Australian news, and some related international items

Despite the anti-wind hype, South Australia’s success shows the power of renewable energy

Australian energy ministers have been so keen on geothermal, because they can most readily understand the concept of drilling for energy. You can’t dig up solar and wind power.

Not only are wind and solar playing increasingly significant roles in the power grid, but they are also helping to make wholesale electricity prices cheaper.

the progress with renewable energy in South Australia is promising and shows that with a friendly policy environment – for example, no 2km wind farm exclusion zones – great strides can be made.

Are the lights still on in South Australia? Business Spectator, Daniel Palmer , 1 Jun 2012   “……I was concerned for the state of South Australia after receiving some interesting news during the day – wind now makes up 31 per cent of the state’s power supply, with solar PV accounting for another 3.5 per cent.

According to a leading energy advisory firm (Energy Quest), wind already “appears to be the new baseload.” Not bad in spite of the campaign against wind by they-who-shall-not-be-named……. . I have been told for years that wind and solar are not capable of supplying power consistently enough to power one house, yet alone be able to supply a third of the energy needs for an entire state.

It appears to be all a Y2K-like false alarm however, with everything operating as normal…. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | energy, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Mainstream media at last recognising Fukushima’s real dangers, and Germany’s renewables success

 The second energy event of this past weekend was uplifting and extraordinary, due to an extremely sunny weekend, half of Germany’s electricity was generated by solar power two days. The decision to close down and eventually shut all of Germany’s nuclear reactors now appears to have been justified

Germany’s Solar Success and Fukushima’s Crisis: Intelligent Energy Priorities, HUFFINGTON POST, Vivian Norris   06/01/2012 Last weekend, events took place which should make us think about the future of energy on this planet. Firstly, radioactive bluefish tuna was caught off the coast of California. The radioactivity, though in fairly small amounts, could be directly traced to the releases from the disasters at the reactors at Fukushima Daichi, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

And more importantly, the public finally received some answers from those supposedly in charge in Japan during the accident. Former Prime Minister Kan testified that the ties between regulators and TEPCO was so intertwined, and the accident so profound, that he called for Japan to stop all use of nuclear energy. For once, it appeared that mainstream media paid attention and published both Kan’s words, as well as articles on serious concerns about the status of fuel pools at Fukushima. Experts and more fringe elements on the internet had been publishing good information for over a year. It is to the New York Times’ credit that they acknowledged the role that the pressure from these groups played in forcing TEPCO and the Japanese government to admit they had not been forthcoming. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan: protest rally against restart of nuclear reactors

Japanese protest over planned restart of nuclear reactors Reuters TOKYO  Jun 1, 2012  Hundreds of Japanese anti-nuclear protesters gathered outside the prime minister’s office on Friday, beating drums and chanting slogans against the planned restart of reactors a year after the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

“We oppose restarts,” the crowd of about 1,000, which stretched for around 200 meters down the block, shouted in the peaceful demonstration. Public mistrust of nuclear power has grown since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl…..

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australia’s wind power figures vindicate radical energy plan, May 31, 2012 Beyond Zero Emissions released the statement below on May 31. Yesterday energy consultants EnergyQuest broke the news that wind power supplied 31% of South Australia’s electricity in the last quarter. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

South Australia’s baseload power from wind energy

Wind Power ‘The New Baseload’ In South Australia main_page=news_article&article_id=3231 by Energy Matters, 31 May 12 Achieving 20% renewable energy in Australia by 2020 isn’t impossible – in fact, South Australia has already blown past goal that courtesy of wind energy primarily, with a helping hand from residential solar panel installations. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

Australia Renewable Energy Fund Set to Invest in Solar, Biofuels, Bloomberg News By James Paton  May 29, 2012 Australia’s A$200 million ($196 million) renewable energy venture capital fund is set to unveil its
first two investments in the solar and biofuels industries by the end of September. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

As China’s summer hots up, its desire for Australia’s coal cools down

China cancels thermal coal contracts By Caitlyn Gribbin, 01/06/2012 Australian coal producers may be considering closing their mines because Chinese buyers are defaulting on thermal coal contracts. China, the biggest user of coal, wants a lower price for the commodity
and an analyst says until that’s negotiated, Australian thermal coal exporters won’t be able to sell their product.

James O’Connell from Platts Coal Report says Australian miners will have to make some tough decisions.
“In the next couple of months there’s definitely a possibility that if there’s not a hot summer in China, if coal burn goes down, their stockpiles are going to kick in, the exports from the United States are going to hurt Australian producers.
“They’re going to be in a position where they might have to consider closing down mines or at least temporary shut downs. “In Australia, that’s an absolute possibility.”

June 2, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment