SATURDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2018

A brave new world of grid integrated renewables
Gerard Wynn
Current trends make a mockery of doubts peddled by network incumbents that fossil fuel power is the best way to assure security of electricity supply.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/brave-new-world-grid-integrated-renewables-68062/

Even without the clean power plan, US can achieve Paris Agreement emissions reductions
CMU researchers point out that there are many paths to compliance
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/cmu-ewt021618.php

“Shameless”: Cheap energy option for consumers still being buried
AEMC blasted for not providing robust signals for demand response technologies – clearly the smartest, cleanest and cheapest option to solve many energy issues, but not one favoured by generators.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/shameless-cheap-energy-option-for-consumers-still-being-buried-78507/

ARENA backs app to help fast-charge EV uptake
ARENA backs research that will model the influence of rooftop solar, home batteries and electricity tariffs on a decision to buy EVs.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/arena-backs-app-help-fast-charge-ev-uptake-40320/

IKEA flags selling solar panels “at cost” in Australia, industry reacts
News that Swedish furniture giant IKEA is planning to sell solar panels “at cost” in its Australian stores has been met with mixed responses from the local solar industry, with many expressing fears that it will further destabilise – and perhaps undermine – an already over-crowded solar retail and installation market.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/ikea-flags-selling-solar-panels-cost-australia-industry-reacts-26603/

New-build homes with solar and storage? “It’s going to be the norm”
European dishwasher – tick. Reverse cycle air-con – tick. Self-cleaning oven – tick. A ludicrous amount of down-lights in the kitchen – tick. 5kW of rooftop solar – tick. 13.5kWh battery system – tick.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/new-build-homes-solar-storage-going-norm-92032/

Liberal MP caught on open mic using four-letter word on Murray-Darling plan
Tony Pasin tells Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Phillip Glyde the plan took 100 years to make but ‘one night to f*** it up’
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/16/liberal-mp-caught-on-open-mic-using-four-letter-word-on-murray-darling-plan

Murray-Darling Basin Authority accused of cover-up
Former staffer claims water bought by taxpayers for was taken by an irrigator.
https://www.theage.com.au/environment/sustainability/shut-it-down-murray-darling-basin-authority-accused-of-cover-up-20180216-p4z0m5.html

National Energy Guarantee: draft design consultation paper
Energy Security Board (ESB)
The first public consultation paper for the National Energy Guarantee has been released by the independent Energy Security Board (ESB). The guarantee’s intention is to deliver more reliable, affordable and cleaner energy to Australian consumers.
http://apo.org.au/node/132996

NEG: A tangled web of electricity regulation
Bruce Mountain
How will retailers meet their emission reduction obligations under the proposed NEG. It’s a tangled web, and we suspect the ESB is starting to understand
http://reneweconomy.com.au/neg-a-tangled-web-of-electricity-regulation-55787/

It’d be wonderful if the claims made about carbon capture were true
Simon Holmes à Court
Josh Frydenberg talks up carbon capture and storage not because it’s effective but because it’s a point of political difference
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/16/itd-be-wonderful-if-the-claims-made-about-carbon-capture-were-true

Ballarat mining company uses cow poo to power a Bungaree dairy farm
A western Victorian mining company is turning poo into gold by converting the smelly waste into a valuable asset — energy.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-17/gekko-systems-use-poo-to-power-ballarat-dairy-farm/9455734

Recycling crisis: Ratepayers set to foot the bill for landfill
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/recycling-crisis-council-rates-hike-looms-to-pay-for-landfill-20180216-p4z0k3.html

Highrise car parks to be banned in drive to improve city streetscapes
Underground car parking would be the only type allowed in city apartment and office developments, under new rules being considered by Melbourne City Council.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/highrise-car-parks-to-be-banned-in-drive-to-improve-city-streetscapes-20180215-p4z0gj.html

Much at stake for Victoria if Murray-Darling plan fails
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/much-at-stake-for-victoria-if-murray-darling-plan-fails-20180215-p4z0gz.html

Whitehaven falls despite profit lift
Whitehaven Coal shares fell 4.5 per cent yesterday as costs weighed on its record profit.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/whitehaven-shares-fall-as-costs-weigh-on-record-profit/news-story/5957a4e0001451b84657fbe064aa6451

ACT government eyes electric buses for next bulk-buy
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-government-eyes-electric-buses-for-201819-bulkbuy-20180206-h0uewm.html

‘The equivalent of 40,000 new homes’: Power demand soars as south-east Queensland swelters
Demand for power reaches a record high this week as south-east Queenslanders crank up air conditioners to beat this week’s unrelenting heat and humidity.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-16/heatwave-sets-new-record-south-east-queensland-power-demand/9455792

‘Ricky Leaks’ vindicated after longest war
Good cop Ricky Flori says he’d do it all again despite six years of hell after blowing the whistle on police brutality. He’d even like the top cop’s job.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/six-years-of-hell-but-hed-do-it-all-again/news-story/cf1965181126ae54561e0efea99e4d47

Culture warrior Brendan Pearson lobs fizzers at anti-Adani hipsters
Guy Rundle
How ironic, an ex-coal industry spinner doesn’t know when to stop digging.
https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/02/16/rundle-brendan-pearson-lobs-anti-hipster-pro-adani-grenades/

The power and the folly: Will Adani go down like Gunns?
Peter Henning
The Adani and Gunns parallels demonstrate Australian politicians are completely controlled by the power of vested corporate interests
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/will-adani-go-down-like-gunns,11205

Coal mining is in my blood but Acland isn’t the answer
Frank Ashman
http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/coal-mining-is-in-my-blood-but-acland-isn-t-the-answer-20180216-p4z0mm.html

Cheaper public transport fares — but not for all
Regular public transport users will travel cheaper from April – but those who hop on and off ad hoc won’t see any price relief.
http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/premier-jay-weatherill-announces-cheaper-public-transport-tickets-for-regular-commuters/news-story/790e61202fb53e451593d8cf394ad446

Keep heritage away from politicians and councils: SA Best
SA Best would take heritage-listing decisions out of the hands of politicians and councils, and instead create an independent body to make decisions on which properties to protect.
http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/sa-best-keep-heritage-away-from-politicians-and-councils/news-story/3413cc313bc0666f78ae9f6aca3992ed

Liberals accused of ‘playing politics with Bass’ in Tamar River plan
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5232144/liberals-accused-of-playing-politics-with-bass-in-tamar-river-plan/?cs=95

Fixing the Tamar is ‘bigger than politics’ says chief owners representative
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5233557/fixing-the-tamar-is-bigger-than-politics-says-chief-owners-representative/?cs=95

Fragile China takes a bird’s-eye view
Don Knowler
Tasmania needs to do its part to save shorebirds as their numbers dive
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-time-for-tasmania-to-step-up-for-shorebirds-as-china-takes-a-birdseye-view/news-story/f76e765d47793a455249c8c9d28c2720

High bacteria levels close Lake Alexander
Lake Alexander has been closed due to high bacteria levels which were detected during routine testing
http://www.news.com.au/national/northern-territory/high-enterococci-bacteria-levels-close-lake-alexander/news-story/82038771fe67a4b5c561de3bb7d9eda3

The fighty ducks: Gender imbalance at Top End lake turns deadly
A drake-heavy Top End duck population goes to war over two females in a battle to breed that has wildlife experts concerned about the welfare of the birds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-16/gender-imbalance-at-palmerston-lake-turns-deadly/9454514

Fracking could create 1500 Territory jobs
The onshore gas industry could begin investing $1.35 billion a year within the next five years creating nearly 1500 local jobs, a new report shows
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/fracking-could-create-1500-territory-jobs/news-story/1a9b956100e2ef7072bbc72bcf6af4ab

Waste collectors scramble to avoid recycling tsunami after China ban 
Waste collectors across Western Australia race to find new markets for their recyclables following China’s decision to stop accepting “contaminated waste” from Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-16/waste-collectors-struggling-after-china-recycling-ban/9452574

Expert team tags 16 white sharks off Esperance coast
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/expert-team-tags-16-white-sharks-off-esperance-coast-20180216-h0w7gy.html

Chinese state sponsored physics experiment prompts questions over nuclear salted bombs
An experiment backed by the Chinese government has raised concerns about its ambitions to reboot a devastating bomb dreamt up during the Cold War.
http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/inventions/chinese-state-sponsored-physics-experiment-prompts-questions-over-nuclear-salted-bombs/news-story/b84298fdae3416dcd00fc8cbde775fd7

Ammonia emissions rise in UK, as other air pollutant levels fall
Levels of powerful air pollutant rose by 3.2% from 2015 to 2016 according to government statistics
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/15/ammonia-emissions-rise-air-pollutants-fall-new-government-statistics

Fungal enzymes could hold secret to making renewable energy from wood
Researchers unlock key scientific challenge of how biorefineries can convert wood into biofuel in an environmental and cost-effective way
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uoy-fec021618.php

Dallas researchers study Texas’ first federally endangered mussel species
In February the Texas hornshell mussel, Popenaias popeii, became the first among 15 state-threatened freshwater species to receive federal protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/taac-drs021618.php

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