“While Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is beset with opposition and financing problems, the contrast to the go-ahead of yet another renewable, solar power station couldn’t be clearer” said NQ Conservation’s Maree Dibella, after news of the commencement of the $126 million Kidston Solar Project was announced by the Queensland Government yesterday.
“These are just the sorts of projects that conservationists support. It’s really exciting – an unused mine site being transformed into a renewable energy production and storage powerhouse” said Ms Dibella.
“Large scale, innovative renewable energy projects are what we envision for the future of North Queensland. A later part of the project will add hydro to store the solar power generated during the day. This is the first in the world to use two disused mine pits for hydroelectric power generation.
“The project will be able to generate up to 330 MW of rapid response, flexible power to the grid – demonstrating that renewables can deliver energy security.
“Renewable energy projects in North Queensland are shovel-ready and are attracting investor confidence with stable policy to achieve a 50% renewable energy target by 2030. Meanwhile, Adani is struggling to find investor support with over a dozen international financial institutions declaring they won’t back it.
“It’s clear that renewable energy is where our region is heading” said Ms Dibella.
A study on the viability of a Floating Solar Farm on the Ross Dam
This is a guest post by Elly Hanrahan, an intern for the North Queensland Conservation Council. All views expressed are representative of Elly and not necessarily of the NQCC.
Townsville is currently experiencing its driest 11-month period since records began in 1841. With no action on water security from any level of government, desperate residents have formed the newly created Facebook group called ‘Water For Townsville Action Group’ in order to come up with a plan to secure Townsville’s water supply into the future.
At the moment, Townsville City Council is pumping 130 mega litres (ML) of water a day from the Burdekin and at a cost of roughly $27,000 per day. Even whilst pumping at full capacity, the dam level continues to drop with Townsville residents using roughly 1,700L per day- more than eight times the average usage of Brisbane residents. Evaporation also plays a large part in the shortage; given the extraordinary size of the shallow dam, Councillor Paul Jacob confirmed to the Townsville Bulletin that we lose between ‘20 and 40 mega litres per day due to evaporation alone’.
It is obvious that prolonged pumping is not a sustainable solution as it is both expensive and inefficient. Many solutions have been proposed such as duplicating the Haughton pipeline from the Burdekin, desalination systems, recycling plants and the proposed construction of the Hell’s Gate dam. One of the more creative solutions put forward on the Water Action Facebook group was a floating solar panel array on the Ross River Dam itself.
On Friday 7th October, NQCC coordinated the Townsville event for National Divestment Day. We went to our banks and gave them the message that if they continue to choose fossil fuels, then we will choose a different bank.
Customers turned out across Australia on the 7th and 8th of October 2016 to demand real climate change action from their bank! ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac were held accountable to the fact that they promised climate change action but continued to fund the expansion of the dirty fossil fuel industry. Accounts were closed, cards cut up and more letters of warning from customers who are ready to move their money if the banks don’t deliver real climate change action.
Jordan and Jacob closed their bank accounts with NAB because they aren’t happy to be customers of a bank that invests in fossil fuel projects.
Courtney and Maree went to the Commonwealth Bank and handed letters to the manager, telling them they are putting their bank “on notice”. That means that if the bank doesn’t take better action on distancing itself from fossil fuel investments, Courtney and Maree will choose to move to another bank. They also wrote another letter, that applauded the efforts of Commonwealth Bank in withdrawing from it’s financial advisory role to the Adani Carmichael mega coal mine, but asked the bank to go one step further and publicly rule out investing in the project. So far, only NAB has made this commitment.
Ben went to Westpac and delivered the same two letters indicating imminent divestment.
The Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management (NRM) Plan was officially launched on 26th August. It is the only one of its kind in the region and forms the blueprint for how the community can work together to protect and sustainably manage our natural resources for the next 10 years. Read the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Plan here.
One of the first actions of the new Australian Parliament last week was the introduction of the Omnibus Bill; a suite of policy measures aiming to save $6 billion. One of the savings measures is to strip the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) of $1.3 billion of its funding. NQCC doesn’t think that this is a good idea. Let us explain why… Continue reading “Planned funding cuts to Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)”