REnew economy, 15 December 2017
Clean coal may be a marketing term that you can still read in the Murdoch press and hear on the ABC, but the technology remains nothing more than a fantasy – and a point of distraction and a lacquered prop for the fossil fuel industry and its proponents. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has published a damning assessment of Australia’s carbon capture and storage program, noting that more than $450 million has been invested by the government over the past decade, and nothing achieved. Not a single tonne of CO2 has been saved, no technology is ready for deployment, and the ANAO report slams the government for having no strategic direction, no oversight over the projects, and little accounting for the spending.
REnew economy, 15 December 2017
One step of the grid, 19 December 2017
The Victoria energy and pricing regulator has proposed a peak period tariff of 29c/kWh for rooftop solar exports back into the grid, in a ground-breaking recommendation that could help change the way consumers think about their solar assets, and encourage battery storage.
The Conversation, 18 December 2017
We all know physical activity is good for us; that most of us should do more of it; and that walking is a cheap and convenient physical activity. So, all those people we see out there pounding the pavement are doing it to get healthy, right? Well, no, especially the young people. When you ask people aged 15 to 20 why they walk, they’ll likely tell you it’s to get to places cheaply and independently, or to relax or calm down when stressed or angry. They largely see health as a byproduct of walking, rather than a reason for walking. It is, however, a very valuable byproduct. Walking for transport alone accounts for 48% of total physical activity time for 18-to-24-year-old Australians.
ReNew Economy, 7 December 2017
It’s been a banner year for cities in the fight against climate change. This week, more than 50 mayors gathered in Chicago this week for North American Climate Summit. Each signed a charter calling on mayors to make specific plans to cut carbon pollution in line with national commitments under the Paris Agreement. Over the last year, hundreds of U.S. cities have pledged to fulfill the terms of landmark accord. As of last week, 50 have vowed to generate 100% of their power from renewables. Plans and pledges are one thing. Action is something entirely different. While it remains unclear how cities might quickly and cheaply achieve these goals, a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a clean-energy think tank, lists 22 policies that could help get the job done.
The Conversation, 11 December 2017
Dog owners depend very heavily on their cars to transport and care for their pets. Our recently published study estimates that dog owners make about 2.4 million dog-related trips a week in Sydney. We also found pet owners overwhelmingly want to be able to travel on public transport with their pets. So why are they still excluded?
The Guardian, 7 December 2017
A senior Volkswagen executive was sentenced to seven years in prison by a US court on Wednesday after being found guilty of concealing software used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. Oliver Schmidt, a German national who was the general manager in charge of VW’s environmental and engineering office in Michigan, had pleaded guilty to his part in the cover-up and argued he was “misused” by VW in its attempts to circumvent US emissions tests.
The City Fix, 4 December 2017
From a small collection of fishing villages 40 years ago to a metropolis on track for a global milestone, Shenzhen has come further, faster than most cities. Already home to the largest fleet of electric buses in the world – roughly 14,500 at the end of May – the city is expected to electrify 100% of its public transit bus fleet by the end of 2017. If successful, it will become the first in the world to do so.
They know where you go: dockless bike sharing looms as the next disruptor – if key concerns are fixed
The Conversation, 7 December 2017
Beyond the benefits of dockless bike sharing for people’s mobility and health, these services are producing an ever more useful byproduct: journey data. Mapped through global positioning system (GPS) devices on the bikes or via Bluetooth using GPS data from users’ smartphones, the journey data that operators collect could be a powerful tool for city planners and policymakers, possibly even a valuable commodity.