Articles on Clean energy

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Obama has prioritized development of wind and solar in a number of ways, including installation on military bases. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Will President Obama’s clean energy legacy endure?

The Trump administration has the tools to slow the momentum Obama started on clean energy. Countering Trump are global market forces and state-level action.
The Greens are the party of climate action - but do they embrace enough technologies to get there? AAP Image/Julian Smith

Are the Greens really the climate radicals we need?

The Greens have successfully cast themselves as the party of climate science. But to hit their climate goals they may need to become even more radical, by embracing technologies like nuclear power.
Bill Gates pioneered the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an initiative by 28 billionaires to push for more funding for clean energy. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Why the rich should do more to save the world

In the age of austerity, governments have limited resources to invest in new areas of research – like clean energy – that have multiple risks. Billionaires like Bill Gates can help plug the gap.
A biogas plant in Queensland. NH Foods Oakey Beef Exports

Bioenergy: making money, and clean energy

The government has issued a draft direction to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in "emerging" clean energy such as bioenergy. But what are the prospects for bioenergy?
The Australian government has instructed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stop investing in wind. penagate/Flickr

The government should keep its hands off clean energy finance

Can the government tell its clean energy finance body what to invest in? Recent news that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will be banned from investing in wind farms and small-scale solar suggest that the government is trying to do just that.
Plants use photosynthesis to build molecules and energy they can use. By copying plants, humans can make cleaner fuels. Ranjit Bhatnagar/Flickr

To shift away from fossil fuels, we need to copy plants

Most of the energy that fuels our lives comes from plants. Whether it is a fossil fuel that was formed hundreds of millions of years ago or the food we eat, all carbon-borne energy has its ultimate origins…
The G20’s impressive declaratory record on energy cooperation hides serious practical shortcomings. www.shutterstock.com

Global commitment issues on display at the G20

With the Brisbane G20 Leaders Summit only a matter of weeks away, Australia is increasingly succumbing to G20 fever. Rarely does a self-declared middle power such as Australia get to play host to such…
Treasurer Joe Hockey joins a long line of leaders unable to close the gap between promise and reality. Dave Hunt/AAP

Joe Hockey and the G20 headed for promise fatigue

Governments are notorious for missing targets. Look no further than France or Spain’s recent fiscal calumny, despite the European Union’s excessive deficit procedure. Closer to home, the Association of…
Battery costs can make up a quarter of the cost of an electric car such as this Tesla Model S. Shal Farley/Flickr

Affordable batteries for green energy are closer than we think

At the heart of the current debate around energy is the question of storage. In cars, how to build batteries that run for hundreds of kilometres; in electricity, storing energy from solar panels for when…
Clive Palmer announced his climate policy at a press conference with former US vice president Al Gore last night. AAPImage/Alan Porritt

AUDIO Q&A: What’s in and out of Palmer’s climate strategy

In a surprising announcement last night Clive Palmer promised to abolish Australia’s current carbon price, and block the coalition’s Direct Action policy. But Palmer has said he will vote to retain the…
Time to put some heat into the hydrogen industry. Flames on a black background, Olga Nikonova

Heat subsidies leave hydrogen and fuel cells out in the cold

The inhabitants of a frequently cold and windy country like the UK need to heat their homes, even in what is loosely termed “summer”. This is achieved mostly by natural gas-fed boilers – but this dependence…
The Three Gorges Dam has changed the lives of millions - not always for the better. Greg Baker/AP

Chinese hydropower electrifies southeast Asia, but at a cost

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, its ferocious industrial expansion and urbanisation driving a demand for electricity that has risen 10% in a single year between September 2012-13. This has…

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