Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jobs in the Wind

I read on ABC News that the construction of two new windfarms in Victoria will create almost 200 jobs.

Renewable energy, as well as using far less natural resources, requires as much (or more) labour - especially during construction and installation. That's good news for the planet and for Australia's workforce.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

1% is Plenty

You may have heard the news that the Australian government is providing $50 million dollars in grants to establish geothermal power in Australia.

Looking into the story, it appears that Geoscience Australia has done a study revealsing that just 1% of Australia's geothermal supply would produce far more energy than Australia uses in a year.

No wonder the Minister for Energy says it has "huge potential" - both for tackling climate change and ensuring national energy security.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Green City in the Black Forest

I recently read about the German city of Freiburg. With a population of 200,000, it has almost as many solar panels as the UK, including the building below which has one whole side of the building covered with them.

There are over 400km of bicycle lanes; with public transport, bikes and private vehicles each getting one-third of road space. Recently the UK's Guardian newspaper ran the article "Is this the greenest city in the world?".

The Freiburg website has a detailed environment section - listing the various actions they've taken to achieve their Eco-City reputation. It seems that many cities could follow their lead. Maybe even Brisbane.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Al Gore Challenge

A liitle while ago, i wrote about Al Gore's challenge for America to run on 100% zero-carbon electricity within 10 years. Now, the video has turned up on the internet.

In it he suggests that it can help solve the 3 main crises - economic, environmental and national security.

We're borrowing money from China, to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that has to change.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Farmers Get Wind

According to the Courier Mail a proposed 252-turbine windfarm in Queensland's South Burnett region will be the biggest in the southern hemisphere, and reduce greenhouse gases by up to 2.2 million tonnes per year.

Producing enough power for 320,000 homes, the turbines will be located on grazing properties, with the farmers receiving $10,000 per year per turbine for the use of the land.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Billion Dollar Solar

Yesterday engineering firm Worley Parsons announced its plan to build a $1 billion solar thermal power plant within three years, and up to 34 by 2020.

"..you want maximum solar with the least cloud cover or interference and our dry desert locations are ideal" said Peter Meurs of Worley Parsons. While Australia's great solar resource is not exactly new information, it is great to see someone stepping up with a hefty investment.

Worley Parsons shares went up 3.7%

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CH2 reduces CO2

A while ago, i wrote about ABC's Catalyst programme doing a feature story on Melbourne's CH2 building.

Well recently i came across the website of this fantastic building, which goes into more detail about the innovative ways that the building saves energy, and also generates some of its own. It's very clever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

4 Day Working Week

This has to be one of the most convenient solutions I have seen. The State of Utah, in the US, has instigated a 4-day working week in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. The move is also expected to improve customer service and provide workers more flexibility.

Meanwhile, a good friend of mine has arranged a similar deal, where he gets every friday off, in exchange for working slightly longer on the other 4 days. While carbon emissions may not have been his main reason, there does seem to be a link between being low-carbon, and having an improved lifestyle.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

50°C by 2050

That's the prediction for the hottest summer days in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide - according to the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre.

While most reports have looked at the increase in average temperatures, this report investigated the effects of climate change on those extra-hot summer days, which is apparently even greater.