Energy & Resources Talking Points | 23/12/2016


In today’s talking points: China launches satellite to monitor carbon emissions; Australian Emission Reductions could increase Electricity Prices;  China looks to leadership role in fight against climate change; Australia sees maintenance as next boom for resources industry.

China launches satellite to monitor carbon emissions

China has launched its first carbon monitoring satellite known as TanSat, coming after a week of smog covered the majority of Northern China, forcing the closure of schools and businesses all over Northern China. TanSat is designed to collect independent carbon data with sensitive equipment that reads atmospheric CO2 levels within 1%. TanSat, in development for six years, will help Chinese policy makers better understand the science of climate change. The satellite will help in China’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 as part of a deal with the US. Although, the success of this agreement will depend on Mr. Trump’s incoming administration and whether or not they stay true to their promise of increasing production of polluting fossil fuels.

Read more at: The Wall Street Journal

Australian Emission Reductions could increase Electricity Prices

Reports on the electricity industry were presented at the federal, state and territory energy ministers meeting this month. One of the reports, from the Finkel Committee, recommended introducing a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions 26-28% by 2030, to reach Australia’s goal in the Paris Agreement. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) also proposed the same form of carbon tax and estimated that it would cost $55.4 billion. However, the AEMC estimated that for Australia to reduce its emissions by 26-28% using renewable energy variation it would cost $66.6 billion. This year, the AEMC estimated that government renewable energy programs have directly cost the average household in Queensland $191, $109 in NSW, $91 in Victoria and $155 in South Australia. The indirect costs and the unreliability of renewable energy will cost far greater.

Read more at: The Australian

China looks to leadership role in fight against climate change

The Chinese government sees itself in the unique position of leading the charge against climate change but faces many of its own challenges. One of the primary goals of China is to reduce its coal consumption and while the world’s second largest economy’s coal consumption has declined since 2014, the coming years will see China facing many more challenges in meeting its coal reduction targets. The Chinese central government sees stiff resistance from local governments in implementing policies and regulations targeted at reducing coal consumption. Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao said that if the nation hopes to meet its goals then it will need to address the lack of accurate date and develop strong regulatory bodies.

Read more at: China File

Australia sees maintenance as next boom for resources industry

The average maintenance expenditure in the resources industry for Australia is expected to swell to an impressive $10 billion within five years. The surge is described as “the next mining boom”. The resources sector, driven by oil and gas, is the key driver for this boom, when combining all industries. Two key drivers in the resources industry responsible for a $3.4 billion increase in spending from 2016’s low base of $6.6 billion are the amount of maintenance spending previously deferred, and additional spending on new assets. Contractors and service companies are expected to benefit from the surge in maintenance spending.

Read more at: A Financial Review