Australian news, and some related international items

Carbon tax essential for Australian superannuation funds’ $700 billion renewable energy investment

Greens attend energy forum, Wauchope Gazette, 27 Jun, 2012, THREE of the four Greens council candidates attended the Renewable Energy Forum, held at the Glasshouse recently. The event was organised by the Nature Conservation Council and Australian Conservation Foundation, and follows other informative climate change related events, such as the forum last year by Professor Ross Garnaut.

Lead Greens candidate, Mr Ian Oxenford said, the highlight of the evening was the ‘revelation’ from the keynote speaker, Nathan Fabian, representing the Investor Group on Climate Change, a consortia of Australia’s leading superannuation funds, that Australian based superannuation funds have $700 billion of renewable energy investments for Australia.

The future of these investments depends on a long term effective price on carbon. “Mr Fabian said that without certainty of carbon price, investors will have no choice but to direct these funds to offshore investments,” Mr Oxenford said.

“This should ring alarm bells to those praising the threats of the Federal Leader of the Opposition to scrap the ‘carbon tax’ (sic) if he is elected Prime Minister next year.”….. Continue reading

June 28, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Aboriginal and solar firms join in outback solar projects

Indigenous firm eyes solar power Peter Williams, The West Australian June 27, 2012, A new indigenous-controlled energy company has plans to build solar power systems in regional areas as big as any existing projects in Australia.

Carey Power, a joint venture between indigenous-owned mining services provider Carey Mining and Perth solar energy specialist Next Power, is targeting mine camps as well as remote communities and local governments.

Next Power chief executive and Carey Power executive director Kieron D’Arcy said Carey Power planned to install systems of up to 10 megawatts, equal to the size of the nation’s biggest solar plant being built in the Mid West. Continue reading

June 28, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, solar, Western Australia | | Leave a comment

Lethal levels of radiation preventing cleanup at Fukushima nuclear reactor No.1

Fukushima radiation at record high RECORD amounts of radiation have been detected at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, further hampering clean-up operations.  28 June 12  TEPCO, the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, took samples from the basement of reactor number 1 after lowering a camera and surveying instruments through a drain hole in the basement ceiling.

Radiation levels above radioactive water in the basement reached up to 10,300 millisievert an hour, a dose that would kill humans within a short time after making them sick within minutes. The annual allowed dose for workers at the stricken site would be reached in only 20 seconds.

“Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition,” said TEPCO.

The Fukushima operator said that radiation levels were 10 times higher than those recorded at the plant’s two other crippled reactors, number two and three. This was due to the poor state of the nuclear fuel in the reactor compared to that in the two others.

The meltdown at the core of three of Fukushima’s six reactors occurred after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and ensuing massive tsunami shut off the power supply and cooling system.

Demolition of the three reactors as well as the plant’s number 4 unit is expected to take 40 years and will need the use of new technologies.

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment