Author Archive: roman

SA’s stunning renewable energy transition

South Australia now ranks number two in the world – behind Denmark – in total share of electricity generated from”variable” sources – i.e. wind and solar.

What makes South Australia’s achievement all the more remarkable is that South Australia is located at the end of a “skinny” grid, has a “peaky” load that averages around 1,500MW, but can go to more than 3,000MW in the summer heat, and to as low as 500MW in mild and sunny spring days, and it has little connection to other markets, unlike Denmark and most other regions.

See “South Australia’s stunning renewable energy transition, and what comes next”  at reneweconomy.com.au for the full story.

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new battery technology

A new battery technology that could significantly reduce the price of electric cars and home battery systems has taken a major step towards commercialisation.

The patented design uses non-toxic zinc and manganese, two metals that are abundant in Australia, and incombustible aqueous electrolyte to produce a battery with a high-energy density.

The researchers estimate the cost of this new electrolytic Zn–Mn battery to be less than US$ 10 per kWh compared with US$ 300 per kWh for current Li-ion batteries, US$72 per kWh for Ni–Fe batteries and US$ 48 per kWh for Lead–acid batteries.

See “Uni of Adelaide battery technology could slash electric vehicle cost” at reneweconomy.com.au

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Agroecology recognized as the solution

Agroecology recognized as the transformative solution for a food system in crisis by experts at UN

07 November, 2019

Civil society representatives from around the world successfully put agroecology on the agenda of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, as the truly innovative pathway to resolving environmental, hunger, health and inequality crises, and ensuring the right to food.

This year’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS), 14-18 October in Rome, was held in the context of deepening crises. World hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. Since 2015, the number of people without access to sufficient, nutritious food has been increasing. Over 800 million people — that’s one in every nine of us on Earth — experienced severe levels of food insecurity in 2018. Alongside this, malnutrition due to obesity is soaring, now at over two billion people. At the same time, the industrial food system is now recognized as a leading contributor to the multiple crises facing humanity.

The CFS is the foremost inclusive, intergovernmental and international political platform on food security and nutrition, with a vision to foster the right to adequate food for all. Since 2009, the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) organizes the participation of civil society representatives – namely smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, agricultural and food workers, landless, women, youth, consumers, urban food insecure and NGOs. It is the largest international space of civil society organisations working to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition.

“Here people from the global South, from the grassroots, come together with allies like Friends of the Earth International and La Via Campesina, to transform our messages into a political dimension, which we can take to negotiations with member governments.”

Bertrand Sansonnens, Pro Natura-Friends of the Earth Switzerland

“There are two words that people must always respect to be a good advocate within civil society: inclusiveness and solidarity.

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Olympic Dam Alert: BHP propose a major new Evaporation Pond 6

from David Noonan:
Olympic Dam Alert: BHP propose a major new Evaporation Pond 6 for radioactive acid liquor wastes that will continue deaths of hundreds of birds each year

The federal government are inviting comments on BHP’s “Olympic Dam Evaporation Pond 6” EPBC Act Referral 2019/8526  (scroll down to Date of Notice 21/10/2019).

Public submissions are only open until cob Monday 4th Nov 2019, see info on how to do so at end of this e-mail.

Please consider making a brief submission, key Recommendations are provided below, along with a Background Briefing Paper and a feature press article “BHP vs Birds”.

For info seeMigratory Birds at Risk of Mortality if BHP Continues Use of Evaporation Ponds a 3 page Briefing written by David Noonan for the ACF, Friends of the Earth and Conservation SA (30 June 2019)

seeBIRDS VS BHP: Evaporation ponds at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine are killing hundreds of birdsarticle in The Advertiser 10 July 2019

Hundreds of birds are dying each year after mistaking Olympic Dam’s evaporation ponds for wetlands. Environment campaigners want the miner to stop using them… 

A set of Key Recommendations on these issues to please make to the federal government: 

  1. The federal government must subject BHP’s Olympic Dam Evaporation Pond 6 Referral to a public environmental impact assessment process

The federal government must not just approve this major new Olympic Dam Evaporation Pond 6 on the basis of limited non-independent BHP referral documents. Federal responsibilities to protect Matters of National Environmental Significance require the rigor and transparency of a public environmental impact assessment process. BHP can-not be allowed to be the sole arbiter over continued and unnecessary deaths of hundreds of birds each year on Olympic Dam acid liquor evaporation ponds.

  1. BHP must stop the use of Evaporation Ponds in order to reduce mortality to protected Bird Species

The federal government should not approve or allow BHP’s proposed major new Evaporation Pond 6, which will contribute to the deaths of hundreds of birds at Olympic Dam.… Read more >>