This week Prime Minister Gillard gets tough on the electricity sector, what ARE they spending all that money on? Surely the published price hikes can’t all be because of … the carbon price. The grandfather of climate science tells us things are happening faster than we thought and check out the very latest innovation in solar technology which we will see in the near future.
"I have a confession to make, I was too optimistic"
-Dr James Hansen, head NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
PM Gillard has just announced an enquiry into the electricity sector – specifically giving the Australian State governments until the end of the year to get their house in order - or face regulation. It is time, Ms Gillard says, to look at the real reasons for power price hikes. Have a look at the scrutiny of Macquarie Generation.
As Giles Parkinson writes, ‘this discussion should be about massive over-investment. One quarter of all electricity costs are spent to meet peak events that last for less than two days a year in total.’
Ms Gillard also congratulates the popular One Big Switch campaign which is having the net effect of meaning tabloid press are running more stories on how to be energy efficient in your home – than ever before. The new Big Switch website also displays an interactive energy-efficient house.
In the interim, a report by St Vincent de Paul Society also showed that average household energy bills had risen by as much as $1100 over the past 4 years, and the Australian Energy Regulator have something to say about it.
And we wait, still, as the Climate Change Authority is due to provide an issues paper this month outlining the kinds of things it will consider in its review of the Renewable Energy Target.
At the same time the grandfather of climate science James Hansen tells us that he got it wrong – he writes that global warming is here and happening faster than he thought.
On the other side of the political fence, the Opposition tells us it will take more than a year to repeal the carbon price, while NSW and Queensland complain bitterly about the cold weather.
Life in the remote Indian village of Meerwada has just got a whole lot brighter thanks to solar power, soon we may be able to have solar technology on every window in our home and workplaces.
Facebook has just revealed its 2011 carbon footprint. Like.
And for those who have not read anything other than Olympic news – you are not safe. Yes there is a connection. Maybe kayaking down the water fall skyscraper could become and event!
Over the next two years, almost 1,800 farmers from the NSW central west, Riverina and western Victoria will be trained to monitor carbon in their soil, as new research shows paddocks can store up to 10 times more carbon in the top 30 centimetres of the soil if grain stubble is left in after harvest.
International giant Siemens is making its high-tech debut into the Australian wind farm construction market through the Snowtown II project in South Australia's mid-North. Meantime General Motors and LG Group join the ranks of Ford and Toyota who have all announced they are designing electric and hybrid passenger vehicles.
Now, if you think you are (or know of) the person help develop the innovation we need to best meet our new low carbon future … then nominate them for a Banksia Award here. Go on, you must know someone who fits the bill, do it! And if you are somewhere near Melbourne and you fancy being in the TED video which usually graces the end of The Week That Was … it is your lucky day. Book now!
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm