The Bullroarer - Thursday 3rd April 2008

CNN - Australia launches project to bury carbon dioxide
I have said many times that geosequestration is insane and will never work....ooops, my bad:

- Australia opens its first geosequestration plant to bury carbon dioxide

- Plant in the state of Victoria is the first in the southern hemisphere

- Project will capture and compress 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide

- Gas will be injected 2 kilometers underground into a depleted natural gas reservoir - Call for inquiry on fuel prices

Manukau city councillor Daniel Newman has asked Parliament to investigate whether New Zealand motorists are being ripped off at the petrol pumps.

Manurewa MP George Hawkins tabled the Manurewa ward councillor’s petition in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

ABC - Not enough 'green energy' to meet carbon emission targets

Electricity suppliers say they cannot source enough so-called 'green energy' to meet ambitious new carbon emission targets.

The Commonwealth Government has committed to cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, mirroring a commitment made last year by the ACT Government.

However John Mackay, the chief executive of Canberra's power supplier ACTEW AGL, says given the current state of the industry, there is little chance of meeting the target. - NZ told to embrace electric car

New Zealand would make a "wonderful poster-child" for electric car use but may have to queue to prove it, a conference delegation has been told.

Speakers at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority conference on biofuels and electric cars said yesterday that New Zealand ranked 25th on the list of priority for manufacturers - just ahead of the Slovak Republic - and needed to secure its "place in the queue" if consumers wanted access to mainstream electrified vehicles (EV).

The Australian - Australia has little to worry about

IF the world economy unfolds in the way economic models say that it should, Australia will have little to fear from the downturn in the US.

It may even lead to an increased flow of capital into Australia, according to RBA director and ANU economics professor Warwick McKibbin. But while McKibbin expects a largely benign outcome for Australia, he says there are risks in the way the world financial crisis is evolving.

The Age - Melbourne needs $18b spent on transport

The biggest infrastructure project in Melbourne's history has been proposed to avoid a potential transport crisis.

A year-long study by transport expert Sir Rod Eddington proposes an $18 billion, 10-year program of road and rail tunnels, extensions of existing rail lines and a plan to keep heavy vehicles from clogging suburban streets.

Autospeed - Peak Oil 101
A quick hat-tip to the ASPO:

Imagine if the cost of filling your car tripled. You might reconsider buying that 4WD in favour of a smaller car, public transport, or a bicycle, or walking. You might wish you lived closer to work.

SMH - NZ inks oil treaty with The Netherlands

New Zealand has signed a treaty with the Netherlands allowing it unimpeded access to emergency oil stocks in that country.

As a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), New Zealand is obliged to hold 90 days of emergency petroleum stocks, and holds contracts for reserve stocks in Japan, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Under the contracts, the Government has an option to purchase petroleum in the event of an IEA-declared emergency.

TVNZ - Solid Energy looks underground

Solid Energy is investing in a project in Australia to test if Co2 emissions can be stored underground where they will not add to global warming.

In a field in Boggy Creek, Victoria, they are searching for the holy grail - clean coal - in a bid to become greener by using carbon storage.


Don Elder from Solid Energy says the big win in the future is using New Zealand's coal and other gas reserves while keeping energy costs lower than the world costs.

Bussiness Speculator - IATA slashes air industry profit forecast again

GENEVA -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) cut its profit forecast for the airline industry for the second time in four months due to rising oil prices and deepening global economic gloom.


Soaring fuel costs and economic disquiet from the credit crunch have softened demand and hurt "an industry that is constantly on the verge of intensive care", Mr Bisignani said.

SMH - Developers see light on energy efficient offices

THREE days after city offices were plunged into darkness for Earth Hour, property groups that control three-quarters of Australia's investment-grade office space are convening to fight climate change in a more permanent way.

Many of the 20 developers are expected to sign up to a green building charter, which will commit them to refitting dozens of older office blocks in the central business district, Parramatta, Chatswood, North Sydney and North Ryde, to save energy. - Darby fears auto 'ghetto'

North Shore city councillor is pushing the panic button over rocketing oil prices and wants the city council to deal with the issue head-on.

Chris Darby wants the council to look at the impact of oil prices on the city’s overall transport strategy and take steps to avoid getting bogged down by sharp cost increases.
"My concern is that we’re at risk at building an automobile ghetto if we don’t bring a focus in a manner we’ve never done in the past."

He says the skyrocketing cost of fuel and its effect on inflation will lead to mounting social issues in the city.

Wanganui Chronicle - Locals raise awareness of looming peak oil

"WE are the peak generation and we cannot ignore the signs."

We must also prepare for a post-carbon future, said educator Lisa Talbot and Green Party spokesman John Milnes, who were at Wanganui's Majestic Square yesterday to coincide with the global Fossil Fools (Fuels) Day.

Ms Talbot said about 50 percent of the people they spoke to were aware the world community had used about half of the available supply of fossil fuels on the planet, and that rising (fuel) costs were pumping up the prices of basic commodities.

Money Management - Australia’s economy still on track for 2008

While Australia’s economic outlook is fundamentally positive for 2008, there remain a number of areas of concerns that will mitigate that growth, according to a financial analyst.

AXA chief investment officer Mark Dutton said while Australia looks solid and has structurally some very sound investment opportunities, there is still a strong case to ensure you are well diversified.
“The other tricky issue for the Reserve Bank is they don’t want this inflation measure to continue to rise and want to arrest it, but the key drivers to it are things that monetary policies are not going to have a direct impact on.”

“This is basically food prices, which have been rising faster in the last five years than over the last quarter century and energy prices, which are also out of our control.”

0.1 down and 500 to go, Mt of CO2 that is. I think they are getting ahead of themselves with wellhead gear since they don't appear to have decided which way to capture flue gas CO2 as yet. Heaven forbid they would make up a special batch of 'clean' pre-compressed pure CO2 for the purposes of the experiment.

I see shiny stainless steel pipes glinting in the sun. In the foreground politicians wearing smart new hard hats pose for photo ops. One State premier may turn up in his chauffeur driven Honda Insight. The news stories will talk of 'Australia's commitment to reducing emissions..' We're saved.

Yes, the reporting suggests it's a fiat accomplice... not the trial it is.

I think the nearest coal fired power station would be ALCOAs Anglesea operation. It has a chimney "designed for optimum dispersal based on studies by the Meteorology Department of Melbourne University". How about that...

But they are doing some things to reduce CO2. The Carbonation Program is a small step in the right direction.

I notice that they split the numbers between on site and off site...
See here.

Alcoa has reduced the on-site greenhouse intensity of our smelting operations by 55 percent

I suppose this is one way of quantifying things... but I'm not so sure about the validity of the qualitative split!

Does any independent body check Alcoa's claims? A percentage of the process CO2 mixed with alkaline waste will be absorbed, but it might slowly absorb atmospheric CO2 anyway like setting cement. Presumably under the ETS they will bid for permits for the net CO2 as self assessed. Some agency with EPA-like powers needs to verify that assessment. I see an administrative nightmare looming, particularly as suitably qualified people will be in demand elsewhere. I doubt Garnaut will question the 55% claim as he seems to believe anything Big Biz tells him, be it vast geothermal resources or imminent CCS.

I don't think there is an independent assessment Boof, not until it is a regulatory requirement (is it?). But it could be true that they have indeed cut the "on site" (i.e. directly involved in the smelting process) CO2 emissions by 55%... it's that off site effort over at Anglesea that is the real problem. And I think Anglesea only provides enough omph for Point Henry in Geelong, not for the Portland Smelter.