February 2015

Solar boom ready to go with RET commitment

A new report identifies huge potential investment in solar power, not just wind, is dependent on a stable, strong large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET). The Large Scale Solar and the RET report also suggests that a 40% target would provide an earlier tipping point to trigger major solar investment. “Since coming to office, the Abbott

Why was Newman handing out billions to an Indian coal mining company that didn’t need it?

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The Newman government was handing an Indian billionaire billions of dollars of taxpayer money for literally – literally – no reason. During the recent state election, both the LNP and Labor in Queensland broadly supported the Carmichael coal project by Indian mining giant Adani. The key difference was whether they were expecting the taxpayer to

January 2015

NSW Gas Demand Could Halve Within a Decade: Report

A new report commissioned by The Australia Institute shows gas demand in NSW could halve within a decade and questions the need for a gas network in NSW. The report, “The Dash from Gas. Could demand in New South Wales fall to half?” by the University of Melbourne’s Energy Institute synthesises recent important research by

Jobs claims a cover for coal largesse

Once upon a time if a project couldn’t make a profit without government support conservative politicians would have called it a bad investment. Not these days. Take, for example, the Queensland government’s plan to spend $2 billion on coal transport infrastructure trying to make marginal mines in the Galilee basin financially viable. Even after enormous

December 2014

Majority of Australians favour solar and wind-powered future

New research from the Australia Institute finds that the health and environmental impacts of wind and solar technologies are far less detrimental than fossil fuels.  Two reports were released today, examining the impacts of, and broad public attitudes toward, wind power and solar energy. They find Australians are overwhelmingly more interested in a future fuelled

November 2014

Leyonhjelm’s plan for a State Government electricity tax

The latest plan to renege on the 41,000 GWh renewable energy target (RET) is even worse for consumers than the plans modelled by Dick Warburton’s recent inquiry, according to an analysis by The Australia Institute. A new proposal from NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm recommends existing hydro electricity generators built before the RET become eligible for

Coal companies talking rubbish on energy poverty

The term “energy poverty” refers to people who do not have access to electricity and clean cooking facilities. Globally, 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity in their houses and 2.6 billion people cook by burning coal, wood and other solid fuels. This has major impacts on people’s health, safety and quality of

No champion solution for carbon

The climate debate reveals how confused the philosophical underpinnings of political parties have become, writes Richard Denniss for The Australian Financial Review. Public debate about the details of climate policy can be like seven-year-olds arguing over who would win a battle between Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. The debate is messy because of the combination

October 2014

Greens under Christine Milne put protest ahead of progress

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

You’d never know it from their behaviour, but the Greens hold 10 seats in the current Senate compared to the Palmer United Party’s three. Their current strategy of voting against virtually everything the Abbott Government announces, including things they actually support, has made them largely irrelevant since the last election. It is hard to think

Divestment is just the free market at work

by Richard Denniss in ABC The Drum

Divestment By the shrill sound of things, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Australian National University (ANU) had sent its teaching staff on a paid trip to blockade the Pilliga. Jamie Briggs, Minister for Infrastructure, attacked ANU for “damaging” job creation. Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education, called the university “bizarre”. Joe Hockey made similar intonations,

ANU’s green investment policy reflects real world concern

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

If universities can’t be trusted to make their own investment decisions, who can be? Indeed, if the federal Coalition wants to join in the mining industry’s attack on the Australian National University for having the temerity to divest its shares in Santos and six other companies, why is the government proposing fee deregulation for the

September 2014

A power game that’s all about spin

Facts are so last century. The secretary of the NSW Treasury thinks we have a shortage of electricity and we are in danger of an electricity price explosion. The Commonwealth Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, on the other hand, believes we have an “oversupply” of electricity generation capacity, and that electricity prices are unsustainably low.

MR: Australia Institute calls on the Minerals Council members to come clean and apologise

The Australian Institute says the Minerals Council members – the large, mostly foreign-owned, mining companies – should explain the attacks on The Australia Institute. The Minerals Council has claimed that The Australia Institute is being directed by a political party. This is untrue and defamatory. The Minerals Council should immediately desist from making such claims

August 2014

Mining Economics Workshop – Gas Fact Sheet

Gas fields covering NSW farmland and forests are approved largely on the basis of the claims they make about jobs and economic benefits. The gas industry employs some people and generates economic activity, but often not to extent claimed by industry advocates. This fact sheet will assist with arguing against the industry’s shonky economics.

Mining Economics Workshop – Coal Fact Sheet

by Mark Ogge

Coal mines on NSW farmland and forests are approved largely on the basis of the claims they make about jobs and economic benefits. Coal mines certainly employ some peopleand generate economic activity, but often not to extent claimed by industry advocates. This fact sheet will assist with arguing against the industry’s shonky economics.

July 2014

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