Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Commercial scale solar systems now becoming competitive in Australia

Conergy tips Australia solar market to grow 20% a year to 2015 REneweconomy, By  on 23 May 2013 German solar giant Conergy is predicting 20 per cent annual growth in the Australian solar market between now and 2015 as commercial-scale solar systems become competitive with the local electricity market. Conergy said the levellised cost of energy (LCOE) for solar PV systems in Australia had fallen to just under 13c/kWh, which is less than half of the average retail price in the country. It says commercial scale plants, such as the recent 100kW system it commissioned at the Casa dAmore nursing home  [seen below] in South Brisbane,   were now cost effective with no subsidies.

Below – Brisbane’s solar powered nursing home. The installation was made by  SEQ Energy Pty Ltd: http://www.seqenergy.com.au The generation of this plant is 160 MWH/year, not 392 and the panels  used are Conergy Power Plus 255M.

solar Casa D'Amore nursing home, Brisbane “The excellent climatic conditions and the achievement of grid parity …  are now opening up new opportunities for the Australian market,” said David McCallum, managing director of Conergy Australia in a statement. He said the market, which is expected to fall by 25 per cent in 2013 toa round 750MW, from its 2012 peak of around 1,000MW, should grow 20 per cent a year in coming years. “Thanks to solar power becoming competitive, the Australian market will move away from being a purely investment driven market and become part of the genuine energy market, where the main criteria are electricity availability and the price per kilowatt hour. “Bearing these criteria in mind, plants no longer need to be as large as possible but instead tailored precisely to the customers and their load profile in order to optimise production and consumption behaviour.

Grid parity has reached Australia. “Thanks to solar power becoming competitive, the Australian market will move away from being a purely investment driven market and become part of the genuine energy market, where the main criteria are electricity availability and the price per kilowatt hour. “Bearing these criteria in mind, plants no longer need to be as large as possible but instead tailored precisely to the customers and their load profile in order to optimise production and consumption behaviour. Grid parity has reached Australia. Conergy said the output of the 100kW system at Casa d’Amore was  being consumed entirely on site, and accounting for one third of its total electricity needs. It will deliver $16,000 in savings from the annual electricity bills each year.   http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/conergy-tips-australia-solar-market-to-grow-20-a-year-to-2015-2015

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

National Native Title Conference for benefit of whom?

Oxfam report mocks Native Title, Lateral Love Australia, by Gerry Georgatos May 20th, 2013 “……The Oxfam report and Mr Anaya’s arguments are timely with the annual National Native Title Conference scheduled for the first week of June – in Alice Springs. There is much wrong on the Australian landscape with Native Title, with some of the resources sector ripping off blind Aboriginal communities, with the so-called mining boom having returned contextually little to Aboriginal communities, and with huge inconsistencies in compensation payments for Traditional Owners signing Indigenous Land Use Agreements…….

In 2013, the annual National Native Title Conference will be convened by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Central Land Council (CLC) on the traditional lands of the Central Arrernte people, the Native Title holders of the Alice Springs area.

Rest assured, that there will be changes to Native Title practices end of the year but sadly they will not be favourable to Aboriginal peoples.This year’s Conference title is “Shaping the Future” but for whom?

Themes of the Conference will include “The Native Title Act 20 years on, where to from here?” But to be honest, it should be back to the drawing board. The Native Title Act was skewed from its original moderate intentions by Prime Minister Paul Keating to a weak policy structure that allowed the resources sector and developers to steamroll Aboriginal peoples. The weakness in the Act is that negotiations between parties are to be had “in good faith.”

The Act was further watered down by Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The Native Title Act has continued on as the outrageous (racist) joke that it has been ever since cheating Aboriginal communities out of opportunity and equality and turning not only Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples against each other but also Aboriginal peoples against one another.

The remaining themes of the Conference are how to manage the little returns Aboriginal Corporations secure from mining industries for their Traditional Owners – ‘development options’ and ‘Indigenous governance.’ The Conference would better serve impoverished Aboriginal peoples and Native Title holders if it instead themed Oxfam’s report – that only one of the 53 biggest miners on the Australian Securities Exchange had a public commitment to the principle of informed consent for Aboriginal peoples. http://thestringer.com.au/oxfam-report-mocks-native-title/#.UZm8398iPIU

http://lateralloveaustralia.com/2013/05/20/recommended-resources-the-stringer-independent-news-investigative-journalism-72/

May 23, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Wikileaks Party- official registration open for comment until June 24

logo-Wikileaksballot-boxSmWikiLeaks Party closer to registering SMH, May 22, 2013  Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer The WikiLeaks political party is a step closer to being registered in Australia.

The Australian Electoral Commission on Wednesday published the constitution of the WikiLeaks Party and opened up the party’s official registration for public comment until June 24. WikiLeaks website founder Julian Assange plans to run for the Senate in Victoria at the September 14 election…. The WikiLeaks Party aims to run Senate candidates in Victoria, NSW and Western Australia.

Among the party’s objectives in its constitution are to “do all that is necessary to secure, develop and protect human rights and freedoms” and to hold governments, unions and corporations accountable for their actions.

The 10 names on the party application do not include Mr Assange. …. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/wikileaks-party-closer-to-registering-20130522-2k03g.html

May 23, 2013 Posted by | election 2013, Wikileaks | Leave a comment

Value of coal generators is falling as demand falls, renewables rise

Shift from base-load slashes value of state coal generators REneweconomy By    23 May 2013 It seems certain that the NSW and Queensland governments will have to take significant write-downs on the value of the fleet of coal-fired power generators, and the assets may not be able to be sold because of the radical reshaping of the Australian electricity market.

The NSW government is seeking buyers for its coal-fired generators, and a price of $3 billion, and the Queensland government is mulling over recommendations that they should do the same. Any sale of those assets would likely be held in 2015/16.

But are they worth anything? Industry insiders say there are unlikely to be any buyers at the price the governments are expecting- because black coal-fired generation is becoming increasingly sidelined by the unanticipated fall in demand, the impact of renewables such as rooftop solar and wind farms, and the effects of the carbon price. Many of the black coal-fired generators are operating at barely more than half their capacity, as the concept of baseload generation gradually recedes….. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/shift-from-base-load-slashes-value-of-state-coal-generators-92669

May 23, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Rules Permanent Closure for Tsuruga Nuclear Reactor

flag-japanJAPAN NUCLEAR REACTOR ATOP ACTIVE FAULT: REGULATOR, Yahoo 7 News, May 23, 2013TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that one reactor was sitting directly above an active tectonic fault, effectively ruling out a restart forever.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it had approved a report from experts which found a crack in the Earth’s crust lying underneath the reactor at a plant in Tsuruga, western Japan, was active. “There is a need for us to take the report seriously,” NRA chairman
Shunichi Tanaka said.

It is the first time the newly-minted NRA has made such a ruling. It is still investigating possibly-active faults under five other
reactors. A second reactor at Tsuruga, which sits 300 metres (328 yards) away, is not one of this number.

The final decision on a restart rests with the government, who are expected to be asked by plant operator Japan Atomic Power to overrule
the watchdog.

Observers say despite its pro-nuclear stance, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is unlikely to risk public ire by backing the
operator, meaning the reactor would become the first to be permanently shuttered since the Fukushima disaster……
http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/17290072/japan-nuclear-reactor-atop-active-fault-regulator/

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany’s very planned and very successful move to 21st Century energy sources

sun-championThe idea that it is irrational German angst that has led Germany to forge a path distinct from its neighbours doesn’t stand up to scrutiny:  of 27 European Union member states, 11 have no civil nuclear power, and most have no intention of developing any. Four other European countries are joining Germany in phasing out nuclear power, while Italy closed its last nuclear power station in the 1980s, and in 2011 rejected plans to look at the issue again.

So Germany turning away from nuclear power is not a panicky reaction that endangers the country’s security of supply, more an important and well-integrated part of her transformation to use renewables exclusively.

flag_germanyNuclear futures: renewables blossom in Germany’s post-nuclear vision .http://theconversation.com/nuclear-futures-renewables-blossom-in-germanys-post-nuclear-vision-14364   Erik Gawel,   Sebastian Strunz 22 May 2013,  When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was hit by a tsunami in March 2011, the disaster had a profound effect on German energy policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel reasoned that “Fukushima has forever changed the way we define risk in Germany.”

Three days after the news of meltdown  in three of Fukushima’s reactors, Chancellor Merkel drew a line under German nuclear power. The seven oldest nuclear power plants in Germany were immediately taken off the grid, and two months later the government made this permanent. The remaining German nuclear power plants, it was decided, would be shut down by 2022.

This decision was a spectacular policy U-turn, as the same conservative government had only recently overturned an earlier attempt to ban nuclear power in Germany. In 2010, Chancellor Merkel’s coalition had argued that nuclear power was a “bridge technology” ecessary to pave the way towards a carbon-free energy system. The prolonged use of nuclear power would be indispensable in order to guarantee security of supply, it was claimed.
This raises two questions: did removing seven power plants endanger the security of supply to the German national grid? And what convincing long-term strategy is there in place to manage the shift to carbon-free energy without nuclear power? Continue reading

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mining companies secretive about how they gain consent of Aboriginal communities

handsoffOxfam report mocks Native Title, Lateral Love Australia, by Gerry Georgatos May 20th, 2013    Oxfam Australia has added its weight to the controversy that domestically and internationally embarrasses Australia over how the resources sector and the various prescribed government bodies cheat Aboriginal land owners out of due benefits for access to land for mining projects. Oxfam has completed a study that has found that only one of the 53 biggest miners on the Australian Securities Exchange had a public commitment to the United Nation’s principles of informed consent for Aboriginal peoples.

OXFAM CEO, Helen Szoke said that Australian companies are circumventing the intentions of the Native Title Act and that informed consent is not being secured.

“We looked at the policies of companies specifically within the context of how they dealt with the issue of consent of Indigenous peoples to use their land,” said Ms Szoke.

“Disturbingly what we found is that the majority of companies do not have any transparent policies about how they gain that consent and how they go about negotiating with local Indigenous communities.” Continue reading

May 23, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium | Leave a comment