University of Newcastle researchers create a new material capable of storing energy when heated

A new material capable of revolutionising energy storage systems is on the verge of being commercialised at the University of Newcastle. Read the article in Newcastle Herald here

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Hunter Region sits on the fault line of renewable energy evolution and the traditional coal industry

If ever there was a moment in history that highlighted the tension between the promise of renewable energy and an entrenched reliance on the coal industry it is the Hunter Region in 2019. Read the article from Matt Kelly of the Newcastle Herald here 

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Coal transitions: What's at stake for workers, and what are the broader economic challenges?

If Australia is to move on from coal, how do we do it? An obvious gap in the Federal Election debates was a comprehensive plan for an industry, and employment, to replace coal in the regions.  Geraldine Doogue speaks with Chris Briggs, Research principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, at the University of Technology, Sydney and  Professor Frank Jotzo, Director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and director of the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub. Listen now

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Thermal coal falls to lowest level in two years as climate policies take hold

HUNTER Valley coal prices have slumped by a quarter in the past year as a number of Asian countries move to reduce their reliance on coal for electricity generation, a leading industry journal, the Australian Coal Report, has confirmed. Read more here

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IEEFA report: GE made a massive bet on the future of natural gas and thermal coal, and lost

Investors lost hundreds of billions by GE’s misreading of the energy transition

June 6, 2019 (IEEFA U.S.) – Investors lost billions when the (once) most valuable company in the world, General Electric Company (GE) and its largest shareholders – BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street and Fidelity – misjudged the pace of the global energy transition and subsequent collapse of the gas turbine and thermal power construction market, a new IEEFA report finds.

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Australia’s Resource Industry – A Look into the Crystal Ball

Alexandra Heath, Head of Economic Analysis addresses the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies 
Perth – 5 June 2019 Excerpt:
Global demand for Australia's commodities:

One of the biggest factors affecting the global demand for commodities is population growth – more people need more places to live, more food to eat and demand more energy. The process of industrialisation and urbanisation also increases demand for commodities, although the composition of that demand can change as countries become richer. For example, diets become increasingly protein-based and construction becomes more steel-intensive. The increase in demand from these factors will be offset to some extent over time by technological progress that allows commodity inputs to be used more efficiently. There are also policy considerations, such as governments' commitments to the Paris Agreement, that will affect the composition of commodity demand going forward.

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Road to renewal is region's route to resilience

The CEO of the Minerals Council of NSW, Stephen Galilee, doesn't seem keen for the Hunter to diversify its economy and prepare for the opportunities and challenges that will come as the countries we sell coal to switch their economies towards renewable energy. Read Daniel McLaughlin's opinion piece in the Newcastle Herald here

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IEEFA: Time to differentiate – thermal coal delivers royalty crumbs compared to coking coal

Thermal coal used for electricity provides only 13% of royalties to Queensland’s budget compared to coking coal used for steel manufacturing - which provides 87% in royalties, a new IEEFA report finds.

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Hunter coal future hangs in the balance

Mining Monthly, 31st May 2019: The New South Wales government has set itself the lofty target of increasing the value of mining production by 30% by 2020 from its $15 billion export figure in 2012-13. This ambitious goal is expected to be driven by the Hunter region, which is the major contributor to NSW coal exports, which is in turn the state's biggest export. 

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Port of Newcastle chair Roy Green says Hunter can't rely on being protected from history's headwinds

 

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Renewable energy could be Australia’s next big export industry

Approving a new thermal coal mine is gifting gold to a sector in decline.

While the Queensland government moves reactively to fast-track the approvals process of the decade-long delayed Adani thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin, thermal coal export forecasts continue to show a terminal decline globally in the long term, consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.  

Tim Buckley from IEEFA explains...

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BHP says thermal coal has no future

In its strategy paper BHP writes that it has "no appetite for growth in energy coal" regardless of asset attractiveness.
So even if it is cheap - the Big Australian doesn't want it.

ABC News reports

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Wind and solar projects poised to lead Hunter's clean energy transition

A proposed 250 megawatt wind farm at Bowman's creek east of Muswellbrook and a 25 megawatt solar farm on the site of the former Drayton colliery would provide power to more than 100,000 homes when operational.

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Hunter needs to prepare for future

Coal shifts in South Korea and China could mean big changes for the region

FOR nearly a decade a South Korean Government-owned company has bought up land in the beautiful Bylong valley between Denman and Mudgee to establish a coal mine. KEPCO, which is 51 per cent owned by the government, identified Bylong as the place to mine high quality coal to export to South Korea and keep its coal-fired power stations delivering electricity to the domestic market.

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NSW’s transition plan for a declining coal market is still missing

State government forecasts show the threat to the Hunter Valley’s coal industry is yet to be taken seriously. Read the latest from IEEFA here

 

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Maps disclose coal exploration on Hunter equine and wine areas

Almost a third of prime Hunter wine country is covered by coal exploration licences, new mapping shows. Find it here

Coal exploration licences cover almost a third of prime wine country in the Hunter, new mapping shows.

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Energy analysts forecast 'the end of coal' in Asia

Australia’s largest export customer for thermal coal is scrapping plans to build power plants. Read more

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Hunter Valley residents want a transition plan

Communities in the New South Wales Hunter Valley need to apply more pressure to speed-up the process of transitioning from coal to renewables sources of energy. That was message being delivered at a summit held last month in NSW town of Singleton, a week before the announcement of plans to build a new coal-fired power station in the region.

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Hunter Valley calls for tougher renewable energy policies, ponders transition to a post-coal future

Communities in the New South Wales Hunter Valley need to apply more pressure to speed-up the process of transitioning from coal to renewables sources of energy.

That was message being delivered at a summit held last month in NSW town of Singleton, a week before the announcement of plans to build a new coal-fired power station in the region. ABC's Greg Miskelly reports

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Climate is changing, so are attitudes to coal

The winds of change are in the air, and they carry no coal dust.

Read Rob McLaughlin's opinion piece in the Newcastle Herald here

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Is there life after coal for the Hunter?

As many countries shift away from coal mining and the industry finds itself under increasing scrutiny, some in the Hunter are worried the region is running out of time to restructure its economy.  Listen here

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Coals uncertain future

We're transitioning away from coal, for the better.

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'3,500 miners laid off in a day': The dire warning these US coal miners have for the industry here

Carl Shoupe and his son Scott experienced firsthand the quick and devastating collapse of the mining industry in Kentucky, where during the downturn eight mines closed in one day. Now they're warning the industry in the NSW Hunter region to have a Plan B.

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Read the full ABC News article here

 

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The end of coal in the Hunter is coming

Twenty years after the end of steel, the Hunter Valley stares at the end of coal. The signs have been there, but the ringing of the last drinks’ bell came on February 20 from Glencore, the valley’s biggest miner. Read the article in the Newcastle Herald here

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Lake MP Greg Piper says Hunter must prepare to transition away from coal

A plan by NSW independent MPs Alex Greenwich, Joe McGirr and Greg Piper to introduce an adjustment strategy for coal mining-affected communities will be launched on Sunday. The plan seeks to diversify regional coal dependent economies that are likely to be impacted by a falling demand for thermal coal The MPs, who have written to the Premier and Opposition Leader about the plan, have also called for the establishment of a transition authority.
Read about it here
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Here's How We Get Serious About Transitioning Away From Coal

The scientific consensus is clear: climate change is happening, making extreme climate events like heatwaves, bushfires, droughts, floods and severe storms regular occurrences. Across the globe governments are responding by transferring power generation to clean energy based on renewables, but NSW continues to lag behind, relying on coal power generation while doing little to help coal communities smoothly transition to new jobs and industries in the renewable energy sector.

NSW independent MPs Alex Greenwich, Joe McGirr and Greg Piper have released a policy to introduce a ten year adjustment strategy for NSW coal mining communities. Read about it here

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Hunter communities must embrace renewable transition to shape their future

On 20th February 100 people gathered in Singleton for the Hunter Renewal Summit to press the case for urgent transition. 

On a week where the world's biggest thermal coal exporter Glencore is talking about capping annual coal production at 2019 levels to "transition for a low-carbon economy" then we know we are living through changing energy times. Glencore's boss Ivan Glasenberg said we believe this transition is a key part of the global response to the increasing risks posed by climate change.

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Glencore moves to cap global coal output after investor pressure on climate change

Australia's largest coal miner Glencore has succumbed to shareholder pressure to take action to address climate change, and announced it will cap its global coal output.

Read the news here

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Community calls for urgent transition planning

Environmentalists campaigning for an orderly transition away from coal, say the Hunter must begin preparing now.

It comes amid figures from the mining industry’s peak body, showing it’s contributing billions to our economy, and employing thousands.

https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2019/02/19/environmental-group-continues-anti-coal-campaign/

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What would a fair energy transition look like?

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced last week that a federal Labor government would create a Just Transition Authority to oversee Australia's transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This echoes community calls for a " fast and fair " energy transition to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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Shock to the system: report warns time running out for planned Hunter coal transition

Declining NSW coal exports since 2015 to key markets in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan; a dramatic drop in new and proposed coal-fired power plants in those countries;

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Demand for Australia's thermal coal exports to be dire in future, IEEFA report warns

'We're not going to have a plan': New report has grim warning for Australia's coal exports.

 

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Horses, vineyards should be off-limits to coal: poll

NEARLY two-thirds of people polled in the mining areas of Singleton and Muswellbrook say critical horse-breeding and wine growing areas of the Hunter should be off limits to coal mining.

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Why we need a world-class container port

Newcastle is proud to be the world’s biggest coal port, but we are also realistic about coal’s prospects. With the end of the mining boom and the need to transition to a more knowledge-based economy, the composition of Australia’s trade is changing. And much of this trade will be carried in containers.

 

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Hunter needs to plan for a life after coal

Arguments over the future of the Carrington coal terminal reflect a much bigger question facing the Hunter region - how prepared are we for major changes in the coal industry? The world is changing. Hunter communities have sacrificed a lot for NSW's prosperity.

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