Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Prime Minister’s words offer hope to Assange faithful,17072, By John Jiggens | 15 December 2022,

In Parliament recently, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gave his most powerful statement yet in response to a question about Julian Assange’s persecution, writes Dr John Jiggens.

ON 30 NOVEMBER in Parliament, Independent “Teal” member for Kooyong Monique Ryan asked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese what his Government was doing to support Julian Assange.

Ryan stated: 

“Journalists obtaining and publishing sensitive information is in the public interest and essential to democracy. Julian Assange is still detained in Belmarsh prison, charged by a foreign government with acts of journalism.” 

She asked the Prime Minister bluntly:

 “Will the government intervene to bring Mr Assange home?” 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese responded with his most powerful statement yet on the Assange question: 

Some time ago, I made my point that enough is enough. It is time for this matter to be brought to a conclusion. The Government will continue to act in a diplomatic way. But can I assure the member for Kooyong that I have raised this personally with representatives of the United States Government.

My position is clear and has been made clear to the U.S. Administration. I will continue to advocate as I did recently in meetings that I have held. I thank the member for her question and for her genuine interest in this, along with so many Australian citizens.

Albanese questions pointless legal action against Assange

While the PM continues to voice his support for Julian Assange, some are concerned that our allegiance to the USA has become an obstacle to action being taken.

I asked John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father – who recently spoke in Brisbane – what he thought of Anthony Albanese’s comments.

He replied in his characteristic generous way by first praising Monique Ryan for her question — adding he thought she would make a magnificent contribution to parliament as she had done in her previous medical career. 

Shipton said:

“As for Anthony Albanese, he stands firmly alongside 88 per cent [referring to a recent poll] of the Australian population in firmly requesting that Julian be returned home to Australia to his family and home, and for this, we give our very warm support.” 

Monique Ryan’s question came just days after five leading media outlets released an open letter denouncing the U.S. prosecution of Julian Assange.

The letter, from editors and publishers of The New York Times, The GuardianLe MondeDer Spiegel and El País, which had been media partners with WikiLeaks in publicising the Chelsea Manning material, warned that the Assange indictment sets a dangerous precedent and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

The letter declared:

‘Publishing is not a crime.’

John Shipton was pleased with this development too. For many years, he said, the most important institutions in legacy media have abandoned Julian — in fact, assisted in bringing about the decline in Julian’s public persona.

Said Shipton:

Legacy media, making such an important statement from the most important media outlets in the Western world — particularly ‘The New York Times’ which seem to be very close to the White House and to the Democratic Party – coming from ‘The New York Times’, this is vital assistance in bringing Julian home to Australia. The persecution of Julian Assange by the United Kingdom and the United States must stop. 

Others central to the Assange campaign also commented on Albanese’s response to Ryan’s question.

Said Gabriel Shipton, brother of Julian Assange:

“Finally the Prime Minister has publicly called for this endless persecution of Australian publisher Julian Assange to be brought to an end. Australians will be keenly watching to see how the U.S. reacts and if it will respect the calls of the Australian public and Government to show mercy to Australian citizen Julian Assange.”

Assange campaign legal advisor Greg Barns SC declared:

When an Australian prime minister raises concerns about an Australian citizen’s treatment by the U.S., it is a serious matter, given the strength of the alliance between the two countries. It is clear that Mr Albanese understands the injustice of the Assange case. Australians rightly expect their government to intervene in cases where Australians are detained overseas in unjust circumstances.

Said Assange campaign solicitor Stephen Kenny:

It was reassuring to hear the words of the Prime Minister. However, words need to be backed by action and we would hope that the Prime Minister’s representation has been heard in the United States. Action from the United States will determine if our Prime Minister has any influence in our relationship with the United States. For Julian’s sake, I sincerely hope he does.

December 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion ambitions in Australia from a coalition of technology companies – a dodgy dream?

Tech coalition aiming to create Australian high-powered laser industry with nuclear fusion ambitions.

Proponents say lasers can be used to generate energy but others say fusion power unlikely to ‘save us from climate change’

Donna Lu, 15 Dec 22,

A coalition of technology companies intend to create a high-intensity laser industry in Australia, with potential applications including nuclear fusion.

It follows reports of an expected announcement from the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California that researchers have managed to get more energy out of a nuclear fusion reaction than they put in.

The coalition, led by the Australian laser fusion company HB11 Energy, also includes the University of Adelaide, the Institute of Laser Engineering at Osaka University, the Japanese laser fusion firm EX-Fusion, and the French engineering multinational Thales Group………..

“The same lasers can be used, for instance, for the transmutation of fission radioactive waste – essentially reducing the half-life of radioactive waste from hundreds or thousands of years to tens of years,” – Dr Warren McKenzie, founder and managing director of HB11 Energy………………….

Prof Ken Baldwin of the Australian National University described the NIF’s apparent advancement as “a truly groundbreaking achievement”, but said it was unlikely fusion power would “save us from climate change”.

All the heavy lifting for the energy transition will be done by renewable energy and nuclear fission (existing nuclear power) – with nuclear fusion at commercial scale unlikely to be available until later this century, well after the 2050 deadline needed to keep global warming below two degrees. But beyond that, fusion might provide limitless energy for centuries to come,” Baldwin said in a statement.

Mark Diesendorf, an associate professor and deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of New South Wales, agreed that fusion was “decades away from any possibility of commercial electricity generation”.

“There’s a huge gap between this experiment – which I really would hesitate to call a breakthrough – and what has to be done to get commercial electricity out,” he said.

“There’s an intense pulse of laser radiation for a tiny fraction of a second. Then the question is: during that tiny fraction of second, did they get more fusion energy out than they put in?” Diesendorf said. “To generate electricity, what you’ve got to do is to have thousands and thousands … perhaps millions of these pulses a day successfully getting more energy out. And then you’ve got to capture that energy.”

Diesendorf also warned of the risk of nuclear proliferation, pointing out that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where the fusion breakthrough was made, is a nuclear weapons research facility.

“Fusion produces neutrons and neutrons can be used to transmute elements – so you can get nuclear explosives such as plutonium-239 and uranium-233 and uranium-235,” Diesendorf said. “You can also produce lots of tritium … an essential component of nuclear bombs in missiles.”……………………..

December 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, technology | Leave a comment

Dismantling Sellafield: the epic task of shutting down a nuclear site

Nothing is produced at Sellafield anymore. But making safe what is left behind is an almost unimaginably expensive and complex task that requires us to think not on a human timescale, but a planetary one

Guardian, by Samanth Subramanian 15 Dec 22,

“……………………………………………………………………….. Laid out over six square kilometres, Sellafield is like a small town, with nearly a thousand buildings, its own roads and even a rail siding – all owned by the government, and requiring security clearance to visit………. having driven through a high-security gate, you’re surrounded by towering chimneys, pipework, chugging cooling plants, everything dressed in steampunk. The sun bounces off metal everywhere. In some spots, the air shakes with the noise of machinery. It feels like the most manmade place in the world.

Since it began operating in 1950, Sellafield has had different duties. First it manufactured plutonium for nuclear weapons. Then it generated electricity for the National Grid, until 2003. It also carried out years of fuel reprocessing: extracting uranium and plutonium from nuclear fuel rods after they’d ended their life cycles. The very day before I visited Sellafield, in mid-July, the reprocessing came to an end as well. It was a historic occasion. From an operational nuclear facility, Sellafield turned into a full-time storage depot – but an uncanny, precarious one, filled with toxic nuclear waste that has to be kept contained at any cost.

Nothing is produced at Sellafield any more. Which was just as well, because I’d gone to Sellafield not to observe how it lived but to understand how it is preparing for its end. Sellafield’s waste – spent fuel rods, scraps of metal, radioactive liquids, a miscellany of other debris – is parked in concrete silos, artificial ponds and sealed buildings. Some of these structures are growing, in the industry’s parlance, “intolerable”, atrophied by the sea air, radiation and time itself. If they degrade too much, waste will seep out of them, poisoning the Cumbrian soil and water.

To prevent that disaster, the waste must be hauled out, the silos destroyed and the ponds filled in with soil and paved over. The salvaged waste will then be transferred to more secure buildings that will be erected on site. But even that will be only a provisional arrangement, lasting a few decades. Nuclear waste has no respect for human timespans. The best way to neutralise its threat is to move it into a subterranean vault, of the kind the UK plans to build later this century.

Once interred, the waste will be left alone for tens of thousands of years, while its radioactivity cools. Dealing with all the radioactive waste left on site is a slow-motion race against time, which will last so long that even the grandchildren of those working on site will not see its end. The process will cost at least £121bn.

Compared to the longevity of nuclear waste, Sellafield has only been around for roughly the span of a single lunch break within a human life. Still, it has lasted almost the entirety of the atomic age, witnessing both its earliest follies and its continuing confusions. In 1954, Lewis Strauss, the chair of the US Atomic Energy Commission, predicted that nuclear energy would make electricity “too cheap to meter”. That forecast has aged poorly. The main reason power companies and governments aren’t keener on nuclear power is not that activists are holding them back or that uranium is difficult to find, but that producing it safely is just proving too expensive.

… The short-termism of policymaking neglected any plans that had to be made for the abominably lengthy, costly life of radioactive waste. I kept being told, at Sellafield, that science is still trying to rectify the decisions made in undue haste three-quarters of a century ago. Many of the earliest structures here, said Dan Bowman, the head of operations at one of Sellafield’s two waste storage ponds, “weren’t even built with decommissioning in mind”.

As a result, Bowman admitted, Sellafield’s scientists are having to invent, mid-marathon, the process of winding the site down – and they’re finding that they still don’t know enough about it. They don’t know exactly what they’ll find in the silos and ponds. They don’t know how much time they’ll need to mop up all the waste, or how long they’ll have to store it, or what Sellafield will look like afterwards. The decommissioning programme is laden “with assumptions and best guesses”, Bowman told me. It will be finished a century or so from now. Until then, Bowman and others will bend their ingenuity to a seemingly self-contradictory exercise: dismantling Sellafield while keeping it from falling apart along the way.

To take apart an ageing nuclear facility, you have to put a lot of other things together first. New technologies, for instance, and new buildings to replace the intolerable ones, and new reserves of money. (That £121bn price tag may swell further.) All of Sellafield is in a holding pattern, trying to keep waste safe until it can be consigned to the ultimate strongroom: the geological disposal facility (GDF), bored hundreds of metres into the Earth’s rock, a project that could cost another £53bn. Even if a GDF receives its first deposit in the 2040s, the waste has to be delivered and put away with such exacting caution that it can be filled and closed only by the middle of the 22nd century.

Anywhere else, this state of temporariness might induce a mood of lax detachment, like a transit lounge to a frequent flyer. But at Sellafield, with all its caches of radioactivity, the thought of catastrophe is so ever-present that you feel your surroundings with a heightened keenness. At one point, when we were walking through the site, a member of the Sellafield team pointed out three different waste storage facilities within a 500-metre radius. The spot where we stood on the road, he said, “is probably the most hazardous place in Europe”.

Sellafield’s waste comes in different forms and potencies. Spent fuel rods and radioactive pieces of metal rest in skips, which in turn are submerged in open, rectangular ponds, where water cools them and absorbs their radiation. The skips have held radioactive material for so long that they themselves count as waste. The pond beds are layered with nuclear sludge: degraded metal wisps, radioactive dust and debris. Discarded cladding, peeled off fuel rods like banana-skins, fills a cluster of 16-metre-deep concrete silos partially sunk into the earth.

More dangerous still are the 20 tonnes of melted fuel inside a reactor that caught fire in 1957 and has been sealed off and left alone ever since. Somewhere on the premises, Sellafield has also stored the 140 tonnes of plutonium it has purified over the decades. It’s the largest such hoard of plutonium in the world, but it, too, is a kind of waste, simply because nobody wants it for weapons any more, or knows what else to do with it.


………………………………… I only ever saw a dummy of a spent fuel rod; the real thing would have been a metre long, weighed 10-12kg, and, when it emerged from a reactor, run to temperatures of 2,800C, half as hot as the surface of the sun. In a reactor, hundreds of rods of fresh uranium fuel slide into a pile of graphite blocks. Then a stream of neutrons, usually emitted by an even more radioactive metal such as californium, is directed into the pile. Those neutrons generate more neutrons out of uranium atoms, which generate still more neutrons out of other uranium atoms, and so on, the whole process begetting vast quantities of heat that can turn water into steam and drive turbines.

During this process, some of the uranium atoms, randomly but very usefully, absorb darting neutrons, yielding heavier atoms of plutonium: the stuff of nuclear weapons. The UK’s earliest reactors – a type called Magnox – were set up to harvest plutonium for bombs; the electricity was a happy byproduct. The government built 26 such reactors across the country. They’re all being decommissioned now, or awaiting demolition. It turned out that if you weren’t looking to make plutonium nukes to blow up cities, Magnox was a pretty inefficient way to light up homes and power factories.

For most of the latter half of the 20th century, one of Sellafield’s chief tasks was reprocessing. Once uranium and plutonium were extracted from used fuel rods, it was thought, they could be stored safely – and perhaps eventually resold, to make money on the side. Beginning in 1956, spent rods came to Cumbria from plants across the UK, but also by sea from customers in Italy and Japan. Sellafield has taken in nearly 60,000 tonnes of spent fuel, more than half of all such fuel reprocessed anywhere in the world. The rods arrived at Sellafield by train, stored in cuboid “flasks” with corrugated sides, each weighing about 50 tonnes and standing 1.5 metres tall.

………….. at last, the reprocessing plant will be placed on “fire watch”, visited periodically to ensure nothing in the building is going up in flames, but otherwise left alone for decades for its radioactivity to dwindle, particle by particle.

ike malign glitter, radioactivity gets everywhere, turning much of what it touches into nuclear waste. The humblest items – a paper towel or a shoe cover used for just a second in a nuclear environment – can absorb radioactivity, but this stuff is graded as low-level waste; it can be encased in a block of cement and left outdoors. (Cement is an excellent shield against radiation. A popular phrase in the nuclear waste industry goes: “When in doubt, grout.”) Even the paper towel needs a couple of hundred years to shed its radioactivity and become safe, though. A moment of use, centuries of quarantine: radiation tends to twist time all out of proportion.

On the other hand, high-level waste – the byproduct of reprocessing – is so radioactive that its containers will give off heat for thousands of years. …………………………….

Waste can travel incognito, to fatal effect: radioactive atoms carried by the wind or water, entering living bodies, riddling them with cancer, ruining them inside out. During the 1957 reactor fire at Sellafield, a radioactive plume of particles poured from the top of a 400-foot chimney. A few days later, some of these particles were detected as far away as Germany and Norway. Near Sellafield, radioactive iodine found its way into the grass of the meadows where dairy cows grazed, so that samples of milk taken in the weeks after the fire showed 10 times the permissible level. The government had to buy up milk from farmers living in 500 sq km around Sellafield and dump it in the Irish Sea.

From the outset, authorities hedged and fibbed. For three days, no one living in the area was told about the gravity of the accident, or even advised to stay indoors and shut their windows. Workers at Sellafield, reporting their alarming radiation exposure to their managers, were persuaded that they’d “walk [it] off on the way home”, the Daily Mirror reported at the time. A government inquiry was then held, but its report was not released in full until 1988. For nearly 30 years, few people knew that the fire dispersed not just radioactive iodine but also polonium, far more deadly. The estimated toll of cancer deaths has been revised upwards continuously, from 33 to 200 to 240. Sellafield took its present name only in 1981, in part to erase the old name, Windscale, and the associated memories of the fire.

The invisibility of radiation and the opacity of governments make for a bad combination. Sellafield hasn’t suffered an accident of equivalent scale since the 1957 fire, but the niggling fear that some radioactivity is leaking out of the facility in some fashion has never entirely vanished. In 1983, a Sellafield pipeline discharged half a tonne of radioactive solvent into the sea. British Nuclear Fuels Limited, the government firm then running Sellafield, was fined £10,000. Around the same time, a documentary crew found higher incidences than expected of leukaemia among children in some surrounding areas. A government study concluded that radiation from Sellafield wasn’t to blame. Perhaps, the study suggested, the leukaemia had an undetected, infectious cause.

It was no secret that Sellafield kept on site huge stashes of spent fuel rods, waiting to be reprocessed. This was lucrative work. An older reprocessing plant on site earned £9bn over its lifetime, half of it from customers overseas. But the pursuit of commercial reprocessing turned Sellafield and a similar French site into “de facto waste dumps”, the journalist Stephanie Cooke found in her book In Mortal Hands. Sellafield now requires £2bn a year to maintain. What looked like a smart line of business back in the 1950s has now turned out to be anything but. With every passing year, maintaining the world’s costliest rubbish dump becomes more and more commercially calamitous.

The expenditure rises because structures age, growing more rickety, more prone to mishap. In 2005, in an older reprocessing plant at Sellafield, 83,000 litres of radioactive acid – enough to fill a few hundred bathtubs – dripped out of a ruptured pipe. The plant had to be shut down for two years; the cleanup cost at least £300m. …………………………………………………………………………….

Waste disposal is a completely solved problem,” Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, declared in 1979. He was right, but only in theory. The nuclear industry certainly knew about the utility of water, steel and concrete as shields against radioactivity, and by the 1970s, the US government had begun considering burying reactor waste in a GDF. But Teller was glossing over the details, namely: the expense of keeping waste safe, the duration over which it has to be maintained, the accidents that could befall it, the fallout of those accidents. Four decades on, not a single GDF has begun to operate anywhere in the world. Teller’s complete solution is still a hypothesis.

Instead, there have been only interim solutions, although to a layperson, even these seem to have been conceived in some scientist’s intricate delirium. High-level waste, like the syrupy liquor formed during reprocessing, has to be cooled first, in giant tanks. Then it is vitrified: mixed with three parts glass beads and a little sugar, until it turns into a hot block of dirty-brown glass. (The sugar reduces the waste’s volatility. “We like to get ours from Tate & Lyle,” Eva Watson-Graham, a Sellafield information officer, said.) Since 1991, stainless steel containers full of vitrified waste, each as tall as a human, have been stacked 10-high in a warehouse. If you stand on the floor above them, Watson-Graham said, you can still sense a murmuring warmth on the soles of your shoes.

Even this elaborate vitrification is insufficient in the long, long, long run. Fire or flood could destroy Sellafield’s infrastructure. Terrorists could try to get at the nuclear material. Governments change, companies fold, money runs out. Nations dissolve. Glass degrades. The ground sinks and rises, so that land becomes sea and sea becomes land. The contingency planning that scientists do today – the kind that wasn’t done when the industry was in its infancy – contends with yawning stretches of time. Hence the GDF: a terrestrial cavity to hold waste until its dangers have dried up and it becomes as benign as the surrounding rock.

A glimpse of such an endeavour is available already, beneath Finland. From Helsinki, if you drive 250km west, then head another half-km down, you will come to a warren of tunnels called Onkalo…………. If Onkalo begins operating on schedule, in 2025, it will be the world’s first GDF for spent fuel and high-level reactor waste – 6,500 tonnes of the stuff, all from Finnish nuclear stations. It will cost €5.5bn and is designed to be safe for a million years. The species that is building it, Homo sapiens, has only been around for a third of that time.

………. In the 2120s, once it has been filled, Onkalo will be sealed and turned over to the state. Other countries also plan to banish their nuclear waste into GDFs…. more

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can France rely on its nuclear fleet for a low-carbon 2050?

Map above refers to 2016 – many of the nuclear plants above are not currently in operation

Nuclear Engineering International, 14 Dec 22,

EDF has not shown its 900 MW units can be operated that far ahead, says ASN’s annual assessment of nuclear safety in France. Decisions have to be taken soon if nuclear is to play a big part in 2050 – and a ‘Marshall Plan’ is needed to rebuild the industry’s capability

France may have to go back to the drawing board with regard to options for decarbonising its economy, because assumptions it has made on the lifetime of the 900 MW reactors in its nuclear fleet may be unwarranted.

That was the warning in French nuclear safety authority ASN’s annual report on safety in the country’s nuclear industries.

The annual “ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021”, published earlier this year, warned of “new energy policy prospects which must address safety concerns at once”. And it reminded operators that “quality and rigour in the design, manufacture and oversight of nuclear facilities, which were not up to the required level in the latest major nuclear projects conducted in France, constitute the first level of Defence in Depth in terms of safety.”

ASN noted that five of the six scenarios presented in a report by French system operator Re´seau de Transport d’Electricite´ (RTE) report on “Energies of the future”, which aims to achieve a decarbonised economy by 2050, are based on continued operation of the existing nuclear fleet. But with regard to the 900 MW fleet, ASN says, it cannot say that those plants can be operated beyond 50 years, based on information it received during the generic examination of the fourth periodic safety review of that reactor series. It added, “Due to the specific features of some reactors, it might not be possible, with the current methods, to demonstrate their ability to operate up to 60 years”.

EDF has 32 operating 900 MWe reactors commissioned between 1978 and 1987 and they are reaching their fourth periodic safety review. This safety review has “particular challenges”, ASN says. In particular:

Some items of equipment are reaching their design-basis lifetime……………………

Too optimistic on new-build?

The safety authority also noted that one RTE scenario had almost 50% nuclear in its electricity mix in 2050. It said, consultation with industry revealed that the rate of construction of new nuclear reactors in order to achieve such a level would be hard to sustain……………………………………

Broad concerns

More broadly, ASN said whatever France’s energy policy, it will “imply a considerable industrial effort, in order to tackle the industrial and safety challenges.

If nuclear power is needed for 2050, the nuclear sector will have to implement a ‘Marshall Plan’ to make it industrially sustainable and have the skills it needs.

It warned that “Quality and rigour in the design, manufacture and oversight of nuclear facilities… were not up to the required level in the latest major nuclear projects conducted in France”.

It also warned that more work was also needed in fuel chain facilities. It said a series of events “is currently weakening the entire fuel cycle chain and is a major strategic concern for ASN requiring particularly close attention”. Most urgent is a build-up of radioactive materials and delays in construction of a centralised spent fuel storage pool planned by EDF to address the risk of saturation of the existing pools by 2030. The need for the pool was identified back in 2010, but work has not begun.

ASN said the combination of shortcomings between fuel cycle and nuclear plants meant the electricity system “faces an unprecedented two-fold vulnerability in availability”. New vulnerabilities like the discovery of stress corrosion cracking mostly “stem from the lack of margins and inadequate anticipation,” ASN said, and “must serve as lessons for the entire nuclear sector and the public authorities.”……………….

An energy policy comprising a long-term nuclear component “must be accompanied by an exemplary policy for the management of waste and legacy nuclear facilities,” ASN said………………………………….. more

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The energy from the nuclear fusion experiment was a tiny fraction of the energy put into the experiment.

 The Real Fusion Energy Breakthrough Is Still Decades Away. US nuclear
scientists have achieved the long-sought goal of a fusion ignition—but
don’t expect this clean technology to power the grid yet.

To fusion scientists like Mark Cappelli, a physicist at Stanford University who
wasn’t involved in the research, it’s a thrilling result. But he
cautions that those pinning hopes on fusion as an abundant, carbon-free,
and waste-free power source in the near future may be left waiting.

The difference, he says, is in how scientists define breakeven. Today, the NIF
researchers said they got as much energy out as their laser fired at the
experiment—a massive, long-awaited achievement.

But the problem is that
the energy in those lasers represents a tiny fraction of the total power
involved in firing up the lasers. By that measure, NIF is getting way less
than it’s putting in. “That type of breakeven is way, way, way, way
down the road,” Cappelli says. “That’s decades down the road. Maybe
even a half-century down the road.”

 Wired 13th Dec 2022

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Norway oil giant backs gigawatt-scale offshore wind farm and green hydrogen in Tasmania — RenewEconomy

Equinor to collaborate on the offshore wind plans of Australian renewables company Nexsphere to build a 1GW project 30km off the coast of north-east Tasmania. The post Norway oil giant backs gigawatt-scale offshore wind farm and green hydrogen in Tasmania appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Norway oil giant backs gigawatt-scale offshore wind farm and green hydrogen in Tasmania — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Institutional investors Mint a new wind, solar and storage developer in Australia — RenewEconomy

New Zealand infrastructure investor and Australia’s politicians’ super fund establish a new wind, solar and storage developer. The post Institutional investors Mint a new wind, solar and storage developer in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Institutional investors Mint a new wind, solar and storage developer in Australia — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Electricity prices plunge as Greens hail cap and “beginning of the end of gas” — RenewEconomy

Gas price cap passes parliament, electricity futures prices plunge and Greens hail “the end of gas” with a package designed to take the fossil fuel out of homes. The post Electricity prices plunge as Greens hail cap and “beginning of the end of gas” appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Electricity prices plunge as Greens hail cap and “beginning of the end of gas” — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: The road to 100 per cent renewables — RenewEconomy

AEMO’s head of system design, Merryn York, on the engineering roadmap to 100 per cent renewables. Plus: The gas price cap debate. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: The road to 100 per cent renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Energy Insiders Podcast: The road to 100 per cent renewables — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New ‘Big Agenda’ for Nature faces many hurdles — Sustainability Bites

The Albanese Government’s ‘Nature Positive Plan’ announced last week is a much-anticipated response to Professor Graeme Samuel’s 2020 Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. The plan is packed with policy announcements, most of which stick close to Samuel’s recommendations. But the path of this big agenda stretches far over the political horizon and is littered with hurdles. Here are ten hurdles the minister will have to jump, just for starters.

New ‘Big Agenda’ for Nature faces many hurdles — Sustainability Bites

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian coal exporters reap tens of billions of dollars in super profits from Russia’s war — RenewEconomy

New report reveals Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has delivered Australia’s coal exporters windfall profits of up to $45 billion, with gas exporters reaping almost as much. The post Australian coal exporters reap tens of billions of dollars in super profits from Russia’s war appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australian coal exporters reap tens of billions of dollars in super profits from Russia’s war — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia needs much more solar and wind power, but where are the best sites? — RenewEconomy

Major new ANU report uses “heat maps” to identify which sites across Australia are – and are not – suitable for large-scale wind and solar projects. The post Australia needs much more solar and wind power, but where are the best sites? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia needs much more solar and wind power, but where are the best sites? — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saudi wealth fund buys stake in offshore wind developer with eyes on Australia — RenewEconomy

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund acquires nearly 10% stake in company with 30GW offshore wind pipeline, including three projects in Australian waters. The post Saudi wealth fund buys stake in offshore wind developer with eyes on Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Saudi wealth fund buys stake in offshore wind developer with eyes on Australia — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “How The Climate Crisis May Be Changing The Way That Tornadoes Behave” • Unlike heat waves, floods and hurricanes, scientific research about the connection between the climate crisis and tornadoes has not been as easy to do. Nevertheless, experts are already seeing certain changes in how recent tornado outbreaks are behaving. […]

December 15 Energy News — geoharvey

December 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment