Germany's coal exit contrasts with Australia

Bochum, Germany: While the ink is still drying on the approval for Australia's new controversial coal mine, Germany is working to extinguish the coal industry entirely. Read the full article from The Age here

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What Australia can learn from Germany's coal exit

June 27, 2019. German social historian Professor Stefan Berger and Director of Global And European Affairs with German mining trade union IG BCE Michael Mersmann speak to AAP about the lessons Australia can learn from Germany's exit from coal mining. 

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AFR: BHP upgrades coal to dodge China ban

BHP is working on a plan to change the types of coal it produces in NSW  in response to the Chinese import curbs that shocked coal markets earlier this year.

China is the main buyer of export thermal coal from BHP's Mt Arthur mine in the Hunter Valley, but unofficial import restrictions on Australian coal shipments this year have prompted BHP to study ways to produce more of the coal specification demanded by Japanese customers.

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'No jobs on a dead planet', warns world's top union leader

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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

Thousands of workers are employed in the industry. Generations of families have made a living from this in-demand resource over more than two centuries.

Coal has been an important ingredient of the region's economic success. Yet the increased recognition of climate change and the shift to cleaner energy sources presents us with a challenge.

Ours may be the highest quality coal in the market, but this will not protect us from the day it is no longer needed.

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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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