Australian news, and some related international items

Switch to renewables, says Australian Academy of Science

Green power feasible  Cheryl Jones  The Australian December 16, 2009 THE federal government has the opportunity to switch the nation’s power to renewable energy but favours attempts to make “dirty coal clean”, according to the Australian Academy of Science. Next month the academy will call on the government to give priority support to geothermal and solar thermal energy to make them major national energy sources, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The recommendation is among 25 development options contained in the academy’s highly anticipated renewable energy report, which also will call on the government to introduce a national seven-star energy rating standard for new houses by 2015 and a nine-star rating for houses built after 2020.The academy also wants to see smart meters installed in all households, the phasing in of time-of-use electricity pricing and legislation to limit stand-by power consumption by domestic electrical appliances.
Its renewable energy report, a copy of which has been seen by the HES, calls for a national system of feed-in tariffs, the price paid for green energy by householders and businesses into the grid. It recommends a coast-to-coast liquefied natural gas distribution network to replace petrol and diesel with this cleaner energy source, and incentives for motorists to buy green cars.

The academy also calls for an upgrade to the interstate rail network, and more federal and state government funding to push clean energy research through the development and commercialisation phases………….

The report, titled Australia’s Renewable Energy Future, puts the scientific might of the academy up against sceptics claiming that renewables cannot meet baseload energy needs…………..

“We can change the way we do business entirely by stimulating those new industries, getting them past the economic thresholds that make them appear to be uncompetitive with coal,” he said.

“If you give the appropriate financial incentives early on, the whole thing snowballs.

“As the technology accrues the advantages of scale, it becomes self-sustaining and provides new employment and export opportunities.”

Green power feasible | The Australian

December 17, 2009 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | , , , , , ,

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