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Huge cruise ships will worsen London air pollution, campaigners warn

The Guardian, 31 March 2016
Toxic fumes from large cruise liners powered by giant diesel engines will worsen London’s air pollution and could prevent the city from meeting its EU legal limits on deadly nitrogen oxide emissions, says resident groups opposing a new terminal. Plans for a wharf in the Thames that would be able to handle 240 metre-long cruise liners carrying up to 1,800 passengers and 600 crew were approved by Greenwich council last July but are being challenged in the high court by residents.

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UK plan to boost cycling and walking ‘worthless without more funding’

The Guardian, 27 March 2016
The government’s cycling and walking investment strategy “won’t be worth the paper it’s written on” unless backed by sustained funding, cycling campaigners claim. The British Cycling policy adviser and 1992 individual pursuit Olympic champion Chris Boardman believes far more ambition is needed if Britain is to create a cycling and walking culture to rival countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands.

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Protean begins deployment of 30 wave energy devices near Bunbury

Renew Economy, 29 March 2016
Aspiring Australian wave energy technology developer Protean Technologies is about to begin installation of up to 30 of its wave energy converters at the Port of Bunbury in Western Australia, in the first commercial deployment of its technology. The company, recently listed on the ASX through a reverse takeover of a small uranium explorer called Stonehenge Metals, expects to have the demonstration farm operating with a month for a trial period of six months under a contract with the Southern Ports Authority.
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Redflow’s Hackett: We’re better than Tesla’s home battery storage

Renew Economy, 30 March 2016

Simon Hackett, the executive chairman of Australian battery storage developer Redflow, declares himself to be the number one fan of Tesla electric vehicles in Australia. But he insists that Redflow’s battery storage product is better than the Tesla Powerwall. Redflow threw down the gauntlet to its much-hyped international rival on Wednesday, announcing the release of the ZCell battery storage product, bigger and more expensive than Tesla and other big name products, but one Hackett expects to be a force in the market.
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OPEC’s Trillion-Dollar Miscalculation

Forbes, 8 January 2016
I suspect if Saudi Arabia were able to travel back in time to OPEC’s November 2014 meeting, the oil markets would look very different today. Because at that meeting the group made a decision that has thus far proven to be very costly to OPEC members.
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2016 Perth Bike Week wrap up

Bouquets to University Bicycle Club (UBC UWA) for their City Soapbox series during WA Bike Week last week. A very brief wrap up of what each speaker had to say (with some links) is as follows:
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‘The 30-minute city’: how do we put the political rhetoric into practice?

The Conversation, 18 March 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promoted the benefits of a “30-minute city” in explaining his approach to cities and urban transport. The opposition infrastructure spokesman, Anthony Albanese, notes he talked about this idea at the National Press Club in 2014. The reality is that the 30-minute city is hardly a new idea in town planning, but it is good to see political leaders recognising its value and grappling with what it means. It’s likely to bring significant change to how we build our cities.

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Virgin, Air NZ take another step toward biofuels

Crikey, 14 March 2016
There are good reasons why Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are pursuing home grown jet grade biofuels in issuing a Request for Information or RFI today in both countries. The major one of course is the need to curb the release of fossil stored carbon through the burning of conventional refined aviation grade kerosene.

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An Old Case For New Fuel Tax Reform

New Matilda, 15 March 2016
Australia’s fuel tax system was designed when cars were a luxury. It desperately needs revising, writes Ian McAuley.

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Is oil becoming stranded?

Renew Economy, 9 March 2016
The conventional wisdom regarding the recent plunge in the price of oil is that we are seeing a repeat of the 1985-1986 collapse, when Saudi Arabia ramped up production as part of a dispute with other members of the OPEC cartel. This time, the thinking goes, Saudi Arabia is doing the same in response to its loss of market share to shale-oil production in the United States. But there is another parallel that is even more relevant – with important implications for the long-term price of oil. The recent collapse is reminiscent of a similar dive in the price of coal – which crashed from a brief high of $140 a ton in 2008 to about $40 a ton today – which led some deposits to become “financially stranded,” meaning that the cost of developing them outweighs potential returns.

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