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Queensland government calls for ‘open mind’ on power generation

Stuart Layt reports in the Brisbane Times (21.6.17) on the Palaszczuk Government’s appeals to its federal counterpart for an ‘open mind’ in potentially helping to fund a diverse array of power-generating projects in Queensland.

‘The Queensland government is calling on the Commonwealth to keep an open mind about electricity generation, as the federal government moves to back coal-fired power in the north of the state.

‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was open to the idea of “clean coal” power stations, and has flagged using a “reverse auction” to get the cheapest price to build new coal-fired power stations, including in north Queensland.

‘Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey talked to his federal counterpart Josh Frydenberg following the announcement on Tuesday and said he welcomed the idea of getting the lowest cost for a new power station in the state’s north.

‘But he said if the federal government was truly keeping an open mind about power, many renewable sources of energy were now cheaper than coal.’

Time to get real: amid the hydrogen hype, let’s talk about what will actually work

Jake Whitehead and colleagues write in The Conversation (31.8.20) about doubts raised about hydrogen’s efficacy as a a ‘cleaner’ extractive energy source.

‘For 50 years hydrogen has been championed as a clean-burning gas that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea of a “hydrogen economy” is now enjoying a new wave of enthusiasm – but it is not a silver bullet.

‘Amid the current hydrogen hype, there is little discussion about when the technology can realistically become commercially viable, or the best ways it can be used to cut emissions.

‘Australia must use hydrogen intelligently and strategically. Otherwise, we risk supporting a comparatively energy-intensive technology in uses that don’t make sense. This would waste valuable renewable energy resources and land space, increase costs for Australians and slow emissions reduction.

‘Here’s where we can focus hydrogen investment to get the best bang for our buck.’

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