Temperature records have been smashed in Sydney as the city swelters through its hottest October day on record.
The mercury reached 35.6C at Observatory Hill just after 3.30pm on Sunday while Penrith in the city’s west was even hotter, with the temperature hitting 37.3C just after 3pm.
The previous record October temperature was 33.1C at Observatory Hill on the same day in both 1961 and 2009, Bureau of Meteorology data showed.
Beaches, pools and riverways across the state were packed as holiday-makers made the most of the long weekend and cooled off.
Inland areas of NSW were just as warm as the coast, with the mercury hitting 38.5C at Bourke, in NSW’s upper west.
Temperatures in the mid to high 30s were recorded on the south coast, with wind warnings leading to nine fire bans across the state.
Five separate regions have been declared at extreme risk of fire, with high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity.
Strong northwesterly winds were felt along the Snowy Mountains and the south coast, the Southern Tablelands, southwest slopes and the ACT.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has declared a total fire ban for the state’s southwest for Monday.
It said 75 fires were burning across the state on Sunday, 30 of them uncontained.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said authorities were doing everything possible to protect the community but called on families to brush up on their bushfire survival plans.
“It’s no good just mum or dad knowing it because if they’re not there, everybody else needs to know what to do,” he told reporters.
A cool southerly change is expected to blow up the NSW coast late on Sunday night, with southern states already experiencing a major drop in temperatures.
Adelaide reached 32C on Saturday but the temperature on Sunday was significantly cooler, in the low 20s.
The strong winds have sparked raging fires and emergency warnings in eastern Victoria.
An out-of-control fire is burning north of Maffra in the Gippsland region, with people in Briagolong, Culloden, Moornapa, Stockdale and surrounds initially told to evacuate.
“If you are camping in the area, evacuate immediately,” a VicEmergency alert said.
“This fire is currently travelling in a south-easterly direction.”
About 70km southeast, residents were told to immediately shelter indoors as an emergency-level grass fire swept across the coastline.
The fire was about 4.2km southwest of Loch Sport on Sunday and moving in an easterly direction.
A third emergency warning issued earlier for a grass fire further west at Forge Creek has been downgraded.
Wind gusts of more than 100km/h were recorded in parts of west and south Gippsland on Sunday as the mercury dipped below 20C.
The CFA has declared a total fire ban for Monday for the Mallee in the state’s northeast.
In Tasmania, a watch and act alert has been issued for an uncontrollable bushfire at Boat Harbour Creek on Flinders Island.
“Embers, smoke, and ash may fall on Leeka and West End Road and threaten you and your home before the main fire arrives,” the alert said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency services have been battling blazes from Townsville down to the Gold Coast, with 10 at advice alert level.
High fire danger ratings have been enacted in 18 weather districts across Western Australia as several fires burn at advice levels.
Asia Pacific Positioned for Global Energy Transition Leadership, says Wood Mackenzie Report
Home to half of the world’s population and contributing a third to the global GDP, the Asia Pacific region is expected to maintain a 50% share of global primary energy demand and a 60% share of global carbon emissions until 2050. This trend is unlikely to change without strong policy action and investment. However, the region still has the potential to turn these challenges into opportunities and become a global leader in the energy transition, according to ‘Wood Mackenzie’s Asia Pacific Energy Transition Outlook (ETO)’ report.
This report is part of Wood Mackenzie’s ETO research series, which analyses three different pathways for the energy and natural resources sector*.
“Every country in the Asia Pacific region is vastly different in terms of population growth, economic development, policy landscape, what natural resources they have and – more importantly – what they don’t have will determine how they transition to a low-emissions pathway,” said Prakash Sharma, Vice President, Scenarios and Technologies Research at Wood Mackenzie.
Pathways to low-carbon energy transition
“The Asia Pacific region is the largest power generation and renewables market today, but it’s also the most diverse. Each nation has different local resources, economic factors, and political situations that drive it. To balance the steps needed to decarbonise with economic reality, renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) will be key to this region’s transition,” said Jom Madan, Energy Transition Research at Wood Mackenzie.
According to Wood Mackenzie’s base case scenario, the Asia Pacific EV stock is projected to rise from 24 million cars today to a staggering 635 million units by 2050. Furthermore, an additional 30% growth in EV stock is expected in the pledges scenario, while the net zero scenario anticipates a remarkable 60% increase. This exponential growth is driven by the affordability of EVs and the availability of resources in the region.
Source: Wood Mackenzie Energy Transition Service
Hub of new technology opportunities
In Wood Mackenzie’s base case, low-carbon supply accounts for 35% of power generation today, and it’s projected to rise to 75% by 2050, while the share of wind and solar increases to over 54%. China is set to achieve a cumulative solar and wind capacity of 2,000 GW by 2030, exceeding their target. By 2050, Australia is poised to lead the Asia Pacific region in renewable power generation, with a share of more than 80% in the base case and the scenarios.
This rapid growth in variable renewables is accompanied by adopting energy storage, hydrogen, small modular nuclear reactors, and geothermal technologies. By 2050, nearly 50% of the world’s new technology opportunities for low carbon emission will be in the Asia Pacific.
Hydrogen: Low-carbon hydrogen will reach 3.5% of final energy demand by 2050 in the base case and 12% in the net zero scenario, pushing out fossil fuels in chemicals, steel, cement and heavy-duty mobility.
Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS): In Wood Mackenzie’s base case, point source and direct air carbon capture are expected to increase from 3 million tonnes in 2023 to 755 million tonnes by 2050. In the net zero case, the deployment will reach about 3,360 million tonnes by 2050. However, a significant expansion will be required to develop transport, shipping, and storage infrastructure to accommodate this increase.
Source: Wood Mackenzie Energy Transition Service
“The successful implementation of CCUS and low-carbon hydrogen requires strong policy support. Although several markets have established goals of achieving net zero emissions, few countries are currently on track to meet them,” said Roshna Nazar, Research Analyst, Energy Transition at Wood Mackenzie. “Robust carbon pricing, tax incentives, and supportive regulatory regimes are needed to incentivise the transition and close the emissions gap.”
“The Asia Pacific region is accounting for a third of global oil demand, a quarter of global gas demand, and 80% of global coal demand. But it doesn’t produce enough to meet this demand on its own,” said Nazar.
According to Wood Mackenzie, gas demand will continue to increase for 15 years in all scenarios, with growth in power and industry offsetting the long-term decline in buildings. By 2050, gas demand is expected to grow from 890 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 1,285 bcm in the base case but fall to 655 bcm in the net zero scenario.
“Despite most of the Asia Pacific region being net importers of both oil and gas, domestic gas supply is declining in the region. It will require either new discoveries or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Even in the net zero scenario, substantial investment will be needed to maintain the supply from existing fields and develop new sources,” Nazar added.
Hydrostor’s Silver City: Setting a Green Benchmark in Sustainable Power
Hydrostor, a global long duration energy storage (LDES) developer and operator, has been awarded a Long-Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA) by AEMO Services, as part of the New South Wales (NSW) government Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, for its Silver City Energy Storage project (Silver City) in Broken Hill.
The announcement marks a significant step forward for Australia’s clean energy transition and demonstrates the critical role that long duration energy storage will play in providing affordable, reliable, and emission-free electricity to power homes and businesses.
“We are delighted to be awarded this LTESA, which is a big vote of confidence in not only long duration energy storage, but also our compressed air solution as a key technology pathway for decarbonisation and grid reliability across Australia” said Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO of Hydrostor.
“This provides a model for getting much-needed firming capacity into Australian electricity markets, and we applaud the innovative leadership shown by the NSW Government and AEMO Services to support the development of clean and flexible power resources.”
Hydrostor’s Vice President on Reaching a Critical Project Milestone
Martin Becker, Hydrostor’s Vice President of Business Development and Origination in Australia said, “Having reached this critical milestone, we are looking forward to progressing the permitting for our Silver City project and building on local partnerships in Broken Hill. We are excited to help contribute to the shared prosperity of the region through jobs and clean, reliable energy.”
A first-of-its-kind energy storage project for Australia, the LTESA contract demonstrates the important capabilities of Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology, which will be deployed at Silver City to provide 200 MW of renewable energy storage for up to eight hours.
The Silver City project will bring significant benefits to the region, contributing an estimated $1 billion to the local economy alongside significant employment, skills, and training opportunities, including 750 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 70 ongoing jobs once in operation.
Hydrostor is developing a growing pipeline of large-scale projects across the world and when completed, Silver City will be one of the largest A-CAES facilities globally.
LTESA’s provide an important policy framework to encourage investment in large energy infrastructure projects such as Silver City that directly benefit NSW residents and are a key part of the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard.
Perilya and Hydrostor Join Forces for Innovative Energy Storage Venture
Hydrostor, a global long duration energy storage (LDES) developer and operator, and Perilya, a developer and operator of global mining projects, have entered into a binding agreement to leverage the existing mining assets at Perilya’s Potosi Mine in Broken Hill to support the construction of the Silver City Energy Storage (SCES) Project.
Perilya Broken Hill Limited and Hydrostor have been working together since 2020 to evaluate the potential of a large-scale long duration energy storage project adjacent to the Potosi Mine northeast of Broken Hill, NSW, which will continue to operate as normal.
The Silver City Project uses Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) technology and will leverage several unique features of the Perilya Potosi Mine Site, including:
Very hard and impermeable metamorphic rock at the mine site;
Existing underground mine development, providing access to construct the underground cavern at optimal depth of approximately 600m below ground;
Existing mine support infrastructure, facilitating the construction of the project.
Martin Becker, Hydrostor’s Vice President of Business Development and Origination in Australia said “Hydrostor is excited to partner with Perilya on this unique and critical infrastructure project. Silver City is our first Australian project and will be a showcase for A-CAES technology in the future”.
Long-Term Operation of Potosi Mine
The agreement includes access to property transactions and existing mine infrastructure, provision of construction support services, and supports the continued and longer-term operation of the Potosi Mine during and after the Project is being constructed.
Bruce Byrne, Chief Operating Officer of Perilya Broken Hill Limited said “The project will realise additional value to an important asset, well after the current developed stopes are completely mined”.
Paul Rasmussen, Hydrostor’s Vice-President of Integration said “By leveraging the existing mine investment and infrastructure, this partnership enables us to improve project delivery timeframe, since we can build the underground air storage cavern much faster, with reduced setup costs and a better understanding of the geology at site”.
This is a unique agreement in the Mining and Energy sectors and supports an important multiple land use outcome, allowing the Potosi Mine and the SCES Project to co-exist and benefit from each other.
The SCES Project represents a game changing outcome for mining in Broken Hill and the wider region. It leverages and enhances mining investment, both during and beyond the life of the mine, and as a post closure mining land use, it is currently unmatched in its value, contribution and benefit to the region and state.
The range of benefits to the local region include:
Significant employment, skills, and training opportunities including 750 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 70 ongoing jobs in operation.
A contribution of over AUD$1B to the regional economy.
Opportunities for local suppliers, contractors, and service providers.
The SCES Project has been selected by Transgrid as the preferred solution to provide backup power for Broken Hill and the Far West region of NSW. The Project will provide reliable backup power for both the town and existing or new mining activities in the region.
The Project is supported by the NSW Government under the Emerging Energy Program and by the Federal Government via a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
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