World Bulletin / News Desk
Billions of dollars will be pumped into a massive hydro-electric project in Australia, the prime minister said Thursday, as the country faces a growing power crisis after a huge blackout and heatwave strained supplies.
The project, involving new tunnels and power stations, would boost the capacity of the 4,100-megawatt hydro-electric plant by 50 percent and is estimated by local media to cost up to Aus$2 billion (US$1.5 billion).
"Every Australian should be confident that they can turn the lights on when they need them," Turnbull said in a statement.
Although Australia is one of the world's largest producers of coal and gas, there are question marks about its energy security after South Australia suffered a statewide blackout in September and record-high temperatures in recent months put pressure on supplies in the country's east.
The closure of several ageing coal-fired power plants, strong demand for gas exports and a rise in onshore gas drilling bans have fuelled concerns of a looming domestic energy shortage.
"The unprecedented expansion will help make renewables reliable, filling in holes caused by intermittent supply and generator outages," Turnbull said.
But Danny Price, a former energy adviser to Turnbull, said while the hydro technology was robust and viable, it would not fix current power woes.
"I would describe it as a thought bubble, it will be years before anything happens," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"This is not a quick fix, this is a much longer-term plan, people should not get carried away because... it's a complicated system (and) a long way off."
Turnbull on Sunday spoke to US technology star Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind electric carmaker Tesla, after he offered to fix South Australia's power crisis with a battery farm.
Musk earlier said on Twitter he could to get the system installed and working in 100 days, or it would be supplied free.
The South Australian government on Tuesday unveiled a Aus$550 million plan that included building a new gas-fired power plant and the country's largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
Eastern Mediterranean gas deposits discussed at high-level meeting in Thessaloniki
While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.
US, with 30 planned LNG terminals and six under-construction, is forecast to be next leader in LNG markets
Turkey sent stockpiles of food and water supplies aboard cargo planes to Qatar amid row with Arab states