The Bullroarer - Friday 21st November 2008

SMH - It's boom time for Queensland coal-seam gas

THE boom in eastern Australia's coal-seam gas industry will accelerate a rise in NSW gas prices, the national energy regulator says.

The State of the Energy Market 2008 report, to be published today, says the rush of projects to develop Queensland's coal-seam gas into an exportable liquidate form has already nudged up prices along the east coast, as producers seek higher returns. - Solid Energy gets NZ Steel deal

State-owned coal miner Solid Energy has clinched a key supply contract with New Zealand Steel at a time when demand for its export coal from the West Coast is falling significantly.

The company is "concerned and watchful" while world demand is slowing.

Courier Mail - Lower speed limit to tackle obesity crisis, say experts

SPEED limits in suburban streets should be slashed to 30km/h to encourage pedestrians and cyclists and tackle the obesity epidemic, experts say.

Griffith University transport planning researcher Matthew Burke said cutting speeds from 50km/h on local streets would not only reduce road trauma, it would also curb obesity rates by encouraging more people to walk and cycle.

Courier Mail - Street design rethink to cope with changing population

AS southeast Queensland grapples with unprecedented population growth, one engineer is redesigning our streets to change the way we get around.

It may change how vibrant suburbs are and whether our streets are safe for kids to play in. Ultimately it will affect whether you can buy the type of house that suits you.

The Australian - BBI forced to consider Dalrymple coal terminal sale

MACARTHUR Coal says it is interested in a stake in Queensland's Dalrymple Bay coal terminal if BBI wants to sell it.

Facing debt refinancing in January and a poor climate for other planned asset sales, BBI is testing interest in the multi-user port, its best asset, worth possibly $2.8billion, according to JPMorgan.

ABC - Energy firm abandons billion-dollar Qld plans

Residents of a Darling Downs town in southern Queensland say they are disappointed that an energy company has cancelled plans for a billion dollar gas-to-liquids plant.

The Australian - Carbon capture serves national interest: Ferguson

AUSTRALIA has joined the list of nations that view carbon capture and storage as the silver bullet for rising global emissions.

Australia is lobbying hard to secure at least two of the 20 large-scale commercial carbon capture and storage demonstration projects the Group of Eight leading nations want operating globally by 2020.

Herald Sun - Bear market at lowest level since 1970s oil crisis

A MASS exodus of money from global markets has extended the bear market to its lowest level since the 1970s oil crisis - a collapse of more than 51 per cent.

Economists warn that increasing concerns the global recession will be deep and very damaging have wiped out hope - at least for now. - Diesel leaves petrol behind

Canterbury's dairy boom has helped diesel leapfrog petrol as the province's highest selling fuel a trend with an environmental downside.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) figures show 389 million litres of diesel were sold last year, almost five million litres more than petrol. In 1999, 268 million litres of diesel were sold 75 per cent of petrol sales, which were 355 million litres.

Diesel consumption is forecast to rise as the Ministry of Transport predicts road-freight movements in Canterbury will almost double by 2031.

TV NZ - Global warming could lead to Arctic energy

The Arctic offers new energy and fishing resources as a result of global warnimg and new technology, the European Union said on Friday.

Melting ice also presented new navigation possibilities such as a short route to the Pacific Ocean, the EU executive said.

The rapid recession of sea ice, snow cover and permafrost were helping to accelerate global warming and the loss from the Greenland ice sheet would bring a swift rise in sea levels, it said in a paper.

Times Online Aukland - The case for more ferries

FERRIES and waterways need to be given higher priority in Auckland’s public transport planning, according to the Half Moon Bay Ferry Users Group.

The Australian - Clean energy confronts messy reality

PRESIDENT-elect Barack Obama has vowed to promote clean and renewable energy, reiterating this week that his presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change.

But the nation's power companies suddenly are struggling to turn that promise into reality.

"Funding has stalled," says Ezra Green, chief executive of Clear Skies Solar. The New York company recently cancelled plans to build a one-megawatt solar plant in California's Mojave Desert, unable to get financing even though a California utility agreed to buy all the output.

"We've cancelled the solar-panel order," Mr Green says.

Hobbled by the financial crisis, power companies across the US are slashing capital budgets and cancelling projects for clean electricity.

The Age - Six-star energy rating adds $10,000 to cost of new house: MBA

COMPULSORY six-star energy ratings would add $10,000 to the cost of a new house in Victoria at a time of record low affordability, according to a peak building lobby.

A Master Builders Association survey showed Victoria's five-star minimum energy rating had added $7600 to the cost of a new house. Six and seven-star ratings would add $10,000 and $14,000, respectively

The Age - $8.5b tunnel centre of transport plan

An $8.5 billion rail tunnel linking Melbourne's east and west will be the centrepiece of the Victorian government's transport plan, to be announced next month.

But the tunnel proposal hinges on the federal government providing Victoria with promised infrastructure funding.

The Australian - Nexus to consider full sale of comany

NEXUS Energy said it will consider a full sale of the company after some parties interested in buying a stake in its Crux liquids project proposed transactions at the corporate level.

The Australian - Payback plan to invest in solar energy

A NATIONAL scheme to pay people for generating solar energy would drive a $17.9 billion investment in the industry, generate thousands of jobs and reduce Australia's carbon emissions by 4.6 million tonnes a year, a report to be released today reveals.

The report by Access Economics for the Clean Energy Council comes after Australia's biggest solar-panel factory, BP Solar, announced it would close its doors early next year, saying it could make panels more cheaply overseas.

The research shows that a gross feed-in tariff, under which people would be paid for all of the electricity they generated, including the energy they used themselves, would invigorate the solar industry, leading to strong take-up of solar panels and bringing forward investment in the technology.

Marlborough Express NZ - Fishing outlook 'bleak'

The future of Kaikoura's commercial fishing industry is looking "bleak", according to local fisherman Dick Cleall.


He said this was not a localised issue, and that it had hit the Nelson area hard too.

Another problem fishermen faced was stock depletion, which Mr Cleall said was a notable problem within the industry.

He said that big companies were over-fishing, and people were also fishing in juvenile areas, although he said that set net size restrictions were helping combat that problem.

3News - MRP's new geothermal project to open this weekend

As debate continues on lifting the ban on fossil fuel generation, work on developing the country's renewable energy sources is steaming ahead.

This weekend sees the official opening of Mighty River Power's new geothermal project at Kawerau - a plant that can service up to a 100,000 homes.

And one more from The Age - Electricity, gas prices may rise