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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ted Baillieu - Many Quick and Simple Ways to Save Energy

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu was on the attack, claiming his government's analysis shows gas and electricity bills under the planned carbon tax will cost the state's public hospitals an extra $13.6 million for the 2012/13 financial year.

There are many quick and simple ways to start saving energy now

Visit ResourceSmart online for ideas on how to save energy IN VICTORIA
as well as other ways to shrink your impact on the environment.


... energy use is a major contributor to Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions. But by making a few simple changes to your habits, ... to your electricity provider, you can make immediate and dramatic cuts to your ... emissions.

  • Electricity and gas bills

    If your bills are higher than you expect, look at your energy use ...

  • Energy and Water Taskforce

    Free ... assessments and retrofits are available ...

  • Energy saver incentive

    To help combat climate change and encourage Victorians to undertake energy saving actions, the Victorian Government has launched the Energy Saver Incentive.

  • Find a trained ...sustainability assessor

    Get ... assessed by a qualified ... sustainability assessor who can provide advice on how to reduce your ... impact on the environment.

  • ResourceSmart Retail Program

    When it comes to buying energy and water efficient products ..., for the right advice at the right place visit one of the participating ResourceSmart retailers.

Australia's largest solar thermal cooling system now running at Echuca Hospital in regional Victoria read more...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cell company fuelling feed-in tariff debate

By Victoria Bruce
As Australia's carbon debate heats up, one company says it has a solution to offset growing energy demands.

Ceramic Fuel Cells group general manager Andrew Neilson says a box the size of a bar fridge could save up to 75 per cent of household power bills and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

The Melbourne company's BlueGen fuel cell unit converts natural gas and renewable fuels into power and heat.

Ceramic Fuel Cells supplies to governments and energy companies in Australia and overseas, including Germany, France, Britain, Japan and the United States.

In Germany, one of the company's biggest customers, utility firms supply the BlueGen unit free of charge to households, which then pay for the natural gas they use.

In Australia, solar energy technology can be connected to energy grids and owners paid a feed-in tariff. This isn't allowed for fuel cell technologies.

Mr Neilson says this restriction makes it difficult to crack the residential market in Australia.

"It's something we're lobbying the state governments about at the moment. So far, we've seen lots of nodding heads, but no action."

Mr Neilson says a carbon tax will encourage the switch to gas as grid electricity becomes more expensive. "It will become more economically attractive to make the switch away from grid power towards other sources.

And it does this with the highest electrical efficiency of any generating technology in the world."

Ceramic Fuel Cells has called for reviews of feed-in tariffs in NSW and Victoria to extend to low-emission technologies such as fuel cells.

Meanwhile, Mr Neilson said the company was focussing on exports.

The CSIRO says a two-kilowatt BlueGen unit, currently retailing at $45,000, can save up to 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year when replacing power derived from brown coal.

Ceramic Fuel Cells recently won a contract to supply 25 BlueGen units to Ausgrid for installation in Australia's largest grid project, based in Newcastle.

Other domestic customers included the Victorian Government, Adelaide City Council and Canberra Institute of Technology.

Ceramic Fuel Cells began selling BlueGen units in May 2009, and posted a loss of $8.4 million for the six months to last December 31, due to a 37 per cent drop in sales revenue and the impact of a stronger Australian dollar.

"We're in the process of starting to ramp up sales and that will deliver revenue to get us cash-flow positive and then ultimately profitable," Mr Neilson says.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Carbon Tax to reduce Unemployment

Henry Ergas claims in an article in The Australian today that unemployment will fall as a result of the government's carbon tax.

The article, oddly entitled "Black hole in government's carbon tax compensation plan", Henry Ergas explains "A carbon tax increases prices relative to wages. As the Ross Garnaut report acknowledges, that reduces incentives to work, which are already blunted by the income tax. With reduced work incentives lowering labour supply..."

What this in fact says is the carbon tax will cause unemployment to fall.

The unemployment rate is a measure of the number of people seeking employment who are not able to find work. When the number of people seeking work declines, the unemployment rate goes down.

Henry Ergas argues that the introduction of the carbon tax will lower the labour supply, which means there will be fewer people looking for work.