Climate Change #6
Words Arthur Hunt
New Clean Energy Academy at CQUni
CQUniversity has established a Clean Energy Academy to build on its research strengths in renewable and eco-friendly sources of energy, power generation, smart grids and distributed intelligent systems, and environmental and applied economics issues. It will operate across Rockhampton, Perth, Melbourne and other campuses. The Clean Energy Academy will be co-ordinated by Associate Professor Mohammad Rasul and key activities will include research training events, presentations by invited guest speakers and supervisor professional development.
Massive solar farm proposed for CQ
The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin has reported that a 450MW solar farm is proposed near Goovigen and Jambin, in Banana Shire. Edify Energy is planning to build the Smoky Creek Solar Farm in several stages on grazing land.
The provision of adequate transmission lines to connect to the National grid is becoming an increasing issue for new renewable energy projects. However, this project would benefit from the existing lines conducting power from the current coal-fired power plants in the region at Stanwell, Callide and Gladstone that provide approximately 40% of Queensland's energy generation capacity.
Australia’s emissions still rising
The Guardian Australia reports that, despite a fall in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, Australia’s overall emissions continue to rise. Emissions for the year to September 2018 were up 0.9% on the previous year, primarily due to a 19.7% increase in LNG exports. Transport emissions also increased 2% over the year to September, with an 8.4% increase in diesel consumption.
Emissions in Australia’s electricity sector peaked in 2009, and have decreased almost 15% from that time. Since 2009, renewable generation has increased from 8% to 17% of total generation. However, Australia’s total emissions are still heading in the wrong direction.
New temperature records in Australia
Bureau of Meteorology records show that Australia has endured its hottest summer ever. The 2018-19 summer has officially exceeded the previous record set in 2012-13. The Bureau said this summer’s mean temperature was at least 2C above the 27.5C benchmark of what is considered normal, based on the period 1961-1990.
The residents of Cloncurry who endured 43 days in a row with the maximum temperature over 40C must be wondering if this is their new normal as the highest mean maximum temperature for any month (December) is currently 38.7C.
Electric vehicles – the future
The Audi stand at the recent Geneva Motor Show was exclusively occupied by electric vehicle (EV) models. The display included four all-electric cars, four new plug-in hybrid models, plus their electric Formula E racing car, but no traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines.
In Australia, a new Nissan Leaf EV and the Hyundai Ioniq EV are now available and the Hyundai Kona and Tesla Model 3 are coming. In the US, Tesla has just announced that new chargers for the Model 3 will be able to recharge the batteries by 1000 miles per hour (or 268 km in 10 minutes).
To act, or not to act
In an article in The Guardian Australia, Erwin Jackson, who is Director of Policy at Investor Group on Climate Change, laid out our choices: “So, as we head into another cycle of climate change politics in Canberra, beware the economic doomsayers and the threats from industry groups that credible action will be a “wrecking ball” to the economy. To be glib, no one said saving the Earth would be free. Acting on climate change will have costs but the costs of not acting will be far, far larger. Better that we come together and manage a fair and effective transition than continuing to delay and pay a much, much greater bill later.”