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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Countries that have failed to tax themselves to prosperity

Dirty water kills 5,000 children a day.
Tony Abbott on 25 August 2013 in his address to the 2013 Federal Coalition campaign launch:
"No country has ever taxed its way to prosperity."

Joe Hockey on 31 March 2015 in his address to the Institute of Public Affairs, ‘Australia’s Economic Prosperity’, Melbourne:
"No country has ever taxed its way to prosperity."
Governments to guarantee that each person has at least 20 litres of clean water a day
Governments must guarantee that each person has at least 20 litres of clean water a day

Liberia: a country – and its capital – are overwhelmed with Ebola cases

Accurate monitoring of the situation suffered from the weak surveillance and reporting systems in place prior to the start of the outbreak.

The onslaught of cases strained those mechanisms further. At times, the overwhelmed systems were unable to confirm or discard probable and suspected cases, as laboratory backlogs delayed testing and confirmation of positive cases – sometimes for weeks.

Ebola overwhelming African health services

Residents described an atmosphere of fear paralysing daily life in the Liberian capital.

"I am afraid. I don't know what to do now actually. Where are we going? Are we all going to die?" said Monrovia resident Kluboh Johnson, 45.

Meanwhile businesses said trade was drying up as people stayed indoors, afraid of infection.

"A few people will come and take one or two bottles of beer, but custom is no longer like before. They are afraid to come out because of Ebola," the owner of one bar said.

"I am afraid myself. One man came here last night and started to drink abundantly. When I asked him what was wrong, he asked me if I did not hear that thousands of people are going to get Ebola in the coming weeks."

Liberian Defence Minister Brownie Samukai told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the country was facing "a serious threat to its national existence".

The disease is "now spreading like wildfire, devouring everything in its path", he said.

Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University - NY Times

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali militants burst into a university in eastern Kenya on Thursday and killed nearly 150 students in the worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy here, laying bare the nation’s continuing vulnerability...

Dirty water kills 5,000 children a day

The United Nations Development Programme, in its annual Human Development report, argues that 1.1 billion people do not have safe water and 2.6 billion suffer from inadequate sewerage. This is not because of water scarcity but poverty, inequality and government failure.

The report urges governments to guarantee that each person has at least 20 litres of clean water a day

Governments need to get more water to people.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Development of combined cycle using solar reformed gas - CSIRO

Project report: Development of Combined Cycle using solar reformed gas in North Western Australia

This project launched in March 2013 and ran for a 12 month period, with the final outcome being a detailed assessment of the potential for solar thermal steam reforming to be integrated into a combined cycle power station. The project is led by CSIRO, with project partners GE Global research (GE GRC) and GE Australia (GE AUS).

Hydrogen turbines generate clean electricity

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) has developed near-zero-emission gas turbines using pure hydrogen as a fuel. But because this LSI (low-swirl injector) technology also can use other fuels, it has the potential to help eliminate millions of tons of carbon dioxide and thousands of tons of nitrous oxides (NOx) from power plants each year. In fact, burners with the LSI emit 2 parts per million of NOx, more than five times less than conventional burners. The multi-patented technology is currently available for licensing.

A more significant benefit of the LSI technology is its ability to burn a variety of different fuels from natural gas to hydrogen and the relative ease to incorporate it into current gas turbine design — extensive redesign of the turbine is not needed. The LSI is being designed as a drop-in component for gas-burning turbine power plants.

This technology is available for license for gas turbines and certain other fields of use. For information, go to
Solar Turbines' Taurus 70 engine
A cutaway view of Solar Turbines' Taurus 70 engine. The research team has adapted the low swirl injector for use in this technology, which is similar to a jet engine, but is used to generate electricity in power plants on the ground.

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, CA. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California. Visit our website at

Siemens Gas Turbine H2 Combustion Technology ...

Combustion System Development for the SGT6-5000F - SIEMENS IGCC Hardware Description

  • Diffusion flame nozzle based on the design that successfully operated at the SGT6-3000E (formerly known as the W501D5) Dow Chemical Plaquemine site.
  • Dual fuel design: Natural gas as startup & backup fuel, H2 / Syngas as main fuel.
  • Dilution is premixed into the fuel.
  • Combustor basket is an improved Siemens diffusion flame basket design.
  • The transition segment and downstream turbine hardware is the standard design, no change is necessary for IGCC.

Sun sets on the Solar@CSIRO blog

This is Google's cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 30 Mar 2015 20:39:03 GMT.

SolarGas is ‘Delhi-cious’

by Meg Rive

SolarGas technology can be used to make liquid fuels for transport. (Image:

SolarGas technology can be used to make liquid fuels for transport. (Image:
What do you get when you mix solar energy and natural gas? High-efficiency electricity, improved energy and food security, new jobs, cleaner transport fuels and some good Aussie-Indian collaboration.

There is no single solution to the world’s energy challenge and sometimes it takes creative thinking to get the best out of our energy sources.

We’ve embarked on a type of energy dating service to get water and natural gas together (in a chemical way). We’ve developed new technology that concentrates the sun’s rays to drive a reaction between water and natural gas, storing the solar energy in the form of chemical bonds. The resulting SolarGas™ can then be used to produce high-efficiency electricity in a gas engine or turbine.

It can also be used to produce pure hydrogen for industrial use (for example, fertiliser production, petrochemical processing, steel making and hydrogen fuel cells used in transportation or stationary energy), as well as providing cleaner transport fuels.

The sun's energy is concentrated at the SolarGas reactor.

The sun’s energy is concentrated at the SolarGas reactor.
Mirrors focused on a SolarGas reactor mounted on a tower.

Mirrors focused on a SolarGas reactor mounted on a tower.
A study, funded by the Australian Government in collaboration with the Solar Energy Commission of India, identified that SolarGas technology has the potential to provide a sustainable and cost-effective alternative for hydrogen production in some of India’s most important industries.

It’s hoped that deploying SolarGas in India will lead to job creation through local manufacturing and operation of the technology. It could also help energy and food security, because less natural gas would be needed for hydrogen production, the cost of and carbon emissions from making fertiliser would reduce, and there would be less pressure on future gas prices.

In particular, there’s strong potential to roll out the technology in Gujarat and Rajasthan, because both states have great solar resources and natural gas infrastructure, as well as being major industrial users of hydrogen.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, said “Energy and energy security are critical issues for Australia and India, and we have much to offer each other by sharing our renewable technology expertise and technology.

“SolarGas could provide both our countries with an exciting new commercial opportunity, and I hope this technology can play a part in India’s drive towards energy security.”

We’re now hoping to start a pilot project in India, using the study’s findings to develop a concept design for a pilot-scale SolarGas facility and find a good site for it.

Find more info on the SolarGas technology.

2 Comments on “SolarGas is ‘Delhi-cious’”

  1. sylvia worboys says:
    Why isn’t this on every news broadcast every day for a month!

  2. Peter Ward says:
    And for Australia what we supply India with cheap gas and increase their industrial efficiency. And we get sweet bugger all, how dumb can we get.Or is this just pure corruption extremis. with more shut downs of our industries.

    Happy New Year to you all

    Pete Ward

CSIRO’s solar technology blog is no longer active

This is Google's cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 12 Feb 2015 06:09:35 GMT.

Hot new projects part 3: taking SolarGas to north west Australia

We’re helping remote industry look forward to more power with fewer emissions, thanks to the sun.

This is our third post in the ‘Hot new projects’ series, where we’ve been featuring recently announced CSIRO-led projects funded by the Australian Solar Institute (now part of ARENA).

In the north west of Australia mining activity is expanding very rapidly. Often it’s happening in remote areas – in towns like Nullagine, which is as far away from the nearest city as London is from Warsaw. Large mining operations need a lot of power, and since many are in places with no connection to the electricity grid they have traditionally relied on what power they can generate from diesel or gas.

While today’s power sources like diesel engines and simple gas turbines are cost effective, they are not environmentally sustainable. Transporting the fuel to remote areas not only increases the cost, but also increases the carbon footprint of the fuel.

Many mines are located where there's abundant solar energy. We're hoping to put some of it to use. [Image: Norwich Park Mine via AFR]

Many mines are located where there’s abundant solar energy. We’re hoping to put some of it to use. [Image: Norwich Park Mine via AFR]
To help out, CSIRO and our partners are investigating ways to make this power generation more environmentally sustainable, and we’re using the region’s most abundant natural resource – sunlight.

In this project, CSIRO and our partner GE will be designing a new gas-powered remote power station, suited to north west Australian conditions, where the natural gas gets a renewable energy ‘boost’ before it goes to the turbine. This boost happens in a solar-driven chemical reaction that upgrades the natural gas into a product called syngas. This solar-enhanced syngas, which we call SolarGas™, contains 25% more energy than the original gas – all of which has come from the heat of the sun. We walked through the process (and showed you photos of our test facility with its field of focusing mirrors) in an earlier blog post SolarGas: what’s it all about?

A solar field like this one at CSIRO in Newcastle can add energy from the sun to natural gas. This could help remote towns and outback mines save money and reduce emissions.

A solar field like this one at CSIRO in Newcastle can add energy from the sun to natural gas. This could help remote towns and outback mines save money and reduce emissions.
The sun-enhanced gas now passes to the turbine as usual, where it creates electricity. The ‘waste’ heat from this process is then harnessed to power a second turbine – a steam turbine – which creates extra electricity.

This two-turbine daisy chain, known as a combined cycle power station, is already frequently used for electricity generation. Our design will add the solar stage in the most efficient way, and model the system to see how it performs and what it’ll cost. We expect that adding solar will reduce overall cost, as well as lowering emissions.

The project will be the first time that a combined cycle power station is integrated with the SolarGas™ process in a detailed model. We hope this project will provide a stepping stone to the construction of demonstration plants in the Australian Outback.

The project, worth $700,000, will utilise CSIRO expertise in solar thermal technology and solar syngas reactors in partnership with world leaders in power station technology, GE Australia and the GE Global Research Centre in the United States.

You can read an interview with the project leader, CSIRO’s Robbie McNaughton, in the January issue of the Pilbara Echo.

The ultimate result of this work will be the use of less fossil fuel, for more power, with reduced emissions. That’s good for industry, and good for the environment!

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the captain makes a call, the budget goes into the red

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

No need for tax cuts once we axe carbon price: Hockey

THE Coalition has confirmed it will 'unwind' personal tax cuts if they were part of a package to compensate households for the carbon tax.

Asked about the government's option of using income tax cuts to shield low- and middle-income earners from a carbon price, the shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, said: "We will repeal the carbon tax … so we will unwind the compensation because you don't need it if you don't have the carbon tax."

Tried to do a backflip. Failed.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hockey, Abbott 'on same page' on carbon tax compo

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected suggestions he is at odds with his leader over whether the Coalition would keep any of the carbon tax compensation.

"There is no split because we're exactly on the same page," Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.

"Families will be better off under the Coalition, no doubt about it. And if you don't have a carbon tax, you don't have to have compensation."

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The carbon tax will go, tax cuts and pension benefits will stay, Abbott says

The Coalition will abolish the carbon tax and provide immediate and substantial relief to electricity and gas prices.

Families and pensioners will also benefit by fully retaining the income tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases associated with the carbon tax. This will allow households to plan their futures with confidence.

When the captain calls, watch the backflips

Monday, 30 March 2015

Tried to do a backflip. Failed.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Related post:

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Turnbull points finger at 'gold-plating' for power price rises

Opposition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull says the carbon tax has contributed to electricity price rises, but has backed the Gillard Government's view that the "gold-plating" of state government electricity infrastructure has done much more.

His comments run counter to the view of Opposition Liberal leader Tony Abbott, who says price rises are wholly down to the carbon tax, accusing Julia Gillard of fabrication in blaming the states.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Tuesday, 30 April 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

"Failing to emit enough carbon" tax

The Australian Government's Energy White Paper is so bad its embarrassing.

Oh Dear, I'm Just So Embarrassed

Oh Dear, I'm Just So Embarrassed

Photo: Jane Cumming

It commits Australian families and businesses to power bills at least 40 percent higher than needed. This is detailed in a related post - "Electricity peak period pricing a poor idea".

It commits to slugging Australian families and businesses billions of dollars for smart meters to solve a problem that wouldn't exist without the Government regulations that encourage and reward excess investment in poles and wires.

It says the Australian Government's priority is a "failing to emit a enough carbon" tax - and, wait for it... calls this reverse carbon tax on families and businesses "cost-reflective pricing"!!!

This is not a joke. It is at page 6 and 12 of the Abbott Government Energy White Paper released for April Fool's Day.

The extract below describes this priority - to impose higher power bills through a reverse carbon tax - on families and businesses encouraged previously by the Government to invest in solar panels.

"In recent years, there has been unprecedented growth of distributed generation on the network, with consumers generating their own electricity, mostly in the form of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Initially this was supported through highly subsidised feed-in-tariffs in different jurisdictions and enhanced small-scale technology certificates under the RET, which were aimed at supporting the uptake of renewable energy. However, ...
Consumers without distributed generation currently subsidise those with distributed generation. Distributed generators use less total electricity from the network and pay less, while still using the infrastructure for reliable supply..."

The Australian Government’s priorities in energy market reform are the:

  • ...
  • rollout of cost-reflective tariffs to reduce cross-subsidies between consumers and drive better uptake of enabling technologies (particularly advanced metering) that allow consumers to respond to price signals [i.e. "pay more"] .

The extract below from page 11 describes the policy of building an electricity supply system that is 40 per cent more costly than is needed and then slugging families and businesses with the cost of smart meters to ensure they pay more for this excess equipment that sits idle throughout each year.

...Cost-reflective tariffs

"The most variable elements of cost relate to the wholesale price of electricity at the time of use, and building the maximum (peak) capacity needed in the electricity network
To maintain reliability in supply, networks must have the capacity to cope with this peak pressure. The scale of peak demand therefore influences network costs, which is around half of the total electricity bill (AEMC 2014)."

The cheaper and sane option is the one Greg Hunt hit upon a couple of years ago: don't build more poles and wires than you need.

"The committee is swayed by the weight of evidence suggesting the current regulatory framework not only permits but incentivises inefficient over-investment in network infrastructure," the tri-partisan committee found. The network's artificially high rates of investment returns "have substantially driven electricity prices directly and have effectively 'poured petrol' on other smouldering price pressures."