Energy

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. REUTERS/Diego Azubel/Pool

How to rebalance Africa’s relationship with China

For sub-Saharan Africa to benefit fully from its growing economic ties with China both parties need to change their behaviour and attitude.
Thorium has its advantages over uranium nuclear power, but is it right for Australia? dymidziuk.janusz/Flickr

Should Australia consider thorium nuclear power?

Thorium has several advantages over uranium nuclear power, but it also has its drawbacks. However, the question remains whether it would be the right technology should Australia choose to go nuclear.
A carbon tax could help lighten the flow out of these stacks. Shutterstock

A carbon tax: the green opportunity in cheaper oil

For most of the world’s large economies, the sharp decline in oil and energy prices is great news. Cheaper energy will help boost economic growth and is especially welcome for lower- and middle-income…
Oil prices have dropped to levels not seen in years. It’s not all good news. Reuters

Oil price drop offers short-term gains but long-term pains

The recent drop in crude oil and gasoline prices in the United States is a nice stocking stuffer for consumers this holiday season, but it could turn into a lump of coal. A global oil glut has caused the…
Coal seam gas is only one issue for managing one of Australia’s most important geological resources. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Coal seam gas is just the latest round in an underground war

In a recent article on The Conversation, Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) researchers argued that the industry is progressing faster than the science, leading to concerns over fugitive emissions and impacts…
Wind farms like this one probably wouldn’t exist if the government didn’t provide a hefty subsidy. Shutterstock

Congress shouldn’t revive the failed policy of subsidizing wind farms

Congress passed the wind production tax credit (PTC) more than two decades ago to spur development in an industry still in its infancy. The wind sector has since matured into adulthood, prompting thousands…
Reach for your wardrobe, not your thermostat. midnightcomm

Why room temperature needed to be taken down a notch

What is a healthy room temperature? On releasing its Cold Weather Plan for 2014, Public Health England has recently revised its recommended minimum levels to keep in good health. No longer, they say, do…
The people are angry, but the politicians aren’t worried. Dave Weaver/Reuters

Keystone XL debate: how pipeline politics divide Nebraska

In Nebraska, the intensity of the Keystone XL debate is second only to that over the chance that the Nebraska Cornhuskers will win the Big Ten football championship. Raging for several years now, controversy…
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…
Economic reforms such as a national carbon price could usher in dramatic changes on China’s energy landscape. Vmenkov/Wikimedia Commons

China heads for price on carbon; energy market overhaul is next

In the lead-up to the UN leaders’ summit on climate change, China is shifting up a gear in its drive towards national emissions trading. Yet for carbon pricing to be effective, market reform in China’s…
As early as 2015 China’s use of thermal coal for electricity could peak. Bret Arnett/Flickr

Ross Garnaut: China to reach ‘peak coal’ for electricity by 2015

China’s use of coal for electricity could peak as early as next year, then decline until 2020 in a turnaround of “global importance”, according to economist Ross Garnaut in a lecture presented at the Melbourne…
The cat that got too fat. But let’s talk about you. Yukari

Ten things you didn’t know about fat

Our understanding of fats – including which ones are actually good for us – is evolving. We know for example that red meat and meat products, cakes and biscuits, which are rich sources of saturated fatty…

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