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Our electricity grid looks likely to progress more systematically to a cleaner more secure future thanks to Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel being brought in – to lead the analysis and policy recommendations. For those who could not make Tuesday night’s 2.5 hour session in Adelaide with him, here are some of the key comments made by him and his team:

 

1. Dr Finkel and SA’s Chief Scientist Leanna Read both see the grid becoming 100% renewable powered as the end point.

 

2. Dr Finkel is walking the talk: all electricity at his home is sourced from green power electricity and he is an electric car user.

 

3. He and his team will travel shortly to other renewable energy leading regions with few grid interconnections to share best practices for SA (Texas and Ireland), to high penetration locations committing to further quick transitions to distributed renewables (California, New York, Denmark, France, UK and Germany) and meeting GE and Siemens who are leading in creating distributed grid systems and controllers and grid storage.

 

4. Is looking at technology that is technically proven and cost-effective over a 20-year time frame and their team has chosen to focus on:

 

a. Solar;

 

b. Wind;

 

c. Battery backed frequency controlled synthesis and converted fossil fuel turbines to be on standby for grid stability;

 

d. Storage (pumped hydro, batteries) and Combined Cycle Gas turbines to add more “on demand dispatch-able power”;

 

e. More interconnections, competition and two-way flow of power on the grid.

 

5. His team has chosen not to consider further:

 

a. Any more baseload of any kind – the grid does not need more fixed output generators, but instead only fast acting on demand dispatchable generators;

 

b. Asked about coal, he does not see any financiers backing the risk of building any more coal power stations in Australia;

 

c. Asked about nuclear, he does not see over the 20 year horizon any technologies being proven or cost-effective and thus getting funding;

 

d. Wave and geothermal for same reasons as nuclear;6.      Often raised the theme “social licence” – gas fracking and nuclear has lost its license in much of Australia, and grid retailers are at risk of losing theirs if they don’t improve transparency, quality and fairness.

 

7. The grid needs more competition with more suppliers (especially in SA).

 

8. There needs to a system transition that meets three key goals: meeting our Paris obligations, grid security and affordability; cannot focus on just 1 or 2 sides of the triangle in transitioning to the new grid.  Dr Finkel and SA’s Chief Scientist Leanna Read both see the grid becoming 100% renewable powered as the end point.

 

Source:Renew Economy

Plans to build two major new “battery ready” solar projects in Australia have been announced by Asia’s largest independent renewable energy developer and investor, Singapore based firm Equis Energy, with two 100MW plants set to be built in South Australia and Queensland.

 

The projects, confirmed by Equis on Wednesday, will both be paired with fossil fuel power generation and transmission infrastructure: one with a new diesel powered plant near Taliem Bend in South Australia, and one with the existing Collinsville north substation in Queensland.Announcement of the projects – which are expected to deliver power for nearly half the current cost electricity in South Australia – comes as Australia’s renewable energy target is, again, being used as a political football, particularly by the federal government, whose far right faction has reissued calls to scrap it completely.

 

Turnbull, while assuring he has no plans to acquiesce, is at the same time leading criticism of the states for introducing their own, much more ambitious, targets for renewable energy investment and development – a push he described at his National Press Club speech on Monday as a “mindless rush into renewables.”

 

Predictably, the PM made this one of the major themes of his National Press Club address on Wednesday, claiming repeatedly that federal Labor’s key policies – a 50 per cent RET by 2030 and an increased emissions reduction target by 2030 – would mean higher power prices and less network stability.

 

“Labor’s approach (to energy) is driven largely by ideology,” Turnbull told the NPC audience, without a hint of irony. “This isn’t an abstract issue. Higher electricity prices mean more pressure on household budgets and businesses. That’s why energy will be a defining debate in this Parliament. We’re determined to help families and businesses by making electricity affordable and reliable; Labor’s policies mean higher power prices and energy insecurity.”

 

Turnbull used South Australia to illustrate his point, rolling out the familiar conservative theory that that state’s ambitious approach to renewable energy development – as well as its phase-out of “baseload” coal power – was inextricably connected to its high electricity prices and recent blackout events.

 

Of course, this position (you can read more about what Turnbull said about energy in his NPC address here), has been countered by many well respected and experienced industry analysts and players – not to mention by major electricity market reports. And many argue that investment in renewables is what is needed now, to avoid greater electricity supply and infrastructure costs in the future, and to bring the grid into the 21st Century.

 

But while the political debate circles endlessly, investors like Equis and companies like Snowy Hydro, are getting on with the job, investing in clean power generation assets that they say will supply secure and cheap electricity.

 

Equis says the $400 million projects are just the tip of the iceberg for the company’s solar plans in Australia, with plans for another 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects to be built over the near term, for which land rights have already been secured.

 

For now, however, the focus will be on the above two projects, both of which Equis says will be designed as “battery storage ready”, to further enhance their value to the greater grid.

 

Already, for the Taliem Bend project, Equis has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro, the owner of the 28.8MW diesel power station that’s also being built this year, to support its iconic 4,100MW Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme.

 

Snowy Hydro, which has been considering adding solar to its generation portfolio for some time now, has agreed to purchase 100 per cent of the power produced from the Tailem Bend Solar Project for at least 22 years. Construction of the project is expected to start soon.

 

The company’s chief executive, Paul Broad, says the deal with Equis made sense given the changes taking place in the South Australian market, with prices rising and fossil fuel generation coming offline.

 

According to Equis, Tailem Bend will be one of the lowest-cost solar projects in Australia to date, supplying power at around 40 per cent less than prevailing South Australian market prices.For Broad, other major benefits of adding solar will include a more diverse and more reliable portfolio of generation to draw from, particularly as its retail business, Lumo, grows beyond 50,000 customers.

 

In NSW, the company added gas-fired generation last year through the $234 million purchase of the Colongra gas peaking plant.

 

“You’ve got to think about the risks, and we think about that constantly,” Broad said. “To survive this market you’ve got to integrate, you’ve got to control your own destiny.”

 

“Cheap baseload power is coming out of the system and the forward curve is getting stronger: it’s hard to see that not continuing,” Broad said in another interview, adding Snowy would in future be able to call on a combination of diesel and solar power in South Australia to grow its retail position there.

 

Broad also said he expected that battery storage, potentially using Panasonic hardware, could be added within four years.

 

As for Equis, the group’s CEO, David Russell, says the Tailem Bend Solar Project represents an “exciting expansion” into Australia, and a “unique opportunity to leverage our development and construction expertise to deliver low cost, large-scale, reliable renewable energy for Australian consumers.”

 

“By developing the Tailem Bend Solar Project and Snowy Hydro diesel projects together, the combined system will have the capability of providing stable power any time of the day across the entire year.” Russell said.

 

“In addition, the Tailem Bend Solar Project has been developed to facilitate large scale battery storage further enhancing the “base load” like nature of the projects.”

 

The 100MW Collinsville project, meanwhile, has gained development approval from the Whitsunday Regional Council to be constructed on land close to the Collinsville North substation, with works expected to being this year.

 

Equis, which is developing the two projects entirely, now has a total of 49 renewable energy projects under development and construction, having completed a further 33 utility scale renewable energy projects in Asia over the last 3 years.

 

The two new Australian projects alone are expected to supply the annual power needs of 63,165 homes, and employ more than 400 people in regional communities during the construction phase.

 

Source: Renew Economy

Union Budget 2017: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech highlighted 10 key themes on which his financial statement is focused. These themes are; doubling income of farmers, push for rural population in the form of better infrastructure and employment, youth in the form of education and jobs, poor, infrastructure, financial sector, digital economy, public services, prudent fiscal management, tax administration for the honest

 

Jaitley in his Union Budget speech said that his aim has been to spend more in rural areas and infrastructure, while keeping in mind fiscal prudence. According to Jaitley, PM Narendra Modi’s announcements on December 31 meet a lot of objectives and focus areas of the government. “From housing for the poor, relief to farmers, encouragement to digital transactions, PM Modi’s speech addressed a lot of important things,” FM said.

 

According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, this year’s Budget introduces 3 major reforms that are aimed at betterment of the Indian economy. He highlighted the advancement of Union Budget 2017 to February 1, merger of Railway Budget with the main Budget and doing away with plan and non-plan expenditure

 

FM Jaitley began his Budget 2017 speech by saying, “I raise on the occasion of this auspicious day of Basant Panchmi to present the Union Budget 2017-2018. Spring is a season of optimism,” he said

 

Union Budget 2017 comes in the backdrop of the historic demonetisation drive that was carried out by the Narendra Modi government. There is huge pressure on the government and FM Jaitley to propel economic growth, at a time when demonetisation has slowed down the economy.

 

Source:The Financial Express

Union Budget 2017: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech highlighted 10 key themes on which his financial statement is focused. These themes are; doubling income of farmers, push for rural population in the form of better infrastructure and employment, youth in the form of education and jobs, poor, infrastructure, financial sector, digital economy, public services, prudent fiscal management, tax administration for the honest

 

Jaitley in his Union Budget speech said that his aim has been to spend more in rural areas and infrastructure, while keeping in mind fiscal prudence. According to Jaitley, PM Narendra Modi’s announcements on December 31 meet a lot of objectives and focus areas of the government. “From housing for the poor, relief to farmers, encouragement to digital transactions, PM Modi’s speech addressed a lot of important things,” FM said.

 

According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, this year’s Budget introduces 3 major reforms that are aimed at betterment of the Indian economy. He highlighted the advancement of Union Budget 2017 to February 1, merger of Railway Budget with the main Budget and doing away with plan and non-plan expenditure

 

FM Jaitley began his Budget 2017 speech by saying, “I raise on the occasion of this auspicious day of Basant Panchmi to present the Union Budget 2017-2018. Spring is a season of optimism,” he said

 

Union Budget 2017 comes in the backdrop of the historic demonetisation drive that was carried out by the Narendra Modi government. There is huge pressure on the government and FM Jaitley to propel economic growth, at a time when demonetisation has slowed down the economy.

 

Source:The Financial Express

Look forward to a dynamic Budget announcement to pave way for strong and sustainable growth environment with a greater ease of doing business," PHD Chamber President Gopal Jiwarajka said.

 

CII President Naushad Forbes said the Survey offers innovative solutions and new ideas for the Indian economy.

 

"It (survey) maintains cautious optimism about the growth prospects of the Indian economy with GDP growth rate poised to touch 6.75 -7.5 per cent in the coming year. Uncertainty related to the impact of demonetization and muted external economic conditions would have an impact on the estimate," Forbes said.

 

"Government's word for policy support to demonetisation stricken economy is likely to calm nerves of the industry temporarily, with the fine print of budget proposals yet to be revealed. Further, the expectations around cash normalcy prevailing April 1 are likely to cheer India Inc," Mukesh Butani, Managing Partner, BMR Legal said.

 

Source:DNA News