Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s and New South Wales govts – big subsidies for coal, not for solar

In NSW during the last nine years coal and coal-fired power together have received an annual subsidy of $1 billion. The subsidy for the renewable energy sector for the same time frame is a paltry $67 million a year. Coal-fired power receives 15 times the amount of subsidy compared with the renewable energy industry.

Carbon – the more you emit the greater the subsidy! – On Line Opinion –  By Ged McCarthy –  25 November 2010 Recently the Gillard Government warned it might remove solar energy subsidies and review the value of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECS). Continue reading

November 25, 2010 Posted by | energy, New South Wales, politics, solar | , , , | 1 Comment

Australia’s fossil fuel energy was kept artificially cheap

In a sense, even solar power rebates and incentives are really still just fossil fuel subsidies. It’s a puzzling situation and akin to a snake eating its own tail. The solar subsidies exist in part to combat the effects of fossil fuel subsidies that keep those polluting fuels artificially cheap. It’s a curious and confusing form of fossil fuel double dipping.

The Cheap Energy Era That Wasn’t, Renewable Energy News, 25 Nov 10 “…….An issue often overlooked is the real reason why solar power needs to be subsidised at all. All the effort and resources that have gone into propping up polluting fossil fuel industries for decades have been at the expense of clean, renewable energy technologies that have been kept on the outer……….. Continue reading

November 24, 2010 Posted by | energy, General News, solar | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wave energy for South Australia

Wave power could roll in to South Australia’s west, ABC Rural News, 23/11/2010 Waves on the west coast of South Australia could soon be powering up towns in the region.Renewable energy technology company, Wave Rider Energy, will set up a pilot plant in the waters near Elliston.
The plant will turn the waves kinetic energy into mechanical energy, with a potential 250 kilowatts of power available………Wave power could roll in to South Australia’s west

November 23, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, South Australia, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victorian Greens will promote transition from coal to renewable energy

Renewable energy has become a hot topic in the lead up to Victoria’s November 27 election, with the Clean Energy Council of Australia predicting a $9 billion cash windfall for the state from renewable energy projects.

Greens Pledge To Divert Millions From Coal Into Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy News : by Energy Matters, 19 Nov 10, The Victorian Greens say they will redirect $150 million away from a proposed coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley and put the money into renewable energy projects instead. Continue reading

November 18, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics, solar, Victoria, water, wind | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USA needs combination of smart grid and renewable energy

Research and development is needed to prepare the electric grid for the coming onslaught of new solar and wind power, in much the way farmers must prepare the ground before sowing a crop, (image below from Repower America)

(USA) Report: Electric Grid R&D Must Parallel Expansion of Renewable Power,, By JENNY MANDEL   November 16, 2010 The Energy Department should expand its research on energy storage, long-distance electricity transmission and short-term weather forecasting in order to support the growing use of renewable energy, the American Physical Society says in a report released today. Continue reading

November 18, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, solar, uranium, wind | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victorian election – Labor better for renewable energy

an estimated 650 new jobs would be created each year through to 2016 in the construction and operation of renewable energy facilities……

Clean Energy Council Backs Brumby Renewable Energy News :by Energy Matters, 17 Nov 10, The Clean Energy Council (CEC) of Australia has thrown its support behind the Brumby Labor Government ahead of this month’s state election, after an independent report found Victoria would benefit by up to $9 billion in renewable energy investment under current State Government policies. Continue reading

November 17, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics, solar, Victoria | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The other side of BHP Billiton’s Annual Report

Threatening lives, the environment, and peoples’ future – An Alternative Annual Report on BHP Billiton 2009-2010 In this 25 page report, case studies question BHP’s record on human rights, transparency, and ecological justice.

“………..This report examines a number of BHP Billiton’s operations around the world. The collection of case studies highlights the disparity between BHP Billiton’s ‘Sustainability Framework’ and the reality of its operations.In the year 2009-2010 BHP Billiton has continued itsinvolvement in many controversial mines, is advancing riskyand unwanted projects….. Continue reading

November 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IRENA -a new and growing international energy agency

Recognising the huge potential of renewable energy, IRENA’s Member States have joined together to establish an international organisation dedicated to facilitating the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy worldwide….Visit the IRENA website to learn more

IRENA – Building a New Energy Agency Renewables November 15, 2010 by Anja Atkinson0 On the 24th and 25th October, the International Renewable Energy Agency held it’s fourth session of the Preparatory Commission in Abu Dhabi. All together 300 delegates attended from more than 100 countries. Continue reading

November 15, 2010 Posted by | energy, solar, wind | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar energy systems still a good buy

the price of solar systems has plummeted; the drop in the feed-in tariff has been cushioned by demand for green energy from AGL and feed-in tariffs paid to pensioners as a credit on their power bill will not be assessed as income under the government’s pension income test…..Solar installers resent solar power being blamed for increasing electricity prices, saying this is quite incorrect

Solar popularity still rising   Coffs Coast Advocate, 15 Nov 10, SOLAR power subsidies are copping a drubbing from critics of both Federal and NSW State government’s ‘green energy’ schemes but solar installers say the sun is still shining brightly for those who would like to go sunny side up. Continue reading

November 15, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, General News, solar | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewable energy city

Masdar City is powered by renewable energy and its buildings are covered in solar panels.It aims to have a zero carbon and zero waste environment.

VIDEO Sky News: Completely green city being built in UAE Completely green city being built in UAE, Sky News, 15 Nov 10, The United Arab Emirates is on track to produce a completely new – and rather unexpected source of future revenue – in the oil-rich country. Continue reading

November 15, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, solar | , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar energy in Australia great potential, poor political support

Australia’s annual solar irradiation stands at approximately 58 million petajoules, enough to provide 10,000 times its entire annual electricity consumption. In order to fully benefit from this resource, however, it needs to do much more than relying on a patchwork of schemes……a national feed-in tariff may be desirable from manufacturers’ perspective, it is currently not a political priority,…..

Australia: enthusiastic uptake of solar power leads to cuts in state feed-in tariffs iStockAnalysts,  November 10, 2010 Residential solar power installations in New South Wales reached 52MW by mid-2010, prompting the state government to reduce its generous feed-in tariff. Continue reading

November 11, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, solar | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hillary Clinton’s and Julia Gillard’s unconvincing spin about Solar Energy

But are Clinton and Gillard serious? I doubt it. The giveaway, as always, is the funding. Australia is investing $50 million in the project……. enough to transform the world’s energy supply and prevent climate change? I doubt it….Such a project needs billions, not millions.

More solar spin  –  Daily Telegraph Mark Mann , November 07, 2010 According to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, speaking in Melbourne yesterday: “We [the US and Australia] have a common goal of making solar energy competitive with conventional sources by the middle of this decade, 2015,” Continue reading

November 8, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, solar, spinbuster | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BUSTING THE NUCLEAR SPIN – theme for November

The nuclear industry is, in reality, in quite a mess. As French, American, South Korean companies scramble to sell nuclear power to the “Third World” – the industry stalls at home. The nuclear emperor’s new clothes are starting to be revealed to the world.

So – loads of money pour into this desperate sales pitch – while it becomes ever clearer that the nuclear industry is expensive, dangerous, and produces long-lasting toxic wastes – for which there is no storage solution.

Meanwhile – technologies for energy efficiency, and renewable energy get cheaper and more practical. And – renewable energy can be operated both as large scale projects on the grid –  or as small-scale decentralised  forms – very suitable for developing countries.

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, climate change - global warming, energy, solar, uranium, wind | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New South Wales govt promotes coal, cuts back on renewables

“The more [greenhouse gases] you emit, the more subsidies you get.”……..

Canary in the NSW coal mine  Business Spectator Giles ParkinsonPublished , 2 Nov 2010 Even as the NSW government is cracking down on subsidies for renewable energy generation such as rooftop solar, it is ramping up the level of subsidies provided to its coal-fired power stations Continue reading

November 3, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, New South Wales, solar, wind | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USA elections: will this lead to Sarah Palin in charge of nuclear weapons?

It is almost beyond belief to imagine the fair finger of Sarah Palin accessing the nuclear button but as Commander in Chief, that would indeed be her position.

THE ELECTION, Huffington Post. Helen Caldicott, 28 Oct 10, This is seen by many as a highly contentious mid-term US election, and not just for the people of the United States. Continue reading

October 29, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment