Articles on Energy

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Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from www.shutterstock.com/Ronen

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
Be the change you wish to see in the world - it may have more impact than you realise. Corepics VOF/Shutterstock

Neighbourhood watch: how to go green and influence people

We all know that children learn by example. I know if I swear in front of my four year old I’m going to hear that word again soon, probably right in front of my mother-in-law, a school teacher, or a priest…
The big emitters of greenhouse gases - China, India, and Brazil - and other developing countries were not bound by Kyoto emission targets, and the USA refused to sign up to the Protocol. Bret Arnett

Kyoto Protocol fails: get ready for a hotter world

Australia is on track at the end of this year to meet its emission reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol. We’ve also signed up to the new version of Kyoto. But that should not encourage us to believe…
Australia could soon have millions of small electricity generators. absentmindedprof/Flickr

Energy White Paper underestimates solar

The 2012 Energy White Paper has much to commend it. In particular, the far greater acknowledgement of the need to shift to clean energy sources is a fundamental shift from previous White Papers. The emphasis…
Do you value this? The Energy White Paper doesn’t. Green MPs

Energy White Paper plans to burn, burn, burn it all

Burn it all. That is the plan in Australia’s new Energy White Paper. Released yesterday by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, it talks about responding to climate change while planning the…
Housing stress and energy poverty are compromising the health of low-income Australians. onecellotheory/Flickr

Housing stress and energy poverty – a deadly mix?

The well-being of low-income Australian households is being seriously undermined by the increasing cost of housing and electricity. Many such households are suffering from both housing stress and energy…
The Origin Smart portal provides customers with an estimate of future electricity bills. fudj

Is Origin Smart sleepwalking into a shocking personal data breach?

Early last week, Origin Energy, Australia’s pre-eminent energy retailer, launched an online energy-use monitoring portal Origin Smart to much fanfare. All good – but what about the the privacy and security…
Sign of things to come: a depleted Lake Hume in 2007, when the big dry still had a couple years to run. Flickr/Tim J Keegan

Climate change and Victoria: high time to innovate, adapt, and cope

Victoria has entered a critical decade in the race to adapt for the stresses of climate change, according to a new report from the Climate Commission. Following the release of Victorian climate impacts…
Sold to the lowest bidder! The carbon price will not transform Australia’s power supply without further steps to help low-emission technologies into the market. Flickr/sashafatcat

Low-emission’s missing link: reverse auctions for clean power

When it comes to reducing emissions, most serious analysts agree: the market works best, but the market is not enough. The International Energy Agency, the OECD, leading British climate economist Nicholas…
With Australia’s highest carbon intensity, Victoria’s Hazelwood coal-fired power station is a prime candidate to close down part of its generating capacity. AAP

The case for shutting down Hazelwood power station - some facts and figures

Under its Clean Energy Future, the Federal government will negotiate to close 2000 MW of the dirtiest fossil fuel power generating capacity in Australia by 2020. With the price on carbon now in operation…
Obesity can be seen as a carbon store on our waistlines originally sourced from coal mines and oil wells. Bobcatnorth/Flickr

Putting health at the heart of sustainability policy

OBESE NATION: It’s time to admit it - Australia is becoming an obese nation. This series looks at how this has happened and more importantly, what we can do to stop the obesity epidemic. Today Anthony…
With natural gas - like other commodities - it can be necessary for prices to rise in anticipation of increasing demand. Flickr/jasonwoodhead23

Natural gas: expect price to rise as market expands

Many are concerned with the price of natural gas. Natural gas is an important part of Australia’s overall energy mix; it represents roughly a quarter of all primary energy sources consumed. And, as we…
There’s no shortage of hype around thorium, but how justified is the excitement? AzureGrackel

Thoughts from a thorium ‘symposium’

You have probably heard at least a little about thorium. There are certainly advocates out there who strongly believe it could help solve the world’s energy problems. The idea is that thorium-based nuclear…
Coal’s heyday is coming to a close, but is gas a long-term solution? Guy Gorek

The future of gas power: stepping-stone or snare?

The past few years have seen the rapid expansion of the coal seam and shale gas industry. Combine this expansion with the recent introduction of a price on carbon here in Australia, and you end up with…
The Federal Government’s draft energy white paper outlines a future where Australia still depends on fossil fuels. AAP

Australia’s draft energy white paper misses the big picture

The release of Australia’s draft energy white paper has outlined a future where Australia continues to be largely dependent on fossil fuels, embraces uranium and expands existing deregulation and privatisation…
Energy production worldwide has become even more reliant on coal. Joost J Bakker IJmuiden

The emissions juggernaut rolls on, and everybody is on board

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: A paper published yesterday shows global industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, overwhelmingly from fossil fuels, jumped by 5.9% from 2009 to 2010. This is a big increase…

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