Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Pine Gap now an intrinsic part of USA’s drone killing system (and a terrorism target, too)

Map-Aust-Target1Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says, ABC News By Dylan Wench 12 Aug 14  A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.Australian National University Professor Des Ball previously supported the joint Australia-US communications facility near Alice Springs, but changes to its role since the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001 have changed his mind.

“I’ve reached the point now where I can no longer stand up and provide the verbal, conceptual justification for the facility that I was able to do in the past,” he said.

Pine Gap is the jewel in the crown of Australia-US intelligence sharing, detecting nuclear weapons and intercepting communications around the globe. But for the past decade it has also been involved in the US drone program, which has killed thousands of militants and some civilians in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

“We’re now locked into this global network where intelligence and operations have become essentially fused,” Professor Ball told 7.30. “And Pine Gap is a key node in that network – that war machine, if you want to use that term – which is doing things which are very, very difficult I think, as an Australian, to justify.”…….

“We’ve already entered into a new phase of warfare where intelligence and unmanned vehicles of various sorts, under the water, killer satellites in space, are being fed from intelligence sources like Pine Gap – still one of the two biggest stations of this sort in the world – and we’re thoroughly embedded into it,” Professor Ball said……….

…..what is causing Professor Ball concern. “The drone program puts some of these dilemmas on a plate in front of you,” he said. “You have to start confronting this conflation of intelligence and operations, which has been an ongoing process now for some time.

“But the drones bring it right out in front, including on your television sets, and including the fact that I don’t know either how many terrorists have been killed by drones.

“But I would not be surprised if the total number of children exceeds the total number of terrorists. I don’t know.”

And he fears support of lethal US operations is becoming a steadily increasing part of what Pine Gap does.

“Aspects of what is collected there, the general surveillance function expanding, and the now increasing military operational uses, if they were really to change the balance around so that Pine Gap basically became a war fighting machine rather than an intelligence collector, then I think we all have to have second thoughts.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-13/pine-gap-us-drone-program-ethically-unacceptable-analyst/5669336

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August 14, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Queensland government quite prepared to export uranium through Great Barrier Reef

beautiful-underwater-world-Darwin and Adelaide likely export hubs for Queensland uranium (includes audios) ABC Rural  By Marty McCarthy 14 Aug 14  “……….Mr Sweeney also says he’s not convinced by the Queensland Government’s assertions that Queensland ports won’t export uranium in the near future, negating the need for transfer to Darwin or Adelaide. “The Queensland Government has had a number of direct opportunities to rule [exporting from Queensland] out and it hasn’t,” he said.

“They’ve kept the door open for future uranium exports from a Queensland Port, and particularly from the Port of Townsville.”

“We’ve seen in both the Federal Government’s energy white paper, and in clear statements by the Australian Uranium Association, an industry body, a desire to develop an east coast port for uranium exports,” he said.

Mr Sweeney suspects Townsville is the most likely city to become a future Queensland-based export hub for uranium, despite Mr Cripps’ saying it is unlikely. “The Ben Lomond [uranium] project is 50 kilometres up the road from Townsville, now you join those dots and you get a picture of ships through the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

Canadian miner Mega Uranium, although interested in the Ben Lomond site, it is yet to announce plans to re-open it.

However, a French-owned mining company is spending millions of dollars on uranium exploration near remote towns in north-west Queensland, in a race to be the state’s first uranium miner since the ban 32 years ago.

AREVA Resources has drilled more than 90 holes since late 2012, and managing director Joe Potter says the company plans to continue searching.

“The change in policy and the certainty around the ability to mine uranium in Queensland has given us the confidence to press on with our exploration and see if we can become the first uranium miner,” he said.

The company plans to continue searching around Cloncurry, west of Mt Isa, later this year……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-13/queensland-looks-to-adelaide-anddarwin-to-export-uranium/5666458

August 14, 2014 Posted by | environment, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Fukushima radioactive particles bound to living organisms

text ionisingGov’t Expert: Fukushima hot particles can’t be dissolved, even with hot nitric acid! — Huge amounts of fallout are still bound to organic material… “we have very little knowledge about this” — “Reaction is irreversible” (PHOTO) http://enenews.com/govt-expert-fukushima-radioactive-material-be-dissolved-hot-nitric-acid-huge-amounts-fallout-bound-organic-material-very-little-knowledge-about-reaction-irreversible?utm_

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
,Volume 295, Issue 3, 2013 (emphasis added): […] radionuclides were emitted from the FDNPP as airborne ‘hot’ particles […] Subsequent interaction of the ‘hot’ particles with water (e.g. rainfall) dissolved and strongly fixed the radiocesium on rock and soil particles, thus changing the radiocesium into insoluble forms. […] Consequently, ‘hot spots’ were studded on the rock surface rather than being uniformly distributed. […] Leaching experiments demonstrated that radiocesium in rock, soil and river suspended sediment was fairly insoluble, showing that the adsorption [binding of particles to a surface] reaction is irreversible. The micro-scale heterogeneous distribution of radiocesium […] was due to the presence of ‘hot’ particles in aerosols. […] ‘hot’ particles in the aerosols [experienced] irreversible adsorption onto the soil particle complex […]

Agricultural Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident –  Radiocesium Absorption by Rice in Paddy Field Ecosystems (pdf), 2013:Unexpectedly, we found that the fallout was relatively insoluble and only a small percentage of the radiocesium could be extracted by a boiling water treatmentfollowed by nitrate leaching. We have very little knowledge about this fallout, including its chemical form and properties, but huge amounts of this relatively insoluble radioactive fallout are still bound to organic matters […]

Presentation by Yasuhito Igarashi of Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute at IAEA’s expert meeting (pdf), February 2014: Mar. 14-15 sample contained insoluble materials not only in water but hot nitric acid! […] They are insoluble; even refractory to conc. nitric acid. […] They would persist for a long time in the environment as well as in living organisms.

Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) — Emission of spherical cesium-bearing particles from an early stage of the Fukushima nuclear accident, Aug. 30, 2013: We analyzed the water solubility of Cs Particle 1 by comparing the particle’s shape before and after exposure to water. The results show that there was no change in shape, suggesting that the particle was insoluble to water at least during atmospheric transportation.

American Chemical Society Publication, Analytical Chemistry — Detection of uranium and chemical state analysis of individual radioactive microparticles emitted from the Fukushima nuclear accident… (Tokyo Univ., Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute), August 1, 2014: We explored the possible sources of the 14 elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb, Zr, Mo, Ag, Sn, Sb, Te, Cs, Ba, and U) found within the microparticles […] These particle natures suggest that they could have relatively long-term impact on the environment, i.e., the release of soluble radioactive Cs into the environment as these insoluble glassy particles degrade. Similar radioactive particles have been detected in soils, plants, and mushrooms […] it is probable that [these particles are] the same as the microparticles characterized in our study.

See also: Scientists: ‘Spheres’ of radioactive material from Fukushima reported for first time — Ball-like particles composed of cesium, iron, zinc — Solid and insoluble in water — Impact on human health needs to be examined (PHOTOS)

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Misinformation from advocates of thorium nuclear power hampers Rare Earths industry

Thorium-snake-oilIt’s anybody’s guess how long Thorium, with its “peacenik” aura, will take to get traction in corridors well-trodden by the US nuclear energy lobby, who have singularly shown zero interest in the blandishments of Thorium.

Thorium lobby thunder intent on hijacking rare earths’ coattails   Investor Intel August 12, 2014 by  Anyone in the Rare Earths space knows that Thorium frequently appears as an unwanted guest at the party. Explorers have worked on various ways to get around the issue. However there is a small group out there who we would call the “deniers”. They absolutely love Thorium. They are like Swedes liberated from the sauna in the dead of winter and would roll around in the stuff naked, if they could, to prove their commitment. While greater love hath no man to a chemical element than the Thorium crowd to their object of desire, the more measured amongst us realize that the mineral has been stuck for decades like a racehorse suffering a starting-gate malfunction.

What are we talking of here Continue reading

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kintyre uranium project will poison groundwater

water-radiationProposed WA uranium mine will poison groundwater opponents say http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/08/12/proposed-wa-uranium-mine-will-poison-groundwater-opponents-say Environmental groups say they fear a proposed WA uranium mine will poison groundwater and affect food supplies. By Ryan Emery 12 AUG 2014   LEADING ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ARE CLAIMING THAT A PROPOSED URANIUM MINE WILL POISON GROUNDWATER AND AFFECT FOOD SOURCES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S EASTERN PILBARA REGION.

The Kintyre project, 260km northeast of Newman, will be WA’s second most advanced uranium mine if it gets final environmental approval from the state’s Environment Minister Albert Jacob.

Uranium mining had been banned in the state until the then Liberal-National government was elected in 2008.
The state’s Environmental Protection Authority has recommended that the project, backed by Canadian uranium miner Cameco, be given conditional environmental approval.

However, opponents of the mine say the assessment was flawed.Mia Pepper from the Conservation Council of Western Australia says a hydrology report failed to consider the traditional owners’ knowledge of rainfall patterns and water flow at the proposed site.

She says they claim water flows from the site into the nearby Karlamilyi National Park, not into the Great Sandy Desert.

“The difference between those two scenarios are really significant when you’re talking about a uranium mine and the pathways for radioactive mine waste to leak into that groundwater and just how far that contamination could spread and what areas it could impact on,” she said.

“And we’re talking about a national park, and we’re talking about communities so the impacts are really significant.”

Concerns have also beeing raised over radioactive waste management, and the impactof the mine on rare and threatened species.

The mine’s proponent Cameco has previously said it is confident it can mine in the area “in a way which maintains the ecological functions and environmental values in the area.”

A decision on ministerial environmental approval is expected in the coming months.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | environment, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Hear Dr Tim Mousseau , M V Ramana and Suzuki Tatsujiro on ABC Radio

podcastSmNuclear power, post Fukushima Listen now   Download audio  This week at the ANU in Canberra there’s an international workshop on the costs and benefits of nuclear power in East Asia. From the workshop , Dr Tim Rousseau , M V Ramana and Suzuki Tatsujiro discuss the relationship between nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons, the health implications of exposure to radiation and the continuing impact of the closure of the Fukushima reactor in Japan.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/nuclear-states/5661774

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Western Australian Uranium mine abandoned but what about taxpayer subsidies it gets?

money-lobbying http://tonyserve.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/uranium-mine-abandoned-but-what-about-taxpayer-subsidies-to-mining-co-australia-wapol-auspol/ Uranium miner Areva quizzed over Royalties for Regions payment, 12 August 2014 Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC has quizzed the State Government over its funding support of a subsidiary of French uranium miner Areva, for its North Canning Project.

Earlier this week, Areva Resources Australia announced that it would move to abandon the Kimberley uranium project because it is not technically feasible.

“Did they get Royalties for Regions funding? Was it utilised or if not, was it returned? If not, why not?” Mr Chapple said.

“I am gobsmacked at the constant allocations of funding being poured into the pockets of those already at the very top of the super-rich mining pyramid. It’s an inequity of the highest order.

“The Royalties for Regions Scheme should be taking from the exploitative, extractive industries and supporting true regional development. We should be funding future industries, affordable housing and community infrastructure that will ensure sustainability beyond this limited mining boom. Why are we using these precious funds to facilitate unsustainable mining practices?

“It’s obvious that the State is struggling to provide affordable housing, energy infrastructure, good public transport options, community and health services, let alone take care of our fragile environment.

“Whichever way we look at it, we cannot justify this expenditure,” Mr Chapple said.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Queensland uranium to be exported through Darwin, Adelaide (or Townsville?)

radiation-truckDarwin and Adelaide likely export hubs for Queensland uranium (includes audios) ABC Rural  By Marty McCarthy 14 Aug 14  “……..Queensland announced this month it is now accepting applications from uranium miners wanting to operate in the state after a 32 year ban, raising questions about where the uranium will be exported from.

There are no ports in Queensland licensed to export the material, and the Newman Government says ports in Adelaide and Darwin will likely be used instead, rather than shipping over the Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, says it’s not up to him to decide which city becomes the hub for Queensland’s uranium exports.  …….

Mr Cripps would not rule out exporting uranium from Queensland directly……..

Northern Territory Mines Minister, Willem Westra van Holthe, says he supports transporting uranium oxide from Queensland through the Northern Territory……..
“Taking another state’s commodity and transporting through the Darwin Port is a good way to promote us as an important strategic location [? target – CM.] for the rest of the country.”……..”It would probably travel through Tennant Creek, having travelled along the Barkly Highway and then up the Stuart Highway to Darwin.”……

not everyone sees trucking uranium across the country as an opportunity. Continue reading

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Queensland, safety, uranium | Leave a comment

Sundrop Farms in the news again for all the right reasons

sundrop-farms-David-PrattSundrop Farms’ greenhouse expansion project approved by council | PHOTOS, The Transconntinental By Steph Say and Ryan Smith Aug. 13, 2014, 

Sundrop Farms gets the green light  Sundrop Farms’ innovative greenhouse expansion project has been given the green light with the support of Port Augusta City Council.

Provisional development approval was granted at Tuesday night’s Development Assessment Panel meeting.

Sundrop Farms will now start making detailed designs for the 20 hectare expansion before getting a final construction price from a selected contractor. This process is expected to take two months when the final decision on whether the development will go ahead will be made.

If the expansion does go ahead it is expected to create 200 ongoing jobs for the city and a major economic boost.

Sundrop Farms chief technology officer Reinier Wolterbeek said the provisional approval was one of the major boxes that needed to be ticked to get the expansion underway. “It’s a major milestone, we’ve worked a long time to get to this stage,” he said. We’ve worked with the .2 hectares here [inPort Augusta] for about four years…with ups and downs but we’ve achieved the yields we are after.”

Sundrop Farms uses cutting-edge solar thermal technology to desalinateseawater for irrigation and to heat and cool greenhouses.The expansion would involve the building of a 20 hectare, four greenhouse facility which will produce more than 15,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year for metropolitan markets across Australia.

Solar energy will be harnessed using a power tower which absorbs heat reflected from a field of mirrors………http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/2484815/sundrop-farms-greenhouse-expansion-project-approved-by-council-photos/?cs=1286

August 14, 2014 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Solar power used for greenhouse farming in a dry harsh area

Growing Food In The Desert With Solar Powehttp://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3488 by Energy Matters, 27 Nov 12, 

Australia is home to a food production revolution – Sundrop Farms near Port Augusta  is successfully growing high-value crops using seawater and sunlight in what would be considered extremely hostile conditions for horticulture.

With energy and water costs responsible for up to 70% of total farm expenses in some regions and irrigation accounting for 70 percent of the 3,240 cubic kilometres of water withdrawn for human use, Sundrop Farms’ progress is being keenly monitored.

The Sundrop Farms System uses solar power to desalinate seawater to produce freshwater for irrigation and to generate electricity to power its climate-controlled greenhouse.

The seawater based greenhouse ventilation also cleans and sterilises the air, making it possible to grow crops without chemical pesticides.

The Sundrop Farms System allows land normally not deemed suitable for agriculture or horticulture to produce large quantities of food. The company claims its hydroponics based greenhouse growing methods yield 15-30 times more produce per hectare than conventional field production.  Each hectare of Sundrop Farms greenhouses also directly employs between 5-7 people

Even the salt by-product of desalination has value – it’s mostly sold to third parties and some of the minerals are at times re-used in Sundrop Farms’ greenhouse as plant nutrients.

In addition to horticultural applications, the system can also be used for floriculture and aquaculture.

With modern food systems sometimes resulting in production occurring thousands of kilometres away from the point of consumption, Sundrop Farms type systems can also play a role in substantially reducing food miles; which can significantly add to the carbon footprint of food.

A planned 8 hectare expansion of the Port Augusta facility aims to produce 2.8 million kg of tomatoes and 1.2 million kg of peppers annually while saving the equivalent of approximately 4.6 million barrels of oil equivalent and 280 million litres of fresh water per year compared to a standard greenhouse in a similar location.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | solar, South Australia | 1 Comment

In coal hub Gladstone, solar energy powers 26% of housholds

map-Sunshine-CoastQuarter of houses rely on renewable energy http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/Why-we-rule-solar-race/2350835/   | 14th Aug 2014 DESPITE living in a coal-centric town, Gladstone residents are leading the nation in the switch to solar.

New figures reveal Gladstone homes are installing solar powered energy at rates faster than the rest of the country, coming in second on the list behind Bundaberg. About 26 per cent of Gladstone households are now relying on renewable energies.

Bundaberg tops the list with 38 per cent of households now solar users, with Mackay falling shortly behind at 23 per cent.

The Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie praised the efforts of Gladstone residents. “It’s great to see Gladstone residents are taking matters into their own hands, taking control of their power bills and reducing their carbon emissions at the same time,” she said. “Gladstone households already know that renewables make sense economically and environmentally, now it’s time for the rest of the country to catch up.”

Renewable energies are the one-way road to the future, according to local solar consultant Murray Kay. “We power the shop here entirely on solar,” he said.”Business has been great here in Gladstone. Solar is the way of the future.”

However, the solar versus coal argument presents a conundrum for local who invested in both the renewable and finite industries. On July 2, Queensland breached the negative energy price barrier for several hours, driven by the prevalence of rooftop solar.

This is not uncommon during the evening when power use is minimal. But on July 2, the milestone was reached in the middle of the day.

Regularly priced at around $40-$50 per megawatt hour, the plunge to zero confirmed solar was not only powering the state.

Predictions declare that 75 per cent of Australia’s residential buildings and 90 per cent of commercial buildings will be powered by rooftop solar in as little as ten years, according to UBS data.   It is estimated that the demand for electricity has plummeted by 13 per cent over the past four years.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Yawuru People lead Broome protest against fracking

Yawuru People – Making a stand against fracking reaching thousands of people as they make their way to the races in Broome today. Damian Kelly 13 Aug 14  http://handsoffcountry.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-ja-x.html

The Mining Company Buru – lead this risky environmental venture which could be just another failed attempt by a Company to run roughshod over communities in NW Australia. Woodside’s withdrawal from James Price Point in 2013 and more recently French nuclear power giant Areva has abandoned a Kimberley uranium project. With Buru’s falling share price, No Social Licence, delays and low cash flow the writing seems to be on the wall. Buru are also refusing to release information to the community regarding the chemicals they plan to use.

In short – Fracking is the process of drilling then injecting fluid, much of it toxic, into the ground at high pressure, to fracture gas-bearing rocks to release natural gas.

During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals can leak from wells and contaminate nearby groundwater. Broome draws its drinking water from the ground. Buru Energy have plans to frack the Kimberley. The US, there have been more than 1000 documented cases of water contamination near areas of gas drilling. Some of the countries that have banned fracking are France, Bulgaria and Northern Ireland. The Australian state of Victoria currently has a moratorium on fracking.

Here in WA the state Government fully supports fracking.

 

August 14, 2014 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

India uranium mining fuels health crisis

uranium-oreYet another example of how mining companies destroy local peoples lives Papua New Guinea Mine Watch 14 Aug 14 

“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.”

India uranium mining fuels health crisis

flag-indiaRadioactive waste generated in three government owned mines spurs health fears in eastern Jharkhand state.

Sanjay Pandey | Al Jazeera They took away my land,” 35-year-old Agnu Murmu told Al Jazeera, days before he died. “I begged them to give me a small truck… but they gifted me with cancer.”

Murmu, according to social activist Ghanshyam Birulee, was just the latest casualty of radiation pollution in Jadugoda, a tribal heartland in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

His house sits dangerously close to a tailing pond, where the government-run Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) discharges waste from its mining operations. Murmu’s mother said the family knew nothing about radiation when mining began here about five decades ago.

“Like other unsuspecting parents, I would also allow my children to play near the tailing pond and catch fish from the canal that I know now is contaminated by radiation pollution,” said Rakhi Murmu, 52, with tears spilling down her creased cheeks.

“Uranium mines have ruined our lives. I know they won’t rest till they bury us all in those pits.”

Spontaneous abortions and miscarriages

Radioactive waste generated by three government owned mines – Narwapahar, Bhatin and Jadugoda – has spurred fears of a health crisis in the region.

Residents say they suffer from a number of diseases linked to radiation pollution, including congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions and cancer – yet mining continues unabated near these Indian villages, without proper security measures in place.

Dumping of radioactive waste by the roadside or near the villages may be putting even more people at risk………

radiation pollution

Several surveys conducted by independent agencies, including Japan’s Kyoto University and India’s Jadavpur University, have confirmed radiation pollution in the air, water and soil in Jadugoda.

Independent nuclear scientist Sanghmitra Gadekar, who conducted a survey on 9,000 villagers living in and around mines, has documented cases of congenital deformities, infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and miscarriages……..

Guinea pigs?

Nitish Priyadarshi, a geologist who has surveyed radioactivity in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, said while uranium particles cannot travel that far, “its sister elements like radon gas, which damages lungs and kidney, can travel to the city and take the already high radioactivity to alarming levels.”…….

whatever the government policy, Jadugoda’s 50,000 tribal residents continue to stand exposed to a danger which the activists say “nobody cares about”.

“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.” http://ramumine.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/yet-another-example-of-how-mining-companies-destroy-local-peoples-lives/

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What the heck? – UK races past Australia on solar energy

sunflag-UKUK Outshines Australia For Solar Adoption  13 Aug 14 http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4441 Kudos to the UK, but Australians should be asking “what the heck??” regarding that nation outperforming our own for solar uptake.

Australia has significantly more solar resources and space, but the UK has recently run right past us on solar; slapping the back of our heads on the way through – even after somewhat of a delayed start.

According to NPD Solarbuzz, solar PV capacity in the United Kingdom has reached 5 gigawatts (GW). 90 percent of the total figure has been installed in just the last 3 years.

The UK is now one of only six countries to have joined the 5GW+ club – the others being Germany, China, United States, Italy and Japan.

“At 5 GW, solar PV capacity in the UK can now power nearly 6 percent of all UK households,” says NPD Solarbuzz.

Where there is a major difference between the UK and Australia is segmentation. Residential installations in the UK represent one-third of the 5 GW capacity – so around 1.66GW. In Australia, the bulk of our ~3.4GW capacity are small solar installations.

NPD Solarbuzz expects the UK’s total to continue to grow rapidly until the end of March next year, when policy changes that will slow down the large ground-mounted PV segment take effect.

Vice President of Solarbuzz Finlay Colville has posted a detailed explanation of the hows and whys of the UK’s massive solar growth on Solar Power Portal.

It just goes to show how fast solar can grow when policy settings are favourable, even in often dreary good old Blighty.

Meanwhile; in the land of sun, surf and sand; major renewable energy investment has been somewhat crippled thanks to the drawn out Renewable Energy Target review. The situation has sent some investors packing – and pending the outcome – perhaps to never return.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gas prices likely to soar above renewables costs

dollar 2Choosing Gas Could Cost 40% More Than Renewable Energy Clean Technica, August 13th, 2014  RenewEconomy By Sophie Vorrath

Relying on gas-fired electricity generation “as a serious option” for reducing greenhouse emissions and cleaning up Australia’s power sector could cost up to 40 per cent more than a shift to renewables, and leave Australian households $500 a year worse off, a new report has found.

The UNSW report found that rising and uncertain gas prices were likely to create a market where investment in renewable energy generation would become the cheaper and lower risk option for Australia.

In modelling from the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM), researchers compared the risks and uncertainties in using gas-fired electricity or renewable technologies as part of a low-carbon transition.

The results found that, electricity costs would be lower and more certain with a diverse portfolio of renewables – including wind, solar photovoltaics, hydro, and others – while electricity portfolios with heavy reliance on baseload gas-fired generation could result in 40 per cent higher wholesale electricity costs……….http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/13/choosing-gas-cost-40-renewable-energy/

August 14, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment