The Bullroarer - Wednesday 6 February 2008

ABC - Minister welcomes fast-tracked geothermal work

he Victorian Energy and Resources Minister is pleased a geothermal exploration company is fast-tracking its work in the south-west. Hot Rock has found four sites around Colac and Port Fairy where it could use underground hot water to generate electricity. The company wants to have a pilot plant up and running by the end of next year.

Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor says there is a demand for green power. "We've already put in place a renewable energy target which requires energy retailers to purchase renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal," he said. "So in a sense we've created a market for them. What the geothermal companies must do is explore, find the resource and test it."

Herald Sun - Hot rockers Geodynamics steam ahead

ONE of the biggest barriers to the production of geothermal energy in Australia was overcome yesterday. Industry pioneer, Geodynamics, finished drilling the largest and deepest onshore well Australia has seen. At a whisker over 4.2km, it is one heck of a deep hole, particularly when you consider that the sharp end of the drill had to tolerate high pressures in the underground reservoir and a temperature of 250C.

Surface valves and pipe work have now been added to the Habanero 3 well, allowing the drill rig to be freed up to test whether the heat resource continues 10km away in South Australia's Cooper Basin.

Managing director Gerry Grove-White said the company was now preparing for open circulation testing between Habanero 1 and Habanero 3 in the next fortnight. If that produces enough steam, it will then move to closed circulation testing. That includes using the closed water loop to produce electricity from a 1MW pilot plant. Mr Grove-White has promised to continue ramping up development after achieving first electricity production this year. He has also vowed to complete design of a 50MW power plant this year and is aiming to reach commercial electricity generation by 2012. From there, baseload and emission free generation is planned to hit 500MW by 2016, as a further nine 50MW modules are added.

Upstream Online - Canberra nod for Gladstone LNG

The Australian - Garrett snubbed us: land council chief

THE Kimberley Land Council claims it was kept in the dark over Environment Minister Peter Garrett's plan to use federal laws to speed up and control industrial development on the pristine Kimberley coastline. ...

Mr Bergmann's comments followed Mr Garrett's decision to use the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to examine how federal and state governments could encourage environmentally and culturally sensitive development of massive offshore natural gas deposits in the region.

The study will also examine the benefits of creating a central hub servicing all onshore processing plants, avoiding the ad hoc manner in which the multi-billion-dollar industry has developed on the environmentally sensitive Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara. The Kimberley site should be identified by the end of the year.

Japan's biggest oil producer, Inpex, which wants to build a processing plant on the Maret Islands, was also believed to be upset at the surprise announcement. In a short, terse statement, it said: "Inpex was not consulted prior to the media release, nor was it formally advised of the commonwealth and state governments' position at this time."

NZ Herald - Investment danger for electricity supply

Under-investment could put electricity supplies under pressure and restrict new power projects, says global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. ... Disputes between electricity transmission company Transpower and the regulators had delayed approval of critical projects, including the inter-island transmission link, Fitch said.

Meanwhile, under-investment in the network would likely restrict new generation construction, especially renewable power plants in the South Island, potentially putting pressure on future security of electricity supply. The Government's energy strategy for 90 per cent renewable power by 2025 was an ambitious target, while the upcoming Climate Change Bill proposed banning the building of base-load fossil-fuelled power plants for the next decade.

The strategy and the bill would influence capital expenditure plans and would likely increase retail electricity prices, Fitch said. New Zealand already produced about 64 per cent of its power from renewable sources, which was a high proportion of total needs compared with many developed countries. An expected shortage of gas after 2010 continued to be a key concern.

The Age - US move a blow to clean-coal project

THE Rudd Government faces a vexing decision whether to continue funding the world's leading clean-coal experiment after the Bush Administration cut its commitment to the $US1.8 billion ($A2 billion) project.

The US-led FutureGen clean-coal project was enthusiastically embraced by the Howard government, which pledged $15 million shortly before last year's election. Leading Australian resources companies, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata contributed more than $50 million to the project.

Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson must now decide whether to fulfil the Howard government's pledge after the White House announced late last week that it would no longer fund the centrepiece of the project most valued by the Australian industry — the experimental clean-coal plant.

New York Times - Is Capturing CO2 a Pipe Dream?

The Australian - $30bn coal, iron ore bonanza

AUSTRALIA'S coal and iron ore miners are close to settling massive price increases with Chinese and Japanese customers that will deliver a $30 billion bonanza to the nation's export revenue. Severe bottlenecks at Australia's coal ports, and Queensland's floods, have sent the world spot prices for coal soaring.

Analysts believe coal prices will double, while Asian steel mills are expected to settle for a 60 per cent jump in iron ore prices. Australia's export revenue from coal and iron ore is set to jump from $42 billion to more than $70 billion next year if the increases are achieved.

The Australian - NSW energy unions to stop work

SMH - Costa tells unions: I don't care

SMH - Qld water restrictions to remain

Saturated south-east Queensland is still a long way short of water security even though the dams are now almost a third full, says Premier Anna Bligh says. Ms Bligh ruled out easing tough level six water restrictions across the drought-stricken region despite heavy overnight rain pushing the combined dam level to 31.53 per cent of capacity

The Age - Indian company Suzlon builds wind power for Australia

SMH - Earth Hour Switch-off goes global

Minter Ellison - Submissions Invited On The Australian Greenhouse And Energy Reporting Regulations Policy

Bloomberg - BHP Billiton Increases Oil, Gas Exploration Budget By 20%

WA Business News - Blue Energy CEO resigns

The coal/iron ore connection. Smelting
Fe2O3 + 3CO = 2Fe + 3CO2
produces nearly as much atmospheric gas by weight as ore in the ground. Even if Australia merely supplies the ore and customers get the coal elsewhere we supply the key ingredient to major emissions.

1)Australia is and will continue to be a major contributor to global warming way out of proportion to its 0.3% of world population.
2) we can't stop until it all runs out.


We not only can't stop, we have to accelerate the pace! It's the limits to exporting this stuff as fast as we can that cause interest rate rises. Kevin07 said so.

Australins appear to be the dumbenst nation on earth when it comes to "getting it". Just like the oil producers we should be restricting the exports of iron ore and coal as the price increases. Same earn for less work. This would help the correct the trade deficit, do our part in restricting the growth of GHG and generally distribute the mining boom bonanza across more areas of the Aussie economy. Keep the bottlenecks in palce I say.