Tagged With energy

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The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and 27 other South Australian businesses have been given the green light to establish a joint electricity purchasing group, for the next 11 years.

This means the group will be able to buy electricity at better prices.

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Contrary to what conventional beauty standards may lead us to believe, naked mole rats are good. They're highly social animals who live communally. They're ruled by a loyal queen. They're also seemingly impervious to cancer and don't age. But still, these little subterraneans get a bad rap for not looking like puppies or kittens, which is a shame, because in some ways, naked mole rats are biologically wired better than humans. If we actually listened to these guys instead of roasting them for being fugly, we might be able to help heart attack and stroke sufferers. I bet you feel really bad right now, and maybe you should.

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Premier Jay Weatherill recently announced that that South Australia's Riverland will be host to the world's biggest battery and solar farm - comprised of 3.4 million panels and 1.1 million batteries. The Lyon Group will be developing the project, which partner David Green described as a "330-megawatt solar generation and 100-megawatt battery storage system will be Australia's biggest solar farm". The development is set to create 270 new jobs.

But what do the experts have to say?

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America's coal mining industry has cooled down in recent years. It lost over 200,000 jobs between 2014 and 2016; the latest sorry statistic to cap what's been a massive downward trend for decades. Expounding on his plan to restore the industry in the "America First Energy Plan", Trump has promised increased fossil fuel production and environmental deregulation. He's also committed, time and again, to an obscure and speculative technology called "clean coal", which, in his mind, probably sounds like a win-win for jobs and the environment. Policy and environmental experts, however, say it is neither.

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On Thursday, US President Trump signed legislation blocking the Stream Protection Rule, a key Obama regulation that limited mining companies from dumping excess spoil into waterways. Waste from mining operations can contain sulphur-bearing minerals which, mixed with water, create what the EPA calls "acid mine drainage". It's a fair trade-off, in Trump's mind, for stimulating coal industry job growth. Trump is set to kill even more regulations. The problem: Deregulation won't bring back coal jobs.

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A remotely-controlled robot sent to inspect and clean a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be pulled early when its onboard camera went dark, the result of excess radiation. The abbreviated mission suggests that radiation levels inside the reactor are even higher than was reported last week — and that robots are going to have a hell of a time cleaning this mess up.

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In the autumn of 1917, a severe coal shortage hit the United States. Riots even broke out over the lack of energy as the nation went into the winter months. Some people were calling for conservation, but one snarky newspaper article insisted that conserving was for suckers. Why? People of the future — specifically, the people of 100 years hence — wouldn't be using coal anyway.

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On the climate and energy front, 2016 was a year of contradictions. Again and again, our planet smashed global temperature records. The fingerprints of climate change were visible in extreme weather from the North Pole to Louisiana. But the clean energy sector also hit some major milestones. Wind and solar power expanded rapidly as costs fell, demonstrating that a high-tech, low-carbon future is within reach.

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Temperatures expected to reach above 40 degrees in Sydney today, so here's some advice to keep you from melting into a puddle. It may be tempting to crank the air-con up high and keep your house at sub-arctic temperatures until the weather outside finally cools down, but it's worth thinking about the impact that's going to have on your bill. There are plenty of ways you can cool your house in a more economical way — or, if you can't bear turning off the air conditioner for a minute, we've collected a few tips so that you can use it more economically.