Australia, Coal, Diesel, Gas, Legislation, Transportation

Australian industry looks to gas, coal for transport fuel

February 26, 2008 (The Australian) – A move to develop a national agenda to create a multi-billion-dollar industry producing liquid transport fuels from coal and gas will be launched today by the Rudd Government.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will use a conference in Brisbane to set the scene for gas and coal offsetting Australia’s huge and growing oil import bill.

Australia last year spent $7.5 billion on energy imports, more than it gained from selling oil, gas and coal overseas.

The country has only about eight years of oil at current rates of extraction but more than 100 years of gas and about 600 years of coal. Continue reading

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Australia, Carbon Credits, Carbon Offset, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Coal, Legislation, Renewable Energy

Thirst for electricity threatens Australian targets

February 26, 2008 (Canberra Times) – Australia’s rapidly escalating electricity consumption remains the biggest risk to meeting its Kyoto treaty targets, a new Federal Government report warns. A Department of Climate Change analysis of national greenhouse emission trends estimates Australia’s emissions from electricity use will increase 59 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.

Despite use of renewable energy doubling to 20 per cent of the national electricity mix by 2020, carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired electricity are projected to rise from 1990 levels of 129 million tonnes a year to 204 million tonnes. Continue reading

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Australia, Clean Energy, Cleantech venture capital, Climate Change, Solar

Victoria to get solar power plant

February 25, 2008 (The Age) – A project to build a solar power plant in Victoria with $79.5 million promised by the former Howard government has been launched by new Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.  Despite the former Howard government committing the money to the project she was launching, Ms Wong attacked her predecessors, saying they had done “virtually nothing” toward reducing greenhouse emissions.

The $420 million solar plant will be built at a yet to be determined site in the Swan Hill and Mildura region in Victoria’s north, and should generate enough power for 45,000 homes every year, without creating any greenhouse emissions.

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Australia, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Cleantech venture capital

GreenAir, Carbon Broker, to Raise A$100 Million

February 25, 2008 (Bloomberg) – GreenAir, a carbon credit dealer, is seeking to raise A$100 million ($92.4 million) ahead of plans for an initial public offering after the Australian government signed the Kyoto Protocol, the Australian Financial Review said. The Sydney-based company, established by former Westpac Banking Corp. executive Himanshu Dua, is trying to secure an underwriter and plans to begin trading on the Australian Stock Exchange within 12 months, the newspaper said, citing Dua.

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Australia, Clean Energy, Legislation, Solar

New South Wales deflects calls for solar subsidies

February 19, 2008 (Sydney Morning Herald)- The Sun King has had a vision, but the NSW Government has its own ideas. Zhengrong Shi, the Australian-trained solar energy scientist who has in seven years gone from an academic position at the University of NSW to become the richest person in mainland China, yesterday called on the Government to intervene in the state’s energy market and subsidise solar panels on houses.

Dr Shi urged the Premier, Morris Iemma, to adopt a system of “feed-in tariffs”, in which people who generate solar energy at home can sell it back to the state grid at more than the market rate. Variations of the system work successfully in most European nations, Canada, Japan and China, leading to large increases in the number of people using solar power.

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Australia, Clean Energy, Legislation, Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement, Solar

Greens delighted electricity feed-in scheme becomes law (Australia)

February 14, 2008 (SA Parliament Release) – The SA Government’s solar panel ‘feed-in’ Bill has passed both Houses of Parliament tonight, with crucial Greens’ amendments. The Electricity (Feed-in Scheme – Residential Solar Systems) Amendment bill encourages the uptake of solar electricity by allowing residents to sell their solar electricity at a higher rate than they are charged. Continue reading

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ADB, Australia, China, Clean Energy, Hydro, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Legislation, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nuclear, Philippines, Singapore, Solar, Thailand, Vietnam

Asia’s tigers eye nuclear future

February 15, 2008 (Asia Times) – The 2005-07 spike in petroleum prices topping out at US$100 a barrel has prodded economic planners across the globe to reconsider their energy options in an age of growing concern over global warming and carbon emissions. The Southeast Asian economies, beneficiaries of an oil and gas export bonanza through the 1970s-1990s, now find themselves in an energy crunch as once-ample reserves run down and the search is on for new and cleaner energy supplies. Notably, regional leaders at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2007 issued a statement promoting civilian nuclear power, alongside renewable and alternative energy sources. Continue reading

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Australia, China, Clean Energy, Cleantech venture capital, Climate Change, Coal, Renewable Energy, Solar, U.S.

3-Pronged Profits from China’s Worst Winter

February 10, 2008 (Seeking Alpha) – It was the worst winter in half a century in the Middle Kingdom, throwing China into a coal energy crisis and giving us several ways to play China’s power problems.

You probably saw the unbelievable photos like this one:

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Those are some of the hundreds of thousands of travelers stuck at a train station in Guangzhou, one of the industrial capitals of the new China. Guangdong (better known to English speakers as Canton), where Guangzhou is located, is the richest province in the country, an export titan and magnet for tens of millions of migrant workers from other parts of China.

These folks sat on their haunches for days on end, waiting for crews to clear the country’s iron roads and let them get home for maybe the only time this year – this week’s Lunar New Year celebration. Continue reading

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Australia, Carbon Offset, Cleantech venture capital, Wind

Origin partners with wind generation developers

January 22, 2008 (News.com.au) – Origin Energy has partnered with wind generation developers Epuron to develop 590 MegaWatt wind farm projects in New South Wales.

The fist project will be the construction of the 30 MW Cullerin Range wind farm in NSW, about 30 kilometres west if Gouldburn.Origin expects to start commissioning of the wind farm next year.

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Australia, China, Cleantech venture capital, India, Small-hydro, Wind

Macquarie hires head of renewables

January 16, 2008 (FinanceAsia.com) – Macquarie Group has appointed Anton Rohner as head of renewables in Asia, with the aim of expanding its business in a region where the renewable energy market is valued at more than $20 billion.The bank projects the market will grow by 15% to 20% annually in the next five years. Among the Asian countries, China and India are two of the world’s top five renewable energy markets, along with Germany, Spain and the US. China plans to have 30,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity capacity by 2020, which represents massive growth but is still small compared with the country’s total installed electricity generating capacity of around 710,000MW at the end of 2007. India already has an installed wind power capacity of 6,000MW.

“We see a groundswell of interest in renewable and sustainable energy from the rising affluence in developing markets in Asia and this presents us with huge opportunities,” says Andrew Low, Asia head of Macquarie Capital Advisers. “We see increased interest in clean energy in China and India.”

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