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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

ENERGY

We have so many ways to pursue a healthy climate – it’s insane to wait any longer

Opportunities to help drive the energy transition are everywhere - even in Western Australia’s remote salt pans.  Peter C. Doherty, Author provided As a broadly trained life scientist, my concern about climate change isn’t the health of the planet. The rocks will be just fine! What worries me is a whole spectrum of “wicked” challenges, from sustaining food production, to providing...

How biomethane can help turn gas into a renewable energy source

Are there greener pastures ahead for gas?  Shutterstock.com Australia’s report card on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions is not exactly glowing, but there are ample opportunities to get it on track during this period of rapid change in the energy sector. Greater use of renewable electricity sources like wind and solar are playing a large part in reducing emissions, and gas...

Big firms voice lack of faith in ‘cumbersome’ and ‘impractical’ Emissions Reduction Fund

Many of Australia’s biggest emitters have not yet engaged with the Emissions Reduction Fund. AAP Image/Dave Hunt Four years after it was launched, the federal government’s A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) has still not attracted the participation of many of Australia’s highest-emitting companies. Our research on corporate managers’ attitudes suggests that the scheme, which remains the Coalition government’s flagship...

Will 2018 be the year of climate action? Victorian London’s ‘Great Stink’ sewer crisis might tell us

As extreme weather events, like Hurricane Florence, become more common it is time to ask what it will take for the world to finally tackle climate change. Encouragingly, there may be a historical precedent: Victoria London’s handling of the ‘Great Stink’,where growth had turned the River Thames into an open sewer. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO In the late 19th century, the irrepressible Mark...

Explainer: what is energy security, and how has it changed?

 The idea of energy security has been at the centre of much policy debate recently. The federal government defines energy security as the adequate supply of energy across the electricity, gas and liquid fuel sectors. But this notion has become outdated, following the spate of electricity blackouts that have occurred in the past few years. The concept of energy security is now...

Google searches reveal where people are most concerned about climate change

A handy source of information about questions big and small. TheDigitalWay/pixabay What do you do if you have a question? You probably Google it. According to Google Trends, in 2017 Australians were keen to know about tennis, Sophie Monk, fidget spinners and Bitcoin. But besides these arguably trivial queries, our Google searches also revealed our concerns about extreme weather events such as...

Coal does not have an economic future in Australia

The closure of the Hazelwood mine has lessons for the future of coal in Australia. Global Warming Images/AAP Renewables are stealing the march over coal in Australia, and the international outlook is for lower coal demand. Today the international Coal Transitions project released its findings, based on global coal scenarios and detailed case studies by teams in China, India, South Africa, Australia,...

New solar cells offer you the chance to print out solar panels and stick them on your roof

This roof in Newcastle has become the first in Australia to be covered with specially printed solar cells.  University of Newcastle, Author provided Australia’s first commercial installation of printed solar cells, made using specialised semiconducting inks and printed using a conventional reel-to-reel printer, has been installed on a factory roof in Newcastle. The 200 square metre array was installed in just...

The renewable energy train is unstoppable. The NEG needs to get on board

What’s that on the horizon? Ah yes, renewable energy. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas On the face of it, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), adopted as Coalition policy at a party room meeting yesterday, appears to promise the certainty that industry, consumers and experts have desperately sought for the past decade. But beware: there is a renewable energy train coming down the track that...

What’s wrong with big solar in cities? Nothing, if it’s done right

Residents near big solar projects are often concerned they cause glare and noise. Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters rooftop solar, Hong Kong/Wikimedia Commons Many of us are familiar with developments of big solar farms in rural and regional areas. These are often welcomed as a positive sign of our transition towards a low-carbon economy. But do large-scale solar installations have a place...