The Bullroarer - Monday 29 October 2007

SMH - Oceanlinx riding high on wave power. Previously known as Energetech.

THE Australian renewable energy company Oceanlinx is to list on London's Alternative Investment Market, AIM, to help it take part in the biggest wave power scheme in Britain. Oceanlinx, which operates an electricity wave generator off Port Kembla in NSW, hopes to raise up to £35 million ($A79.2 million) to build six more units, invest in research and development and hire new staff.

The company is involved in a project to build a similar power generating system off the coast of Cornwall in south-western England. Planning permission was granted for the so-called Wave Hub last month. It will operate in an area measuring four kilometres by two kilometres in which wave power developers can set up plants and plug into the power grid through an undersea socket.

The chairman of Oceanlinx, David Weaver, said his company had signed a letter of intent with the project manager, the South-West of England Regional Development Agency. It hopes to have its unit in place next year and operating by 2009. The generator is likely to produce enough electricity for 7500 homes.

With global power needs expected to double over the next 20 years, Oceanlinx said renewable energy's share would increase substantially. The Cornwall project is one of several on Oceanlinx's books. Proposed sites include Rhode Island in the US, Namibia and Hawaii, which are all at early stages of planning.

NZ Herald - Power of the sea waits to be harnessed. Both NZ and Australia are well placed to harness one of the four big renewable energy sources.

In just a decade New Zealand may be drawing on the sea to supplement its energy supply. Marine energy technology, also known as blue energy, is being developed overseas and there is growing interest in it here.

Our large coastline means the country would be well placed to draw on the power of the sea and marine energy could contribute significantly to energy supply needs. Waves generated by the "roaring forties" winds in the Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea hit the western and southern coasts and it is estimated they could produce an average wave power of more than 100 kilowatts per metre of wavefront.

Energy Minister David Parker has called for applications for funding to investigate potential wave and tidal generating devices for use here.

SMH - Rudd: Desalination's Role In New Water Strategy

A RUDD government would use tax breaks to encourage construction of up to $10 billion in water desalination and recycling plants around Australia in a bid to tackle urban water shortages.

Embracing the controversial and expensive desalination technology, the Labor leader, Kevin Rudd, said yesterday the "rolling and expanding" water crisis in cities required a national response. Labor would give the private sector and state and local authorities $1 billion in tax credits or grants for new water projects.

Sydney's $1.8 billion Kurnell desalination plant and other projects already under construction would also be eligible for assistance if developers agreed to expand their plants.

Speaking after touring a $1.1 billion desalination plant on the Gold Coast, Mr Rudd said urban centres were experiencing water shortages but the Howard Government had left it to the states to deal with the problem. He dismissed arguments that desalination should be discouraged because it used large amounts of electricity, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Desalination projects would have to be "carbon neutral" to qualify for Labor's 10 per cent tax credit by using renewable energy or offsetting emissions created by their energy use. Labor would also support less energy intensive technology such as water recycling and harvesting stormwater.

NZ Herald - New Zealand's oil rush. Don't Kiwis live on Stewart Island ?

Sleepy Thule Bay is as serene as it is picturesque. Thickets of native bush snuggle against each other right to the water's edge in this quiet Stewart Island inlet. There's electricity, a smattering of houses and several yachts moored off the small beach, but Thule Bay is as far from the capitals of commerce and industry as imaginable.

Here in late February, tangible signs of New Zealand's hopes of striking it seriously rich bubbled to the surface. A scientific observer digging onshore discovered seeps of oil. About a week earlier, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake 160km to the west had rattled the island, squeezing the natural crude from the Earth. The discovery was where seeps had been found before, in the early 1980s.

But the timing could not have been better - just as international companies were contemplating bids for oil and gas exploration permits in the vast Great South Basin, a 500,000sq km area extending from the bottom of the South Island to the edge of the Southern Ocean. The basin had been explored before, in the 1970s and 1980s. A moderate-sized gas field was discovered but abandoned, the tough conditions making it uneconomic to continue.

Almost 30 years later, the hunt is on again - improved technology makes explorers confident of beating the weather. And as the seeps in Thule Bay confirm, there's the lure of not just gas but of oil. With energy prices soaring, this frontier territory is becoming viable.

STCWA - October 28 Newsletter

Online Opinion - The defining issue for transport planning is peak oil, not traffic congestion

The Australian - Oil prices pushing diesel to the fore

The Australian - Falling dollar cushions effect of oil price rise

The Australian - Fears about dwindling stockpiles push oil towards $US100 a barrel

SMH - Powers that be feel the heat as NSW keeps cool

SMH - Toxic feelings at proposed nuclear dump

SMH - Speculators aid uranium price

SMH - Labor to help renters with insulation

SMH - Bob Brown sets out his stall with focus on energy, education

THE Greens leader, Bob Brown, has launched the party's election campaign, promising that the "third force" in Australian politics would slash proposed tax cuts in order to fund renewable energy research and free universities. A $3 billion "sun fund", financed by cutting $300 million in subsidies from fossil fuel industries each year for a decade, would be used to finance renewable energy research.

The Greens committed to supplying a quarter of the nation's energy from renewable sources and a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, with an 80 per cent reduction by 2050. "This is an historic tide flowing through Australian politics," Senator Brown said. "It is set to sweep the old Howard Government's politics out, and return the Senate to its rightful role as the people's house of review.

SMH - Turnbull and PM at loggerheads on Kyoto treaty

The Australian - Malcolm of the muddle

The Australian - Progress on Mortlake Power Station

The Australian - Macquarie Bank powers $7bn bid for US utility Puget Energy

SMH - City slickers are the new city thickers

SMH - Death of diggers due to Iraq folly, says Wilkie

IHT - China to spend $14 billion to clean up Lake Tai

Peak Energy - V2G In Sweden. Even more links if this isn't enough for you.

(Hat Tip Dave B)

Excellent! Another great local round up. Here is another contribution, area that has a big future "Smart meters and Dynamic power loads"

Great - thanks - I'm always pleased to see smart meters and other components of the smart grid starting to appear out in the wild.

NZ would make a great test bed for a fully clean energy smart grid - hopefully the new "no fossil fuels" energy policy encourages a lot of international companies to do their initial roll outs there...

Yes I total agree, NZ is a likely candidate for complete electricity (90% renewable) based economy (including transport) with high wind generation penetration. A flexible dynamic electrical load changing to the variable generation rates. The government is talking up electrical cars which would go hand in hand with such a grid, so hopefully Toyota will try out there new plug in hybrids on us!

Thats the spirit - a city like Wellington is a good size to run a V2G trial (and there is no problem with lack of wind in that part of the world either).

The NZ Dominion Post (via Stuff) has an article on the increased Petrol prices: Petrol prices rise again

and Stuff has an NZPA article which states that Repeat of 1970s oil crisis not expected

Funny how both articles do not mention the words "Peak Oil"!

Thanks - they are in tonight's Bullroarer too.

There are lots of odd explanations for the current price but supply only rarely gets mentioned...