Australian news, and some related international items

Seven Australian solar facts to make your jaw drop — RenewEconomy

September has been a record month for solar PV in Australia. Let’s celebrate with seven facts – and two cool charts – to make your jaw drop. The post Seven Australian solar facts to make your jaw drop appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Seven Australian solar facts to make your jaw drop — RenewEconomy

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday 3 November: Adelaide. Rally – Don’t Dump on South Australlia

Don’t Dump on SA Rally on Kaurna Land at Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide at 11.30am on Saturday 3rd November.

Mara for Don’t Dump on SA

Last week we found out that the Barngarla Injunction hearing will go back to court on 30 January 2019. Here is a link to a statement from DIIS (the Department of Industry Innovation and Science). Yesterday there was an article in The Advertiser saying that the Minister’s decision may be delayed until next year.

With the ballot on hold, this rally is more important than ever. We need to come together and say NO to a radioactive waste dump in SA and ensure that the government ends this terrible site selection process.
We want the government to take all three sites in SA off the table and to hold an full independent inquiry into the best way to manage our most dangerous waste. They must stop targeting remote and regional areas and give Aboriginal people a right of veto for proposals that threaten their country and culture.
We want a huge presence at the rally to show Minister Canavan that he does NOT have broad community support for a waste dump in SA and that he can’t impose one on this unwilling community.
Please join us to show We Still Say No to Radioactive Waste in SA!
The rally will also voice opposition to another threat to Adnyamathanha country –  Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at Leigh Creek.
The facebook event is here: Please share and promote widely!
In the meantime, please send in submissions to DIIS opposing the dump, encourage everyone you know to do the same and please promote the rally.
We have a great lineup of speakers and performers. Please come along on 3rd November to show We Still Say NO to radioactive waste in SA!

October 27, 2018 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Australian govt documents name Whyalla, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln as possible ports for nuclear waste transport

Dan Monceaux shared a link.Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia
Group member, anti-nuclear campaigner and researcher David Noonan has advised that ports for the landing of Australia’s nuclear waste in SA (including reprocessed spent nuclear fuel) have been named in a series of technical papers published by the Australian government in July.

They include: Whyalla and Port Pirie (in the event of the Hawker site being chosen) and Whyalla, a yet-to-be-constructed port and Port Lincoln (should a site near Kimba be selected). Options are being explored regarding road and/or rail corridors.

October 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 2 Comments

Coalition votes down COAG push to keep climate on energy policy agenda — RenewEconomy

Federal and state Coalition governments vote down proposal for COAG to consider emissions as part of energy policy. The post Coalition votes down COAG push to keep climate on energy policy agenda appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Coalition votes down COAG push to keep climate on energy policy agenda — RenewEconomy

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coca-Cola to add 3.5MW solar across Australian operations — RenewEconomy

The shift to renewables by the giants of industry continues this week, with the news that Coca-Cola Amatil will install 3.5MW of solar, to cut its grid power usage in Australia by 14 per cent and its annual energy costs by up to $1.3 million. The 10,000-panel job, which will be managed by commercial solar……

via Coca-Cola to add 3.5MW solar across Australian operations — RenewEconomy

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Five Cheap Ways to Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere” • An assessment done by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlights a number of technologies that are available to be used right now to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it. The costs to do this range from $20 to […]

via October 26 Energy News — geoharvey

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UN human rights expert urges Japan to stop returning women and children to radioactive parts of Fukushima 

U.N. rights expert urges Japan to halt women and child evacuee returns to radioactive parts of Fukushima

KYODO  The Japanese government must halt the return of women and children displaced by the March 2011 nuclear disaster back to areas of Fukushima where radiation levels remain high, a U.N. human rights expert said Thursday.

The special rapporteur on hazardous substances, Baskut Tuncak, also criticized in his statement the government’s gradual removal of evacuation orders for most of the radioactive areas as well as its plan to lift all orders within the next five years, even for the most contaminated areas.

“The gradual lifting of evacuation orders has created enormous strains on people whose lives have already been affected by the worst nuclear disaster of this century. Many feel they are being forced to return to areas that are unsafe,” he said.

An official of Japan’s permanent mission to the international organizations in Geneva rebuffed the statement, saying it is based on extremely one-sided information and could fan unnecessary fears about Fukushima.

Tuncak expressed concerns about people returning to areas with radiation above 1 millisievert per year, a level previously observed by Japan as an annual limit so as to prevent risks to the health of vulnerable people, especially children and women of reproductive age.

“It is disappointing to see Japan appear to all but ignore the 2017 recommendation of the U.N. human rights monitoring mechanism to return back to what it considered an acceptable dose of radiation before the nuclear disaster,” he said.

In the wake of the Fukushima reactor meltdowns, the Japanese government heightened the annually acceptable level of radiation to 20 millisieverts, raising concerns for the health of residents.

In August, Tuncak and two other U.N. human rights experts jointly criticized the Japanese government for allegedly exploiting and putting at risk the lives of “tens of thousands” of people engaged in cleanup operations at and around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a claim Tokyo dismissed.

October 27, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Need for awareness on the cancer risks associated with nuclear medicine

October 27, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

ZEN Energy and the stunning solar future for South Australia

Natural Advantage14 years ago, Richard Turner rigged up a solar-powered battery to bring some modern convenience to his kids’ cubby house. In 2018, after an incredible journey, the business is ready to revolutionise the economy and transform our state’s prosperity.

City Mag, Joshua Fanning, 26 Oct 18 …….It’s 2018 and renewable energy has turned the corner.

Established in 2004 in South Australia, ZEN Energy was created by Richard to get solar powered battery storage into Australian homes.

In 2010 ZEN was the state’s fastest growing company. In 2012, BRW magazine wrote up ZEN as the fourth fastest growing company in the country.

This year, British billionaire industrialist Sanjeev Gupta bought 50.1 per cent of ZEN, creating the new entity SIMEC ZEN Energy as part of his plan to own the power supply to the Whyalla Steelworks – purchased in 2017.

Gupta’s plan for ZEN is simple: power the steelworks and the associated businesses nationally with the cheapest electricity available. And in 2018 the cheapest electricity available is renewable.

But cheap doesn’t come easy. ZEN Energy is only around for Sanjeev Gupta to invest in because a lot of hard work across many generations has come before it………..

Richard isn’t mad the State Government awarded Tesla the contract for the Hornsdale battery; in many ways the Tesla brand cleared the political path for action. Richard is more frustrated by the language and mindset of the state that seems – at so many levels – to believe it’s helpless.

Tech-billionaire batteries and steel factory saviours make good headlines – but ZEN Energy tells the far more credible story of this state’s ongoing industry, creativity and resilience.

It just so happens that ZEN Energy’s story starts in a cubby house in a suburban backyard.

Richard’s children Laura and James wanted to put a little light and TV in the cubby house to make it feel more homely and play later into the evening, and so Richard scooped the kids up into the car and headed for the local hobby shop to see what they could buy. The family bought a little solar panel, a regulator, a converter and a battery. Richard recalls the guy at the shop pulling out a whiteboard marker and writing Ohm’s Law on the shop’s whiteboard.

Watts = Volts x Amps.

Rigging up the system and flicking the switch, a light went on in Richard’s mind at the same time as he lit up his kid’s cubby house. There was a business here……….

“South Australia could be the Middle East of the new world,” says Richard.

The statement catches us off guard both in its simplicity and its severity.

“We’ve got the very best renewable energy generation resource in the world,” says Richard.

“We’ve got the best sun here. We’ve got the best wind here. We’ve got these unique wind patterns that come across the roaring forties, across the Australian Bight that split up and down the Eyre Peninsula. We have nearly two gigawatts of wind power here, and there’s bugger all in the rest of Australia.”

But it’s not the raw product Richard is referring to explicitly when he says South Australia could be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. Richard is talking about the whole value chain of the renewable economy epitomised by Sanjeev’s GFG Alliance.

Liberty One Steel in Whyalla (as it has been renamed) and its associated heavy industry across the country will have massive demand for electricity. ZEN will be the clean, green and low-cost energy supply. Off the back of our natural and renewable resources, Richard forecasts radical change in the fortunes of this state.

“When we produce the very lowest cost of power you’re going to have all this new industry evolve. All these traditional industries will revive and gravitate to the region and will employ five times as many people as you employed in a coal-fired power station,” says Richard.

Whyalla – a town built for 100,000 people – has never had more than a quarter of that live there. “We can see, in five years, there’ll be close to 100,000 in Whyalla,” says Richard.

And with low-cost energy we can start to refine – not just mine.

Richard skips from the lithium to graphite reserves of Australia (graphite makes up lithium ion batteries 30 per cent by weight). He speaks with vigour about our clean hydrogen future – hydrogen being a huge and growing fuel source for the energy intensive economies of Korea and Japan who don’t have the renewable energy resources of South Australia.

Sanjeev Gupta will build cars in Australia – electric vehicles – Richard confirms. They’ll be built in either Victoria or South Australia. Regardless of where the cars are built, Richard says, “all the car metals and composite materials will come out of our own factories, powered by the natural energy of the sun”.

Within three-to-five years, renewables will become the dominant energy source in Australia – with coal and gas very much playing a secondary role to fill gaps in energy supply until new hydro facilities come online. Vast arrays of batteries will support critical areas prone to power fluctuations and the national energy regulator AEMO has committed to running immediate pilot programs in the worst affected areas.

Grid scale batteries will reduce severe outages by kicking into action microseconds after a power fluctuation occurs, effectively stabilising the grid. The stability these batteries will create is already causing the industry to predict electricity prices to fall by up to 30 per cent next year.

From bottom of the ladder in the old fossil-fuel energy system, South Australia is set to jump to the top in the new, renewable energy economy. And while the headlines published in our daily paper may continue to put us down, the story of this next stage in our state’s history is far more fantastic.

“South Australia is going to have the most abundant, stable electricity production centre in Australia and probably on earth,” says Richard – a fifth generation South Australian. “In years to come you won’t want to be protecting SA’s power – you’ll be exporting it both interstate and around the world.”

October 27, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | 1 Comment

Note to Cory Berardi. Nuclear power plants do not really mitigate global warming

Here is the MIT white paper whereby the Conservative Senator promotes nuclear power for decarbonisation of S.Aust electricity generation [18 pages].
What this paper (like most pro-nuke promo’s) fails to mention is that building & then operating a NPP instigates massive upfront carbon deficit thereby INCREASING GHGE; then it takes decades of no probs operation to slowly claw back that initial spike in anthropogenic global warming. And the more you build the greater that initial shock to the biosphere.
All NPP carbon offset claims depend upon whole life 25-40+year scenario’s: NPPs do not somehow magically produce instant carbon mitigation.

October 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Only a few years left, for action on climate change – but do we care?

The reality is we just don’t care enough about climate change, WA Today, By Harold Mitchell, 24 October 2018  “………The recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change is endorsed by Sachs and he says: “Time is short. We love our lives and all we and our forebears have accomplished, yet there is a tremendous fragility that we don’t always see. We can’t take this great life for granted.”

The key point is that we have little more than 12 years to stop increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It’s now 26 years since the first Rio earth summit when the world agreed to avoid dangerous climate change. Sachs argues we are not doing enough.

But why aren’t we? Well, it’s all about our politicians being re-elected. Even though many of them believe that action is required, many feel they will not lose their seats if they support inaction…. Power prices today are more important to them than a liveable world for the children of tomorrow.

Polling organisations such as the Lowy Institute, The Australia Institute, CSIRO, and our own Foreseechange consistently show that most people in Australia believe the climate is changing and that we should act now, even if it is costly to do so.

But polling also shows that climate change is not regarded as important an issue for the future as others. Issues of highest future concern are cost of living, security of personal information, housing affordability, and congestion on the roads. Climate change is perceived to be the ninth most important concern about the future, out of 12 issues measured.

Plainly real leadership is required and Sach’s favourite president was JFK, because of his resistance to “dumbing down” important issues for a few votes. Sachs quotes the great president’s inauguration speech: “For man holds in his hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life”. He was speaking of nuclear war but could have added our ability to destroy millions of species including ourselves.

I’m also an admirer of JFK and I agree with him when he said: “The ignorance of one voter in democracy impairs the security of all.”

October 27, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Things are crook for the Liberals, when the IPA blasts them on energy policies!

Institute of Public Affairs blasts Coalition’s ‘un-Liberal’ energy policies.  IPA’s John Roskam says government should ‘stop all subsidies to coal, wind and anything else’ Paul Karp @Paul_Karp, 27 Oct 2018 The Institute of Public Affairs has blasted the Morrison government’s “big stick” in energy policy – a threat to break up energy companies in a bid to lower prices – accusing it of breaching Liberal values and endangering investment.

The IPA executive director, John Roskam, told Guardian Australia that “heavy-handed intervention” was “positively un-Liberal” and would open the door for Labor to campaign on policies bashing big businesses – which are “simply responding to the policy settings the government itself has created” to make a profit.

Roskam also warned against any form of subsidy for electricity generation including renewables subsidies, underwriting new power generation and indemnifying coal power against a possible future carbon price.

The intervention from the influential rightwing thinktank exposes divisions in the conservative side of politics on energy policy. Some, including MP Craig Kelly and former prime minister Tony Abbott, have called for an end to renewable subsidies and withdrawal from the Paris agreement, in line with demands from the IPA.

The Morrison government has indicated it wants to preserve popular solar subsidies and to stay in Paris while it pushes ahead with competition measures to lower price in the absence of a policy to reduce emissions by 2030.

Roskam said breaking up energy companies “continues the trend of targeting particular industries” as the Coalition did with the bank tax in the 2017 budget and would “further confuse Australians” about what it stands for.

“The idea that the government would determine the shape and size of the industry in this way cuts across every principle of the Liberal party,” he said. “If you want a guarantee that nobody will ever invest in Australia again, this is how you do it.”

The Coalition has promised policies to encourage new generation – including providing a floor price, contracts for difference and government loans – and has not ruled out using those measures to support new coal-fired power stations.

The energy minister, Angus Taylor, has said the government should address investors’ concerns about “political risks”, in a sign it could also indemnify coal power against future emissions reduction policies such as a carbon price. Taylor has also said there is “no plan” to change the small-scale renewable energy scheme.

Roskam said the government should “stop all subsidies to coal, wind and anything else” because “picking winners should be an anathema to the Liberal party”.

Although the IPA wants to see more coal power, Roskam said the government should “reduce the regulatory barriers to them being funded”, not keep the barriers and overcome them with subsidies……

……. Roskam said the Liberal Party is “hopelessly conflicted on climate change” and “riven down the middle”…….

Despite the suggestion emissions and price reductions are incompatible, renewables are forecast to lower prices while coal subsidies would increase energy costs……


October 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Climate change an increasing problem for nuclear power stations

October 27, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste: Beneficial or a permanent burden? — Nuclear Exhaust

Let me give the nuclear industry first go with this: The following is reproduced from : “World Nuclear Association, Radioactive Waste – Myths and Realities(Updated May 2017) at “There are a number of pervasive myths regarding both radiation and radioactive waste. Some lead to regulation and actions which are counterproductive to human health and […]

via Nuclear waste: Beneficial or a permanent burden? — Nuclear Exhaust

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Artificial” vs “Natural” radiation emitters – Is there a difference. — Nuclear Exhaust

Nuclear industry uses fuel. It needs fuel which is capable of nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is ” In nuclear fission the nucleus of an atom breaks up into two lighter nuclei.” The fuel commonly used by nuclear industry is uranium. Fission is not the same decay. Radioactive decay is described here: “As an unstable […]

via “Artificial” vs “Natural” radiation emitters – Is there a difference. — Nuclear Exhaust

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment