Newswire

Solar Future

Carrie-Anne Greenbank of Channel 9 News Gold Coast reports on our visionary plan for a renewable powered Australia:

 

Serious About Solar

Sophie McCallum of The Transcontinental reports, November 16:

Alinta Energy is seriously exploring the idea of converting its Port Augusta power stations into solar thermal facilities.

Solar thermal was first proposed by renewable energy advocates, Beyond Zero Emissions and has already gained strong support by Port Augusta locals and leaders.

The idea has now been embraced by Alinta Energy, who is exploring replacement options if Playford is closed as part of the federal government’s buyout of dirty power stations, in which the company put up its hand to participate in.

So far, gas has dominated discussions as an alternative power source, but in an interview with The Transcontinental, Alinta Energy chief executive officer Jeff Dimery, said solar thermal had been identified as the most practical solution.

Green body threatened by mutiny

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, November 9, 2011:

A proposed restructure of the peak body representing the clean energy industry has revealed a split, and provoked claims it is now biased towards large power companies.

The split comes ahead of the Clean Energy Council's annual general meeting today, at which members will elect board members and change the body's governing constitution.

Sydney Morning Herald: Green group fired up on 'inconvenient' report

Sydney Morning Herald Environment reports:A MAJOR energy consultancy has been accused of suppressing a report that might have cast doubt on industry assurances that coal seam gas is a much cleaner fuel than coal.

Green group Beyond Zero Emissions, which advocates the development of renewable energy, commissioned a report from consultant WorleyParsons in June. The report, completed in September, is believed to raise questions about the leakage of greenhouse gases such as methane from coal seam gas projects.

Beyond Zero, which has not received the report, is accusing the company of holding it back to protect its lucrative business with the gas industry.

''We have a contract for the delivery of this report,'' Beyond Zero executive director Matthew Wright told The Age.

''The report has been completed and the fact that its findings are inconvenient for the gas industry and WorleyParsons is not a good enough reason for its suppression. It is of the utmost importance that the proper scientific research into the true emissions impact of coal seam gas sees the light of day.''

Bendigo Advertiser: Power potential in city

Bendigo Advertiser reports: BENDIGO has the natural resources to be 100 per cent renewable, a forum heard yesterday.

Young Environmentalist of the Year Matthew Wright, from Beyond Zero Emissions, said Bendigo could, with the money and infrastructure, obtain enough solar energy to provide base load power.

“Bendigo is well placed to be a net energy exporter,” Mr Wright said.

Mr Wright was a guest speaker at the Bendigo Sustainability Group’s Repower Bendigo Forum, which attracted about 60 people yesterday at the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE.

The forum set the theme for another renewable energy conference taking place today, the national Community Power Conference, which looks at how communities can start and own their own energy projects.

Clean energy bill only a beginning

Online Opinion report:: This week the Australian Parliament passed the Clean Energy Bill. Despite my reservations about the bill, I am pleased to see it finally made law. However, the work of the climate movement has only just begun.

The bill establishes a carbon price which will later become an emissions trading scheme. The policy is admittedly pretty awful and riddled with flaws, but unlike the old Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme at least it is better than nothing. As before, Labor intends to "reduce" Australia's emissions mainly by switching power generation to natural gas and buying carbon offsets from overseas, both of which I consider extremely dubious. However, the Greens, Tony Windsor, and Rob Oakeshott have worked hard to tangibly improve the policy, to the point where it can be considered a first step towards a renewable energy future. These farsighted crossbenchers have won unprecedented, independently-managed renewable energy funding; and built in regular independent reviews which provide opportunities to lift Australia's ambition later on.

Now climate activists need to work on building support for that greater ambition. Although the first independent review of the carbon price is not until February 2014, there is plenty more that can be achieved in the current Parliament. Here's what you should do if you care about climate action.

GREEN DEALS: Is CSG cleaner than coal?

CLIMATE SPECTATOR reports:A new report commissioned by the peak body of the oil and gas industry suggests that claims coal seam gas exports are up to 70 per cent cleaner than coal exports over their life cycle may not actually be valid. The report by Worley Parsons finds that this is true when compared to coal technologies that are no longer deployed, but it also finds that the life-cycle emissions of CSG may be higher than those of black coal used in the most modern coal plants currently being built in China.

Accounting for the life-cycle emissions of CSG has become a highly contentious point in the debate about the industry, and resistance to it, in particular, from the farming community. The Worley Parsons report, commissioned by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, analyses a range of scenarios comparing CSG used in baseload and peaking plants, with a range of coal-fired technologies used in China.

While in the best case scenario, CSG does match the claims of the industry that it can be up to 70 per cent cleaner than coal, particularly when replacing the dirtier subcritical coal technology that the Chinese no longer build, the report notes that gas-fired power is likely to add to capacity in China, rather than compete against coal. “An existing coal-fired plant will not be taken off line and replaced by a gas fired plant," it says. "And, in general, large supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants of up to 1000MW are being built to replace redundant small, inefficient coal plants.”

smh Environment: Coal seam gas 'clean' claims under attack

SMH Environment reports: A REPORT commissioned by the coal seam gas industry into its own greenhouse gas emissions, and held as commercial-in-confidence for months, shows that Australian gas exported to China is likely to be little better for the environment than coal.

The industry has been running an advertising campaign claiming that coal seam gas is ''up to 70 per cent cleaner than coal''. But the report, by consulting firm WorleyParsons, compared black coal and coal seam gas exports from Australia to China and showed that only best case scenarios come close to the promised major greenhouse gas savings.

Gas would release less CO2 when burned in a Chinese power plant, but most of the difference would be eaten up by the extra emissions from extracting and processing the gas in Australia.

While the emissions from processing coal made up only 2.7 per cent of its total greenhouse gas output, processing made up 22 per cent of the total emissions from coal seam gas.

Stateline South Australia: Port Augusta looks to new power source

ABC's Stateline South Australia reports on the Beyond Zero Emissions proposal to replace the Northern and Playford coal power plants with Concentrating Solar Themral power.

WATCH THE REPORT

Beyond Zero Emissions Strategic Director Mark Ogge in Port Augusta with the Playford B coal power plant in the background.

ABC Radio: Regional town replacing smoke with mirrors

ABC's Bush Telegraph reports:

The coal powered Playford B power station in Port Augusta is one plant which was nominated to be shut down. The owner of the plant, Alinta Energy, confirmed that they have tendered for the 'Contract for Closure' program.

But what will replace it?

A proposal to build a series of solar thermal plants is attracting local interest because of its ability to provide both base and peak load electricity.

LISTEN TO THE REPORT

Syndicate content