Lord Monckton loses Bolt's support, renewable energy rivals coal, the cost of recent extreme weather is counted, and Fox news tells us why solar won’t work in the US. All this and more in this week’s The Week That Was…
“The steady fall in demand coupled with the carbon price is undermining the economics of the coal-fired generators.”
- Pitt & Sherry consultant Dr Hugh Saddler
Well, Lord Monkton has even lost his unconditional support from Andrew Bolt, after his awesome appearance at the launch of Australia’s newest political party Rise Up. It’s been not a bad week in politics on that count alone.
The faces covering our view of politics in Australia continue to change as Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy move to The Guardian digital edition which is soon to be launched in Australia.
A lot of feedback this week about the news that the sale of solar and wind energy technology has made renewable power cheaper than coal. Let’s have a quick look at some of the discussion. Climate Spectator tells us that solar PV and wind turbines have expanded to break the 1GW threshold in 2012, and that coal fired power stations and coal exports can no longer compete with the renewables market - which Peter Hannam tells us is now officially … on fire.
Indeed the plucky folk in resource rich West Australia have pitched a notion, prior to the election, that all of the huge State’s energy needs could be met by renewable energy sources, within 20 years. And in South Australia, more people are concentrating their hopes and desires for big solar taking over from coal at Port Augusta.
The result is that much has been written about the reshaping of the energy market. We are told that Australia is unlikely to build new coal fire stations. Meantime China announces its plans to add a further 49 GWh of clean energy capacity in 2013 (up to 18 GWh of new wind and 10 GWh of new solar), and plans a corresponding drop of annual growth in energy consumption from 6.6% to 3.5% annually.
While all of this is happening on our side of the world, Al Gore did not miss the opportunity to coax the leader of his homeland, President Barak Obama, to make the most of the opportunity to make a bold statement about action on climate change at this week’s State of the Union address. Thousands of miles away in Tasmania, Pete Boyer reminds the readers of The Mercury why Al Gore is not your ‘typical politician.’ Ain’t that the truth.
Here, friend of The Climate Reality Project and climate science expert Will Steffen tells Herald Sun readers that our climate is on steroids. A story like that could easily make it into the sports pages ….
The costs of flooding in Queensland have been reported to be at least $2.4 billion says Campbell Newman and Suncorp have received up to $220 million in claims; that is most of its money provided for natural disasters gone, and it’s only February. We are told that the bushfires and storms in Victoria and Tasmania in January will cost $50 million, on top of the $147 million already booked in the December half of last year. So many have lost so much.
The Brisbane Times reported the figures used to decide the Kyoto Protocol are too low. And The Conversation inspects the UNs ‘ambitious plans’ for renewable energy targets. Our man who is often at the UN, Bob Carr, was in Kiribati trying to gather evidence to help this disappearing nation.
ABC Science looks at a new improved solar cell technology here … and watch this Fox news report from business editor Shibani Joshi, who breaks the news – “even the oil industry has been subsidised” and that the solar industry in the US won’t work because “Germany has more sun than the US.” What IS she talking about???
See you next week…
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Marion Doss – License: CC BY-SA 2.0
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm