ENERGY

Lowy Institute Poll shows Australians’ support for climate action at its highest level in a decade

The survey revealed 84% support for renewable energy among the Australian public. AAP Image/Lukas Coch The annual Lowy Institute Poll on Australian attitudes to the world and global issues for 2018 has been released. Among a series of interesting findings, one thing is clear: support for climate action and renewable energy continue to grow. In response to the survey’s questions on climate and energy,...

Plain sailing: how traditional methods could deliver zero-emission shipping

The Avontuur recently completed a sail-powered transatlantic cargo voyage. Timbercoast On May 10, the 43.5-metre schooner Avontuur arrived in the port of Hamburg. This traditional sailing vessel, built in 1920, transported some 70 tonnes of coffee, cacao and rum across the Atlantic. The shipping company Timbercoast, which owns and operates Avontuur, says it aims to prove that sailing ships can offer an environmentally...

China’s recycling ‘ban’ throws Australia into a very messy waste crisis

Waste not want not. Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg met with his state and territory counterparts yesterday. Top of their agenda? The recycling crisis precipitated by the China “ban”. States and councils around the country have been struggling since the imposition of import restrictions that exclude 99% of the recyclables that Australia previously sold to China. Hopes are high...

AGL’s plan to replace Liddell is cheaper and cleaner than keeping it open

AGL has promised to replace the power generated by Liddell with a mix of other sources. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP The Commonwealth government called last week for AGL Energy to consider selling its Liddell power station to rival Alinta. Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has raised concerns that the scheduled 2022 shutdown of Liddell will affect New South Wales’ energy reliability. It’s suggested the...

Solar PV and wind are on track to replace all coal, oil and gas within two decades

Solar photovoltaics are now the world’s leading source of new electricity generation. US Air Force   Solar photovoltaic and wind power are rapidly getting cheaper and more abundant – so much so that they are on track to entirely supplant fossil fuels worldwide within two decades, with the time frame depending mostly on politics. The protestation from some politicians that we need to...

You’re paying too much for electricity, but here’s what the states can do about it

Politician’s energy priorities do not necessarily align with those of ordinary Australians. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP State-owned power networks have spent up to A$20 billion more than was needed on the electricity grid, and households and businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are paying for it in sky-high power bills. A new Grattan Institute report, Down to the Wire, shows that...

Smart electricity meters are here, but more is needed to make them useful to customers

Policymakers need to be smart about the smart meter rollout. AAP Image/David Crosling Across most of Australia, the electricity industry is in the midst of a major rollout of so-called “smart meters” led by retailers – your household may very well have one already. With the exception of Western Australia and the Northern Territory (and Victoria which has them already), all new and replacement...

Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund is almost empty. It shouldn’t be refilled

The Emissions Reduction Fund is not capturing enough emissions from the most polluting industries. AAP Image/Dave Hunt Australia’s flagship climate policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), has come in for fresh questions over whether the emissions allowances offered to big businesses will wipe out much of the progress made elsewhere. This voluntary scheme – the central plank of Australia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions...

How media framing limits public debate about oil exploration

Research found that media largely frame debate about oil and gas developments in New Zealand around how drilling should take place, rather than whether it should happen at all. Garry Knight Throughout the world, people are taking direct action to tackle environmental problems – from Standing Rock in the United States, to the Carmichael coal mine in Australia, to the community groups standing...

Latest twist in the Adani saga reveals shortcomings in environmental approvals

Adani faces court over allegations of concealing the amount of coal water released in Caley Valley Wetlands last year.  Ian Sutton/flickr It was reported this week that the federal Environment Department declined to prosecute Adani for failing to disclose that its Australian chief executive, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, was formerly the director of operations at a Zambian copper mine when it discharged toxic pollutants...

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