Thursday 17 August 2017

Origin to add “a Hazelwood” of renewables by 2020, but says CET remains “critical”
Despite an upbeat renewables outlook, Origin Energy CEO says the market is not out of the woods yet, and that for investment to keep up momentum, policy stability remains at a premium, and the introduction of a Clean Energy Target is critical.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/origin-add-hazelwood-renewables-2020-says-cet-remains-critical-19625/

Chinese climate impacts will hit Australian economy
How hard will climate impacts in China hit Australia’s economy? It’s a question for the Senate inquiry into national security implications of climate change.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/chinese-climate-impacts-will-hit-australian-economy-70655/

Australia emits mercury at double the global average
http://theconversation.com/australia-emits-mercury-at-double-the-global-average-82577

Flicking the switch on carp control
STEP aside, electric eel — carp could be about to steal your, er, spark.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/carp-scales-could-be-used-to-generate-energy/news-story/8f86ccf0d14c6d44a6a9f3fcac85bf84

Greens push for Senate inquiry into allegations of cross-border waste dumping
ABC’s Four Corners report alleging illegal dumping in Queensland needs scrutiny, Peter Whish-Wilson says
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/16/greens-push-for-senate-inquiry-into-allegations-of-cross-border-waste-dumping

Fact check: Does a UK Corolla emit half as much carbon as one from Australia?
Many Australians try to reduce their personal carbon footprint, but do we have the same options as people in other countries?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2017-08-17/fact-check-corolla-emissions-comparison-uk-australia/8805598

Electricity prices
David Leyonhjelm
The federal government could immediately make electricity GST-free without seeking support from the states.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19226

Can public transport define the 20-minute city?
Alan Davies
We make a vanishingly small percentage of short trips by public transport and it’s mostly because we prefer the alternatives for this sort of travel. Transit’s strengths lie elsewhere
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2017/08/16/transit-define-20-minute-city/

Let’s stop pretending cyclists and motorists are equal on the road
Ashley Carruthers, Australian National University
The primacy given to the car has shaped our cities, the roads that serve them and our very thinking about the place of driving in our lives — and it’s a mindset that leaves cyclists highly vulnerable.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/cyclists-and-motorists-arent-equal-on-the-road-the-conversation/8813706

Crude, dangerous and bad for the environment: speed humps must go
Erin Stewart
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/crude-dangerous-and-bad-for-the-environment-speed-humps-must-go-20170815-gxwnvw.html

Annual ‘liveability’ self-congratulation disguises Melbourne’s problems
Clay Lucas
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/annual-liveability-selfcongratulation-disguises-melbournes-problems-20170816-gxxcuo.html

Melbourne a marvel for the few, not the many
Age editorial
Melbourne’s “growing pains” include traffic congestion, housing unaffordability and a lack of infrastructure.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/marvellous-melbourne-the-worlds-most-liveable-city-only-for-the-few-20170816-gxxgql.html

$16b Ausgrid sale to be scrutinised by Auditor-General
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/16b-ausgrid-sale-to-be-scrutinised-by-auditorgeneral-20170816-gxxa6s.html

Crush hour: Sydney train passengers skyrocket
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/opal-figures-show-skyrocketing-passenger-demand-on-sydney-train-lines-20170811-gxubre.html

Emissions rule to be tested in court for the first time
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/staggering-nsw-emissions-rule-to-be-tested-in-court-for-the-first-time-20170816-gxxga3.html

Backing roads over rail leaves NSW commuters in fourth place
SMH editorial
What a surprise – another traffic jam.
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/backing-roads-over-rail-leaves-nsw-commuters-in-fourth-place-20170816-gxxlpn.html

More city smog: the true cost of coal is in our air quality
Nicola Rivers
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/coal-the-true-cost-to-our-community-20170815-gxx2tr.html

Canberra’s renewable energy to cost average household $114 a year in 2020
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberras-renewable-energy-to-cost-average-household-114-a-year-in-2020-20170816-gxx5a0.html

Two Cape York mines rejected after Government wages legal war with itself
A decision to reject two controversial mining applications on a far north Queensland cattle station owned by the Government is good news for the Great Barrier Reef, the state’s Environment Minister says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/great-barrier-reef-cape-york-mines-knocked-back/8810670

Shelved gas power station plan back on the cards for Queensland
A controversial south-east Queensland gas-fired power station that was abandoned after years of legal battles applies again for the go-ahead, in a bid to meet what the facility’s proponents say is the state’s growing demand for electricity.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/shelved-gas-power-station-plan-back-on-the-cards-for-queensland/8805192

Queensland government considers landfill moratorium
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-government-considers-landfill-moratorium-20170816-gxxrvw.html

Offshore drilling’s effect on humpback whale migrations
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/scientists-explore-offshore-drillings-effect-on-humpback-whale-migrations-20170816-gxxf8w.html

Coal communities lead march to clean energy
Port Augusta becomes latest Australian coal hub to embrace renewables – and just as well, considering new data on coal plant pollution.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-communities-lead-march-to-clean-energy-12803/

Solar project needs $540m more
A US company contracted to build a $650m power project in South Australia has, so far, been unable to raise finance.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/weatherills-solar-power-saviour-needs-another-540m-in-finance/news-story/c126495b04131cada167d389a32492be

Model solar plant shutdown over leak
THE firm building a $650 million solar thermal power plant in SA suffered an eight-month shutdown of a facility using the same technology in the United States, it has emerged.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/shutdown-of-solarreserve-solar-plant-in-us-prompts-questions-over-plan-for-similar-facility-in-sa/news-story/2d08dc9c527680a55e78c8e2252285bd

‘3700 jobs’ in huge recycled water project
An irrigation project that could create up to 3700 jobs in northern Adelaide will go ahead after the Federal Government promised to contribute $46 million towards building costs.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/irrigation-plan-to-pump-recycled-water-bolivar-to-adelaide-plains-may-create-up-to-3700-agriculture-horticulture-jobs/news-story/4ef3a3f3abc87f91fd3c87a4575fc762

Tasmania’s eye on full renewable energy by 2022
Recommendations from an energy security taskforce, set up in the wake of Tasmania’s 2015 power crisis, will be fully implemented within months, with the State Government acknowledging the need for a more “conservative” approach.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/recommendations-from-tas-energy-security-taskforce/8814220

Greens back renewable energy plan
THE Greens have congratulated the Liberal State Government for adopting their policy to make Tasmania 100 per cent self-reliant on renewable energy.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/greens-welcome-liberals-promise-of-renewable-energy-drive/news-story/ceb10369e0c4220d0206d0740c590d34

Students leading in waste reduction
Students at a southern Catholic school are leaving their rubbish at home as they strive to become a waste-free school.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/st-cuthberts-students-have-lunchtime-rubbish-all-wrapped-up/news-story/178e67aa25f00474821eda8a78220e2b

Eastern Goldfields in liquidation
Western Australia’s Supreme Court has ordered gold producer Eastern Goldfields into liquidation.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/court-puts-eastern-goldfields-into-liquidation/news-story/4354eafefa014f76a5177aa81581dd89

How to make Perth a more liveable city
Creating a better city — or, to use the current vernacular, a more liveable city — is not just about new buildings and new infrastructure.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/transport-key-to-liveable-city-ng-b88553557z

World-first shark deterrent could make its way to Cottesloe beach
Cottesloe beach could become the first in Australia to trial a new shark deterrent cable.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/world-first-shark-deterrent-could-make-its-way-to-cottesloe-beach-ng-b88570632z

Smart electrical grids more vulnerable to cyber attacks
Electricity distribution systems in the USA are gradually being modernized and transposed to smart grids, which make use of two-way communication and computer processing. This is making them increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/e-seg081617.php

Turning pollen into a low-cost fertilizer
As the world population continues to balloon, agricultural experts puzzle over how farms will produce enough food to keep up with demand. One tactic involves boosting crop yields. Toward that end, scientists have developed a method to make a low-cost, biocompatible fertilizer with carbon dots derived from rapeseed pollen
http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/52176

Organised gangs making billions from trade in endangered animals
Few countries recognise or investigate the links between wildlife crime — now worth between $9 billion and $29 billion a year — and money laundering, according to a new report that urges stronger measures be introduced to combat the practice.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/wildlife-crime-increasingly-used-as-front-for-money-laundering/8810292

Weird creatures are spreading polluting plastic through the sea
Small filter-feeding animals in the world’s oceans take in bits of plastic and excrete them in pellets that sink to the ocean floor.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2144272-weird-creatures-are-spreading-polluting-plastic-through-the-sea/

Three wildlife rangers killed in attack by violent militia in DRC
Three wildlife rangers at DRC’s Virunga national park were killed this week in an ambush by Mai Mai rebels, bringing this year’s fatalities to eight
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/16/three-wildlife-rangers-killed-in-attack-by-violent-militia-in-drc