BP’s extreme climate forecast puts energy giant in a bind

This article originally appeared in The Conversation. It can be found here.    BP’s annual Energy Outlook report, released in February, details the results from modelling of what it sees as the “most likely” energy scenario out to 2035. In this … Continue reading BP’s extreme climate forecast puts energy giant in a bind

Opinion: Abbott’s Clean Up Australia Day Efforts

This Opinion piece is by David Clarke. For further information: http://ramblingsdc.net/.  On Sunday 1st March, Clean-up Australia Day, we saw our Prime Minister Tony Abbott picking up rubbish.  I wonder how much he picked up?  Let’s be generous and suppose that … Continue reading Opinion: Abbott’s Clean Up Australia Day Efforts

Carbon tax axed: how it affects you, Australia and our emissions

This article originally posted at The Conversation. View the original post here.  Australia’s “carbon tax” is being axed – so what does it mean for you and for Australia? We asked Conversation readers to tell us on Facebook and Twitter what questions you’d like us to … Continue reading Carbon tax axed: how it affects you, Australia and our emissions

Australia’s Electricity Sector: Ageing, Inefficient and Unprepared

A new landmark report by the Climate Council has investigated the future of Australia’s electricity sector, finding that a swifter transition to a clean energy future is required in order to prevent increased risk and cost. The summary of the report’s findings (below) has been taken its entirety from the original post, which can be found here.

Internationally, the energy sector accounts for the largest proportion of greenhouse gas (gHg) emissions, which are the main drivers of climate change. Limiting temperature rise to a global average of 2 °C, the internationally agreed level that may avoid dangerous climate change, requires large scale changes in the electricity sector and a tripling of low-carbon energy by 2050.

Yet, australia’s electricity is largely generated by ageing, inefficient coal-fired power plants and there are currently no plans, nor a national discussion on the future of the electricity sector and options to significantly reduce its emissions. Delaying the shift to a low carbon future increases the likely risks and costs of transition to a low carbon future in the electricity sector, where it typically takes a decade or more to plan, permit, finance and build major new power infrastructure.

READ THE FULL REPORT Continue reading “Australia’s Electricity Sector: Ageing, Inefficient and Unprepared”

Wind energy is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways states can meet carbon pollution rule for existing power plants

Published by Global Wind Energy Council. View original article.

Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release its first-ever proposed rule limiting carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants on June 2. The good news is wind energy is already helping nearly every state make progress toward whatever reductions the EPA will require and is an affordable and reliable compliance option for further reductions. Continue reading “Wind energy is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways states can meet carbon pollution rule for existing power plants”

Policy Watch: Wind farmers to benefit from tax changes… But only if RET remains intact

Views Of J-Power's Nunobiki Wind FarmA proposed amendment to the Farm Management Deposits (FMD) Scheme could see the non-agricultural production income threshold for farmers nationwide extended, allowing those participating to draw more income from wind farms without penalty.

The FMD scheme is a piece of legislation designed to assist farmers in preparing for conditions of financial hardship by providing a tax deductible form of income-banking in times of plenty.

Under the amended system, there will be greater scope for farmers to reserve income from non-agricultural sources, such as rents paid on wind farms, when afflicted by drought or other natural disasters.

The increased income, for many, will be crucial in determining the viability of ongoing commitment to agriculture, according to Deputy Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council (CEC), Kane Thornton, who noted that

“In many cases we have seen that hosting wind turbines has been the difference between staying on the land and being forced to sell the family farm.”

These decisions, however, must also take into consideration the predicted increase in frequency of natural disasters, like drought and bushfires, exacerbated by inadequate national action on climate change. Continue reading “Policy Watch: Wind farmers to benefit from tax changes… But only if RET remains intact”

Biggest grid in US could reach 30% renewables by 2026

By Silvio Marcacci on 10 March 2014


A new study reveals America’s largest grid operator could exponentially increase the amount of solar and wind electricity on its system, while lowering consumer costs and emissions, without negative effects on reliability. Continue reading “Biggest grid in US could reach 30% renewables by 2026”

Victoria need ideas not ideology

Victoria was poised to become a global hub for clean technology with key policies in place to drive emissions reductions and attract investment in a green industrial revolution. Yet the change of government in November 2010, writes Peter Hansford, resulted in an abandonment of key climate change policies and the vision of Victoria becoming a global leader in cleantech. Victoria’s ability lead is not lost. It can be reclaimed but only if politicians are open to ideas not ideology.

First_Solar_Ohio_manufacturing_plant_Image_First_SolarIn 2010, the Victorian government released a climate change white paper which included a cleantech industry development strategy which sought to position Victoria as a top five global leader in clean, innovative technologies and climate solutions.

At the time Victoria’s cleantech sector was rapidly emerging with a number of leading firms supplying domestic and international markets.  One analysis of the cleantech sector identified that there were 1,273 firms employing 23,200 people in Victoria.

As the author of the strategy I was confident that the prospect of increasing jobs, exports and investments would excite the government to invest a small amount of money to accelerate the job creation opportunities presented.

The background work conducted identified a suite of potential action areas: Energy (particularly renewables, CCS and smart grids); Urban Planning, Design and Construction; Water; Food and Farming; Materials (including efficient materials management), Advanced Manufacturing; e-Vehicles; use of ICT and Fast Broadband; and a range of Services Industries including carbon market services, and international education. Continue reading “Victoria need ideas not ideology”

Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell

By Ben Courtice — an updated version (March 2) of an article originally published at Green Left Weekly

Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell

Premier Denis Napthine is living up to his new nickname “Naptime” as the Hazelwood coalmine fire continues its terrible impact on the town of Morwell, in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The edge of the town is only a few hundred metres from where the fire has been burning since February 9. The plume of toxic smoke and ash from the fire is blanketing the town much of the time.

A protest rally in Morwell on March 2 drew around a thousand angry locals. A panel of speakers, and many people who stood up on the floor to vent their rage, confirmed that it is a widespread view that the government has left the town in the lurch and given them false information about the health risks from the fire.

Morwell rallies for action
Morwell rallies for action

The unfolding disaster demands an immediate escalation of action, and Greens MLC Greg Barber is right to demand that the government declare a state of emergency, even while health minister David Davis denies it is needed. Continue reading “Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell”