The Productivity Commission has released a consultation paper on the reviews of carbon policy assistance schemes for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities, the coal mining sector and the steel industry that it has been commissioned to undertake.

The paper sets out the nature of the tasks the Commission has been assigned as a first step in stakeholder consultations.

The Clean Energy legislation provides for assistance to emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities through the Jobs and Competitiveness Program (JCP). In addition, assistance will be provided through the Coal Sector Jobs Package and the Steel Transformation Plan (STP).

Chinese wind energy company Guohua Energy Investment Corporation will pay $88.6 million to buy a major shareholding in Hydro Tasmania’s North-West wind farms, which will continue to be managed and operated by Hydro Tasmania.

Work has commenced at CS Energy’s $104.7 million Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project with Queensland firm FK Gardner and Sons Group (FKG) selected as the civil contractor for the project.

The NSW Government has moved to suspend the scheduled increase of the biodiesel mandate due to insufficient local production to meet or exceed the current mandate.

The National Energy Savings Initiative Working Group has released the National Energy Savings Initiative Working Group Issues Paper for public comment.


Under the Clean Energy Future plan the Australian Government committed to do further work to investigate the merits of a national Energy Savings Initiative. The plan states that the further work on a national Energy Savings Initiative will be 'the subject of detailed policy analysis, economic modelling and consultation with the community, industry and state and territory governments'.


This Issues Paper is an important element of the Working Group’s consultation process. The Issues Paper seeks the views of individuals and organisations on issues pertinent to the Australian Government’s consideration of a national Energy Saving Initiative, including design and implementation considerations.


Economic and energy market modelling will be a valuable input to the Working Group’s further analyses of a national Energy Savings Initiative. The Working Group is also consulting with the public, industry and other experts to ensure the modelling methodology and its underpinning assumptions and data are robust. To this end, the Working Group has released the Energy market modelling of national energy savings report and is seeking stakeholder views on its contents.


The report outlines the approach that has been applied in preliminary modelling work, a range of areas where the methodology has been improved in recent months and requests advice on how the modelling approach could be further enhanced. The final report, Energy Savings Initiative and Energy Markets, of that preliminary study is also available.


Visit the Consultation on a national Energy Savings Initiative webpage for further information about the Issues Paper and Modelling Assumptions Report, including information on how to make a submission and supporting public consultation events. Submissions close on Monday 27 February 2010 at 4 pm AEST.


Visit the Energy Savings Initiative webpage for further detail about the Australian Government’s commitment concerning a national Energy Savings Initiative and the timeline for the Working Group’s program.

A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that over 70% of all Australian energy production was exported.

Energy production by Australian industry decreased by 3% in the last year. Black coal production increased by 8% in 2009-10, representing 57% of all Australian energy production. The supply of natural gas also increased by 8%, and now accounts for nearly 12% of total Australian energy supply.

Australian households and businesses energy usage increased slightly in the last year (1% from 2008-09). Natural gas (24%), electricity (22%), diesel (18%) and petrol (16%) were the main fuels consumed domestically.

Despite being a large net producer of energy, Australian businesses and households still imported 51% of our domestic energy consumption. Crude oil made up 52% of our energy imports, along with diesel fuel (17%) and other refined fuels (12%).

The Manufacturing industry accounted for (26%) of Australian net energy use in 2009-10, with households accounting for 26%. Mining and Transport each accounted for 14% of domestic net energy use, and commercial and services industries used 11%.

Energy production from renewable sources is still dominated by bagasse and hydro electricity. However, production of solar and wind energy have both increased by 26% from 2008-09.

More details are available in Energy Account, Australia (cat. no 4604.0) at

The Federal Government announced that Southern Cross Venture Partners has been appointed fund manager of the country’s largest renewable energy venture capital fund, making available a total of $200 million to support renewable energy companies from early next year.

The draft Energy White Paper sets out a series of proposed Commonwealth Government priorities to address challenges confronting Australia’s energy sector. 

Energy and resources Ministers  have agreed to develop a national harmonised framework for the coal seam gas industry, and released the associated work program to deliver this framework.

Terms of reference have been released for an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into aspects of national electricity network regulation, as foreshadowed at the time of the release of the Clean Energy Future package.

Ocean energy company, BioPower Systems has been awarded conditional funding support of $5 million under the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Energy Pilot Demonstration Program.

The construction of the $29 billion Wheatstone natural gas project has begun after a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Onslow on Western Australia’s Pilbara coast.

A report released by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) has predicted that total energy consumption in Australia will increase by around 29% over the period 2008-09 to 2034-35,  with electricity generation increasing by around 42% over the same period, driven by increased gas-fired and renewable sources.

International climate talks in Durban have seen India, China and US commit to a legally binding limitation on fossil fuel emissions after all participating countries have agreed to produce the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to negotiate a new legal agreement by 2015, taking effect by 2020.

A commercial wind power forecasting system called Wind Insight will provide greater security to Australia’s electricity power systems.

Roam Consulting, a Brisbane-based firm that specialises in energy market modelling, has used UNSW research to develop the  Wind Insight software.

By extracting key information from numerical weather prediction systems, the program can alert power system operators in advance of potential rapid changes in wind power output. This allows operators to more effectively manage the grid and set up power reserves as needed, which will help maintain power system security.

Engineer Nicholas Cutler, who works at Roam Consulting, originally developed the technology as a PhD student with his supervisors at UNSW in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications.
"My research aim was to develop a wind power forecasting technique to facilitate the uptake of wind power into the national electricity market," said Cutler.
The Australian Energy Market Operator funded a further year of research at UNSW to develop a prototype version of the program.

The arrangement with Roam Consulting is the first Australian deal forged under the University of New South Wales' Easy Access IP framework, which was adopted\in November to turn more university-bred research into practical, real-world solutions.

“The deal went extremely well,” said Kevin Cullen, CEO of NewSouth Innovations, the commercialisation company of UNSW. “Easy Access did exactly what it was designed to do and that was to make the technology easily available.”
As the amount of installed wind power continues to grow, Cutler said Wind Insight could become an important tool for all electricity market participants, as rapid changes in wind power can impact electricity spot prices.
The simplified Easy Access IP framework has given Cutler access to the code he created while working at UNSW, and the opportunity to turn it into an operational tool that is ready for commercial deployment.
There are currently six technologies available under the Easy Access IP model, with more on the horizon as NewSouth Innovations continues to assess the University’s IP portfolio.
“We hope that by seeing how simple the process is it will spur more interest and demand,” said Cullen, “and that this will lead to more deals over the next year.”

Chevron has invested more than $5.7 million to establish an endowment capable of supporting a Professorial Chair in Gas Process Engineering in perpetuity at The University of Western Australia.

Bandanna Energy has announced the appointment of  mining executive Michael Gray as the company’s new CEO, effective from January next year.

INPEX Corporation has announced a Sales Purchase Agreement that will see an estimated 70 per cent of all LNG produced at the $20 billion Ichthys Project delivered to Japan.

The Queensland Government has nominated Ingenero its preferred bidder in the tender for the $6.76 million Cloncurry Solar Farm.

The Tasmanian Government has announced that construction on the $400 million Musselroe wind has been given the go ahead.

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