Articles on Energy security

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Australia’s energy security will fall again after Caltex’s decision to shut its Sydney plant at Kurnell (pictured), but the Federal Government is yet to have a coherent stance on domestic refining capacity. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Oil-slick politics: Canberra slippery on refinery shutdowns

Last week, Caltex decided to close its Kurnell refinery in Sydney. This closure follows a recent decision by Shell to close its refinery at Clyde in Sydney and it will leave the city without any oil refineries…
State of dependency: Australia imports the majority of its oil for the first time since 1970. Flickr/Sr. Samolo

Australia’s growing oil imports are an energy security issue

For all the talk about Australia’s resource and energy riches and the country’s economy riding the waves of a resource boom, one facet of the country’s energy situation has largely been under the radar…
Serious, interconnected risks are closing in on the globalised community, from climate change to anarchy. Are we heeding the warnings? AAP/EPA/Daniel Deme

Highway to dystopia: time to wise up to the looming risks

In that world of peripheral vision, essential for business, social and political leaders, it is surprising that the World Economic Forum’s report, Global Risks 2012 has not received greater publicity or…
Driving away from fossil fuels: fields of rapeseed which is used in biofuels, many of which are under development in Australia and abroad. Flickr/roger g1

Growing the grunt: developing green biofuels for Australia

In 300 BC, the Syrian city of Antioch had public street lighting fuelled by olive oil. At the 1900 Paris World Fair, German inventor Rudolph Diesel demonstrated his engine powered by peanut oil. Biofuels…
Facing the music: Australia is losing its capacity to refine oil. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Security in doubt as Australia’s aging oil refineries shut down

The looming closure of three Australian refineries will affect the security of liquid fuel supplies in Australia. This is particularly so if the government and the oil industry do not devise a joint strategy…
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…
Solar is now a viable industry that should be taken seriously. AFP Photo/Sakis Mitrolidis

Solar will force coal and nuclear out of the energy business

A solar energy revolution is brewing that will put the coal and nuclear industries out of business. Solar is already reaching price parity with coal in many parts of Australia. In contrast to coal and…
OPEC president Mohammad Aliabadi believes speculation in futures is inflating oil prices. He is wrong. AAP

Why it’s wrong to blame speculation for pushing up oil prices

OPEC Conference president Mohammad Aliabadi recently joined a chorus of international observers to blame speculation as the source of ongoing volatility in the global oil market. Speaking at an OPEC Conference…
Sea levels are expected to rise between 0.5m and 1m by 2100, potentially at great cost to coastal infrastructure. AAP

Fix climate by 2020 or face huge costs

Governments and communities must take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this decade or face enormous social…
Australia struggles to keep up in the efficiency race. Flickr/adambowie

Australia ignores energy efficiency, burns money

Energy efficiency is globally seen as the biggest and best option for cheaply reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dealing with rising power bills. But in Australia it still struggles for recognition…
Our old-fashioned addiction will be hard to kick. JD Hancock/flickr

Going up: peak oil wolf is scratching at the door

Oil is a finite and non-renewable resource. Its production is going to peak. “Peak oil” is the point at which half of the world’s original endowment of oil has been extracted. This is the point at which…
Is paying for power lines pushing up bills? AAP

What’s really pushing up the price of power?

Household electricity bills are rising and about half of a typical bill goes to paying network costs. Are we paying too much for network infrastructure? Electricity networks are undeniably important. They…

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