Category: Energy

Mar 14 2012

China could cap coal consumption

China is expected to announce in the first half of this year a national cap on coal consumption. If the reports are accurate, the cap will begin in 2015 at 4.1 gigatonnes (Gt), with budgets for each individual province. This would be the world’s first direct cap on a fossil fuel. Policies China is already …

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Mar 06 2012

An unsurprising anti-coal campaign plan

The Australian Financial Review today revealed a leaked Greenpeace document containing the startling revelation that environmentalists oppose the coal industry. The document, entitled Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom, seeks to raise millions of dollars for a campaign against the expansion of the Australian coal industry. This isn’t particularly surprising: it is only logical that …

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Feb 21 2012

US energy sources could be mostly renewable by 2030

A US government agency has found renewable energy could become the country’s major energy source in two decades. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compared the geography of electricity demand with potential supply from solar and wind resources. They concluded 70% of US electricity demand in 2030 could be met by wind …

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Feb 20 2012

Get ready for the carbon bubble

Remember the sub-prime mortgage bubble? The next economic bubble could be caused by investing in the unsustainable fossil fuel industry. The idea might sound incredible, but it results from our failure to seriously address the science of climate change. The science tells us we can’t burn all fossil fuels Fossil fuels formed over millions of …

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Feb 14 2012

Real-world measurements confirm gas is no cleaner than coal

Figure 1: Methane emissions from natural gas fields are much larger than the industry claims. (Nature, 2012) I have written before about why natural gas is not, as is fashionably believed, a bridge fuel to a zero-carbon economy. Even if gas were cleaner than coal, it’s still a fossil fuel and switching to it would …

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Feb 12 2012

Australia’s real climate policy

If you live in Australia you’ve no doubt heard of the Gillard Government’s climate and energy policy: a carbon price branded as the way to a “Clean Energy Future”. But just as a magician misdirects an audience’s attention, the Clean Energy Future diverts attention from Labor’s real energy policy. The Draft Energy White Paper (EWP), …

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Feb 10 2012

Energy double standard: Australia subsidizes coal, but not solar

Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson today announced the extension of the Government’s $100 million grant for the proposed new coal power station HRL in the Latrobe Valley, despite a petition signed by 12,667 people urging the Government to withdraw the $100 million and spend it on renewable energy instead. The grant was first awarded …

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Nov 08 2011

Clean Energy Bill only the beginning

Today the Australian Parliament passed the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee’s Clean Energy Bill. Despite my reservations about the bill, I am pleased to see it finally made law. It is also satisfying to see the Liberal-National Coalition defeated (at least for now) in their crusade against climate action. However, the work of the climate movement …

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Oct 13 2011

Top 10 Flaws in Government’s “Clean Energy Future”

Yesterday the Australian House of Representatives passed the Clean Energy Future legislation, but it doesn’t feel like much of a victory. A carbon price is a first step in Australia’s necessary transition away from its current fossil fuel economy toward the renewable energy one of the future. The Clean Energy Future includes significant improvements on …

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Jul 20 2011

The Folly of Investing in Natural Gas

10 July 2011, declared Greens Senator Christine Milne, was the day “Australia turn[ed] its back on the fossil fuel age”. But the reports of the industry’s death were greatly exaggerated. On Monday night ABC’s Lateline Business reported that Santos and BHP Billiton are buying up natural gas assets in expectation of an enormous coming boom. …

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