Australia’s economy will suffer if we fall behind on climate action

Originally posted at The Conversation. View the Original post here.

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Australia’s economy faces grave threats from climate change, but the greatest threat is if we do not make a serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s not just the physical impacts of climate change that will hurt Australia’s economy. In a new report released today by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, I and others argue that falling behind on reducing greenhouse gas emissions leaves Australia’s economy vulnerable to global efforts to tackle climate change.

But so far Australian government and business has focused on the cost of reducing emissions, despite evidence that it will be far more costly to do nothing. Continue reading “Australia’s economy will suffer if we fall behind on climate action”

Grantham: Wind, solar to replace fossil fuels within decades

Published by REnew Economy. View original article.

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Legendary hedge fund investor Jeremy Grantham says there is no doubt that solar and wind energy will “completely replace” coal and gas across the globe, it is just a matter of when.

The founder of $100 billion funds manager GMO Capital is known as a contrarian. But he suggests that the pace of change in the fuel supply will surprise everyone, and have huge implications for fossil fuel investments. Continue reading “Grantham: Wind, solar to replace fossil fuels within decades”

Ohio’s Clean Energy Programs Save Customers $2 For Every $1 They Spend

Published by Climate Progress. View original article.

An $11 million solar panel canopy covers the parking lot across from the entrance to The Cincinnati Zoo.

An $11 million solar panel canopy covers the parking lot across from the entrance to The Cincinnati Zoo.

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/AL BEHRMAN

Energy efficiency standards in Ohio that have been facing attacks from state lawmakers provide significant consumer savings relative to their costs, according to an Ohio-based clean energy organization.

From 2009 through 2013, the standards saved Ohio residents $1.03 billion and cost $456 million, according to reports from the Public Utility Commission of Ohio analyzed by the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. Continue reading “Ohio’s Clean Energy Programs Save Customers $2 For Every $1 They Spend”

Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs

Published by Reneweconomy. View original article.

Analysts at French based energy components company Schneider Electric have concluded that extending or expanding Australia’s renewable energy target would lead to lower electricity prices, lower carbon emissions and increased competition.1.4.5.2_3

Reducing, or removing the renewable energy target – as many incumbent generators, industry lobby groups, state governments and some of its own members are urging the Abbott conservative government to do – will have the opposite impact, pushing prices higher and creating a greater reliance on expensive gas-fired generation. Continue reading “Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs”

The Laws Of Physics Not Consciously Aware of Human Behaviour, Reports The Australian

Published by www.etwasluft.blogspot.com.au. View original article.

There’s a clever way of criticising something, without needing to adhere to logic or reality. For example:

“I purchased this vehicle recently. Unfortunately, after a week using the vehicle, I found that it was unable to fly. I deem this vehicle to be a failure.”

Set your own criteria. If you really want the subject of your criticism to fail, intentionally shape those criteria to guarantee failure.

It’s this fallacy that drives criticism of the generation output of wind energy on hot days. As with all fallacies, it’s convenient, simple and palatable. Continue reading “The Laws Of Physics Not Consciously Aware of Human Behaviour, Reports The Australian”

World Solar Power Capacity Increased 35% In 2013

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Written by Zachary Shahan of CleanTechnica, 11th April 2014.

With about 37,007 megawatts (MW) of solar PV power installed in 2013, world solar PV power capacity increased about 35% to 136,697 MW.

Whereas Europe had dominated annual growth for years up until 2013 (10 years, to be precise), solar PV growth was much more evenly split last year, and China actually topped the tables.

Continue reading “World Solar Power Capacity Increased 35% In 2013”

Latrobe Valley resident slams wind technology’s detractors and dirty coal

Victoria's Hazlewood coalmine fire.
Victoria’s Hazlewood coalmine fire.

Two weeks ago Senator John Madigan (Democratic Labor Party) confounded the chamber by likening the renewable energy sector’s citation of leading Australian and international research on the safety of proximity to wind farms to the Tobacco industries’ manipulation of the medical establishment in the early twentieth century.

The invocation of the spectre of such insidious corporate intent, however, has failed to weaken the growing strength of the argument in support of wind farms while at the same time demonstrating the intensifying desperation of the anti-wind fringe.

Latrobe Valley resident and convener of the Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group, Danny Caffrey, wrote Senator Madigan in response to his claims. Mr Caffrey has shared this letter with Yes 2 Renewables in order to highlight the ridiculousness of any such comparison to wind energy technology, particulary when that of the more pollutant and unsafe, i.e. coal, continues largely unchallenged. Continue reading “Latrobe Valley resident slams wind technology’s detractors and dirty coal”

Which are the dangerous technologies?

Image: Australian Conservation Foundation
Image: Australian Conservation Foundation

Yes 2 Renewables’ South Australian correspondent David Clarke:

Wind farms and solar power are replacing fossil fuel burning power stations. And electric vehicles powered by renewable energy could replace fossil fuel powered vehicles.

Wind turbines have been blamed for making people sick but both the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and the AMA (Australian Medical Association) have recently made public statements that there is no evidence to support this claim. And, let’s face it, what could possibly be coming from wind turbines to cause illness? They are, after all, basically quite simple, although sophisticated, machines.

What about the other side of the coin? If we don’t replace fossil fuels with renewables how many deaths and illnesses can we expect from ‘business as usual’ with fossil fuels? A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that “Air pollution has become the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million – or nearly one in eight deaths – in 2012”. The WHO ascribed nearly half of these deaths to ambient air pollution (the other half were down to indoor pollution, from smoking, stoves, etc). Most of the world’s ambient air pollution comes from coal burning and vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

If we build more wind farms and solar power installations we can not only help reduce this health burden, but, at the same time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change and ocean acidification.

Continue reading “Which are the dangerous technologies?”

Policy Watch: NSW govt imposes ‘red tape’ on wind farms

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NSW Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard

NSW Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard has directed that nine wind farm projects now be considered as State Significant Developments instead of being dealt with under the Part 3A transitional provisions that are a legacy from Labor’s time in office. This decision effectively places them back in the planning system.

The wind farms affected by the NSW government’s reactionary decision are:

  1. Yass
  2. Crookwell
  3. Liverpool Range
  4. Rugby
  5. Bango
  6. Uungula
  7. Crudine Ridge
  8. Paling Yards
  9. and Rye Park

It seems that NSW has joined the Victorian government in privileging a minority of vocal anti-wind campaigners over the majority of the community, who continue to support renewable energy. The previous planning system struck a sensible balance in decision making.

“The NSW government has sown the seeds of community division by reopening the planning process for these wind farms,” Yes 2 Renewables told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“A noisy minority refuse to accept wind energy and make unsubstantiated claims the technology has health impacts. This decision looks like a capitulation to those elements.” Continue reading “Policy Watch: NSW govt imposes ‘red tape’ on wind farms”

Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads

Last week, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine injected new blood into his frontbench in preparation for the state election this November, promoting member for Morwell Russell Northe as Minister for Energy and Resources.

Victoria’s new Minister for Energy, Russell Northe

Northe steps into the role at a time of great uncertainty surrounding  the energy sector. The Abbott government’s stacked RET Review clouds the prospects for renewable energy in the country and compounds the impact of  Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws. The rooftop solar boom continues to disrupt the business model of the big fossil-fuel-based energy companies and the last scrap of coal power’s social licence went up in the recent fire at the Hazelwood coalmine.

The context of energy policy (and politics) is well known. Yet Victoria’s new energy minister is Russell Northe is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Yes 2 Renewables had a look over Northe’s record to get a better sense of the man. Here’s what we found. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads”