Australian news, and some related international items

Sydney leads in Australian cities’ push for renewable energy

The City of Sydney, by contrast, is currently meeting around 14 per cent of its electricity demand with renewables, on a path to 50 per cent by 2030. Recently, it made a second attempt to convince Australia’s energy rule maker to encourage decentralised energy – such as solar and battery storage – by removing some of the market barriers and making the rules fairer.

The City of Melbourne has a renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2018

The City of Adelaide is also targeting net zero emissions by 2050

And the ACT leads the push to renewables,

Sydney steps up action on climate, aims for 50% renewables by 2030  By Sophie Vorrath on 16 May 2017

A City of Sydney proposal to double down on local government sustainability and climate targets has been unanimously supported by council, adding stronger environmental targets and greater support for technology and digital infrastructure to the city’s already ambitious plan.

First adopted in 2008, the Sustainable Sydney 2030 action plan will now be updated by council with a reinforced commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, sourcing half of its energy from renewables by 2030 and zero increase in water usage.

The refresh of the document also confirms the City’s alignment with the 100 Resilient Cities initiative and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Solar panels and the law: Can you stop your neighbour from blocking your sunlight?

It’s a problem central Adelaide resident Jo Thomas was forced to confront when she learned a developer had plans to build a four-storey building next door.

Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, solar | Leave a comment

Victoria’s grid could be dominated by wind and solar

Network owner Ausnet sees grid dominated by wind and solar By Giles Parkinson on 16 May 2017

Ausnet Services, the largest operator of electricity and gas networks in Victoria, has given its vision of what the grid of the future might look like in that state – and it is one dominated by wind and solar.

That is probably not surprising, given that the state government is likely to have its target of 40 per cent renewable energy generation by 2025 locked into legislation in the next few months. But it does reflect how quickly the nature of generation in the state most dependent on brown coal will change. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | solar, Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Highly Radioactive Liquid from Canada Raises Concerns about Worker Safety at the Savannah River Site

 Hotspot on Unloading Equipment Reveals Failed Radiation Shielding, Beyond Nuclear 17 May 17  Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina— According to a U.S. federal agency document just released on Friday May 12, the first of 100-150 truckloads of highly radioactive liquid waste from Canada has been unloaded at the Savannah River Site, and the transfer container has not provided fully adequate radiological shielding to protect workers.

A document published by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), a U.S. federal agency, has confirmed that the first truck shipment of “Target Residue Material (TRM),” or “liquid Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU),” arrived from Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) HCanyon in SRS, the week ending April 21. (The document was not made publicly available until May 12, however).
The DNFSB document went on to report that “Each container of HEU is pulled from the shipping cask into a shielded “pig” that provides radiological shielding for HCanyon personnel. After loading a pig, radiological protection (RP) identified an unexpected hotspot on the side of the pig indicating that the pig was not providing adequate radiological shielding……..

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry in its death throes?

This is no short-term trend.  While gas and renewables get cheaper, the price of nuclear power only rises. 

Most environmentalists are ardent opponents of the nuclear industry. For many the prime concern is its poor safety record. Others recoil at the inescapable technological link to nuclear weapons production and at nuclear’s many unresolved problems

Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?, Yale Environment 360  From Europe to Japan to the U.S., nuclear power is in retreat, as plants are being shuttered, governments move toward renewables, and key companies face financial troubles. Even some of the industry’s biggest boosters believe nuclear is on the way out.   Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes?  Even some nuclear enthusiasts believe so. With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear — existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment