• Mar, 2024 CEF in the media

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    China’s solar billionaire feels the heat as sector faces upheaval

    Longi founder Li Zhenguo is laying off thousands of staff in an industry grappling with oversupply The solar industry is cyclical, resulting in periods of boom and bust. Analysts have warned that massive job cuts across the industry are inevitable after several years of excessive focus on output rather than on sustainable profits. Xuyang Dong of Climate Energy Finance, an Australian think-tank, noted that at of the start of this year, China had more than 1,000GW of solar module production capacity in development for domestic and international markets, a far higher amount than current domestic demand. China needs around 280-320GW of new solar capacity a year until 2030 to reach its dual carbon targets. “The amount of money saved by laying off staff is insufficient compared to the 40-50 per cent decline in prices in the market over the last 12 months,” she said. Read more
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  • Mar, 2024 CEF in the media

    AEMO issues another gas shortage warning, but analysts question why

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has issued what is becoming a routine annual warning of potential future gas supply shortages in Australia, with the release this week of its latest Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO). Tim Buckley, the founder and director of Climate Energy Finance said “Why does AEMO have gas use in the power system actually higher in 2040 than they do today? “That’s the gas industry giving the most optimistic view that they can about the future of their industry, and it’s just not going to happen. “AEMO is still failing to understand the massive structural shift of scale and scope for batteries – including of utility scale, behind the meter and in electric vehicles for V2G, plus grid orchestration – to permanently diminish the need for gas peakers, which play a small, critical but diminishing role in grid firming, particularly in season peaks in winter. “We have AEMO doing a gas statement of opportunity that ignores the obvious opportunity, which is to electrify everything and reduce demand.” Read more
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  • Mar, 2024 CEF in the media

    Gina Rinehart-backed rare earth miner soars in value on news of $840m in support

    A Gina Rinehart-backed mining company has soared in value by 75%, after the government agreed to provide financial support as it aims to increase Australia’s production of rare earth elements. The director of Climate Energy Finance, Tim Buckley, says the announcement shows private finance can’t be relied on to provide critical minerals. “We probably shouldn’t be relying on private billionaires to do the national interest,” he says. Buckley says competition from Chinese and US production after president Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act could crush Australian production without government action. “The idea that we’re just going to leave it to the free market is farcical when the American government started with a trillion dollars in subsidies on the table,” he says. Read more
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  • Mar, 2024 CEF in the media

    OP ED | Coalition’s nuclear red herring is a betrayal of the Australian people

    The sudden enthusiasm of the LNP for nuclear energy is another divisive, cynical and damaging ploy to ignite Climate Wars 2.0 and disrupt and delay Australia’s accelerating renewables transition on behalf of the fossil fuel cartel. The LNP’s climate and energy luddites burned a decade when they were in office. We can’t afford more of the same policy lunacy. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

    Qld’s $570 million battery strategy to create 9,100 jobs and add $1.3 billion to economy

    Queensland is poised to become Australia’s renewable energy “superpower” after unveiling a $570 million battery industry investment. Think tank Climate Energy Finance (CEF) said Queensland was becoming the nation’s “cleantech leader”. “The battery strategy is further evidence that Queensland is not just undergoing an energy transition but a complete transformation from a legacy coal and gas petrostate to a renewable energy and critical minerals superpower,” CEF director Tim Buckley said. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    “打印”出的太阳能电池:这种新技术能否让澳大利亚在光伏领域“突围”?

    In an interview with SBS Chinese, Xuyang Dong, an energy analyst at the independent think tank Climate Energy Finance, explained that China’s large-scale production capabilities enable it to occupy the “most dominant” position in the global new energy supply chain. “China mass-produces cheap components and then exports cheap, high-quality solar cells.” Dong believes that the rapid development of China’s photovoltaic industry cannot be separated from strong and clear policy promotion. Although Australia cannot deploy the new energy industry through similar “hard planning”, it can also implement policies to guide industrial development. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    How these scientists are steering Australia to a solar panel breakthrough

    Solar pioneers are exploring ways to replace conventional silicon solar panels with lighter and more efficient solar cells printed on flexible plastic films to disprove the thesis that Australia “doesn’t do” advanced manufacturing. Energy analyst at independent think tank Climate Energy Finance, Xuyang Dong, said clear policy targets had helped led China to yield more than 80 per cent of the world’s solar manufacturing capacity. She said Australia had the opportunity to capitalise on the manufacturing of emerging solar technologies through similar “hard” policy planning. “China’s central government sets energy goals, such as its renewable energy development targets in the 14th Five-Year Plan, which compels state-owned energy enterprises to undergo transformations in line with these policies. It’s not a recommendation, it’s a compulsory command,” Dong said. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    When everyone else lost power, Kate’s stayed on. Here’s why

    Tim Buckley said Tuesday’s blackout shows why it is important the energy market diversify, particularly as climate change escalates and extreme weather becomes more extreme and more frequent. “Our power system needs to factor this in as part of sensible adaptation. Victoria, like Australia, is on notice. We need to plan and build in energy system resilience as a key priority, and invest in a modern, flexible grid that is future-proofed,” he said. Buckley added that thermal coal power plants were not part of that solution, instead they were the problem. “Australia’s world-leading distributed rooftop solar and battery residential systems can be built in a day, or for commercial properties, a month, at speed and scale,” he said. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    OP ED | Victoria’s blackout crisis is rooted in a decade of Coalition Inaction

    Recent blackout crisis in Victoria is caused by a decade of inaction by the Coalition government in addressing climate and energy policy. The blackout was caused by storm damage to power lines, leading to the shutdown of coal-fired generators, which contributed to a third of the state’s power supply being lost. Tim Buckley argues that a lack of investment in transitioning the grid to renewable energy sources, such as rooftop solar and battery storage, has left the energy system vulnerable to such crises. Urging for a shift towards decentralized, decarbonized, and renewable energy solutions, the article emphasizes the need for state and federal cooperation and investment in a modern, resilient energy grid. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    Why is AGL’s profit soaring as millions of Australians struggle to afford their power bills?

    Millions of low-and-middle income Australian households are struggling to pay soaring power bills, so hearing that one of the big companies supplying that power is raking in enormous profits may be hard to swallow. AGL Energy has posted a first half underlying profit after tax of $399 million, up 359 per cent on the same period last year. It achieved the bumper profit through higher prices for customers. Tim Buckley told ABC that the wholesale cost has came down, but the retail prices held up. This is due to the function of the regulator’s protections that are in place under the Australian energy regulator. As a result, we see a lag impact on the retail pricing, and we will see a different profile come the 1st of July 2024 than the profile we’ve seen in the last 2 years. Read more
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  • Feb, 2024 CEF in the media

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    Asean renewable energy sector gets boost from China’s solar projects, faces hurdle of fossil fuels reliance

    “The result is that China has a dramatically larger capacity to export solar modules as 2024 and 2025 unfold, and the resulting global oversupply is pushing [solar] module prices down dramatically,” said Tim Buckley, Sydney-based director of Climate Energy Finance. China’s export prices of modules have halved, and their efficiencies have improved dramatically because of investments in research and development, he said. “All of this is increasing the commercial viability of solar relative to alternative sources of electricity, both within China and in the wider Asian markets and globally,” Buckley said. Though its early days, China should be able to leverage its leadership with trade partners in Asia, Africa and South America, he added. Read more
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  • Jan, 2024 CEF in the media

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    Heads I win, Tails you Lose: hand-outs for Australia’s biggest coal plant Eraring a smoking example of the folly of privatisation

    Climate Energy Finance’ Tim Buckley,: “The NSW government’s decision on whether to extend the life of Eraring coal fired power plant, Australia’s biggest, beyond its planned closure date of August 2025 at taxpayers’ expense, ostensibly to ensure supply, will be a hot button issue this year and has national implications for energy transition.” He estimates the cost of keeping all four Eraring units operating for another two years would be $300m to $400m. “There is no reason why the government would pay that subsidy” when “there is more than enough firmed renewables capacity in the pipeline” of development in NSW to offset Eraring’s closure. Read more
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