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Qantas uses mustard seeds in first ever biofuel flight between Australia and US

The Guardian, 30 January 2018
A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on Tuesday. The 15-hour flight used a blended fuel that was 10% derived from the brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop – meaning it can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles.

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Even top oil producers see the wisdom of going solar

eSolar Energy News, 14 February 2017
The nation most identified with its massive oil reserves is turning to wind and solar to generate power at home and help extend the life of its crucial crude franchise.
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Australia debates value of electric vehicles while China pushes ahead

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 2018
When Hong Dan, 26, bought her first car six months ago, the choice to go electric was simple. First, in pollution-conscious Beijing, getting a licence plate for an electric car is easier than a petrol car.
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Cycle miles double in China thanks to dockless bike sharing

Bike Biz, 26 January 2018
Before the advent of dockless bike-sharing in Chinese cities cycling accounted for 5.5% of transport miles. It has now more than doubled to 11.6%. This is according to White Book of Shared Bike and City Development 2017, a Chinese-language report from the Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Innovation Institute, an urban planning consultancy. According to the Chinese State Information Center’s Sharing Economy Research Center there are now 16 million dockless bicycles in the country, and each was used an average of three times a day.

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Three reasons why share-bikes don’t fit Australian culture

The Conversation, 25 January 2018
Many cities are keen on dockless share-bike schemes such as oBikes or Reddy Go, and for good reason. They promote greater physical movement, help solve transport problems in congested cities, and can be fun. But there’s a downside. Share-bikes can litter our cities and be found in rivers, up trees, in gutters, and strewn around public places. One of the reasons for this is culture.
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Fixation on timing of peak oil is ‘misguided’

Financial Times, 18 January 2018
The electric car revolution and stricter global rules on emissions have focused debate in the energy sector on when decades of growth in oil demand will eventually peak. But Spencer Dale, chief economist at energy major BP and former Bank of England policymaker, has challenged the industry to come up with a better question. In a co-authored report with Bassam Fattouh at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, which reignited discussion in the oil industry this week, they argue the sector’s fixation about the timing of peak demand is “misguided”.

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PG&E to install 7,500 electric car charging stations for apartments, offices

San Francisco Chronicle, 17 January 2018
Apartment dwellers who would like to buy an electric car often can’t, for a simple reason: They have no place to charge. Even if their building has parking — a big “if” in San Francisco — their landlord may be reluctant to let them install an electricity-guzzling charger on the building’s account. Beginning Wednesday, a new Pacific Gas and Electric Co. program will try to solve that problem, although the solution won’t work for everyone.
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Qantas ‘worst major airline’ for fuel efficiency on trans-Pacific flights, study suggests

ABC News, 17 January 2018
Qantas has been ranked in a new study as the worst major airline for fuel efficiency and carbon emissions when flying across the Pacific. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has analysed the fuel emissions of 20 major airlines conducting trans-Pacific flights. It ranked Qantas the worst in 2016, finding it burned on average 64 per cent more fuel per passenger-kilometre than the top ranked airlines, China-based Hainan and Japan’s ANA. A “passenger-kilometre” is defined as how many people you can fly 1 kilometre on 1 litre of fuel.
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Speed of Tesla big battery leaves rule-makers struggling to catch up

REnew economy, 21 December 2017
The Tesla big battery – the world’s largest lithium-ion battery installation – has only been in operation for three weeks, but already it has highlighted just how unprepared the National Electricity Market, and its rules and regulations, are for this new technology.
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Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters

Inhabitat, 9 January 2018
The small Central American nation of Belize has decided to indefinitely end all new oil exploration in its waters. Belize only produces 3,000 barrels of oil a day, in contrast to the 1.5 million barrels that the United States produces each day in the Gulf of Mexico. However, this small but significant action sends a message to other developing countries trying to balance economic development with conservation.
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