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The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s climate “hot spots” — vulnerable to rising seas, storms and erosion. Phalinn Ooi/Flickr

Cities could be the secret to fighting climate change

The world’s population could reach almost 10 billion by 2050. Most people will live in cities. To accommodate an additional 3 billion people, we’ll need to build the equivalent of one new city, that can…
In the 1970s, refineries in the Middle East controlled the world’s flow of oil. Not any more. National Iranian Oil Company/Wikimedia Commons

OPEC v oil prices: how the world’s biggest oil cartel lost its power

With oil prices on the slide, members of the once-dominant Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided last week not to attempt to rally them by cutting production, leaving the Brent…
The scheme aims to make buildings with high energy-efficiency ratings, like this one in Canberra, attractive to potential buyers and renters. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Green building scheme review adds yet more policy uncertainty

Australia’s policies to cut greenhouse emissions have been shrouded in uncertainty over the past few months. The contentious Renewable Energy Target review and the swapping of the carbon price for Direct…
Gas guzzled: OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo threw America into crisis and underlined the political power of energy. David Falconer/Wikimedia Commons

Four decades later, has America finally got over the oil crisis?

The Australian Financial Review recently trumpeted America’s “re-emergence as a world oil power”. It is an accomplishment four decades in the making and its success is still under debate. Energy security…
A tourist train from Sheringham to Holt steams past an offshore wind farm, one of many that have sprung up along the UK coast. Gerry Balding/Flickr

UK shows how Australia can cut emissions without a carbon tax

Australia’s carbon price has gone – but a UK review released this week shows that to lay the foundations for a low-carbon economy, pricing carbon is far from the whole story. Over recent months, as Australia’s…
Don’t let gas price flare ups catch you by surprise: there are better ways to save your money and energy. Ben Jenkins/Flickr

Don’t get burnt by gas price rises: tips for homes and industry

Gas prices are on the rise, starting tomorrow with a 17.8% increase this year in New South Wales, with other parts of eastern Australia expected to follow in coming years. That means it’s a crucial time…
Without a new deal soon the Green Deal will go from hot to dead cold. House thermal image by Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Heat is on for new way to sell Green Deal to householders

Among the UK government’s pronouncements for the new parliamentary session were measures designed to boost zero-carbon home building in order to reap the benefits of lower emissions, lower household energy…
Britain’s Energy Performance Certificate - could do better. Grant Wilson/National Grid

Energy efficient homes could help Treasury balance the books

We’ve just been through an unusually mild winter for the UK. Despite the excessive rain and storms, the warmer temperatures meant we’ve needed less energy to heat our homes. This has reduced household…
Make one change, cause another - everything’s closely linked. Dominic Lipinski/PA

Drive to improve housing can bring unintended consequences

The UK is one of only a handful of countries that has put in place legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. How the country intends to go about…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers' meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Double or nothing: Australia’s G20 energy challenge

When Australia hosts the G20 Leaders' Summit in November, a top agenda item for its “Brisbane Action Plan” will be “practical actions to improve productivity and competitiveness”. So here’s a good place…
A mini power plant in a North Sydney basement. Trigeneration plants like these generate electricity, heating and cooling far more efficiently than with mains power. AAP/Short Communications, Girrit Fokkema

How to save business billions, without cutting renewable jobs

The debate about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has largely focused on the issue of immediate costs to business. But if we’re thinking about Australia’s long-term economic interests…

Natural gas leaks more than predicted

Natural gas wells in the USA have considerably higher levels of leakage — fugitive emissions — than officials predicted…
A protester makes her feelings clear about the pink batts scheme in 2010. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Pink batts: what did it teach us about building better buildings?

The political fallout over the ill-fated Home Insulation Program continues, with former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard now having been summoned to appear before the Abbott government’s royal…
Restructuring the market is harder than it looks. David Cheskin/PA

Ofgem faces select committee, but market reform still lags

With high energy prices all anyone can talk about this winter, Ofgem’s interim chief Andrew Wright appeared before MPs today to defend the regulator’s performance. Predictably, he was met with some hostile…
Using less energy costs less. urbansolar

High bills? The cheapest energy is energy we don’t use

What’s the world’s most important fuel, as we head into the 21st century? Oil, coal, gas, renewables? A recent International Energy Agency report stated the most important fuel for the future is energy…

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