Canberra windfarm protesters demand end to ‘renewable energy scam’ Lenore Taylor, political editor guardian.co.uk, 18 June 2013 Radio presenter Alan Jones acknowledges turnout of around 150 demonstrators was lower than expected Three Coalition politicians and one candidate attended the “wind power fraud rally” in front of parliament house on Tuesday where around 150 protesters called for the abolition of the renewable energy target and a ban on all new windfarms.
Signs at the rally urged: “Stop the wind power fraud,” and referred to a “renewable energy scam”, insisting that “wind farms wreck health and jobs”,…..Protesters at the rally asserted that windfarms were “fraudulent” because, they claimed, two of them in Victoria, including the Waubra windfarm, were not compliant with their permit conditions.
But Liberal senator Chris Back acknowledged he had been alerted by wind company Acciona to a letter sent to politicians from the Victorian department of planning and community development stating that “the minister for planning has not determined whether the windfarm is or is not compliant with the relevant planning permit”. It said: “The minister or the department have never stated that the Waubra Wind Farm is not compliant with the planning permit. It cannot be assumed or inferred from the departmental advice that Waubra Wind Farm is not compliant with the relevant planning permit and I seek your co-operation in correcting the public record.”
Back insisted that the state planning minister, Matthew Guy, had told parliament differently and said he would get to the bottom of the discrepancy.
Coal, oil and gas are killing climate
By JW Dowey – 18 Jun 2013 - The Australians have suffered more than most from climate change problems, with fire and flood dominating their headline news annually. Their Climate Commission produced a report in 2011, “The Critical Decade,” delivering a timetable. Now, 2 years in, the report tells how it is. They believe most fossil fuel has to remain where it is to prevent that disastrous scenario of a 2°C temperature rise. Conclusion 5 in this Report states, “The burning of fossil fuels represents the most significant contributor to climate change.” All of this when they admit their export of coal from New South Wales to Asia represents a gigantic economic bonus and a useful aid to developing nations. Read more »
Standing up for Renewable Energy Target
18 June 13, THE NSW Regional Renewables Alliance, representing farmers and rural businesses at Tuesday’s Rally4 Renewables in Canberra, is calling for bipartisan support for the current Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 41,000GWh by 2020. The group, which also supports a more collaborative approach to development of wind and solar projects in rural Australia, issued this media statement on Monday:
The RET has been in operation for 12 years and over that time has generated $18.5 billion in new investment, lowered electricity prices by 8% and created tens of thousands of jobs – mainly in regional and rural areas . If retained in its current form, the RET will repeat this performance over its remaining 17 years of operation.
Andy Divall, Managing Director of Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage said the RET is making a massive difference to regional NSW. “In the 25 years we have been in business we haven’t seen anything like the opportunities the renewables industry will bring the region.” Read more »
Canberra protests for and against wind farms ABC News, By Mary Lloyd 18 June 13, Supporters and opponents of wind farms gathered in Canberra today for two separate rallies to argue their cases. In front of Parliament House about 100 demonstrators joined radio host Alan Jones to protest against industrial wind farming in rural areas.n front of Parliament House about 100 demonstrators joined radio host Alan Jones to protest against industrial wind farming in rural areas.
He says wind turbines should be erected in urban, not rural areas. ”That’s why I’ve constantly said to them well put them in Macquarie Street, put them in Anzac Parade, put them in Parramatta Road,” Mr Jones said. ”That’s where the people are, that’s where the energy is used and if they are not injurious to health, well, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
“But they don’t, they go to small communities.” The protesters say the cost on the community from wind farms is too high and the economic benefits too low.
They are concerned about the affect wind turbines have on people living nearby them.People at the rally complained they had been suffering from headaches and nausea since wind farms were developed near their homes.They also say that wind power is costly to produce and inefficient because the turbines only turn when there is wind.
Scorching increase in bushfire danger June 17, 2013 Scott Hannaford The Sunday Canberra Times editor.Canberra could be facing a nearly 70 per cent increase in dangerous bushfire weather in less than seven years as the result of climate change, according to Australia’s Climate Commission.
The report, The Critical Decade 2013, to be released on Monday, paints a grim picture of the future for the ACT as a result of unchecked climate change, including a rising death toll from extreme-heat days, dwindling inflows to the city’s major water storages and further reductions in winter and spring rainfall.
”The decisions we make from now to 2020 will largely determine the severity of climate change our children and grandchildren experience,” the report states.
The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology predict the number of days where the temperature climbs above 35 degrees in Canberra will rise from the current long-term average of 5.2 days a year to eight by 2030 and between 10 days and 18 days by 2070, depending on the action taken.
One of the report’s two authors, Professor Will Steffen, said many of the predictions climate scientists made in the 1970s and ’80s were becoming reality as communities began to suffer more-damaging storms, major bushfires and prolonged droughts.
”Canberrans hardly need reminding about the devastation bushfires can cause. If you look at the data since about 1973, 16 of the 38 observation stations show the fire danger rating has increased, while the remainder haven’t gone down. Of particular importance for Canberra is that most of those 16 stations are in the south-east corner and Canberra’s right in the middle of that,” Professor Steffen said……
Changes in rainfall meant summer rains could increase in Canberra, but in terms of the number of extreme-heat days the ACT was already experiencing nearly double the long-term average.
In short: Cost estimates for new nuclear plants are not credible. I have yet to find a single one that stood up to close scrutiny. And as far as I am aware, no nuclear plant has ever been built for close to its original cost estimate.
The real reason to fight nuclear power has nothing to do with health risks, Quartz, By Chris Nelder, 17 June 13Chris Nelder is an energy analyst, consultant and speaker who has written about energy and investing for more than a decade. Nuclear proponents are launching a full-court press for fresh investment in the technology. The release of the new film Pandora’s Promise, another editorial from ardent nuclear champions Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute, and Paul Blustein’s recent piece in Quartz, “Everything you thought you knew about the risks of nuclear energy is wrong,” are part of an effort to put a new shine on a technology that once offered, but failed to deliver, electricity “too cheap to meter.”
Missing from the entire debate about nuclear is the most important fact of all: Nuclear is dying due to poor economics, and the debate is already over as far as the market is concerned. Read more »
Climate change gets religious SMH, 19 June 13 Few religious communities have gone as far in fighting climate change as a church in Queensland which has 24 solar panels bolted to the roof in the shape of a Christian cross. “It’s very effective. It’s inspired some members of our congregation to install panels on their homes,” Reverend David Lowry said of the “solar cross” mounted in 2009 on the Caloundra Uniting Church, which groups three Protestant denominations.
Many religions have been wary of moving to install renewable energy sources on their places of worship, from cathedrals to mosques – or of taking a strong stand on climate change in general – despite teachings that people should be custodians of nature.
But slowly, that may be changing, thanks to new religious leaders including Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Rise in appliance sales prompts fears of a climate time bomb The Age, June 19, 2013 Peter Hannam Australia’s rush to acquire airconditioners and fridges is creating a greenhouse gas time bomb, which the Greens and environmental groups say existing regulations, including the carbon tax, are ill equipped to defuse.
The country has at least 45 million cooling devices, up from about 30 million in 2007, with 1 million airconditioners alone sold each year for home use and a similar number in new passenger vehicles.
The vast bulk of the equipment uses fluorocarbon coolants which, though small in weight – about 600 grams per car or more than 1 kilogram per airconditioner – can pack as much as 10,890 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide when released, either through leakage or when the device is disposed of. The deliberate release of such gases has been illegal since 1989, but with as little as 25 per cent of the gases recovered each year from discarded devices, the rest of the gas is vented with impunity.
The replacement coolants, mostly hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), don’t deplete ozone but are potent greenhouse gases…….
AUDIO: Renewable wave energy project to begin in Western Australia
18 June 2013, Wave energy is one of the great renewable energy hopes because it can create electricity through the power of the ocean
The technology has huge potential for the Paccific Islands and their search for sustainable energy sources
Construction on a major wave energy project is about to begin in Western Australia at Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling.
The technology behind the Perth Wave Energy Project has been developed over the past 10 years, and promises to make Australia a global leader in wave energy.
Fran Kelly asked Tim Sawyer, the Project Development Officer for Carnegie Wave Energy for more details.
Presenter: Fran Kelly Speaker: Tim Sawyer, the Project Development Officer for Carnegie Wave Energy
Australia’s plan to sell uranium to the UAE is ill-considered. It essentially requires us to turn a blind eye to the UAE’s poor democratic form and strikes a blow to the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East. It also fails to apply adequate scrutiny and attention to Australia’s corner cutting uranium trade – an industry described by a Senate report as needing urgent changes in order to protect the environment and people from ‘serious or irreversible damage’
Why Australia shouldn’t sell uranium to the UAE Online opinion, By Dave Sweeney , 17 June 2013 For most Australians nuclear issues are the concern of other nations, largely because we don’t, and are most unlikely to ever have, domestic nuclear reactors. But as home to one third of the world’s uranium Australia is a significant player in the global nuclear game and we are playing an increasingly irresponsible hand.
Today in Canberra representatives from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons will have a rare window of opportunity to put their case to a Parliamentary committee as to why Australia should not sell uranium to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE is country with an illiberal government situated in one of the world’s most insecure regions. The commercial interests of multi-national uranium producers have been prioritised over the wider national interest. Instead of industry assurances it is now time to test the claims – and examine the costs – of Australia’s uranium industry.
The value of the employment and economic contribution made by the Australian uranium sector is consistently exaggerated while its risks and liabilities are routinely played down. When it comes to jobs and dollars uranium is a small contributor to Australian export revenue and employment, but when it comes to global impact and risk Australian uranium is in the major league.
From 2002 to 2011, uranium sales averaged $627 million annually and accounted for only 0.29 per cent of all national export revenue: small beer, but with a big hangover…… Read more »
Regional renewable energy projects to get funding through Regional Australia’s Renewables (RAR) initiative
ARENA Launches $400 Million Regional Renewable Energy Fund Design Build, By Marc Howe, 17 June 13, The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched a new $400 million fund which seeks to replace the usage of diesel in remote off-grid parts of the country with renewable energy options such as solar and wind power.
The Regional Australia’s Renewables (RAR) initiative seeks to create 150 megawatts in renewable energy capacity in remote locations over the next five years. The funding program specifically targets off-grid and fringe-of-grid areas in Australia, and in addition to rural communities could also apply to remote industrial operations such as mines.
The plan is already expected to lead to the creation of two large-scale renewable energy plants with capacities of at least 10 megawatts…..
“SMRs are just the next chapter in a nuclear industry that can’t stand up on its own,” said Don Hancock, director for nuclear waste safety at the Southwest Research and Information Center, “so it always has to be funded by the government.”
Even if some risks are reduced, “pocket nukes” would still be more dangerous than wind, solar and other renewable energy, according to UCS. They’re also much more vulnerable to use by terrorists.
Perhaps even more sobering, though, is nuclear power’s true cost.
In February, Taxpayers for Common Sense handed out its “Golden Fleece Award” to the DoE for the dollars being spent on SMRs.
Nuclear Power, Part 2: Nukenomics, By Ned Madden, 14 June 13 TechNewsWorld Can the nuclear industry stand on its own two feet financially? It all depends on whom you ask. “There are plenty of cost estimates out there regarding what a new nuclear power plant will cost — unfortunately, those estimates are speculative. It has been decades since anyone has tried to build a nuclear plant in the United States,” said the Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor.
There’s no denying that safety and effectiveness are both critical concerns when it comes to nuclear power, and that’s just as true for investors in the technology as it is for those who rely on the energy it generates.
Part 1 of this three-part series describes a new generation of small modular reactor designs whose promise is undeniably compelling. What’s less certain, however, is whether they are feasible as a free-market business proposition without current levels of government-backed investment.
That’s the question at the heart of what’s sometimes called “nukenomics,” and it’s a complicated one.
Even giant corporations in the nuclear energy industry are cautious about the fiscal viability of the nuke space. Construction cost estimates for new nuclear power plants are highly uncertain.
Risky Business Read more »
Although significantly smaller than traditional reactors, SMRs will still require significant insurance in the event of an accident. New nuclear reactors are currently covered by the Price-Anderson Act for accidents valued at over $12.6 billion. Price-Anderson may fall dramatically short in the case of SMRs
Taxpayer Subsidies for Small Modular Reactors Taxpayers for Common Sense February 27, 2013 Download: Golden Fleece: Taxpayer Subsidies for Small Nuclear Reactors (pdf)
“……..Current Applicants Seeking Federal Subsidies
Five small modular reactor projects have applied for support from DOE to date, but none of the five different reactor designs have been licensed by the NRC. NRC and DOE aim to award the first design certification license by 2018 and final construction/operating license by the early 2020s. Currently, all five projects are in the pre-application phase with NRC working towards initial design certification.
All but one SMR project would develop an integral pressurized light water reactor (iPWR) while the other would develop a fast neutron reactor (FNR)…… Read more »
“Now the governments’ efforts through the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NT Intervention) are designed to get the people away from their own Country and to force the people to live amongst the white people so as to be absorbed.
“Now there is the move to have Aboriginal people recognised in the Australian constitution by referendum. There will be no rights granted as a result. Just simple recognition so that the Government can run around the world saying look at us, look how good we are, and Aboriginal people have consented to be governed by us.
“They are doing it by engaging deceitful covert policies. The Government seeks to erase our Aboriginality and make us Australian, and then we will have no connection to our land, or our spirituality.
Anderson: Governments are attempting to steal our original sovereign citizenship and independence by deceit and assimilation by Grant. Michael Anderson said from his home today that research analysis has now shown the real nature of the contemporary Australian Assimilation policies.
“The Policy of Assimilation of the Aboriginal Peoples was first developed by all the Australian States and the Commonwealth Government during the Aboriginal Welfare conference in the same year as the German Final Solution decree was made in 1937 against the Jews.
“During the course of the Canberra meeting, which was designed to develop a solution to ‘The Aboriginal Problem’, the Western Australian Chief Aboriginal Protector (sic), A.O. Neville, concluded that, ‘In 50 years we should forget that there were any Aborigines in this country.’ What this man was proposing was the total annihilation of the Aboriginal race.
“The policy that was agreed upon at this 1937 National Conference was that a policy of assimilation could have the same effect, that is, remove the children from their families, educate and acculturate them into a single Australian community where everyone shall be influenced by the same beliefs, have the same customs as everyone else, by having the Aborigines ‘absorbed’ into the main stream community of the Australian State. Moreover, marrying the Aboriginal ‘half-castes’ into the lower class white Australia would see the disappearance of colour. Absorption into the white community will have been completed.
“The Commonwealth and State Government social engineers have been very clever in covering up the real and hidden agendas that all of the Australian Political Parties have been running for a long time. To understand this, we must revisit some of the evil doings of past Government practices. Read more »
“Nuclear decommissioning “has been a growth industry on and off,” Margaret Harding, a self-employed nuclear industry consultant based in Wilmington, North Carolina, said in a phone interview. “Right now, it’s big business.”
Nuclear Decommissioning Surge Is Investor Guessing Game, Bloomberg by Stefan Nicola in Berlin at email@example.com; Julie Johnsson in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at email@example.com 16 June 13
Nuclear utilities thrust into the spotlight after the Fukushima meltdowns have ordered 20 reactors shut, the most in a three-year span since Chernobyl’s aftermath, saddling the industry with a possible $26 billion in costs.
EON SE and RWE AG (RWE) are leading the biggest decommissioning project by European utilities ever, an effort to tear down 12 reactors in Germany over two decades. Edison International (EIX) said June 7 it will never restart its idled two-unit San Onofre Generating Station outside Los Angeles, bringing the number of U.S. reactors permanently closed in a year to a record four.
The global utility industry faces its biggest test to prove enough money was saved for shutdowns, having undergone numerous cost-overruns building atomic plants. A cautionary tale can be seen with government-owned facilities. In Britain, where taxpayers are on the hook to retire the Sellafield complex’s seven reactors and fuel-reprocessing stations on the Irish Seaduring the next 100 years, the U.K. government this year doubled its estimate for the work to 67.5 billion pounds ($106 billion).
“There’s a lot of speculation how much these projects cost, but an exact estimate can only be given by utilities,” said Sascha Gentes, a Karlsruhe Institute for Technology professor specializing in atomic shutdowns. “The longer a nuclear decommissioning project takes, the more expensive it becomes.” Read more »