The Bullroarer - Monday 1st December 2008

SMH: Clean energy needs investment: report

Creating a commercial-scale clean-energy industry in Australia will cost more than $5 billion annually over the next 10 years. That's the finding of a Climate Institute report that has costed what it will take to move to a low carbon economy. The report says $5.4 billion a year until 2020 will be needed to build a commercial-scale clean-energy industry. It will also create thousands of new jobs and enable Australia to cut emissions by 25 per cent below 1990 levels, the report says.

The Age: Any chance of delivery on transport promises, Premier?

FOR too long public transport has been the poor cousin to what the Government considered were more pressing policy areas, and commuters have suffered.

This has occurred at a time when train patronage has grown by more than 30 per cent in the past three years. Indeed, on one morning last October at the Caulfield station, most trains between 8am and 8.30am carried more than 900 passengers, with the 8.23 squeezing in 1035. Similarly at Clifton Hill, the 8.13am and 8.20am services averaged more than 1000 passengers. And this when the Government considers any more than 798 passengers in a six-carriage train "a load breach".

ABC: Greens lash emissions target 'cop-out'

Greens leader Bob Brown has hit out at the Federal Government over its decision not to take a concrete emissions cut target to key climate talks starting in Poland today.

The Age: Energy retailers coy on price rises

ORIGIN Energy has ruled out raising household power bills by a greater percentage than last year despite concerns from consumer groups that deregulating energy prices in Victoria could lead to profiteering by retailers.

From January 1, Victoria will be the only state to allow retailers to name their own price for gas and electricity without a government-regulated standard price in the market.

The Mercury: Pressure for blackout plan

HYDRO Tasmania and the State Government have been challenged to publicly reveal their strategy to avoid blackouts.
In the face of continued low rainfall, Hydro Tasmania recently downscaled its inflow predictions for its dams from 9500 gigawatt-hours to 9000 GWh. That could drop further over summer.

There are fears Tasmania could face night blackouts and power rationing if rainfall continues to trend downwards.

NZ Herald: Green energy pioneers not feeling blues

As a Government of a distinctly less green hue comes to power, alternative energy pioneers aren't jumping to any conclusions about the likely impact on their industry.

National Party talk of changes to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and a lifting of the moratorium on new thermal generation plants is "hyperbole" and "rhetoric", according to key figures in several renewable energy ventures.

"I think they'll [the Government] be pretty neutral in the sense that they're very conscious of the obligations under Kyoto," says Barry Leay, chairman of wind turbine maker Windflow Technologies and a director of Aquaflow Bionomic, a biofuel producer. Landlords criticise energy incentive

A landlord lobby group has slammed a "silly" proposal to link accommodation supplements to houses and flats that meet minimum energy efficiency standards.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development made the recommendation in its Survey of New Zealand Housing that found over a quarter of homes were so inefficient they could be making their occupants ill.

Business Spectator: OPEC defers new oil supply cut as divisions emerge

CAIRO - OPEC deferred a decision on a new oil supply cut amid signs that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are demanding tighter adherence to restraints put in place over the past two months.

Herald Sun: Rail project fast-tracked

THE Brumby Government has fast-tracked a major northern suburbs rail project in a move designed to appease commuter angst and unclog the embattled train network.

The Clifton Hill track duplication will be finished early next year - 12 months ahead of schedule. The Hurstbridge line has only a single track on the existing bridge over the Merri Creek between Clifton Hill and Westgarth stations. Once finished the additional track on the Hurstbridge line will remove the bottleneck of backed-up trains that has been occurring on the single track for years.

Herald Sun: Frankston bypass funding lies in the shadows

SHADOW tolls could be used to pay for the $700 million Frankston bypass. The 25km freeway will form part of the State Government's transport blueprint, to be released soon. But uncertainty over funding has led to officials considering shadow tolls to pay for it.

Under shadow tolling, the road would be built with private money and the Government would pay the toll for every vehicle using the road. Aquaflow on track with algal technology

BLENHEIM, NEW ZEALAND: Shareholders at Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation’s annual General Meeting on Friday, November 28, were excited to hear that the company had achieved a number of key milestones in its mission to commercialise its algal biofuel and water remediation technology.
“Nothing we have learned in the past three years has changed our intellectual concepts that we should try to harvest wild micro-algae ... other techniques would not, in our view, have adequate energy balance for commercial biofuel production,” said Leay.