Friday 16 May 2008

Heat is on air-conditioning

Tuesday 6/5/2008 Page: 6

AIR-CONDITIONERS in office buildings could collapse under increased heat loads as climate change takes hold and temperatures rise, according to a study carried out at Queensland University of Technology's School of Engineering Systems. Lisa Guan says her computer model of indoor thermal environments and the cooling load imposed on airconditioners in office buildings shows that most units would not cope under the more extreme circumstances.

External and internal heat would have to be reduced and new buildings designed to take better account of the potential impact of higher temperatures. The results of Dr Guan's study were released as recent heatwaves in southern Australia sent sales of air-conditioners skyrocketing. The extreme temperatures experienced in Adelaide, Melbourne and other urban centres during March have provided a glimpse of what could become more commonplace in the future.

Already concern at climate change and the environmental impact of Chlorofluorocarbon and other similar refrigerants on the ozone layer has stimulated interest in developing "environmentally friendly" air-conditioning systems. Dr Guan warns that when temperatures rise it will take more than conventional air-conditioners to cope with the heat. She says systems will collapse: "If the outdoor temperature increases by two degrees, the risk of overheating in an air-conditioned office building will increase significantly.

"The cooling load on air-conditioners will increase by up to 47% in some Australian cities, based on CSIRO projections of the potential increase in temperature due to climate change." Designing air-conditioning systems to cope with this would need to take account of heat generated inside buildings, as well as heat from the sun. The number of people in office buildings, lighting and machines all produced a lot of heat for air-conditioners to deal with, Dr Guan says.

'An adult male generates 140 watts of heat, and a woman 85% of that. Heat generated from lights, computers, printers and copiers all contribute to the internal load." Cutting that internal load would be as important as shielding buildings externally from the sun. "If we do nothing, the cooling capacity of air-conditioners will need to increase by up to 59%," says Dr Guan. Operating larger capacity units would cost much more.

"Obviously this is not feasible. We need to find ways to reduce both the amount of sun falling on our buildings and the heat generated within them." She is looking at how cope with higher temperatures in buildings, including automatic control of outdoor air intake for free cooling, systems to turn off unnecessary lights and innovative ways to improve how natural light is used to improve energy efficiency.

Other researchers within the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering at QUT have been working on a solar powered cooling system. It uses a closed cycle adsorption process as an alternative to conventional air conditioning systems that use vapour compression. Its big advantage is that it runs on low-grade thermal energy instead of high-grade electricity. The liquid desiccant solar air-conditioner removes moisture from the air and provides 100% fresh air without the application of CFC.

This makes it possible to control humidity levels independently, leaving conventional systems to deal with temperature. Senior lecturer Dr Kame Khouzam says work has more recently been concentrated on the application of the technology to crop drying where humidity control is critical. That also extends to environments in which seed has to be stored for some time and the need for temperature control is also an issue. Dr Khouzam says this doesn't mean the technology could not still answer the call for smarter air-conditioning in commercial buildings.

Shared leases for Silverton windfarm

Barrier Daily Truth
Saturday 3/5/2008 Page: 5

The Silverton Wind Farm looks likely to go ahead under shared lease arrangements between the developer and four local graziers, according to one of the landholders involved. Nigel Lawrence said the State Government has changed direction from originally wanting to resume parts of their Western Lands lease holdings for the Epuron wind farm. The Government had argued resumption of the land was necessary to ensure the $2 billion Epuron wind farm had security of tenure.

It is now proposed a parallel lease arrangement be established under a legislative change to the Western Lands Act, Mr Lawrence told BDT yesterday. It would mean Epuron gets offered a sub-lease arrangement by each leaseholder to erect wind turbines on their land. The project involves up to 500 turbines, located across four properties. "We still retain the land and the Government retains an interest in the land, like a shared occupation," said Mr Lawrence.

He said it appeared a positive move providing the graziers don't lose their Western Lands lease rights. "I prefer this option, it's simple and the government doesn't get so much control of it. "There is a couple of issues with it, which we will analyse legally (when it arrives). "(But) we're heading in the right direction," he said. Mr Lawrence added the Government has assured them that any decision must have their consent first. A spokesperson for Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly, said no decision has been made yet and negotiations are continuing with the leaseholders. "We're not making any comment and have nothing to say until a decision is made," he told BDT.

"Any deal has to first go to Cabinet and I can't preempt what Cabinet is going to say." Mr Lawrence said Epuron and Macquarie Bank (its financial backer) have indicated they would be happy with the parallel lease proposal. Epuron did not return BDT's calls yesterday. Compensation, however, remains a grey area, said Mr Lawrence. "The Government would have the power to say how much revenue they get, but I would like to sit at the table and get that issue sorted." He said the graziers also aim to keep the government accountable to directing its compensation towards the local community.

"It's a good thing the community gets a benefit and we have objections to the Government taking the money out of the community. "We'll make sure the money stays here" Mr Lawrence said the Government's stance on resuming the land had been swayed by a submission they presented in March. "We were able to reveal a few things the Government is unable to legitimately do and we argued withdrawing the land would have legal ramifications." He said a particularly "sensitive" issue was also pointed out, but would not reveal details.

The Government responded with a number of alternatives, some of which didn't please everyone, said Mr Lawrence. One was to grant Epuron a licence to use the land, which Mr Lawrence said would have been good for the leaseholders, but which Epuron was not happy with. "They would have lost security of tenure... and their bank (Macquarie) wanted more security." He said this option demonstrated the Government's initial move to withdraw the land was a grab for revenue.

"It's contradictory, because the Government intervened in the first place to give them security of tenure" Another was to resume land in "pods" around each turbine. "That's not practical, it would be an administrative nightmare... the only ones to gain out of that would be the surveyors," said Mr Lawrence. Mr Lawrence said the graziers are now waiting to meet with Department of Lands' representatives to discuss the details of the parallel lease plan.

He said he had also recently visited other wind farms and considered the impact on the environment from a wind farm would be minimal. "There's little disturbance from noise, but there's obviously a visual affect... that's one of the reasons we are getting compensation" He said the Silverton community will benefit if Epuron established a community fund to be spent on town facilities. "You can't stop this project going ahead. "So you may as well get the most out of it."

Energy efficiency laws

AAP Newswire
Saturday 3/5/2008

MELBOURNE, The Victorian government has launched new energy efficiency laws for home renovations, to help reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions. Planning Minister Justin Madden said the 5-star standards for home renovations came into effect on May 1. He said in a statement the laws are important because about 40,000 homes are renovated, extended or relocated each year. "As we face the reality of climate change, 5-star energy rating for renovations and relocated homes are crucial as households account for a third of Victoria's energy use.

"The new energy efficiency laws for the building fabric of home alterations will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while delivering greater comfort and lower energy costs to Victorians." Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the benefits of greener homes have been proved with more than 100,000 new homes built to the 5-star standard. "Feedback from residents of 5-star homes says they experience more comfortable and healthier places to live while reducing their household's energy bills and environmental impact," Mr Jennings said.

Geothermal boost

Courier Mail
Friday 2/5/2008 Page: 40

FOUR years after creating laws to put Queensland in the box seat to develop green energy from underground rocks, the State Government has issued its first exploration permit. It marks another step in a long-delayed process to search for geothermal energy, which aims to tap power via heat in underground rocks. South Australia has had geothermal exploration for years. Exploration tenders in Queensland started in 2006 but no one has begun drilling.

A key hang-up has been interpreting native title laws. "Some question whether the definition of mining in (the laws) includes geothermal exploration," Queensland Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said. The state has spoken to federal counterparts to "get a national solution." One successful first round tenderer, Geodynamics, is disputing Queensland's legal interpretation of needing a "right to negotiate" process. This process has not been required in SA.

Queensland's first exploration permit has been issued to Granite Power, which won a tender in May last year and will now proceed without the right to negotiate process. Native title laws only affect a small portion of its block, which was ring fenced from the rest of its area. Mr Wilson said by December, Granite agreed to proceed on that basis.

But Mr Wilson said there was concern at the time of appearing inconsistent about pushing ahead with exploration permits while discussing the legal issue at a federal level. More recently, Queensland formed the view to go ahead regardless. Two other tenderers, treated as part of the one group with Granite, have started the native-title process, which preceeds granting of permits.

Repowering a Welsh windfarm
09 May 2008

ScottishPower Renewables and partner Eurus Energy, trading as CeltPower, are seeking to re-energise one of the UK's oldest windfarms in Powys, mid-Wales, in a project that will treble the output of energy produced by the site - once the largest in Europe when it was originally built in 1992. The proposed redevelopment of the existing Llandinam windfarm would include a significant reduction of turbines on the site from 103 to 42.

If ScottishPower is granted planning permission, the newly repowered windfarm would be capable of producing 96MW of energy – a rise from the current output of 31MW. As such, it will be capable of powering the equivalent of over 53,000 households. Plans are also being made to 'recycle' the old turbines by offering them to developers of renewable energy projects elsewhere in the UK and eastern Europe.

CeltPower will be hosting a number of public information days in Llandinam and the surrounding areas during May to outline details of the proposed development. Earlier this year, the Eurus Energy Group completed one of the largest wind farms in Japan, the Noheji Wind Farm at Noheji-machi, Kamikita-gun, Aomori Prefecture. The wind farm has a total output capacity of 50MW.

Iberdrola becomes leading wind energy generator
London, 10 April

Iberdrola has become the world's largest owner of wind power capacity, according to the latest rankings from analysis firm Emerging Energy Research (EER).

The Spanish utility's 6.9GW of wind capacity means it has comprehensively overtaken US-based FPL Energy, after adding more than 1.55GW of new wind construction last year, and acquiring 1.45GW via the acquisition of ScottishPower's wind assets in the US, UK and Ireland. FPL boasts just over 5GW of turbines,"continuing to outpace its competitors in North America", EER said, with the most new-build in the region for the fourth year in a row, adding 956MW of new capacity.

Competition for third place remains fierce, said EER, with Spain's Acciona and EDP of Portugal nearly tied at approximately 2.8GW apiece, before Acciona's stake in Spanish utility Endesa is considered.

"With viable wind M&A targets dwindling, remaining at the head of the global wind rankings requires adding at least 500MW of new wind build per year," said EER research director Joshua Magee. In Europe last year, mergers and acquisitions accounted for one-third of the 4,600MW of wind ownership growth among Europe's top-20 wind owners, EER said.

"A combination of new wind build and growing M&A activity continues to keep European wind ownership in flux, with market veterans such as EDF Energies Nouvelles building on their historical positions, while companies such as E.ON and International Power gain through acquisitions," said Magee. "In the US market, major [independent power producers] were able to activate large portions of their portfolios in 2007, leading to significant construction activity," says Magee, citing FPL Energy, Iberdrola, Horizon,EDP, and Babcock and Brown.

Huge jump in US wind installations
London, 8 May

More than 1,400MW of new wind energy capacity, costing $3 billion, was installed in the US in the first quarter of 2008 – up from just 124MW in the same period of 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). AWEA attributed the "breakneck pace" of installation partly to the expiration at the end of this year of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) – a crucial renewable energy support mechanism – and to "the industry finally hitting its stride", an AWEA spokeswoman said.

Last year saw a record 5,249MW installed in the US, and this quarter's growth brings total wind capacity to more than 18,000MW. Almost 3,000MW was installed in the last three months of 2007, with the second and third quarters each accounting for just over 1,000MW of new capacity.

"With the PTC deadline looming, there is a huge incentive to get projects done this year," the spokeswoman added. While there is bipartisan Congressional support for an extension of the PTC, the Senate and House disagree on how to pay for the tax credit. The PTC must be periodically extended and, in previous years when the credit has lapsed (1999, 2001 and 2003), installation has dropped by as much as 93% the following year.

AWEA also reports an increase in the proportion of turbine components in US wind farms made in the US – to around 50%, up from approximately 30% three years ago. It says that "the relatively stable availability of the PTC since August 2005 has allowed US-based supply chain providers to begin establishing a much stronger foundation of domestic manufacturing for turbine components."

EU biofuels sustainability criteria could be toughened
16 April, 2008

European legislation could rule that biofuels must produce savings in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 35% over fossil fuels, according to a proposal contained in an interim report from a European Union (EU) working group. A figure of 50% from 2015 was inserted for discussion but is not a final figure, said Slovenia, which set up the ad hoc group under its six-month presidency of the EU. "The member states are quite divided on this," the presidency told bioenergy Business. For the European Parliament, biofuel sustainability criteria are essential and various EU member states have called for tougher criteria.

If the working group fails to reach agreement on sustainability by the time it is scheduled to present its final report on 7 May, the EU's Coreper system of permanent representatives will kick in to try to reach agreement among member state environment ministers. The working group is trying to reconcile the well-advanced draft fuel quality directive, which covers biofuels, and the draft renewable energy directive, which includes a target of biofuels making up 10% of transportation fuels in the EU by 2020.

The fuel quality directive is expected to be passed soon, well before the expected passing of the renewables directive. "We are working towards a reading agreement in June," said the presidency. "We wanted to push this directive as soon as possible." The presidency set up the working group because of unhappiness in the EU at the absence of any sustainability criteria in the fuel quality directive. Also, it said: "We need to have coherence in the criteria."

The working group has no mandate to reconsider the 10% biofuels target set by the European Commission. Although there is interim agreement on the emissions-saving target, that is likely to be revisited when discussion turns to the formula to be used for calculating the emissions associated with biofuels production and use. The group has yet to discuss social and environmental issues, said the presidency: "There are various ideas."

New facility creates a powerful incentive to recycle

Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser
Wednesday 30/4/2008 Page: 18

THE new Macarthur Resource Recovery Park will add a whole new meaning to recycling when it opens this year. Not only will the facility produce enough green energy to power the site, it is expected to export enough electricity for 1200 homes. The WSN Environmental Solutions' "alternative waste technology facility" will open in July and it is expected to be fully operational by March 2009.

The $50 million recovery park is being built at the Jacks Gully landfill site and will accept waste from Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee. WSN chief executive Ken Kenofski said the opening of the park would coincide with the closure of the landfill site. "We expect an additional 10,000 tonnes per annum of plastic, metal and glass, currently being disposed of to landfill through the household garbage stream, will be recovered through this facility," he said.

Mr Kenofski said biogas, a by-product of organic waste, would be collected and used to produce enough green energy to power the site. Any excess electricity generated will be exported into the power grid. "The volume for export is expected to be enough to power 1200 homes when the facility is fully operational," he said. A community day held will be held at the site in July to educate residents about the benefits of the new facility.

Geodynamics hits bedrock of hot energy

Weekend Australian
Saturday 3/5/2008 Page: 5

RENEWABLE energy companies have flocked to South Australia to tap the world's hottest underground rocks. The potential of so-called "hot rocks" electricity --- pumping water into rocks kilometres under the surface of the earth and using the resulting steam to generate electricity - is so great that 11 listed companies have launched exploration projects in the state.

Federal and state governments have backed the sector with millions in start-up assistance, and the private sector has strongly backed the firms in recent months. Leading hot rocks company Geodynamics is set to turn the tragic tale of explorers Burke and Wills on its head. Robert Burke and William Wills died of exposure and hunger on the banks of the Coopers Creek in the far north-east corner of South Australia in 1861..

The remote site of the their deaths is now expected to become a symbol of South Australia's ability to adapt to the harsh realities of global warming - by generating hot rocks power. The township of Innamincka - which grew up next to the site of Burke and Wills' death - sits on the sprawling geological plate of Cooper Basin, which contains the world's hottest rocks at a depth of 4km.

Geodynamics has promised to provide its first power to the historic township. The company this year proved it could pump water down a 4km well and recover the resultant steam from a second well nearby. It has planned a pilot electricity, plant in the next 12 months,- followed by a ramp-up to provide. base-load power to the grid by 2011 The concept behind hot rocks energy is simple and attractive -- massive amounts of base-load power generated with no emissions and no waste.

To make it work, deep wells must be drilled into the earth's crust to access rocks that have been heated to more than 200C, due to the heating effect of radioactive elements deeper in the ground. Electricity is generated by a simple steam turbine and the water is recycled back into the ground.

While the hot rocks are expected to cool with time, companies plan to drill dozens of wells and rotate their use to ensure continuous power generation. Geodynamics shares received a boost in April when two new investors moved to acquire 11.8 per cent of the stock at a considerable premium to the share price. The investors, Sentient Group and Sunsuper, will join large energy players Origin Energy and Woodside Petroleum as backers of the company.

Besides the sprawling Cooper Basin in the state's northeast, locations identified as leading to hot rocks projects include the plains and valleys north or Adelaide, the Riverland and desert country north from Spencer Gulf. This year hot rocks firm Eden Energy drilled a 512m-deep exploration hole outside Renmark, a major centre on the Murray River. After temperatures in the hole stabilise, Eden will reveal if ground temperatures can warm up to commercially attractive levels. Eden Energy has raised $3 million through a share placement to investors in Australia and Britain.

Torrens Energy has upgraded its temperature expectations at its Torrens project, east of the dry Lake Torrens, north of Port Augusta. Final heat flows from exploration drilling late last year showed temperatures of 248C at 5000m. The results are higher than temperatures being exploited for hot rock projects in Europe. Listed hot rocks company Petratherm intends to drill two wells at its Paralana geothermal energy project, east of Roxby Downs in the state's north, by the second half of next year.

Hydro feels the heat - Drought pressure on power

Hobart Mercury
Saturday 3/5/2008 Page: 15

DROUGHT will put Hydro Tasmania under even more financial pressure, but blackouts are not expected unless the Basslink cable fails. News that Hydro storages were down to just 18.6 per cent and the state was importing massive amounts of coal-fired power from Victoria were greeted with dismay by the Greens, who said they warned of exactly this scenario. Hydro Tasmania yesterday said the state had recorded the second-worst six-month period of rainfall on record. The worst was last year.

Hydro Tasmania's manager Energy Resources David Marshall said Basslink had been crucial to maintaining supply. "Without Basslink our storages would be significantly lower and there would be a significant risk of some form of power restrictions." he said. "Last month, 291 gigawatt hours were imported across Basslink compared to less than one GWh exported. 106GWh were generated by the Bell Bay gas-fired power station." Tasmanian Greens energy spokesman Kin Booth said the party had warned of exactly this scenario before Basslink was built.

"These latest Basslink export and import figures reveal that the scenario which many, including the Greens had warned, has eventuated, with the cable becoming an expensive diversion from the state developing a clean, sustainable self-sufficiency orientated energy plan for the state," he said. `Basslink was touted as an income winner to export surplus power to high-priced mainland markets, despite warnings that climate change and drought would render the project a high-risk failure that would end up as a high price dirty coal power importer.

"This latest statement from Hydro Tasmania shows that this scenario has eventuated, with the state becoming reliant upon expensive, dirty imported power." Mr Booth said the money spent on Basslink could have been used to provide economically and environmentally sustainable power.

"$92 million dollars per year over time would have put a solar hot water heater in every house in Tasmania as well as solar cells on the roof, that could have fed power back into the grid, but instead Lennon Labor has given us an expensive extension cable carrying dirty coal power," he said. "Premier Lennon was the main advocate for Basslink and it looks like it is doomed to be another gamble that hasn't worked."

Archer farm in the wind - German consortium backs $250m project

Cooktown Local News
Wednesday 23/4/2008 Page: 1

A GERMAN consortium has agreed to build a $250 million, 50-turbine wind farm at Archer Point, 15km south of Cooktown. After almost two decades of planning, Wind Power Queensland Pty Ltd has signed a letter of intent with the powerful consortium of wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers and bankers to fund and build the project. It meant that the proposed 120 megawatt renewable energy project was on track to boost the Far North's power grid within two years, said WPQ managing director Lloyd Stumer.

The German consortium was completing due diligence processes for the development, with its Queensland representative, Edwin Cywinski of eco-Kinetics, meeting with Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson in February, he said. While the project's ultimate size was dependent on "commercial and grid considerations", Mr Stumer said an initial 120MW wind farm - enough to power Cairns and beyond - would cost about $180 million in overseas turbine construction alone.

He said a further $36 million was earmarked for construction and grid connections, with locals to comprise about two-thirds of the peak workforce of 40-50 people for six months. And annual operations costs of about $4 million, as well as lease payments to indigenous traditional owners, would create another five or six full-time jobs for locals. The Archer Point wind farm would be only the second in the state and 10 times the size of the Atherton Tableland's.

It would also be "an important boost to the now fragile power requirements" of the Far North in the face of a forecast 30 per cent spike in power demand by 2016, said Mr Stumer. The project would tap into the expertise of its investors, with Germany the world leader in wind power, producing more than twice the amount of wind power in megawatts than Queensland's entire electricity grid generates. He said it was the new Federal Government's commitment to legislate for 20 per cent of energy to be renewable by 2020 - which could see a tenfold increase in Australia's wind energy production - that hooked the German investment.

Australia's signing in December of the Kyoto Protocol, a commitment to join nations taking measures to combat climate change, also made the Archer project more attractive to investors, he said. "If policy had changed two years ago, this wind farm could be operating now," he said. The turbines would be built by consortium partner Enercon, the world's third-largest manufacturer and supplier for Windy Hill at Ravenshoe and other Australian wind farms.

The remainder of the consortium includes the world's fifth-largest bank, Deutsche Bank; Germany's leading wind farm financier, Aktiva Group; and major wind farm developer IfE Engineering. Mr Stumer said the group was also interested in tourism opportunities, with the towering turbines proven to be attractions in their own right.

Meanwhile, he said Wind Power Qld had recently applied for permission to conduct the required commercial and environmental investigations for the proposed project. But detailed studies by Wind Power Queensland had already "confirmed Archer Point as the best wind farm site in Queensland" due to the strength and consistency of south-east tradewinds crossing the coastal region, said the former Australian Bureau of Meteorology employee.

And preliminary support for the project had already been received from governments, indigenous and other stakeholders, he said. A 2300ha seaward tract of the scenic Archer region was in 2006 reserved for the wind farm investigations, during a land handover for 8800ha of Annan River National Park and 1700ha of indigenous freehold. The Cook Shire Council also negotiated for two coastal parcels in the popular camping area - one for a recreation reserve as well as a former 1970s deep water port site, which could be used to receive materials during wind farm construction.

Mr Stumer said a public information meeting with Cooktown residents would be organised as soon as possible once the German consortium finished its due diligence requirements. The project would need to come before the council for approval and be subject to public comment unless it was declared significant and called in by State or Federal ministers.

Hydro Tasmania to go fully green by 2012

Burnie Advocate
Friday 2/5/2008 Page: 10

Hydro Tasmania was aiming to become Australia's first carbon neutral electricity generator by 2012, Premier Paul Lennon announced yesterday. "Once again, Tasmania is looking to lead the nation in responding to climate change," he said. "Hydro Tasmania's goal to become the nation's first carbon neutral electricity generator is part of the Government's commitment to meeting a 60 per cent reduction in Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050.

"The decommissioning of the Bell Bay Power Station in the next few years, mixed with energy efficiencies, will help achieve this target," Mr Lennon said. He also announced Hydro Tasmania planned to investigate the development of an extra 1000 gigawatt hours of output.

"This represents an increase in energy generation of about 10 per cent and is equivalent to the amount of energy it would take to power an additional 100,000 Tasmanian households per annum," Mr Lennon said. "The 1000 gigawatt project will look at how to maximise output from storages and catchments and examine options such as mini hydro schemes, the development of new power stations and the redevelopment of existing ones."

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Household cuts electricity by 60pc by going solar

Ballarat Courier
Wednesday 30/4/2008 Page: 4

SINCE installing a solar hot water system at their Buninyong home, the Boucher household has cut its electricity consumption by 60 per cent. Dale Boucher, who is the sustain ability officer at the University of Ballarat, said the system of "evacuated" solar tubes was installed in February. The tubes heat water which is stored in the Boucher's existing electric boosted hot water service. For this time of year we generally use 23 kilowatts per day, now with the solar hot water we are only using nine kilowatts," he said.

"I have worked out my payback time will be four to five years. Then I have virtually got free hot water for eight months of the year." Mr Boucher said in sunnier he would switch off the electricity supply to the hot water service and rely solely on the solar system.

Installing the solar system cost $1250 after a State Government rebate and a discount Mr Boucher received through his BREAZE membership. The government rebate available varies depending on a household's existing type of hot water service and in July the maximum rebate will increase from $1500 to $2500.

Cloud seeding for snow widened

Border Mail
Friday 2/5/2008, Page: 4

A cloud seeding trial in NSW's Snowy Mountains region is to be extended in the hope of providing benefits to irrigators, skiers and the environment. NSW Energy Minister Ian Macdonald said the program, which caused changes within a cloud resulting in additional snowfall, would now run until 2014. The cloud seeding target area will also be increased by approximately 1000 sq km to 2250 sq km.

Mr Macdonald said the project, which began in 2004, aims to determine the effectiveness of cloud seeding in increasing natural snowfalls and inflows to storages of the Snowy Mountains scheme. He said if the trial was successful it would result in the creation of more renewable hydroelectricity and less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"This is a true scientific research project which will have significant benefits for NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin," he said. "The original six-year trial will be extended in geographical area and also operate for a further five years." Cloud seeding involves dispensing small amounts of silver iodide and an inert tracing agent into winter storm clouds between May and September. Snowy Hydro Limited has already committed $20 million to the trial.

State now hot bed for energy supply

Adelaide Advertiser
Friday 2/5/2008 Page: 85

SOUTH Australia has vast potential for energy supply, with encouraging prospects for oil and geothermal discoveries, the State Government's minerals department says. There was extraordinary growth in hot rocks, Primary Industries and Resources SA director of petroleum and geothermal Barry Goldstein said. SA was at the forefront of the sector, with some $685 million of $820 million projects committed nationally.

Where there were no geothermal companies in Australia at the turn of the century,"we now have 33 companies in the country over hundreds of areas", Mr Goldstein told the Paydirt SA Resources and Energy Investment Conference yesterday. "The country is going to be wanting several or more gigawatts of this emissions- free base-load energy, and the largest part can come from South Australia," Mr Goldstein said.

"Rest assured that the world is watching us - there is no question about that." Among early movers is Geodynamics, with executive director Doone Wyborn saying power generation from its Habanero field was expected by December of this year. On oil, Mr Goldstein was excited by the Officer Basin in the state's west. The Officer Basin would add to the "exceedingly lucrative" Cooper Basin in the state's north-east, where further discoveries were expected in addition to established operations.

Apply now for Pac Hydro community fund

Portland Observer
Wednesday 23/4/2008 Page: 5

RENEWABLE energy company Pacific Hydro has reminded community groups in Portland and at Cape Bridgewater that applications for its sustainable communities fund close on April 28. The fund is based on a percentage of revenue from the company's Portland Wind Energy Project, and calls for applications each year and will be available for the life of the project. The company brought forward the fund for the Portland and Cape Bridgewater communities last year.

Pacific Hydro community relations manager Emily Wood encouraged local groups to get their applications in soon. "Last year funding went to a range of projects including the Portland Surf Life Saving Club at Bridgewater, Friends of the Great South West Walk, SES rescue equipment and an indigenous art project," she said. "So if you're unsure if your project will be eligible, just give us a call." Applications are invited in the areas of health and welfare, education and training, sports and recreation, the environment, arts and culture.

Aquaplay program coordinator Ryan Nelson also urged community groups to submit applications. A police community program, which plays a key role in breaking down the barriers between local police officers and young people, Aquaplay received funding from the fund last year. Acting Sergeant Nelson said when Aquaplay applied last year, it had no idea if its application would be successful, but it needed funding, so they gave it a go.

"Pacific Hydro's grant meant we were able to purchase an underwater camera with video link, increase vessel operators, and help with the service and maintenance of the Aquaplay vessel," he said. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from www. or by contacting community fund co-ordinator Chloe Carpenter on 8621 6428.

Coalition backflip on solar

Western Advocate
Wednesday 30/4/2008 Page: 11

THE federal coalition says its enthusiasm for solar energy has changed dramatically. The opposition's environment spokesman, Greg Hunt, says there have been "enormous breakthroughs" on storage capacity. That had prompted a change in attitude to that of the former Howard coalition government which did not believe solar power could contribute to baseload energy output - the sort needed for the national power grid.

Waubra Wind Farm on track

Hepburn Shire Advocate
Wednesday 30/4/2008 Page: 6

Waubra Wind Farm will begin feeding wind power into the electricity grid within months. In January this year, Acciona Energy erected its first wind turbines at Waubra. Since then, many more have become visible on the hills on Ballarat's outskirts. In total, 128 turbines will be erected across 173 square kilometres and will produce more than enough energy to power Ballarat. The $450 million wind farm is the largest being built in the southern hemisphere and is expected to be operational mid year.

The electrical works and grid connection are due to be completed, with part of the project able to feed into the grid while the rest of the turbines are being erected. The company expects all 128 turbines to be connected to the grid and commissioned by the end of the year. All wind turbines will be tested before they start operating and producing electricity.

Dam water could power 250 homes

News Mail
Thursday 1/5/2008 Page: 5

IT may only be called a mini hydro power station, but the new mechanism attached to Paradise Dam, announced yesterday by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, has the potential to create enough energy to power 250 homes. The announcement of the station was made in parliament yesterday, after SunWater finished commissioning the device. "The dam now has the capacity to produce clean, green energy through its 2.79 megawatt hydro power station," Ms Bligh said.

"The mini hydro station is a significant value-adding mechanism that takes advantage of water being release for downstream irrigation, urban and industrial demand and for environmental flows." SunWater acting chief executive officer Peter Boettcher said the turbine had been installed 12 months ago, but had not been able to be commissioned due to the level of water in the dam.

For the turbine to operate, the dam must be at 21% capacity. When water is released out of the dam, it now passes through the turbine to create electricity, which is then sold to Ergon Energy. For the generator to operate, a minimum of 216 megalitres needs to be released. Mr Boettcher said SunWater planned for the installation of the mini hydro power station when the dam was first being designed.

"We look to see if there are any opportunities to get green credits for projects," Mr Boettcher said. "Now it is commissioned, which means it has gone through its first phase, and it is working well." Ms Bligh said Paradise Dam was a water asset to be proud of, given its green credentials. "I commend SunWater for taking the initiative and making the best possible use of Paradise Dam's water releases and in the process adding further value to this strategic water infrastructure asset." she said.

Bid highlights value of coal seam methane

Thursday 1/5/2008 Page: 19

YESTERDAY'S $12.9 billion takeover bid for Origin Energy set the hares running in the whole energy sector and swung the investment spotlight firmly on the potential of coal seam methane in the emergence of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

BG Group's bid, which is at a 40 per cent premium to Origin Energy's latest trading price, put a re-rating rocket under the value of energy stocks with an LNG exposure, ranging from Santos and Oil search to coal seam methane companies Queensland Gas, Arrow Energy and Sunshine Gas.

BG's interest in Origin Energy is all about coal seam methane reserves, which make up the bulk of Origin Energy's assets. Coal seam methaneor CSM, is the planned feedstock for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in Queensland. The second-biggest coal seam methane operator, Santos, is expected to be the next big takeover target, after its 15 per cent share ownership cap is lifted on November 29. From that date, it will be a case of predator or prey.

Santos is expected to be a sitting duck for a takeover after that date, as two of its biggest projects, the PNG LNG project, and the $7-10 billion LNG Project at Gladstone based on Santos's Queensland CSM reserves, reach critical stages. Parties believed to be interested in Santos include US-based Apache Energy, a Santos partner in several offshore West Australian projects, and if Origin Energy doesn't work then BG.

A spokesman for Santos said carefully that we note with interest the proposal." AGL Energy is also expected to become a target, given its growing interest in CSM through equity stakes in companies including Queensland Gas. Five years ago, Australian CSM hardly existed. It accounted for less than 1 per cent of Australia's gas production, and was not expected to get much bigger.

Today, it is an exciting entrepreneurial growth story, supplying more than 10 per cent of Australia's and 70 per cent of Queensland's domestic gas production, making it a growing force in domestic gas competition, ripening the sector for consolidation and more share price increases. But with Australia's booming $15 billion a year LNG export industry, which has plans to triple output by 2017, coal seam methane is becoming a critical ingredient.

This potential is reflected in Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics (ABARE) forecasts that domestic consumption of gas will double in the next 25 years; that the supply of gas will decline as important assets such as the Cooper Basin onshore gas reserves decline; the growing likelihood that this gas will not be replaced by a proposed $7 billion Papua New Guinea-Queensland pipeline; and a move by state governments to mandate that a certain percentage of electricity generation must be powered by gas.

Put simply, with demand outstripping supply in the coming years, and CSM moving from niche to mainstream following breakthroughs in technology that have made the projects commercially viable, independent CSM entities with sizeable reserves will become much more attractive than they were.

In market capitalisation terms, growth among CSM stocks over the past couple of years has been spectacular. Wilson HTM analyst Andrew Pedler believes the prices are high, but with the growth in LNG, the attraction will continue. Once domestic Australian gas is turned into export LNG, its value approximately triples.

Departures: trimming housing fat with slimline model

Thursday 1/5/2008 Page: 8

STRUGGLING home buyers will soon be able to choose from cheaper, smaller and more energy-efficient houses rather than big homes with all the "bells and whistles", Planning Minister Justin Madden has vowed. Launching Melbourne's newest suburb,"Williams Landing", at the former RAAF Laverton Airfield south-west of the city, Mr Madden said the developer would offer a range of new houses with smaller house sizes offered to increase affordability and sustainability.

Mr Madden caused a storm last year when he suggested some large homes were "McMansions" that suffered housing "obesity." He said the developer, Cedar Woods, had said rather than providing "the large house on the block, bells and whistles, four or five bedrooms, what they are going to show I understand is a range of options where you can upgrade your house and extend it over time."

He said the new suburb, which will accommodate up to 2000 new homes, would allow people to build in a "modular way", where they could add to the size of their home. Mr Madden said a "lot of people feel compelled to take up the big house straight away because it's an attractive option, an attractive model, but we do know that that puts a lot of burden on households, particularly if they have got a large mortgage."

The new suburb will have its own train station, 55 hectares of conservation areas and 15 hectares of landscaped open space. Meanwhile, Mr Madden backed new rules that come into force today in Victoria requiring all major house renovations to conform with five-star energy standards.

The new renovation rules will increase slightly the cost of renovating up to 40,000 homes a year across the state. The five star standard has been compulsory for new homes in Victoria since 2004 but almost all pre- 2002 homes have an average star rating of 2.3.

The Master Builders Association welcomed the new renovation rules and said 2 million homes in Victoria did not meet national energy efficiency standards. The new renovation rules will apply only to alterations that require a building permit and apply to building materials. They do not require a solar hot water system or a rainwater tank for toilet flushing.

Alterations that are more than 50% of the original volume of your home will require the existing home to be brought up to five-star standard and any extension greater than 25% of floor area of an existing home or 1000 square metres must fully comply with the new energy efficiency regulations.

Wind turbine powering 750 homes on Maribyrnong's wish list - Council backs green energy move

Altona Laverton Mail
Wednesday 23/4/2008 Page: 6

THE environment was the big winner last week after Maribyrnong Council gave the nod to creating a Maribyrnong wind farm advisory committee and peak oil policy. Both measures were unanimously supported by the council at its meeting last Tuesday. The advisory committee will comprise representatives of community organisations and is being formed to help develop a community-owned wind farm - a key proposal in the council's carbon-neutral action plan.

The 1.5-megawatt turbine proposed for Yarraville's Stony Creek Reserve, near the West Gate Bridge, would provide electricity for 750 households. Maribyrnong Mayor Michelle MacDonald said the project aimed to inspire the community that change, especially performed at a local level, was possible. "It's not only a sound financial investment for the community, but the location of the wind turbine - in full view of 190,000 motorists a day - will be a statement about the direction that we as a community are taking in addressing climate change," she said. The Bendigo Bank will partner the council in the project.

The advisory committee will conduct the first step in the project by undertaking a feasibility study, with a review of the committee to be undertaken by the council in a year's time. The council became the first Australian local government body to create a peak oil policy to prepare for future supply constraints on petroleum-based products. The policy and action plan is a bid to protect the council from the impact of rising oil prices.

It sets reduction targets for five oil-based products: unleaded petrol, LPG, natural gas, diesel and asphalt. Cr MacDonald said the policy set out clear targets for the council: to reduce dependence on oil based products by 3 per cent each year; to reduce overall consumption by 50 per cent by 2025; and to increase `green' purchasing levels by 1.5 per cent each year.

Monday 12 May 2008

Solar panels help students see the light

Launceston Examiner
Tuesday 29/4/2008 Page: 4

SOLAR panels about to pump electricity into the State grid are teaching Launceston College students about global warming. College assistant principal Ross Mansfield yesterday said he expected the seven 1.2m by 900mm panels installed on the roof to be producing power next month. Mr Mansfield said the panels would produce about 1.2kW of power, enough for about 50 light bulbs, but the focus of the $16,000 project was education. He said students would learn how renewable energy could reduce carbon emissions and tackle global warming.

"This will be something science classes will be able to use from now on," Mr Mansfield said. "They can collect data... it's now embedded in our programmes. "It's about awareness of the greenhouse phenomenon and what can be done in terms of renewable energy." He said the coordinating teacher was Udo Westerneng and sponsorship was provided by Jessups Retravision, Tasman Energy, the City of Launceston Lions Club, the Electrical Trades Union, the college's Parent Association and a Federal Government rebate.

Red tape swamps project

Portland Observer
Monday 21/4/2008 Page: 1

A RENEWABLE energy company is blaming State and Federal government red tape for the dramatic downsizing of its Portland wave energy project. Oceanlinx has withdrawn its proposal to deploy 18 1.5 megawatt wave energy converter units with a total generating capacity of 27 megawatts - and is now planning to deploy two units each with a one megawatt capacity. The company has been investigating a site a few kilometres south-west of Portland for the project. Its 27MW capacity project was to have been the largest wave energy development in the world.

In a brief statement to the Portland Observer late last week, Oceanlinx project manager Sebastien Ybert said that after discussions with the relevant departments at both state and federal levels, the company had withdrawn its previous environmental referrals under the Environmental Effect Statement Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

"New referrals are now being prepared and will include additional and revised information reflecting the reduced size of the project," he said. "These new applications are currently planned to be submitted in May - design work and consultation with key stakeholders is ongoing and will continue parallel to the permitting process." However, Mr Ybert expanded on the reasons for the downsizing and also reaffirmed the company's commitment to deploying units off the Portland coast at the earliest possible opportunity.

"Several high level meetings in both Canberra and Melbourne with the relevant departments in charge of the assessment of the Portland project permit applications have indicated obtaining the necessary permits for an 18 unit project was likely to require an extensive and potentially lengthy environmental assessment process," he said.

"Oceanlinx's board has therefore decided that, in the interests of deploying units at Portland at the earliest opportunity, withdrawing the 18 unit proposal and applying for a small scale (two units) project would be beneficial to both the regulator and the company.

"This would allow Oceanlinx to confirm the predicted low risk of environmental impact to the regulator on a smaller scale project and gain additional knowledge for future projects." The company's commitment to Portland, albeit on a smaller scale, was welcomed by Glenelg Shire mayor Geoff White and the Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine.

Dr Napthine, however, said it was absolutely crucial for the State and Federal governments to ensure they do everything possible to allow renewable energy projects to start operating. State Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said the Victorian Government, through the VRET (Victorian Renewable Energy Target) scheme and other policies, had been a huge supporter of renewable energy and would continue to be in the future. "Planning processes have to balance business, community and environmental interests and they cannot be sidestepped," he said.

New solar system

Burnie Advocate
Tuesday 29/4/2008 Page: 4

A STREAMLINED application system for the Federal Government's $1000 solar hot water service rebate will end the unacceptable delays experienced by North-West Coast home owners, Federal Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom said yesterday. It will replace the previous system under which some home owners were waiting up to 26 weeks to receive their rebate. Mr Sidebottom said that extra resources from the Department of Environment and Water had been put in place to clear the backlog. The Solar Hot Water Rebate program offers $1000 rebates to eligible Australian households who install climate-friendly domestic water heaters.

National solar feed-in tariff called for

Ballarat Courier
Tuesday 29/4/2008 Page: 6

THE Federal Opposition has called for a national solar payment to encourage more home owners to generate solar power. The Queensland and South Australian governments have approved such tariffs, which pay households above the retail rate for electricity generated by solar panels. Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt yesterday said a draft plan should be prepared for a national tariff which has a guaranteed rate of pay for solar electricity feedback into the grid.

We should be aiming for more than a piecemeal approach," Mr Hunt says in notes for a speech given in Sydney yesterday. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and state premiers agreed last month to consider options for a harmonised approach to renewable energy feed-in tariffs. Mr Hunt also told the Climate Action Network Australia conference that the nation needs to develop large-scale projects to create baseload solar power. Mr Hunt said the coalition now has a vision of Australia becoming the world's first "solar continent."

Couple's solar system panels ahead of rivals

Illawarra Mercury
Tuesday 29/4/2008 Page: 21

A Wollongong family has opened a new environmentally friendly business that aims to make solar power more affordable for Illawarra homeowners. The idea to start SolarSwitch came about when Mathew and Lisa Purvis were looking into solar energy for their Bulli home, but found it was too expensive. They wanted to help the environment, so they decided to start a company that keeps overheads low by specialising in an area of solar electricity that they believe is the most viable form of clean, green energy available.

Mathew and Lisa said the time was right to make solar power more affordable, because Australians are among the highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions in the developed world, producing more than 28 tonnes of CO2 per person per year. About two-thirds of those emissions come from electricity production and transport. Mathew and Lisa believe solar power is the most viable form of clean, green energy available to Australian households because people can generate their own renewable energy without any greenhouse gas emissions.

Less than 10 per cent of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources. But if Australia tapped into all the solar energy available there would be enough power available to service the nation's energy needs 15,000 times over. Mathew and Lisa said solar power previously was too expensive for the average homeowner, with systems costing $16,000 and more. They said the Federal Government rebate announced in the middle of last year helped, but it still left homeowners out of pocket to the tune of around $8000 for a 1kW system.

But SolarSwitch has halved the net cost of a 1kW solar electricity system to around $4000, after the government rebate, by keeping company overheads low. The business specialises in a 1kW grid connect kit, but still uses the highest quality solar panels and fully accredited installers. "We're more concerned about helping the environment than making big profits," Mathew said.

"We are more than happy to take a cut in profits if it means we can do our bit for the planet." Each 1kW system prevents around two tonnes of greenhouse emissions being pumped into the atmosphere every year. Mathew and Lisa said solar power not only helped save the planet, it also helped the homeowner save money. They say a 1kW system can produce up to 70 per cent of an efficient home's electricity. And if electricity costs rise 8 per cent per year, the system will pay for itself in 10 years.

Oil companies urge weekly auctions of carbon emission permits

Tuesday 29/4/2008 Page: 6

AUSTRALIA should hold weekly auctions of greenhouse gas emission permits to avoid imposing an "impossible" financial burden on petrol companies and undermining efforts to cut fuel prices at the bowser, the Rudd Government has been told. Petrol companies are likely to be required to buy permits for the millions of tonnes of carbon emitted when motorists use their fuel, under the greenhouse gas Emissions Trading Scheme the Government has vowed to have up and running by 2010.

But the nation's biggest petrol company, Caltex, has told the review of emissions trading being conducted by Ross Garnaut that buying the permits up-front and in bulk would impose an impossible financial burden. At a carbon cost of $40 per tonne of carbon dioxide, Caltex would have to purchase $1.4 billion of permits annually for its customers' 35 million tonnes of emissions from fuel combustion.

This would impose a huge and inequitable financial risk on Caltex far out of proportion to our earnings and financial capability," the company says in its submission, just lodged. "If a permit auction was held at annual or six-monthly intervals, there is no way Caltex could fund the purchase of more than a small fraction of the permits it would need at the auctions.

Caltex's current debt level is about $600 million, and this debt could not be increased to $2 billion for an annual auction." Caltex said weekly auctions could minimise the extent to which the new cost of carbon would undermine efforts by the Government to reduce the price paid by motorists through extra monitoring of petrol prices.

In line with its election platform, the Government has appointed a petrol price commissioner and is setting up a fuelwatch system to give motorists up-to-date information on where to find the cheapest petrol. But Caltex says this system could struggle after the introduction of an additional cost on fuel through the new carbon price. "Petrol excise is quite explicit, and motorists know with certainty the rate of excise is 38.14c per litre (plus 10 per cent GST)," the submission says. "With emission trading... different companies would employ different strategies to manage carbon risk, and the cost of permits would then be recovered in various ways.

"The problem of carbon price transparency and monitoring could be reduced by frequent permit auctions: in essence, a weekly carbon auction in which there was... participation by liquid fuel suppliers could provide a benchmark carbon price for ACCC price monitoring." Caltex had previously argued that fuel should be excluded from emissions trading in favour of a direct tax on petrol and diesel, but acknowledges in its submission that the Government does not share its view and that Professor Garnaut's discussion paper, released last month, effectively rules it out.

Climate Institute Australia chief executive John Connor said he was pleased Caltex had moved on from arguing that fuel should be exempt from the scheme. "We believe a broadly based emissions trading regime is best," he said.

`Scrap subsidies' urged

Launceston Examiner
Monday 28/4/2008 Page: 12

CANBERRA - The Federal Government is being urged to scrap billions of dollars in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry ahead of likely cuts to education and health in next month's Budget. Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to make good on his promise of delivering a surplus equivalent to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product when he hands down his first Budget on May 13. He has also promised it will be a tough Budget intended to curb inflation and reduce the upward pressure on interest rates.

Cuts to spending in the key areas of health, education and welfare are likely as the Government seeks billions of dollars in savings. Community advocacy group GetUp says the Government should first consider cutting billions of dollars worth of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The subsidies, which GetUp says amount to about $4 billion, include $1.1 billion in fringe benefit tax concessions for company cars, $800 million in concessions for the aviation industry and $600 million for the automotive industry.

"The $4 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry - they are wasteful and inappropriate in the context of the climate crisis that we're facing," GetUp executive director Greg Solomon said. "Hidden within the Budget are these anachronistic subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and they should be redirected, partly to investment in renewable energy." In a Budget submission released yesterday, GetUp says scrapping subsidies to the mining industry alone would save the Federal Government $257 million a year.

"Why is it that we're subsidising the mining industry - surely that industry is able to stand on its own two feet in the context of a resources boom," Mr Solomon said. "All of the polling we've done shows that the Australian community supports renewable energy being subsidised over the fossil fuel industry." Mr Solomon says GetUp has identified more than $8 billion in savings that would help the Government realise its surplus target of 1.5 per cent of GDP. Cutting the tax concession on capital gains to 35 per cent would net a saving of $1.5 billion, he said. On the other side of the ledger, Mr Solomon said the solar hot water rebate should also be increased, from $1000 to $2000, and extended to 500.000 homes.

Mayor hopes wind farm is step closer

Launceston Examiner
Monday 28/4/2008 Page: 11

THE advertising of a planning application for the proposed $350 million Musselroe Wind Farm was a welcome sign that the project was proceeding, Dorset Mayor Peter Partridge said. Roaring 40s has applied for an alternate route for its transmission line, to avoid the Martins Hill Forest Reserve. Notice of the application was advertised in The Examiner on Saturday. Cr Partridge said that Roaring 40s had been in discussion with Dorset Council planners and councillors would debate the merits of the application once all requirements had been fulfilled.

"The alternate route probably involves some private landowners so there'll have to be consultation on their behalf," he said. "Since the Labor Party came to power (federally) there's been an indication that this project would proceed. "Now we're starting to get some action, which is great." The application seeks approval for construction of a high voltage 110kV transmission line in a 50m-wide easement.

It is proposed that the easement would run from south of Clarence Dam, in the Cameron Regional Reserve, to between Rex Rd and Blanca Link Rd, Winnaleah. The transmission line would connect the proposed Musselroe Wind Farm at Cape Portland to the State's electricity grid at the Derby substation. It is understood that the Labor Party's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target of 20 per cent by 2020 gave Roaring 40s the impetus to proceed with the development.

The Musselroe project accounts for only 0.1 per cent of the 45,000 gigawatt-hours anticipated to be produced by 2020. Roaring 40s gained approval for up to 80 turbines from Dorset Council in 2004. It is understood that these would generate 140MW into the State's grid - more than the Woolnorth project in the far North-West, which generates 125MW. It would be more than enough power to provide electricity to 140,000 homes.

The project is expected to take two and a half years to finish, employ a peak workforce of 120 and pump between $50 million and $80 million into the Northern Tasmanian economy. No other development applications have been submitted for more wind farms across the State, but it is understood that Roaring 40s staff are investigating a range of options. Roaring 40s also has two 50MW wind farms operating in China, with nine more under construction.

Carbon plan may hit shires

Ballarat Courier
Monday 28/4/2008 Page: 6

Hepburn, Pyrenees, and Golden Plains households would suffer financially from the introduction of a carbon Emissions Trading Scheme. Due to poor or non-existent public transport making them more reliant on cars, residents in these three shires would be among the state's hardest hit by the scheme, according to research released yesterday by the Brotherhood of St Laurence the shires form three of the 14 Victorian rural local government areas identified as having "poor households" with the highest carbon use - 10 per cent or more above the state average.

West Wimmera, Hindmarsh, Southern Grampians, Northern Grampians, Moyne, Gorangamite, Loddon, Yarriambiack, Buloke, Towong and South Gippsland make up the rest of the list. The report estimates that a $35-a-tonne carbon price would increase these LGA's annual household costs by between $1173 and $1306. "Brotherhood research last year showed that imposing a carbon price will take a much bigger proportion of the income of poorer households than wealthy households, despite smaller carbon footprints," Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson said.

The latest findings show that those households in areas with little or no public transport or services will be even worse off." As a society, we must introduce carbon emissions trading because it is an economic incentive to encourage society to cut down on goods and services that require more carbon based energy in their production or operation." "However, this latest research is further evidence that a carbon price must be accompanied by measures that not only counter the impact on poorer people but also assist poor households to reduce carbon emissions." The research was drawn from National Institute of Economic and Industry Research using data derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.