li's molecule achieves: requiring the least amount of energy reported thus far to drive the formation of carbon monoxide. The molecule -- a nanographene-rhenium complex connected via an organic compound known as bipyridine -- triggers a highly efficient reaction that converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.

The ability to efficiently and exclusively create carbon monoxide is significant due to the molecule's versatility.

"Carbon monoxide is an important raw material in a lot of industrial processes," Li said. "It's also a way to store energy as a carbon-neutral fuel since you're not putting any more carbon back into the atmosphere than you already removed. You're simply re-releasing the solar power you used to make it."

The secret to the molecule's efficiency is nanographene -- a nanometer-scale piece of graphite, a common form of carbon (i.e. the black "lead" in pencils) -- because the material's dark color absorbs a large amount of sunlight.

Li said that bipyridine-metal complexes have long been studied to reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide with sunlight. But these molecules can use only a tiny sliver of the light in sunlight, primarily in the ultraviolet range, which is invisible to the naked eye. In contrast, the molecule developed at IU takes advantage of the light-absorbing power of nanographene to create a reaction that uses sunlight in the wavelength up to 600 nanometers -- a large portion of the visible light spectrum.

Essentially, Li said, the molecule acts as a two-part system: a nanographene "energy collector" that absorbs energy from sunlight and an atomic rhenium "engine" that produces carbon monoxide. The energy collector drives a flow of electrons to the rhenium atom, which repeatedly binds and converts the normally stable carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide.

The idea to link nanographene to the metal arose from Li's earlier efforts to create a more efficient solar cell with the carbon-based material. "We asked ourselves: Could we cut out the middle man -- solar cells -- and use the light-absorbing quality of nanographene alone to drive the reaction?" he said.

Next, Li plans to make the molecule more powerful, including making it last longer and survive in a non-liquid form, since solid catalysts are easier to use in the real world. He is also working to replace the rhenium atom in the molecule -- a rare element -- with manganese, a more common and less expensive metal.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Xiaoxiao Qiao, Qiqi Li, Richard N. Schaugaard, Benjamin W. Noffke, Yijun Liu, Dongping Li, Lu Liu, Krishnan Raghavachari, Liang-shi Li. Well-Defined Nanographene–Rhenium Complex as an Efficient Electrocatalyst and Photocatalyst for Selective CO2 Reduction. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b12530


SA have announced they're going to spend $500m on battery storage and a new gas plant. To be state owned.

Your move Andrews.


1: Andrews has already moved by banning all gas exploration in Victoria.
2: You can only get òut of batteries what you put into them.
3: You can only put excess power into batteries.
4: How much excess power is there going to be when Hazelwood closes down?
5: What will be the cost of that excess power?

Reality in 15 days time and counting and the result of all theories will be revealed.

It may be a long cold expensive winter.


Just announced by the Waffling Wanker from Wentworth.

A GIANT new hydro-electric power station will be fast-tracked by Malcolm Turnbull’s government in a bid to ease the nation’s electricity crisis.

Dubbed “Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0”, it would increase the power output of the legendary national project by 50 per cent, adding 2000 megawatts of renewable energy to the network — enough to power 500,000 homes.

2000 Mw - 500,000 homes.

Hazelwood generates 1600 Mw which equals a shortfall of 400,000 homes leaving 100,000 new homes to be supplied.

Australia builds 200,000 new homes per year which means this new green fantasy is worth 6 months supply new homes.
It will take 3 years just to get the environment impact study done, 6 months of bribing to get the CMFEU to approve it and 5 years build it.

Should be up and running by 2025.

  1. The moritorium against any gas fracking was an initiative of the Bailleu Government, which was extended by Andrews Government. I presented to the Parliamentary enquiry on the issue. Facts are though that there is little or no gas believed to be anyway underground in Victoria, it is believed that there is still massive amounts of gas under Bass Strait but the gas price has to be higher to justify the costs of discovery and extraction.

  2. Yep that is why they call batteries storage devices.

  3. Yep you need to charge batteries with an external power storage to "charge" them.

  4. Practice is that batteries are charged when excess is available and currently even when Hazelwood closes, that is most of the time. Seems self evident to me.

  5. Cost of power will be whatever the Essential Services organisation decides as they set the maximum price for power in Victoria.

It is a fact that without Hazelwood, there is still enough electricity generation to meet Victoria's needs. As showed in SA, if you have a disaster which disrupts supply lines, it doesn't matter how much is generated, or if you have a fire at a large power station or if the Private Company who regulates supply won't pay the price, then you may have a long cold winter.

What Weatherall, Andrews and Turnbull are suggesting are all good. No idea why you just want to bag everyone and whinge.


Because coal helps poor Indian children?