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fossil fuel heaven? « Previous | |Next »
July 18, 2012

We are used to the vested interests of the fossil fuel electricity generators acting to protect their stranded assets----the coal fired power stations --and the coal export boom with its big coal infrastructure development in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

RoweDRinehart.jpg David Rowe

But we hear very little about who is buying Australia's coal exports in the media. One such customer is India which has a shortage of coal to produce the energy needed to develop its economy. India is facing an energy crisis and it has natural constraints in increasing the supply of fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal) to keep up with the increasing demand for more energy and electricity from economic development, a growing population and massive urbanization.

India needs all the energy it can harness to sustain its high economic growth rate and it will increasingly have to import oil, gas and coal. Coal, it is argued, will continue to be the main driver of India’s economy.

Hence Gina Rinehart's development of her massive coal project in the Galilee Basin; a development premised on India relying on energy produced from coal fired power stations. It looks a winner---an eternal boom according to the Big Miners. Coal is the future.

What if fossil fuels are not the only possible solution? What if the imported coal becomes too expensive for India compared to renewables? What if renewables offer more in the way of energy security than imported Australian coal?

Expensive energy is going to impact heavily on the poor. Hence the idea of bottoms up technology---ie.,decentralised, stand-alone systems --- at a village level as opposed to the coal and gas fuel mix in a centralized grid system.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:20 PM | | Comments (6)
Comments

Comments

I have noticed that the larger solar systems have come down about $5000 in the last year. They are becoming more viable.

A comment which relates to your posting on July 12th re Tony Abbott. I see that he is strutting his stuff with all of the usual neo-psychotic suspects in the USA. And therefore no doubt getting some more toxic inspiration from them.

Premier Newman has told Queenslanders that the state was actually “in the coal business”.That means opposition to climate change, climate science and renewable energy--opposition to the view that globe was warming because of human activity.

The Australian conservative political movement’s lurch towards the denial of human-caused climate science is like a mirror-image of the same anti--enlightenment ideas of many US Republicans.

"We are used to the vested interests of the fossil fuel electricity generators acting to protect their stranded assets--the coal fired power stations "

The free market think tanks in Australia that claim that regulating greenhouse gas emissions is an attack on our economic freedom and they work to discredit climate science.

Gary Johns in The Australian argues that Gillard Labor has turned its back on coalminers and their families.

The reason is its foolish slide towards the Greens and their obsession with a global warming abatement strategy by accepting a carbon tax and renewables subsidies. Coal is the future and Australia's gift to the world is coal. Johns says:

China and India are heavily dependent on coal for electricity, 80 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. For all of China and India's striving to reduce their dependence on coal through renewables (mainly hydro) and nuclear, China and India will help triple the world thermal demand by 2030.China's coal imports are expected to grow from 120 million tonnes per annum last year to more than 1000mtpa by 2030. India's coal imports are expected to grow from 90mtpa last year to 266mtpa in 2030.
Seaborne supply of thermal coal is dominated by Indonesia and Australia, which account for an estimated 60 per cent of seaborne thermal supply. Australian thermal coal exports are expected to increase from 145mtpa last year to 654mtpa by 2030. Much of this coal will come from the Galilee Basin.

The Galilee Basin in central Queensland is the promised land. So Australia should be producing coal at least cost.