A new book by University of Melbourne scientist Professor Peter Cook calls for Australia to make the most of its advantages in clean energy technologies, especially solar, geothermal and carbon capture and storage (CCS).


The book Clean Energy, Climate and Carbon, published by CSIRO Publishing, outlines the global challenge of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and the promise and limitations of clean energy technologies in meeting that challenge despite relentless increases in global energy demand.

Twenty Victorian councils have recorded savings in electricity and gas costs as a result of a four-year agreement that locked in highly competitive prices.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, announced on February 28 that on 30 June 2012, the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme will close.


The Government has provided over $320 million under the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme to help more than 250,000 Australian households replace older, more carbon polluting hot water systems with renewable alternatives.


To be eligible for the rebate before the scheme closes, systems must be installed, ordered (and a deposit paid) or purchased on or before 28 February 2012.


Applications lodged up to 30 June 2012 will continue to be processed. Applications received after 30 June 2012 will not be eligible.


For information on REBS visit:  www.climatechange.gov.au/solarhotwater.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) has released its latest report,  Energy in Australia 2012, providing a detailed overview of energy in Australia, including resources, production, consumption, trade and prices.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, has announced that regulations to establish the Jobs and Competitiveness Program under the Clean Energy Act 2011 are now in place.

Oil refiner Caltex has posted a $714 million loss in its annual operating revenue, recording a drop by 325 per cent on the last year.

Apache Energy’s Devil Creek Gas Plant has been officially opened by the Premier of Western Australia and Minister for State Development, Colin Barnett.

The Devil Creek development, located in the northwest of Western Australia, represents an investment of approximately AUS$1.1 billion by Apache and its joint venture partner, Santos (Apache 55%/Santos 45%).

It includes the Reindeer gas field, wellhead platform and raw gas pipeline, the Devil Creek Gas Plant and the Devil Creek Sales Gas Export Pipeline that ties into the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

The Devil Creek Gas Plant is a two-train facility designed to process 200 million cubic feet of gas per day (220 Terajoules of gas per day) and 1,000 barrels per day of condensate. There is sufficient land within the existing plant for expansion of gas processing facilities.

"Devil Creek and the Reindeer Field demonstrate Apache's commitment to Western Australia as a key element in our global portfolio," G. Steven Farris, Apache Corporation's chairman and chief executive officer, said. "The Carnarvon Basin has significant resources yet to be discovered, and it will be a focus of Apache's exploration activities for many years."

Renewable energy company, Pacific Hydro, has announced it will establish a retail arm to supply renewable energy to the commercial and industrial market, with the aim of providing a Power Price Agreement for the Moree Solar Farm consortium’s bid  for funding under the Federal Government’s Solar Flagship Program.  

La Trobe University has entered a joint R&D agreement with Indian electric vehicle manufacturer Mahindra Reva, one of the first companies to introduce electric vehicles.


Under the agreement, an advanced energy management system will be developed and trialled by Mahindra Reva at its new electric vehicle plant in Bangalore.


The plant’s power supply includes solar panels with a back-up diesel generator, which the company would eventually like to replace by ‘harvesting’ energy from hundreds of company and employees cars in their car park. 


The project is based on technology developed by La Trobe’s Centre for Technology Infusion and trialled in buildings on the Melbourne campus since 2008.


The La Trobe system is already used for domestic applications following its successful installation by the University, CSIRO and commercial builders in Australia’s first Zero Emission House last year.


Among other features, it enables electric vehicles to be plugged into the home grid, drawing down car battery power, for example during the evening peak, and then, overnight when power is cheaper, recharging the car’s battery for the morning.

Origin Energy Limited has announced a Statutory Profit of $794 million for the half year ended 31 December 2011, an increase of $930 million when compared with the $136 million loss reported in the prior corresponding half year.

AGL Energy Limited has entered into conditional agreements to increase its ownership interest in Victoria's biggest power plant, the Loy Yang A power station, and the adjacent coal mine, from 32.54 per cent to 100 per cent for a total cost of $448 million.  The deal values GEAC at $3.1 billion, including its debt of $2.1 billion.

The transaction will proceed by way of acquisition of the remaining shares in, and loan notes issued by, Great Energy Alliance Corporation Pty Limited (GEAC). GEAC is the owner of the 2,200MW Loy Yang A power station and a brown coal mine which supplies all the coal required to meet the current and future operating requirements of the power station.

The transaction is expected to complete in mid-2012 and is conditional on:

A survey of 400 Perth metropolitan homes has found that many Perth houses are not energy efficient and building regulations don't encourage home builders to change.

A $5 million biofuel project has been launched as part of the Australian Biofuels Research Institute (ABRI), to which the Federal Government has committed $20 million.

The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper for its inquiry into electricity network regulation.

Daintree Networks has received a $250,000 grant from the Victorian Government to further develop a technology that could reduce the amount of electricity used on lighting in businesses by as much as 80 per cent.

A three-year research collaboration between Swinburne University of Technology, Jaypee University of Information Technology (JUIT) in India and the Melbourne-based Co-operative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC) will consider the social and technological barriers and challenges to consumer uptake of alternative energy transport in India.

The Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER) has released its biannual Comparison of 2012 Australian Standing Offer Energy Prices Report which provides an overview of regulated and standing offer tariffs for gas and electricity around the country taking into account the Tasmanian regulated electricity tariffs
from 1 July 2011 and recent increases in other states and territories.

The Federal Government has launched two new programs with funding of  $1 billion for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution.

Consultancy giant Coffey has announced the appointments of Leeane Bond and Guy Cowan as the company’s new Non-executive Directors, taking effect from 27 February. The announcement comes as Charles Jamieson and Stephen Williams plan to step down from their positions.

OriginaEnergy has announced the completion of its $85m Inlet Compression Project at the Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell in Victoria.

The South Australian Government has released a discussion paper on the recommendations developed by the Resources & Energy Sector Infrastructure Council (RESIC) to promote growth of the South Australian minerals and energy sector.

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