3 local solutions to replace coal jobs and ensure a just transition for mining communities

The Conversation: Monday 17th January 2022

As the world shifts to renewable energy, helping the communities that have depended on fossil fuels for jobs is becoming ever more pressing.

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Coal closures could come faster under both major parties’ climate plans

Nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s coal-fired generation capacity will shut down by 2030, including the equivalent of three medium-sized power plants closing earlier than planned, under the greenhouse gas emission cuts promised by both major parties.

 

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AGL, Fortescue strike deal to turn Hunter coal plants into huge green hydrogen hub

Australia’s biggest polluter AGL Energy has struck a deal with iron ore billionaire and green hydrogen evangelist Andrew Forrest to turn its Hunter Valley coal fired power stations into a major renewable hydrogen and industrial hub.

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Hunter must act fast to capitalise on clean energy opportunities

The clock is ticking on the Hunter's golden opportunity to reinvent itself as a thriving hydrogen economy, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean believes.

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Latrobe Valley coal community already looking to future as COP26 delegates discuss end of fossil fuel

It is 17,335 kilometres from Glasgow to the brown-coal-powered electricity generators of Morwell in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. But they have never felt closer.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveils green hydrogen hub plan for Port of Newcastle

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Hunter Region will be crucial to the country's plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and jobs in "key industries" won't be sacrificed.

 

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This regional NSW coal town faces an uncertain future as COP26 approaches

Singleton locals are wary of a "transition" away from coal, the town's mayor says, as the Morrison government formulates its plan for a net zero target ahead of COP26.

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NSW Hydrogen strategy puts the Hunter Region in the box seat but experts warn there is no time to waste

Hunter industry groups have welcomed the State Government's hydrogen strategy but warned there is no time to lose if the region is to fulfil its potential as a national clean energy powerhouse.

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Perrottet backs Australia’s biggest hydrogen plan to power state’s future

Dominic Perrottet has signed off on Australia’s largest hydrogen strategy in his first major cabinet decision as Premier, in a move that will see green hydrogen jobs in NSW outstrip those in the coal industry by 2050.

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TransGrid predicts early coal closures

Australia’s fleet of coal-fired power stations face early closure due to rampant growth in renewables in a fast-paced move that piles pressure on achieving an orderly transition to clean energy, a blueprint by transmission giant TransGrid shows.

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Report predicts 80pc reduction in coal jobs by 2050

Automation emerges as new frontier in coal jobs debate. The promise of jobs and royalties lies at the heart of the social contract between coal towns and mining companies.

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Thinktank wants $259m in royalties directed to coalmining towns as renewables take over

Blueprint Institute report says ‘coal adaption authorities’ would provide income insurance and early retirement packages as fossil fuel demand wanes

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Hunter coal exports under threat from Chinese Government's shift from away from offshore coal projects

China's decision to stop funding overseas coal projects represented a potential threat to the Hunter's multi-billion dollar coal export industry, NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean said.

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Xi pledges to stop building coal-fired plants outside China

In a move designed to bolster Beijing’s climate credentials, President Xi Jinping of China said on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) that his country would stop building coal-burning power plants overseas, ending its support for construction projects that rely on the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.

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AGL board avoids spill but lashed on climate

AGL Energy’s embattled board has been dealt a humiliating defeat over an activist climate resolution proposed at its annual meeting that further ramps up pressure on emissions reduction ahead of its controversial demerger.

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Federal government declares Hunter a national hydrogen hub

The federal government has declared the Hunter as one of seven national hydrogen hubs that will supercharge the development of a multi-billion dollar export industry.

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'Highly uncertain': Upper Hunter Futures report backs urgent preparation for coal mining decline

The future of the Upper Hunter is "highly uncertain" and urgent action is needed if the region is to avoid the worst social and economic impacts of the coal market's decline, an internal State Government-commissioned report has warned.

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BHP tells miners in NSW Hunter to transfer interstate or resign as company prepares for sale

Up to 80 workers at New South Wales' largest coal mine have been ordered by BHP to accept transfers to interstate mines or resign from their positions.

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Coal companies allowed to delay environmental offsets on NSW mines for up to 10 years

Exclusive: At least nine mines have received special permission from regulators allowing them to avoid penalties. Promised environmental offsets for new and expanded coalmines in New South Wales have been delayed for years because governments have allowed companies to push back deadlines for protecting sites for conservation.

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Top UN official calls for Australia to urgently dump coal

The United Nations’ top climate official has urged Australia to have a “more honest and rational conversation” about urgently abandoning coal power, which he said was in the nation’s and the world’s best interests.

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Hunter hydrogen hub to be accelerated with the establishment of a collaboration platform

Work to create a hydrogen hub in the Hunter will be accelerated with the establishment of a collaboration platform to bring together potential hydrogen producers and users.

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Mount Arthur in the red as BHP announces oil and gas spin-off with Woodside Petroleum

EVEN the big rise in global coal prices has not been enough to stop a river of red ink through BHP's Mount Arthur coalmine in the company's annual results for the year to June 30.

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‘Negative value’: BHP struggles to offload NSW’s biggest coal pit

Mining giant BHP would pay a bidder about $275 million to take the biggest coal mine in NSW off its hands even as prices of the fossil fuel soar to levels not seen since 2008.

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NSW Parliamentary committee says the NSW Government should support Newcastle Container Terminal push

The NSW government should work to remove barriers preventing the development of a container terminal by the Port of Newcastle, a parliamentary committee into the sustainability of the state's energy supply and resources has recommended.

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We must start planning now for our energy transition, to ensure no-one is left behind, says Independent Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich

"Longstanding coal communities, like those in the Hunter and Illawarra regions, have powered our state for a long time. Lack of planning and economic diversification by government has delayed the energy transition, at a great cost to their health, and the environment.

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Tomago Aluminium to go green

The country’s biggest electricity user is aiming to switch to a predominantly renewable power supply in 2029 in a groundbreaking move that would dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of one of NSW’s largest carbon emitters.

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BlackRock joins Citi and HSBC in plan to close coal plants early

BlackRock and other major financial institutions are working on plans to accelerate the closure of coal-fired power plants in Asia in a bid to phase out the use of the worst man-made contributors to climate change.

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Tougher conditions to force mining companies to rehabilitate sites in NSW

Mining companies will be forced to show plans for the ongoing rehabilitation of their mines and to report on their progress as the NSW government moves to tighten rules around environmental management.

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Two in three coal jobs to go in the next 30 years

The global move away from fossil fuels will cost two in three workers their jobs across regions such as the Hunter Valley and central Queensland over the next three decades, according to a report that argues the impact will be even worse without investor support for a fair transition.

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Wind and solar set new production records as they reshape Australia’s grid

Wind and solar have set new production records in Australia’s main grid, for average generation over a quarter, record output in a single interval, and a record renewable energy share of 57 per cent in one interval in April.

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National Electricity Market data puts Kurri Kurri gas plant's viability in question

Fresh doubts have been raised about the viability of the federal government's proposed Kurri Kurri gas peaking plant following the release of new data showing demand for gas is declining.

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Australia has huge potential to develop offshore windfarms near existing substations, report says

Hunter and Latrobe valleys considered particularly suitable sites as union says industry could offer oil and gas workers a career transition

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Japan’s clean energy push a threat to Australian coal, LNG exports

Australia’s gas and coal producers are facing greater uncertainty in their top market as Japan drafts new targets to slash demand for the two fossil fuels by 2030.

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Falling cost of renewables creates coal test for federal government

Output of wind and solar power is at record levels as renewables continue to squeeze fossil fuels from the energy market, new figures reveal, setting up a test for the federal government as re-elected Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce continues to push to prolong coal use.

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Failure to model costs of climate change to coal, gas ‘beggars belief’

Australia’s 40-year economic outlook is forecasting dwindling demand for some of the nation’s most valuable exports including coal and natural gas after China, Japan and South Korea unveiled targets to achieve net-zero emissions.

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Hydrogen in Newcastle: Parliamentary inquiry told governments must move fast

The potential economic and environmental rewards presented by emerging domestic and international hydrogen industries are enormous. But the state and regions such as the Hunter need to move fast to seize those opportunities or they could be lost elsewhere.

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Renewables the priority as coal dominance ends by 2040: AEMO

The operator of the nation’s electricity grid said it is powerless to delay the closure of coal-fired power plants in Australia and warned renewable developers not to cut corners as a wave of new clean generation connects to the system.

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Hunter Jobs Alliance report calls for the Hunter statutory authority to create jobs

A new report has endorsed the need to establish a 'Hunter Valley Authority' to support workers and create new jobs as the region heads into a period of unprecedented economic change.

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Malcolm Turnbull calls for NSW Parliamentary inquiry into 'inadequate' mine remediation bonds

Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is calling for a New South Wales Parliamentary investigation into "inadequate" coal mine rehabilitation bonds.

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Mark Vaile withdrawal is proof Whitehaven Coal is untouchably toxic

The outrage that led to Mark Vaile today declaring he will not accept the role of Chancellor at the University of Newcastle demonstrates that the company he chairs - Whitehaven Coal - is too toxic to be associated with public leadership, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

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Hunter Councils commit to climate change

The Hunter region has committed to collaboratively tackling the shared challenges of changing global energy markets and climate change impacts by joining Australia’s largest local government climate network the Cities Power Partnership.

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NSW to invest $380 million to turbocharge renewable energy rollout

The Berejiklian government will spend an extra $380 million to help expedite investment into the state’s five renewable energy zones and smooth the way for an increase in solar, wind and storage projects.

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$108m set aside in NSW budget to remediate disused mines

The Berejiklian government will spend almost $108 million to remediate the state’s disused mine sites in a move welcomed by both environmentalists and the mining industry.

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NSW Treasury Intergenerational Report plots coal's final exit

Coal production in NSW could end within 20 years as the shift towards clean energy picks up pace, the state's Treasury has warned.  The latest NSW intergenerational report also forecasts that coal mining royalties in NSW are expected to more than halve by 2061.
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NSW coal industry would die in 20 years, worst-case scenario predicts

Coal jobs would disappear entirely in NSW within 20 years if international demand shrinks, according to one of three scenarios about the future of the industry prepared for the government by the state’s Treasury Department.

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AGL backs solar thermal plants with Liddell move

AGL Energy will construct a small-scale solar thermal storage project at its Liddell coal site in NSW as it seeks to develop a string of new generation sources to replace capacity once the plant shuts in early 2023.

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AGL unveils plan to transform Liddell coal site with solar, hydro plant

Australia’s biggest power supplier, AGL, is proposing to build a solar-and-hydro energy facility at the site of its Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW once the plant closes down in 2023.

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‘We’re burying banknotes’: Ross Garnaut rubbishes government’s $600m gas plant

Ross Garnaut has slammed the federal government’s $600 million backing of a new gas-fired plant as a “waste of money” and likened it to the exercise of burying money and asking the unemployed to dig it up as a way of keeping them productive.

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Hunter community groups to decide where money goes

Community organisations in the Hunter Valley will be part of an expert panel to decide where money goes through the NSW Government's Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.

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Coal no more: it's time to future-proof our communities

If I was to describe in one word, what the upper Hunter Valley needs to be in the future, the word would be innovative.

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