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Analysis and Comment (13)

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…
The Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand: hot water for free. Rebecca Naden/PA

Tapping into the energy that lies deep underground

Geothermal energy is derived from heat produced by the decay of radioactive elements within the Earth’s molten core, where temperatures reach 6000°C around 6000km below the ground. This heat naturally…
A bipartisan approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is within reach that could ensure the current carbon pricing regime does not need to be dismantled. AAP

Why a bipartisan approach is needed on carbon pricing

The long-term future of carbon pricing in Australia’s efforts to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases is bleak if there is no bi-partisan approach. With Coalition likely to win September’s election…
It’s easy to claim “wind turbine syndrome” exists, but where’s the evidence? Snurb

There’s still no evidence that wind farms harm your health

Back in July I wrote an article for the The Conversation arguing that wind turbine syndrome was a classic “communicated” disease: it spreads by being talked about, and is therefore a strong candidate for…
Wind farms have existed in Australia long before the first claims about health ever surfaced. AAP

Wind turbine syndrome: a classic ‘communicated’ disease

At the beginning of this year I started collecting examples of health problems some people were attributing to wind turbine exposure. I had noticed a growing number of such claims on the internet and was…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (2)