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Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe

The Conversation, 24 May 2018
Australia’s fuel security is far more precarious than we might realise. Not only do we not have the internationally mandated 90-day stockpile, but the ongoing closure of Australia’s refineries means we are on track to be 100% reliant on imported petroleum by 2030.
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A 100% renewable grid isn’t just feasible, it’s already happening

REnew Economy, 23 May 2018
The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100% renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point: many countries and regions are already at or close to 100% now.
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Let’s get moving with the affordable medium-speed alternatives to the old dream of high-speed rail

The Conversation, 14 May 2018
More than half a century has passed since high-speed rail (HSR) effectively began operating, in Japan in 1964, and it has been mooted for Australia since 1984. I estimate that the cost of all HSR studies by the private and public sectors in Australia exceeds $125 million, in today’s dollars. But the federal government is now less interested in high-speed rail (now defined as electric trains operating on steel rails at maximum speeds of above 250km per hour), and instead favours “faster rail” or medium-speed rail.
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Making cities more dense always sparks resistance. Here’s how to overcome it.

Vox, 5 May 2018
Urban density, done well, has all kinds of benefits. On average, people who live in dense, walkable areas tend to be physically healthier, happier, and more productive. Local governments pay less in infrastructure costs to support urbanites than they to support suburbanites. Per-capita energy consumption is lower in dense areas, which is good for air pollution and climate change. Plus, dense, walkable areas tend to be buzzy and culturally vibrant. There’s a reason they are often so expensive to live in — lots of people want to live there. Demand exceeds supply.

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Will Australia turn to EVs to address poor fuel security, or ignore them?

REnew Economy, 7 May 2018
The Australian federal government has announced a long-awaited review of the country’s precarious transport fuel security – focusing on liquid fuels such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel. But it is not clear how much the prospects of electric vehicles will be taken into account by the government study into Australia’s fuel security, which has less than 50 days reserves, little more than half the recommended level.

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Time to take stock of Australia’s fuel security

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 2018
As the world’s eighth largest energy producer, Australia’s fuel supplies have proved to be remarkably reliable and resilient over the last four decades. The last significant disruption was in the 1970s with the OPEC oil crisis. But since then, much has changed both domestically and internationally, requiring a reassessment of Australia’s liquid fuel security. Liquid fuel includes petrol, diesel and jet fuel and accounts for 37% of Australia’s energy use and 98% of our transport needs.

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Jaguar warns Australia it trailing badly on electric vehicles

REnew Economy, 3 May 2018
British car maker Jaguar Land Rover has called on the Australian government to “do its bit” in driving electric vehicle uptake, or risk putting the nation even further behind the global pace, while also missing a major economic and environmental opportunity. “As one of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, Jaguar Land Rover is calling on Australian government to provide a unified and clear road ahead for the industry to follow,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
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Dockless share bikes are the frontline of a battle between Chinese tech giants

Australian Financial Review, 27 April 2018
On April 4, 2018, when news broke that a man had dumped a bicycle on lane one of the Sydney Harbour Bridge before scaling the superstructure and causing traffic chaos, the first thought in many a Sydneysider’s mind was: “I bet it was a share bike.” It turned out it wasn’t. But those water-cooler conversations spoke volumes about the city’s troubled relationship with dockless bikes.
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