End Of Year Break - Best Of 2008

Posts between now and the end of the year will be few and far between, as your editors here at TOD ANZ take their summer breaks.

Thanks for reading, and I'd like to wish you all a Happy Christmas / Holidays / Hanukkah / Summer or Winter Solstice or whatever it is you are celebrating.

For those who haven't managed to keep up with the flow of posts (or have just come across this blog at random), here are some of the key posts for the year:

Peak Oil And Fossil Fuels

* Peak Oil - Oil Reserves: Where Ghawar goes, the rest of OPEC follows
* Collapse - The Failure Of Networked Systems
* IEA WEO Report - The 2008 IEA WEO - Oil Reserves and Resources
* Australian Natural Gas - Australian Natural Gas - How Much Do We Have And How Long Will It Last ? (original)
* Coal Seam Gas - Coal Seam Gas Producers - The New Masters Of The Universe ? (original)
* Gas To Liquids In Australia - Gas To Liquids On The North West Shelf (original)
* The Varanus Island Explosion - A gas supply disruption case study - the Varanus Island explosion (original)
* Coal To Liquids In Australia - Coal To Liquids In Australia (original)
* Peak Oil and the Credit Crunch - Oil, House Prices, Credit? Three parts of the same story
* Enhanced Oil Recovery - How Technology Increases Oil Production
* Petrol Prices - Why is petrol only 95 cents a litre today?
* Air Travel - The Future of Air Travel
* Iraq and Oil - Iraq's Oil: The Greatest Prize Of All (original)

Clean Energy

* Solar Thermal Power - Concentrating on the important things: Solar Thermal Power (original)
* Thin Film Solar Power - Thin Film Solar Power - Cheaper than Coal ? (original)
* Alternative Wind Power experiments - SkySails And Airborne Wind Turbines (original)
* Floating Offshore Wind Power - Floating Offshore Wind Power (original)
* Geothermal Power - Geothermia (original)
* Low Temperature Geothermal Power - Low Temperature Geothermal Power (original)
* Ocean (tidal, wave, OTEC) Energy - Tapping The Source - The Power Of The Oceans (original)
* Biogas - Banana Methane Powered Cars, Pig Poo Power And Other Uses For Biogas (original)
* Biogas from the great lakes - Turning Danger Into Power (original)
* Cogeneration - Cogeneration At Home: Ceramic Fuel Cells (original)
* Bioplastic - Bioplastic - Better Living Through Green Chemistry ? (original)
* Electric Cars - Making Australia A Better Place (original)
* Energy Storage - Storing Energy Using Graphite (original)
* Energy Storage - We're Off To See The Wizard - Storing Energy Using Ammonia (original)
* Solar Powered Desalination - Solving Our Water Problems - Desalination Using Solar Thermal Power (original)
* Salt Water Power - The Power Of Osmosis (original)
* Hydrogen - The Hydrogen Economy And Peak Platinum (original)
* Expanded Electricity Grids - A National Electricity Grid For Australia


* Shared Transport - High-Tech Hitchhiking
* Spreading The Word - The Ups and Downs of Giving a Peak Oil Presentation
* The Limits To Growth - The Limits To Scenario Planning (original)
* Biochar - Terra Preta: Biochar And The MEGO Effect (original)
* Local Currencies - Locabucks: Are local currencies a way to escape the liquidity trap ? (original)
* Artificial Meat - A Post Peak Protein Possibility: The Meat Beast (original)
* Guerilla Gardening - Guerilla Gardening: Eating The Suburbs (original)
* M King Hubbert - Hubbert: King Of The Technocrats (original)

I think that we should record here that the Macquarie Group was right about the price of oil last December when they said it could be $40 a barrel - good call!
"Macquarie's Seven Surprises for 2008 are far more interesting: a US Fed tightening; US dollar appreciation; rising business investment in the developed world; a world commitment to lower carbon emissions; more powerful emerging markets; an Australian housing boom; and a plunge in oil prices to about $US40 a barrel." http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/3392. Unfortunately they were wrong about the other seven, and only right about oil because they were wrong about the other seven!

Unfortunately for them, the circumstances that led to $40 oil have decimated Macquarie itself and have some observers questioning if they will survive.

They didn't predict that would happen either.

Have a great celebration,
Glad Biochar made your list,

Poznan News;
Looks like The IBI was Successful in Having Biochar Considered as a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Tool,


and as a "fast-start" strategy to "mitigate climate change in the immediate near-term.
The submission from the Federated States of Micronesia can be accessed here: http://unfccc.int/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/items/4578.php

With many large field studies planned,by many institutions, I think 09 will be Biochar's year.

Thanks for your support.

See you in '09 Big Gav. That's an impressive list of achievements for 2008.

Thanks Cretaceous - looking forward to having more of the same next year.

One item I forgot for the main lust (stuck at the end of a dialup connection made collating the list pretty painful and un-thorough) - kiashu's "Freezing Point Of Industrial Society" was also a highlight :


looking forward to having more of the same next year.

2009 should be a blinder! :D :(

some "light reading" for the Christmas break - http://www.climatechange.gov.au/whitepaper/index.html -- the white paper on emissions trading has been released.

That "white" paper should be yellow.Isn't that the colour for lack of courage?

No, that just needs a yellow stripe down the back cover.

Wow, it took 820 pages to say "we're not taking this as seriously as we led you to believe"...

Guess I won't be printing that out to read at work...

With regard to "* Expanded Electricity Grids - A National Electricity Grid For Australia" and two of the comments:

How much would an interconnect to NZ cost (using the Basslink cost as an indicator) ?

Why link to NZ?

Au$2bn (2004 dollars) plus end-of-line connections.

According to this PDF, Basslink was costed at Au$216m for Cable and installation. The length of the cable is roughly 350km, which gives a cost of Au$617,000/KM.

Brisbane-> Auckland (as the crow flies) is 1417km, which means the cable + installation costs would be Au$876m. Multiply by two to account for depth and inevitable cost overruns, and you are looking at Au$1752m. Call it Au$2bn to be safe.

End-of-cable connections are independent of cable length. If using HVDC, line losses for a cable of this length should be only 4% - 7%.

During the day, we route excess power to NZ which is used for both local needs and pumped storage. At night, NZ draw down the Pumped storage, and send us power (if we haven't already solved that problem). NZ gets a dual advantage of reliable, distributed power supply, as well as drought-proofing.

Consider that Sydney -> Wellington and Hobart -> Invercargill are both of similar (but shorter, particularly Hob-Inv) distances. Triple redundant links for between Au$3bn and Au$6bn (and NZ would probably pay for at least a third of that). We just [expletive deleted by Steven Conroy MP] away Au$10bn to keep the shops humming over Christmas.

Thanks Bellistner - those are useful figures.

Like you say, building an expanded and redundant grid would be better than handing it out for people to spend on plasma TVs, hookers and beer.