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Australasia: more than joined at the lip

August 22, 2009

In Australia mere weeks ago the Senate didn’t like the government’s Cap-and-Trade emissions deal and voted to can it. What next..? well, there was labor talk of we’ll do the liberals in December with a pass it or else.. (voters decide political futures with a double dissolution of Parliament)

Tough stuff.. for politicians.. many of whom might disappear if PM Rudd’s popularity poll ratings are anything to go by..

So what now..? Politicians again.. answer: dump the CAT, do renewables..

Australia’s Senate passed a renewable energy law last Friday. The new law sets a national renewable energy target that requires utilities and other large electricity users to procure 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
It comes with the promise of releasing about $22 billion in stalled investment funds, but it also carries concessions for heavy energy users and big coal, including an amendment declaring coal-seam methane gas a renewable energy source.

The standard, which matches the European Union’s, means that the households of all 21 million Australians could be powered by renewable energy in a decade.

Green Party leaders said this was lite and pressed for a 30 percent standard. Which Tom Farmer rates a good idea and surefire workout.. hey, what’s wrong with ambition ?

And whilst the Europeans may be considered commendable, a new report shows that electricity generated by renewable sources in the U.S. reached an all-time high in May, with alternative energy accounting for 13 percent of total electrical generation.

That’s 7.7 percent higher than May 2008, with most of the growth coming from wind and solar power. The benchmarker, hydropower, remains the largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 9.4 percent of U.S. electricity production.

The Aussie item received no mention in the kiwi PM’s radio output this morning, his statements blandly telling of NZ/Australian alignments in regard to climate change following a five day government minister-packed meeting of minds between the two countries. Though, surprise surprise, transTasman emissions credits did get a mention. At this point, which way and for what reason leaves open questions. Not least being is there something the Senate does not know.?

Meanwhile from Vienna we have news* on Iran..

(Reuters) – Iran allowed IAEA nuclear officials to inspect the construction site of a heavy water reactor after blocking visits by the U.N. non-proliferation watchdog for over a year..

* Came in last week which has gotten great asserters on Kim Hill’s persuasive powers ( talk-n-tell with Tehran) into the fan with egg.

Mind you, am I looking forward to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) take from a self-confessed galaxy clusterer who says she needs more sensitivity to read the good heavens!

Folks round me say they know the feeling, but Minister Brownlee is the no-surprise item for his “mega scientific” MO. For him backing Australia vs Africa for the SKA bid is likely a punt into science-neutral territory: can’t have the boy seeming irresponsible in compromising down to earth commerce with either human medicines or planet earth funding needs.

Then Gerry never was a World Data fan. He’d be the very last to want to know how Africa will double its population by 2050. Good for SKA in Australasia, better for exporters anywhere..

But as Ronnie Reagan was wont to tell the troopers.. ‘There you go..’

It’s the again pain implication I find bothersome. How about YOU?

Technorati Tags: Australasia, business, Europe, News, NZ, politics, climate, USA

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