Posts tagged ‘renewable energy’

Enough of the noughties, it’s time for the Transition Decade.

We are at a crucial time in human history. Societies have collapsed before because they destroyed their environments and failed to take the necessary steps before it was too late.

* The great civillisation of the ancient Maya destroyed their forests and sucked their rivers dry until their land was uninhabitable and they were forced to abandon their cities.
* The Middle East was not always a desert – it was originally a heavily forested area that was stripped bare by the ancient Sumerians, turning a once fertile area into the barren desert it is today.
* And the Easter Island people created an ecological collapse in a relatively short time period – for them, everything was a consumable resource. With nowhere else to go and nowhere to expand, their entire civillisation collapsed.

We are heading down the same road as those who have gone before us. But this time the collapse of civillisation will be a whole lot worse. This time it will be a global catastrophe like nothing we’ve seen before – the science is clear about that. Unless we make major changes, and make them fast.

Continue Reading March 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment

RET legislation: the fossils cling on for dear life

The renewable energy target bill has now been passed in Parliament, legislating that 20 percent  of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020. The scheme works by compelling electricity retailers to buy electricity from renewable sources.

Investment in electricity from tidal and wave technologies will get a boost, but the geothermal industry is voicing disappointment that no portion of the target was set aside for it. Considering the huge potential of geothermal energy in Australia, this is a kick in the teeth for large scale renewable energy production.

Industry has again put out its hand, demanding yet more government money. Under new concessions demanded by the Coalition, the number of industries to be compensated for higher electricity prices was increased from three to about 40. Once again the government kneels down before the already massively subsidised fossil fuel industry.

Incredibly, electricity from coal seam methane gas – a coal mining waste product – has been classified a renewable energy source and will earn rewards under the scheme. So coal miners are given renewable credits for burning fossil fuels.

While the government will now be patting itself on the back and promoting its green credentials to anyone willing to listen, there is a long, long way to go before Australia is free from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry. And a renewable energy target wouldn’t even be necessary if the market was set up to accurately reflect the true cost of carbon emissions. But that day seems a long way off.

August 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

NEWS

Solar Rebates Scheme Cancelled

The Federal Government’s solar rebate scheme was abruptly cancelled weeks ahead of schedule because it was too successful. The scheme provided rebates of up to $8,000 for the installation of solar panels.

While the public and the solar industry had been counting on a June 30 deadline, the scheme was cancelled with no industry consultation and very little notice after unexpected demand resulted in a four-fold increase to the program’s budget. Only rebate applications that were sent by midnight 9 June are eligible for assessment.

The program is to be replaced by a solar credits system, which is linked to the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has confirmed that there will be no rebate for solar panels until the RET scheme passes the Senate, which will be no earlier than August. Anyone who puts panels on their roof can keep the receipt and apply for a new rebate – if and when the scheme passes the Senate.

July 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Surf Coast not Coal Coast – launch of Anglesea campaign

Groups launch campaign to replace Anglesea coal mine and power station

Images available at http://www.climateactioncentre.org

Environment, climate and local community groups have joined forces in a campaign to replace Alcoa’s Anglesea power station with renewable energy.

Continue Reading June 8, 2009 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

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