The Carbon Price at work. Mackay Sugar has officially brought online its new biomass cogeneration power station which has received funding from the Queensland Government and the Federal Government's Clean Technology Investment Program funded by the Carbon Tax. The plant is expected to produce about 38 megawatts of power: 11 megawatts to supply the Racecourse sugar mill and refinery and another 27 megawatts into the State Electricity grid, enough to supply about a third of Mackay's electricity requirements.
EnergyAustralia has announced shelving plans for construction of a 1000MW gas fired power station in the Latrobe Valley at it's Yallourn site saying that low wholesale energy prices and reduced electricity demand did not make the project viable. EnergyAustralia is a division of Hong Kong-based utility CLP Holdings Ltd.
Most Victorians want more action on climate change and renewable energy from the Baillieu State Government according to a new public opinion survey commissioned by Environment Victoria.
The survey was conducted in late December 2011 and early January 2012 involving a series of questions to over 1000 people in Victoria conducted by Essential Media, a professional market survey company. The primary results show that 76 percent of Victorians expect the State Government to take action to reduce greenhouse pollution rather than leaving tackling climate change to the federal sphere of politics. There is also massive support for the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, and just 22 per cent believe the 2km wind farm veto is fair.
The NSW Draft planning regulations on wind farms was released on Friday December 23: on the very last working day before Christmas. You don't need to be a cynic to understand the Barrie O'Farrell conservative Government wants to bury news coverage of these draft planning regulations which impose strict limits on wind farm development which are very similar in scope to the draconian Victorian wind farm planning regultions.
"The new wind guidelines introduced today place more rigourous requirements on wind projects than on any other project development in the state." said Lindsay Soutar, national coordinator of the community 100% Renewable campaign. "While coal and coal seam gas get the red carpet, wind power just gets more red tape."
The Clean Energy Council of Australia announced at the climate negotiations in Durban that 9.6% of Australia's power now came from renewable sources: solar photovoltaic, wind, and large scale hydro-electric. More than half a million household solar power systems were now installed on Australian rooftops – around 35 times the amount just three years ago at the end of 2008.
There were protests on Thursday 29 September in Melbourne,Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo at the Baillieu government's policies on renewable energy development in Victoria, with the slashing of the solar feed tariff and prohibitive restrictions on the location of new wind farms.
'The laws give landholders the right to veto any wind development within 2 km of a dwelling and ban them completely within 5km from regional cities. Other whole regions like the Macedon Ranges are excluded from any wind farm developments.
The electoral office of Climate Change Minister Greg Combet was targeted by climate activists this morning. A banner was hung from the roof of the building saying "Make Polluters Pay, Fund Renewable Energy!", and four photovoltaic solar panels were put in place on the building roof.
Action on sustainable energy must not be deferred by the floods, but rather must be built into rebuilding the flood-impacted regions of eastern Australia, says the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA).
‘Climate action must not be a casualty in climate-related disasters,’ says Prof. Ray Wills, SEA Chief Executive.
SEA is especially concerned about the changes in funding solar initiatives. Around the world, growth in renewable energy investments is now greater than any other energy investment – except for Australia.
Is it achievable? You bet! All it takes is the political and social will to make it happen says two US researchers who have just published a study of the material resources and technology required to power the world 100 per cent by carbon emission neutral alternative energy technologies. It would also save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year through slashing water and air pollution and simultaneously slow global warming and the problems of climate change, and develop secure, reliable energy sources and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today.
The Victorian parliament tackled climate change on Friday with a climate bill passed in the Legislative Council with support of Liberals and Greens members to set a 20 percent emissions reduction based upon 2000 levels by 2020. "This is a significant Bill which has the potential to stabilise and then drive down our greenhouse emissions, while also creating certainty for investors and industry, and many new jobs across the state," said Friends of the Earth (FoE) campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker.