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Decarbonisation

CEF in the media  |  Jul 18, 2024

Albanese sticks to hydrogen despite Fortescue retreat

The Australian Financial Review

Climate Energy Finance director Tim Buckley said Fortescue chief Andrew Forrest was not alone in betting big on green hydrogen as part of the energy transition but costs had, in fact, gone up instead of following the usual pattern of better affordability for clean technology such as batteries, solar panels and electric vehicles. “Twiggy went way too hard, way too fast and way too hyped about hydrogen,” Mr Buckley said. “Australia put out like 50 per cent of the world’s press releases of hydrogen in the last five years but none of them have come to fruition.” With Australian coal and gas exports to decline as the world decarbonises, Mr Buckley expressed doubt green hydrogen would be able to fill the void, pointing out the first ship capable of transporting chilled hydrogen at scale is at least 10 years away. He said green hydrogen’s value was helping Australian resources companies to pivot to value-adding, such as processing critical minerals and producing strategic metals such as green steel. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 17, 2024

China adds wind, solar power equal to five nuclear plants weekly

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[On THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE]: A report by Sydney-based think tank Climate Energy Finance (CEF) said China was installing renewables so rapidly it would meet its end-of-2030 target by the end of this month — or 6.5 years early. China accounts for about a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. A recent drop in emissions (the first since relaxing COVID-19 restrictions), combined with the decarbonisation of the power grid, may mean the country’s emissions have peaked. “With the power sector going green, emissions are set to plateau and then progressively fall towards 2030 and beyond,” CEF China energy policy analyst Xuyang Dong said. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 16, 2024

China is installing the wind and solar equivalent of five large nuclear power stations per week

ABC online

China is installing record amounts of solar and wind, while scaling back once-ambitious plans for nuclear. “We’ve seen America under President Biden throw a trillion dollars on the table [for clean energy],” CEF director Tim Buckley said. “China’s response to that has been to double down and go twice as fast.” “With the power sector going green, emissions are set to plateau and then progressively fall towards 2030 and beyond,” CEF China energy policy analyst Xuyang Dong said. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 13, 2024

‘It’s good news’: Scientists suspect history about to be made in China

The Sydney Morning Herald

Last month, Australia’s Smart Energy Council took a delegation to China to visit renewable factories and the Shanghai New Energy Conference, an event that drew half a million delegates. The group visited an EV manufacturer and saw two lines of production, each spitting out a completed EV every 36 seconds. The SEC’s delegation including Tim Buckley, founder of Climate Energy Finance, a renewable energy consultancy, speaks of standing in a solar module manufacturing factory owned by TW Solar and gazing down a long corridor, unable to make out its end in the distance. “I saw a long wall, half a kilometre long, of manufacturing lines and not a worker in sight. It was all robots.” Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 9, 2024

Gridlock in China: spending on network surges to support green energy transition

The Financial Times (UK)

Beijing rolls out huge investment to upgrade transmission system as shift from coal piles pressure on creaking grid. “The current level of spending is not catching up with how fast China’s solar and wind new capacity additions are growing,” said Xuyang Dong, a China energy analyst at think-tank Climate Energy Finance. Power needed for artificial intelligence, data centres and electric vehicles are accelerating a longer-term rise in electricity’s share of energy use — up from 12 per cent in 2006 to 19 per cent in 2023, Dong noted. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 8, 2024

China’s great green march: Meeting 2030 energy target over 5 years early boosts climate fight

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On Straits Times: By the end of July, China is predicted to reach a 2030 target to install 1,200 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar capacity, said a forecast by Climate Energy Finance (CEF), a Sydney-based think-tank, on July 2. Given the scale and impact of everything China does, achieving the 1,200GW target will act like a gravitational pull, said Ms Xuyang Dong, a China energy policy analyst at CEF and the report’s lead author. “It will incentivise other great powers to go faster in this global technology and investment race-to-the-top renewable energy competition, which will be good news for the world,” she told ST. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 3, 2024

China’s green energy boom is stressing the grid – and sparking new currents in power reform

South China Morning Post

As China rapidly shifts its energy mix to new sources of power like wind and solar, its electricity grid is struggling to keep up – can deep reforms help rewire the system? Due to China’s electrification of seemingly everything – in particular, an explosion in the manufacture, export and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) – as well as its quest to maintain economic growth, the country added 9.2 gigawatts of new thermal power capacity to the grid in the first four months of the year, while its thermal power generation increased 5.9 per cent year-on-year, according to Dong Xuyang, China energy policy analyst at Climate Energy Finance. “Given increasing electricity demand, it is critical for China to reform the power system to sustainably lower wind and solar curtailment rates, increase zero-emissions power plant utilisation rates, reform the energy trading system and improve grid connectivity ….to decouple from the need for thermal power as a backup resource to ensure energy security,” said Dong of the Sydney-based think tank. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jul 2, 2024

French nuclear giant scraps SMR plans due to soaring costs, will start over

Renew Economy

EdF, which is now fully government owned after facing potential bankruptcy due to delays and massive cost over-runs at its latest generation large scale nuclear plants, had reportedly been working on a new design for SMRs for the last four years. Tim Buckley, from Climate and Energy Finance, seized on the news and called on Opposition leader Peter Dutton and energy spokesman Ted O’Brien to provide more details of their nuclear plans beyond the one page press release they released last month. “Come’on guys, how naive do you take the average Australian voter for?” Buckley wrote. “In your alternate fact world, who do you think will pay for the permanent around 50% increase in Australian energy prices for consumers? Are you really intent on destroying the international competitiveness of Australian industry purely in the service of your fossil fuel funders?” Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jun 29, 2024

Hidden costs? Cheaper energy? ‘Farcical’ locations? Debunking the hype around nuclear

SBS

Tim Buckley, director of think tank Climate Energy Finance, questioned how a form of energy that would produce “zero” electricity for the next 15 to 20 years, could bring down power prices. In the meantime, the Coalition’s plan would undermine investor confidence so Australia didn’t get as much electricity supply from other sources, Buckley said. “Less supply means higher prices — that’s economics 101.” He believes the Coalition’s nuclear strategy could increase electricity prices by 20-50 per cent over the next decade because of the need for more government intervention and funding to extend the life of coal plants. Buckley said the GenCost report — produced by Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO — found power from nuclear could also be double the price of firmed renewables. “Therefore power prices go up, not down,” he said. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jun 26, 2024

Coal Push Damps Hopes of China’s Climate Ambition

The Financial Times (UK)

To have a chance of combating climate change, the world needs President Xi Jinping’s administration to find a way to decarbonise China’s economy. The country, with 1.4bn people and a massive industrial economy still highly dependent on coal, is the world’s biggest polluter — accounting for nearly one-third of global carbon emissions. Xuyang Dong, an analyst with CEF, says rapid reductions in the cost of wind, solar and battery storage technologies have sparked a “dramatic” change in the economics underpinning China’s energy system. Dong and colleagues predict that coal will fade over the next 16 years from being a central pillar of China’s power sector to a “back-up role” ensuring stability during the transition to renewables. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jun 26, 2024

OP ED | Warmer ties could cool the planet: potential for Australia-China green energy collaboration

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Republished on Pearls & Irritations: Australia and China’s improving diplomatic relationship, highlighted by recent high-level meetings and record trade, presents significant opportunities for green energy collaboration. With China facing overcapacity in solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles, Australia stands to benefit from redirected Chinese investments. By leveraging its abundant renewable resources and enhancing critical mineral processing, Australia can become a more appealing supplier, particularly in the wake of global trade tensions. Read more
CEF in the media  |  Jun 26, 2024

Is South-east Asia storing up trouble with carbon capture and storage hubs?

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Straits Times: In Asia, a carbon price of about US$100 a tonne is needed to make investment in CCS work, said Tim Buckley, director of the Climate Energy Finance think-tank in Sydney. Every step of the CCS supply chain was costly, he said, from capturing the CO2 from the smokestacks of power plants and heavy industry, chilling and liquefying the gas, building the ships, transporting the CO2 and then storing and monitoring it for decades. “It’s a pretty straightforward equation. If you don’t have a price on carbon, or the equivalent tax, why would it work?” he said. Read more
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