Tuesday 26 September 2017

More renewables, fewer coal outages could ease potential gas shortfall
AEMO sees the new build of renewable energy as critical to meet power supply shortfalls, noting in its latest report that more renewables will mean less need to burn gas for electricity. It also warns more gas will be needed if one of the country’s ageing coal generators fails.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/more-renewables-fewer-coal-outages-could-ease-potential-gas-shortfall-31702/

What Germany’s election results mean for science.
A new coalition could face battles over gene editing and climate regulations.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212607397

In Canada, climate change could open new farmland to the plow.
As global warming intensifies droughts and floods, causing crop failures in many parts of the world, Canada may see something different: a farming expansion.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212608188

Clarifying perspectives to promote action on loss and damage from climate change
“Loss and damage” is a phrase used in different ways by people who work on climate policy, negotiation and adaptation/resilience. A new study clarifies these different perspectives which is a key issue now that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, is encouraging creation and implementation of actions to address loss and damage from climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/lu-cpt092517.php

Climate change can goad volcanoes into life
Geologists studying volcanic activity have uncovered new evidence about the drying up of the Mediterranean Sea 5.96 million years ago
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/udg-ccc092517.php

Bahamas deeply concerned about dangers of climate change.
The Bahamas says it is deeply concerned about the dangers of environmental degradation and climate change, stating that they threaten the region’s very survivability
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212608185

Developing countries can prosper without increasing emissions.
Meg Argyriou
One of the ironies of fighting climate change is that developed countries – which have benefited from decades or centuries of industrialisation – are now asking developing countries to abandon highly polluting technology.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212609157

Australia needs 75% renewables by 2030 to meet Paris targets, cut costs
Report shows least cost way to meet Paris climate goals and cut emissions is to fast-track Australia’s transition to renewable
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-needs-75-renewables-2030-meet-paris-targets-cut-costs-42441/

Australia wind energy’s record day of production in August
Wind energy posts record output in August, with renewables delivering 25 per cent of all demand at the evening peak.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-wind-energys-record-day-production-august-25313/

More renewables, fewer coal outages could ease potential gas shortfall
AEMO sees the new build of renewable energy as critical to meet power supply shortfalls, noting in its latest report that more renewables will mean less need to burn gas for electricity. It also warns more gas will be needed if one of the country’s ageing coal generators fails.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/more-renewables-fewer-coal-outages-could-ease-potential-gas-shortfall-31702/

Consumers see solar and battery storage as key to cutting bills
Poll reveals batteries could soon be as “common as dishwashers” in Australian homes, in race to cut power bills with solar and storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/consumers-see-solar-battery-storage-key-cutting-bills-15172/

Government must act within ‘weeks’ to prevent power crisis, Ai Group says
The Australian Industry Group is urging the Federal Government to act now to prevent power shortfalls as it now has “all the evidence on the table”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/government-needs-to-act-now-to-prevent-gas-shortfall-says-aig/8986170

Gas shortages ‘bigger than previously advised’, PM warns
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warns the energy industry the Government has export controls “ready to go” if they don’t address an expected gas shortfall, after two reports warn the shortages could be much worse than expected.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/gas-shortfall-could-be-worse-than-expected-accc-aemo-report-says/8984306

States reject call to develop gas fields
The states are rejecting calls from Malcolm Turnbull to relax restrictions on gas development as Australia faces a projected shortfall.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/states-reject-call-to-develop-gas-fields/news-story/b2783ea66024314860fa28c984c798b9

Running out of gas but no easy answers
Exporters have shipped a lot of extra gas overseas in addition to the gas they were contractually obliged to export.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4947893/running-out-of-gas-but-no-easy-answers/?cs=7

Energy shortfall in eastern Australia could be three times worse than forecast
Australian Energy Market Operator says eastern and south-eastern states could face even higher energy prices and a falling gas supply
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/25/energy-shortfall-in-eastern-australia-could-be-three-times-worse-than-forecast

Labor plan ‘to wipe off billions’
Bill Shorten has been accused of a ‘reckless’ energy plan that would wipe billions of dollars from the economy.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/labor-energy-plan-to-wipe-billions-off-econmy-coalition/news-story/0539347cc9a757d005ca3f85fbd41a82

‘Deliberately vague’ on RET
Bill Shorten has repeatedly refused to name Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target, eventually admitting his party does “support that reduction”.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/shorten-deliberately-vague-on-labors-45-per-cent-ret/news-story/ba52126e8ebb0c2d0ae773e5f3881924

Enviro groups say tax breaks crucial
ENVIRONMENTAL organisations such as Friends of the Earth and Lock the Gate could be rendered virtually inoperable if they lose their tax deductible status.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/environmental-groups-say-tax-breaks-crucial/news-story/fb5a5ba8980051fe635591bba91e51e9

Baffled by baseload? Dumbfounded by dispatchables? Here’s a glossary of the energy debate
Ariel Liebman, Ross Gawler
https://theconversation.com/baffled-by-baseload-dumbfounded-by-dispatchables-heres-a-glossary-of-the-energy-debate-84212

Gas inquiry 2017-2020: interim report
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The ACCC has released its first interim report of its inquiry into gas supply arrangements in Australia, which focuses on likely supply and demand conditions in the east coast gas market for 2018.
http://apo.org.au/node/108426

Wind and solar aren’t to blame for soaring power prices
Ian Verrender
The numbers no longer stack up when it comes to coal-fired power: wind and solar are cheaper, and rising electricity costs have more to do with gas prices and network costs than any “green scheme”
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/the-truth-about-soaring-power-prices/8979860

Put out your lumps of coal for departing Minerals Council boss
Bernard Keane
It didn’t take long after BHP mentioned it was unhappy with the coal-obsessed direction of the Minerals Council for the council CEO to depart.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/09/25/put-out-your-lumps-of-coal-for-brendan-pearson/

Big gas shortage looming, but government stays hand on export controls
Michelle Grattan
https://theconversation.com/big-gas-shortage-looming-but-government-stays-hand-on-export-controls-84610

It’s put up or shut up time for gas giants
Jennifer Hewett
http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/its-put-up-or-shut-up-time-for-origin-shell-and-santos-20170925-gyod0l

New rules create major road hump for wind and solar projects
Giles Parkinson
Construction boom in large-scale solar farms and wind projects in Australia hits major road hump, with “retrospective” rules imposed by market operator causing delays, and in some cases added costs and equipment changes.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-rules-create-major-road-hump-for-wind-and-solar-projects-67685/

Electricity emissions continue fall after Hazelwood closure
Hugh Saddler
Report says emissions have fallen after Hazelwood closure, but finds It hard to think of a more expensive & unreliable way to achieve reliable and affordable energy than prolonging the life Liddell coal generation.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/electricity-emissions-continue-fall-after-hazelwood-closure-33385/

What’s next for Minerals Council’s coal and climate policy?
Bob Burton
The abrupt and unexpected departure of the Minerals Council of Australia’s CEO, Brendan Pearson, may well be a crucial tipping point in Australia’s debate over domestic energy policy.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/whats-next-minerals-councils-coal-climate-policy-18763/

Is BHP really about to split from the Minerals Council’s hive mind?
Marc Hudson
https://theconversation.com/is-bhp-really-about-to-split-from-the-minerals-councils-hive-mind-84407

BHP goes coal power peak stupid
Terry McCrann
BHP has embraced stupidity as its core corporate strategy. It thinks that by feeding “someone else” to the global warming tiger, that will avoid the tiger eating it
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccrann/bhp-goes-coal-power-peak-stupid/news-story/16f1cdfd149fad42bfa83edeea860e8a

Quitting coal: a health benefit equivalent to quitting tobacco, alcohol and fast-food
Jonathan Patz
The Turnbull government needs to stop playing politics with Australians’ health and end its addiction to coal
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/25/quitting-coal-a-health-benefit-equivalent-to-quitting-tobacco-alcohol-and-fast-food

Punish states that sit on reserves
Judith Sloan
For a country with plentiful supplies of gas, coal and uranium, it beggars belief that we have high electricity prices.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/punish-states-that-lock-up-gas-reserves/news-story/d9efa09d982f4b6fffe208a3e4a35c33

AGL and the gentailer problem
Judith Sloan
Neither the company’s commercial sweet spot nor its greenie pose will bring any benefit to consumers.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/agl-shows-why-power-generators-shouldnt-be-energy-retailers/news-story/9adab6332d384a624d395c42089c5ecf

Largest wind farm set for Victoria
http://www.afr.com/real-estate/westwinds-17b-plan-largest-wind-farm-in-southern-hemisphere-set-for-victoria-20170922-gymo5k

Victorians battling energy cut offs
MORE than 1000 Victorians a week are having electricity or gas disconnected as households struggle to pay soaring bills, latest data shows.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/energy-disconnections-have-surged-in-recent-months-as-customers-battle-costly-bills/news-story/7fe8bfb952efc7b7e8cbfc2c6e7c641b

New law finally gives voice to the Yarra River’s traditional owners
Katie O’Bryan, Monash University
New legislation has recognized the Yarra River as a single, living entity. But what does that mean in practice?
https://theconversation.com/new-law-finally-gives-voice-to-the-yarra-rivers-traditional-owners-83307

Bushfire breaks out in Royal National Park as firefighters in West Nowra gain upper hand
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/outofcontrol-bushfire-threatens-homes-in-nowra-20170925-gyo5el.html

Record dry spell triggers ‘dramatic’ jump in water use
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/record-dry-spell-sends-sydneys-water-use-soaring-20170924-gynz16.html

Berejiklian government has comprehensively failed on gas: Turnbull
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/berejiklian-government-has-comprehensively-failed-on-gas-turnbull-20170925-gyohjr.html

Bashing NSW on gas a transparently futile approach
Sean Nicholls
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/bashing-nsw-on-gas-a-transparently-futile-approach-20170925-gyoh9m.html

Gas fracking can save NSW and nation from energy crisis
Telegraph editorial
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/editorial-gas-fracking-can-save-nsw-and-nation-from-energy-crisis/news-story/e06a61aa68d03745a9010e673ea198ed

‘Several tonnes’ of chemicals spilled into Gladstone Harbour
A vessel berthed at Queensland Alumina Limited’s wharf in Gladstone is believed to have spilled several tonnes of caustic soda, Queensland’s Environment Department says initial reports show.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/chemical-spill-caustic-soda-gladstone-harbour/8986284

Red fire ants found more than 15kms south of Qld containment lines
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/red-fire-ants-found-more-than-15kms-south-of-containment-lines-20170925-p4yw3p.html

Steel saviour a lesson in renewables
Peter Boyer
Whyalla champion Sanjeev Gupta shows that heavy industry and new energy sources do mix
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-steel-saviour-gives-a-lesson-in-renewable-energy/news-story/dc53158e017e6cf5f60179d689e1b271

Tasmania ups quest to become renewable energy “battery of Australia”
ARENA tips $2.5m into feasibility studies for doubling of Tasmania hydro capacity and developing 2.5GW of pumped hydro storage.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/tasmania-ups-quest-become-renewable-energy-battery-australia-33445/

Planning for $4.8m refuge marina
A plan to build a $4.8 million safe harbour at Flinders Island is gaining momentum.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4946208/planning-for-48m-refuge-marina/?cs=95

$1.5m in upgrades for ‘Fishing for the Future’
The peak body representing recreational fishers in Tasmania will be reviewed
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4947793/15m-in-upgrades-for-fishing-for-the-future/?cs=95

Liberals, Labor spar over seal relocation
Braddon MPs Adam Brooks and Shane Broad continue to clash over the Liberals’ ban on seal relocations.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4947388/liberals-labor-spar-over-seal-relocation/?cs=95

City moves closer to building limit
AS Hobart’s high-rise debate continues to rage, the council’s city planning committee meeting last night resolved to pursue a set limit. But the precise height of this limit is yet to be determined.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/hobart-to-look-at-a-set-limit-on-building-heights/news-story/9ecff7fc8a4fd59423715094e4df3461

These solar farms have a secret hiding under them: Mushrooms.
Small farmers in Japan hope the tactic will help stabilize their incomes by letting them sell both energy and produce.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503775

Filter may be a match for fracking water
Swansea University scientists produce superhydrophilic membrane to clean fluids for reuse
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/su-fmb092517.php

Semitransparent and Flexible: Solar Cells Made from Atomically Thin Sheet
A new method for fabricating semitransperant, flexible solar cells has greatly improved power …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170925095507.htm

Climate insurance is rarely well thought out in agriculture
UFZ researchers reveal unwanted developments and make recommendations for improvement
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/hcfe-cii092517.php

What happens if you turn off the traffic lights?
When Amsterdam removed signals from a busy junction, it made journeys faster and interactions more pleasant. Now the approach is being copied across the city
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2017/sep/22/what-happens-if-you-turn-off-the-traffic-lights

Donald Trump is a threat to survival of life on Earth.
Helena Wright Newsweek
If nuclear war doesn’t get us, falling oxygen levels will.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-4057999804430503770

Giant panda habitats smaller now than when animals were on endangered list
Although giant pandas have been removed from the endangered list, panda habitats are much smaller today than when the animals were listed as endangered in 1988, according to 40 years of satellite data.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-09-26/pandas-under-threat-despite-endangered-listing-removal/8968540

Emerging Disease Further Jeopardizes North American Frogs
A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/52642

Bees are in decline but backyard hives won’t save them.
Some experts say the trend of backyard beekeeping could at best do little to save bees, and at worst leave certain species worse off.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-6766923627212608186

Snails Bred in Lab Help Species Crawl Back from Brink of Extinction
Work to restore the endangered Chittenango ovate amber snail, found only in one location inside a Central New York state park, continued this month with the release of tagged adult snails raised in a …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170925160614.htm

World’s Botanic Gardens Contain a Third of All Known Plant Species, and Help Protect the Most Threatened
The most in-depth species survey to date finds an ‘astonishing array’ of plant diversity in the global botanic garden network, including 41 percent of all endangered species.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170925111338.htm

Discovery of a New Group of Sponges Could Help Measure Impact of Deep-Sea Mining
A completely new group of sponges has been discovered, which scientists believe could be a key indicator species in measuring future mining impact in a region targeted for deep-sea mining of …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170925095444.htm