The dumb and dumber ALP and Greens want to shut down Australia’s coal industry
by Viv Forbes, science writer
Japan has 45 new high-energy, low-emission (HELE) coal-fired power plants on the drawing boards. These will probably burn high quality Australian coal. And despite the tsunami that hit Japan, nuclear power still generates about 20% of Japan’s electricity.
Chinese companies have plans to build 700 new coal power plants all over the world, including China. In addition China will bring five new nuclear power reactors online in 2018 and has plans for a further six to eight units.
India generates more than 65% of its electricity from thermal power plants, and about 85% of these plants are coal-fired. India’s state-run power utility plans to invest $10 billion in new coal-fired power stations over the next five years and its thermal coal imports rose by more than 15% in the first three months of 2018. India also has 22 nuclear reactors in operation at seven sites, and 11 more reactors are under construction.
World-wide about 1,600 new coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries. Many of these power plants will utilise HELE technology.
Power plants burning low-energy lignite are being closed in Australia but still being built elsewhere. There are 19 such facilities in various stages of approval, planning or construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.
Australia is the odd man of Asia. We march to the green drum.
Despite having huge resources of coal and uranium, Australia has no nuclear powered electricity and has not built a significant coal-fired power station since Kogan Creek was opened eleven years ago. Over the last eight years Australia has closed nine coal power stations (in acts of political vandalism, some were quickly demolished to prevent them being upgraded and reopened). AGL, a green energy company, bought the huge Liddell Coal Power station from the state government for nothing in 2014 and seems determined to close it, despite an offer of $250M to buy and operate it (closure of Liddell will increase profits for AGL’s green energy business).
The close-the-gate-crowd opposes every proposal to frack for oil or gas, and elections are swung by fevered rhetoric opposing new coal mines. The PM of Australia thinks we can generate extra power by using electricity to pump water up hill and get some of that electricity back later by letting it run back down. Not surprisingly, Australia’s national energy market is run, not by an engineer, but by a lawyer/climate change activist.
The green state of Tasmania relies on hydro-power and diesel generators when its plug-in mainland power cable fails and the green state of South Australian has closed and joyfully demolished both of its coal-fired power stations. After recent blackouts it spent at least $100M on a huge battery that produces zero new electricity (it has to be charged when the wind blows and the sun shines, and it hopefully fills the supply gaps when they don’t).
But Australia is building lots of mills and mirrors collecting low-density energy from intermittent, un-predictable and un-reliable sources such as wind and solar. While Greens on the ground do everything to stop Queensland’s huge Carmichael coal mine from ever opening, their mates in the Queensland government gleefully reported 23 large-scale renewable generation projects in the pipeline, including 13 in Queensland.
Australian heavy industries like refining, processing and manufacturing cannot rely on intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable, expensive green power so they will keep migrating in search of cheap reliable power. The associated skilled jobs will keep disappearing with them. Australia will revert to its colonial economy which relied on exports of raw materials from its mines, farms and forests. But this “New Economy” will have the extra burden of a vast bureaucracy, a large and growing welfare state and an aging population.
Tomorrow’s Aussie kids will see their future is Asia – the old people left behind will get work as bureaucrats and nurses, or as child minders, tour guides and educators for rich Asian tourists and immigrants.
However, as Australian Aborigines discovered over 200 years ago, the world will not allow us to monopolise forever a continent rich in valuable undeveloped resources in land, water, minerals, hydrocarbons, radioactives, timber and sea food. Hard heads and sharp eyes are looking us over.
Wake up Australia. Burning coal does not control climate and carbon dioxide is the gas of life, NOT a pollutant. It’s time to turn the lights back on.
22 November 2017: Bob Katter MP, Federal Member for Kennedy, is furious former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce took part in selling Adani to China after news the Adani Group is close to securing finance for its coal mine and railway track in coming weeks with Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies backing the venture.
Media reports a director of Adani Mining said just days ago they would no longer need funding from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and a formal announcement of a financial close was imminent. It was reported in The Australian on Nov 14th Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo wrote to top Chinese officials to vouch for Indian giant Adani. The report said they sent a letter to the chairman of China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission saying they welcomed “foreign lending to support the development of major projects in Australia”.
“If you sell your country out, then you’re a traitor,” Mr Katter said.
It was also reported Chinese enterprises and export credit agencies invariably require that materials for key infrastructure are sourced from China, effectively shifting work out of Australia and undermining Adani’s claims its project will create many thousands of additional jobs for Queensland.
“Half Australia’s coal reserves will be controlled by whoever owns that railway line. It was not good enough for the ALP and LNP to sell our coal seam gas, now worth $25b a year. This is enough money to restore our outpatients at our hospitals, and give every pensioner and young families 10 grand each and every year.
“We sold the gas for 6 cents a unit we are now buying it back for $16 a unit – our own Australian gas. And now we are going to do the same thing with coal.
“Does anyone think a spineless Government in Canberra are going to stand up to the Chinese Government when they take over all of our unexploited coal reserves? The Greenies think they will stand up to that? Do they think the spineless ALP Government will stand up against the Chinese Government? No, they won’t.
“This will go down as the biggest sell out in our country in Australian history, and will let all the world know that Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and LNP PM Malcolm Turnbull will go down in the history of Australia in infamy,” Mr Katter said.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says there will be no guarantees of jobs for Australian miners!
( see story Cairns News November 27, 2014)
India’s Adani mine in the Galilee Basin will be the biggest this country will ever see. The State Government has called tenders for the dredging of Bowen Harbour. It seems that it will go ahead, even though the major banks supporting the $8.2 billion project have withdrawn after pressure from world-wide environmental groups. Here is an excellent overview by Business Today:
When Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter asked a simple question of the Deputy Premier in Parliament this week, he was bemused that Jeff Seeney did not know the meaning of the common economic term “underutilisation”.
Mr Katter asked the Deputy Premier to guarantee that all 25,000 new jobs in the Galilee Basin development would go to Australian workers, given the alarming underutilisation rate of 15.3% in Queensland.
A simple enough question, but Mr Seeney said he wasn’t familiar with the term “underutilisation rate”, which is defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as the sum of the number of people unemployed and the number underemployed, expressed as a proportion of the labour force.
So far, so staggering. The Deputy Premier then went on to say the number of jobs projected was 28,000, and he envisaged construction workers currently employed on the CSG-LNG projects on Curtis Island would vie for these jobs.
“It will require a large workforce—the sort of workforce that is currently completing a big construction task in Central Queensland for the LNG plants. If we look at that workforce in Central Queensland, they have come from all over the world to work here. They have come from all over Australia to work in that workforce, to build the infrastructure that will be necessary to export LNG—the energy that the world needs. So it will be with any major construction task anywhere in the world that people will see the opportunities and they will come and vie for those jobs.” [Hansard]
Mr Katter said that was the kind of rant he was accustomed to hearing in Parliament.
“The Deputy Premier avoided answering the question directly, saying workers from all over the world are already working on projects in Queensland, and they would be competing with Australians for these 28,000 jobs in the Galilee Basin.
“I would expect more of patriotic stand from the Deputy Premier of Queensland, more of an effort to ensure these jobs do go to Queensland, given our underutilisation rate of 15.3%.
“The Deputy Premier needs to get up to speed with both the underutilisation rate and the unemployment rate in Queensland, and put measures in place to ensure there are jobs for Queenslanders.”