Energy security

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The vivid pink pools of Western Australia’s Hutt Lagoon are the world’s largest algae farm. Steve Back (used with permission)

Sustainable oil from algae: the technology is ready, but what about the politics?

We have the technology to make oil from algae, rather than digging up crude oil from organisms that lived billions of years ago. But bringing it to market will take a force of economic and political will.
The Fukushima disaster was a dark chapter for nuclear power - but high-profile accidents are far from the only downside. EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/AAP

Accidents, waste and weapons: nuclear power isn’t worth the risks

Is nuclear power worth it? No, says Mark Diesendorf – it's never been a major world energy force, it has caused huge accidents, and its greenhouse emissions are higher than many people realise.
Kudankulam is one of seven new nuclear plants being built in India. IAEA

Where will nuclear power plants of the future be built?

Asia and Eastern Europe are leading the way, but construction times for new projects are getting longer, and Europe's dominant energy player, Germany, is turning its back on nuclear.
A nuclear-capable Pakistani missile during testing in 2011. The international community hopes other aspiring nuclear nations can develop nuclear power without the military muscle. EPA/INTER SERVICES/AAP

Power and peace: how nations can go nuclear without weapons

Through history, nuclear power has gone hand in hand with the nuclear arms race. But does it have to be this way? Closer international cooperation can help nations embrace nuclear power peacefully.
Australia likely has several decades of coal left in it yet. eyeweed/flickr

Four ways to boost Australia’s economy that can help the climate

Australia likely has decades of fossil fuels left to extract, export and burn. That could prove to be a problem if the world comes to an agreement on climate change. Here's four ways to help the economy, and the climate.
You’ve missed a bit. EPA/Koca Sulejmanovic

End of the line for Russia’s South Stream pipe dream?

After seven years of planning, the South Stream pipeline that would carry gas from Russia to Europe via Bulgaria has been cancelled. After a long-running battle with the EU over the need for the pipeline…
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…
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…
The International Energy Agency was set up to avoid a repeat of the 1973 oil crisis - but four decades later the rules need updating. David Falconer/US Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

The G20 has a crucial role in preventing future energy crises

Next week, Brisbane hosts the final meeting of the G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group before the main G20 summit in November. Government officials and energy experts from 20 of the most powerful countries…
Is the sun setting on West African oil? A platform in Limbe, Cameroon. VirginieVV

US fracking boom puts West African oil economies at risk

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the US made a point of diversifying its sources of oil to reduce dependence on the Middle East. It was a strategic move which promised a huge boost to West African…

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