Western Victoria has a severely dry core that is “ready to burn”, with some farm dams and creeks already dry, paddocks parched and forests starved of moisture. … the area is a major concern ahead of what is expected to be a severe and longer than normal bushfire season.
Apple has announced the completion of a major solar project and its intentions to have more constructed.
Apple stated construction on 40 megawatts of solar PV in the Sichuan Province of China is now complete and will produce up to 80 million kilowatt-hours per year of clean energy. This is more than the total amount of electricity consumed by Apple’s China offices and retail stores; making the company’s operations in the country carbon-neutral.
Apple also announced plans to build more than 200 megawatts of solar projects in the northern, eastern and southern grid regions of China; which will begin to offset the energy used in Apple’s supply chain.
Australia could become a renewable energy superpower – if it seizes the opportunities of global decarbonisation. It is in Australia’s interest to decarbonise rapidly. For too long Australia has reduced emissions reluctantly and inadequately, clinging onto the fossil fuel economy, motivated by the false belief that decarbonisation threatens Australia.
The “Renewable Energy Superpower” Report
presents a compelling vision for Australia’a future
released by “Zero Carbon Australia” on 19 October 2015
Australia needs to act now to grasp this opportunity by:
Moving with urgency towards 100% renewables
Turning to electricity
Replacing fossil fuels including gas, coal and petrol
Catching the global wave of renewable energy investment
Attracting energy intensive industries to Australia
Exporting renewable energy and expertise
Australia will have many advantages in a decarbonised world. These advantages give us the opportunity to become an energy superpower:
Australia has high quality renewable energy resources, so we can get more renewable energy from less generating equipment, from less capital expenditure. This is evident from the map of global wind and solar renewable energy potential. (Report, p 18) Areas shown in:
. red-brown have high potential, and
. white-blue have low potential.
Australia also has vast amounts of renewable energy, more than the energy in its coal, oil, gas and uranium resources combined!
Consider only Australian economic renewable energy resources that are from solar and wind resources, close to the current transmission grid, and competitive in price with new power stations. This economic renewable energy is estimated at over 5,000 million, million, million joules per year. This is enough to power the world for ten years. And this annual energy is 75% more than the energy content of all Australia’s fossil energy resources. (Report, p 48)
If there is one chart that might finally put to rest debate of a pause or “hiatus” in global warming, this chart, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is it.
The chart shows the “year-to-date average global temperature” for each month, for 2015 and the six warmest years on record.
The December end of year point gives the “annual global average temperature”, and these December points show that the hottest year so far was 2014, followed by 2010 and 2013, 2005, 2009 and 1998 in that order.
So far we only have the first 9 months of 2015, but so far 2015 has been far and away the hottest year on record. The other hot years cluster together with crossovers, but 2015 is clearly above the rest, consistently by about a tenth of a degree.
The current intensifying El Nino has helped drive global temperatures to yet another record monthly high. September 2015 was not only the seventh month so far this year to set a new record for heat, it was also the most anomalously hot month in 135 years of data, the highest departure from average for any month among all 1629 months in the record that began in January 1880.
US Natural Resources Defence Council:
Third Annual Energy Report: Oct 2015
The United States is leading a global clean energy transition that reached new milestones over the past year:
Coal and electricity consumption down nationwide
Oil use flat
Renewable energy surging
Sustained progress in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency has been the most important contributor to the positive trends, the largest and least expensive way to meet the nation’s energy needs. Smarter use has allowed America to get more work out of less energy while pushing our economy forward and cutting residential, business, and industrial customers’ bills.
America’s first nationwide limits on carbon pollution from power plants
California enacted the world’s most ambitious combined clean energy targets: Total emissions must drop at least 80 percent by 2050.
In 2014 the US emitted less carbon dioxide pollution from its energy sector than in 1996. The 2014 emissions were 10% down from 2005. The total was still far too high.
In 2014, oil consumption dropped below levels recorded in 1973, when the U.S. economy was about one-third its current size.
The US is off to a good start toward meeting President Obama’s commitment to cut carbon pollution by more than a quarter over the next decade through actions under existing law.
US Natural Resources Defence Council:
(now a broken link)
An organic garden and farm products manufacturer is taking its green message a step further by creating its own biodiesel to run its fleet of trucks. Peats Soil, which makes potting mixes, soils and mulches in South Australia, is creating biodiesel from the ‘dirty water’ gathered from food manufacturing locations. The eco biodiesel will fuel a fleet of 14 new Scania trucks that will be used for Peats’ collection and delivery operations throughout South Australia.
In less than two months, the two political leaders named by New Statesman as the “world’s worst climate change villains” have been tossed out of power: Australia’s Tony Abbott by his own party, and Canada’s Stephen Harper in a national poll.
It is good news for the upcoming Paris climate change talks. Both countries, under their former leaders, ranked at the bottom of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for their efforts on climate change. Among G20 countries, only Saudi Arabia ranked lower than them.
Leading economist Professor Ross Garnaut and two government renewable energy agencies are championing the use of hydrogen to exploit Australia’s massive solar and wind resources.
They say hydrogen produce from renewable energy would make Australia a renewable energy powerhouse, utilising huge arrays of solar panels, and creating an export industry of “solar fuels” to northern Asia that would rival the coal and gas export industries.