Energy & Resources Talking Points | 7/07/2017

In today’s talking points:  Merredin emerging as a renewable energy hotspot; mining jobs increase across Australia; is China deciding oil’s ups and downs; China built the world’s cutest panda solar station.

Merredin Emerging as a Renewable Energy Hotspot

Merredin, a town around to the east of Perth is emerging as a renewable energy hotspot, with plans for a $160 million solar farm. A recent study done has shown Merredin to be one of the four best locations for solar energy in Australia, with peak power from solar generation coming in the daytime. The location or Merridin also makes it convenient to send power throughout the State’s power grid, the South West Interconnected System, as it sits at the intersection of major high voltage transmission lines to Perth, Collie and Kalgoorlie. The federal government is offering financial incentives to large-scale renewable generation to boost the sector’s share to about 23.5 per cent of the nation’s total generation by 2020.

Read more at:


Mining Jobs Increase Across Australia

Mining job vacancies are 70 per cent higher this year than at the same time last year, with commodity prices across the resources sector increasing. Positions that impacted efficiency and productivity were most vacant within coal and iron ore mines. With many Australian mines already well into their mine life, using automation instead of re-hiring is not an option. Using a casual work force has been an emerging trend over recent times, and many mines are considering employing more causal workers to fill vacancies.  Mr Kent, national head of mining at Hays said it was an optimistic time across the resources sector, and he encouraged workers to “look at it again if you’ve been there before.”

Read more at:


Is China deciding oil’s ups and downs?

Oil prices have been experiencing a series of lower highs and lower lows in the past months. What is triggering the move lower, and what will continue to drive oil prices in the near term? Oil producers and analysts have long looked at the supply side of the crude oil market, focusing on shale oil production to explain recent moves in oil prices. However, it could simply be that the demand side has fundamentally weakened in the past two months. China is worth keeping an eye for as the world’s second-largest consumer of oil and one of the largest sources of additional, marginal global oil demand. In fact, China has been the largest net importer of petroleum since 2014, when it surpassed the U.S. Hence if China goes into a manufacturing recession, oil prices will likely continue its bearish trend.

Read more at Bloomberg


China built the world’s cutest panda solar station

China’s adorable black and white bear inspired the design of a new solar energy station helping power the Asian nation. The panda-shaped power plant is stationed in Datong, Shanxi, covering a total area of 248 acres. Once fully connected to the grid, it will have a capacity of 100MW, providing 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity in 25 years. This means saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The shape of a panda is believed to get young people interested in the applications of solar energy. Young candidates from around China will be recruited to participate in summer camps at the panda power station, to encourage deeper understanding of green energies.

Read more at The Telegraph