Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beliefs Vs Reality

With Australia's carbon price to take effect from July 1 (this Sunday) there's been some polling done on what Australian's are expecting. The startling thing for me was the enormous difference between the beliefs and reality. Here's a quick rundown.

Belief: 71% of people expect a moderate or large increase in cost of living.
Reality: Treasury forecast of 0.7% increase in prices.

Belief: 53% of people expect fuel prices to increase a lot.
Reality: The carbon price does not apply to petrol.

Belief: 41% said grocery prices would increase by a lot
Reality: 2 cents per loaf of bread.

Belief: 5% think they'll be better off.
Reality: About 45% of households will be better off (and at least another 20% will be about the same as before).

One of the best info sources i've found on this topic is Your Carbon Price - and possibly also my piece The Facts on Food.

Also the Climate Institute has an analysis of the figures.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No Help for Solar Hot Water

Another action against renewable energy has been taken by the state government here in Queensland. The $600 rebate ($1000 for pensioners) to assist in purchasing solar hot water was ended - effective immediately.

By my count this is the 5th cancellation of a solar / energy efficiency / greenhouse program. (But there might have been more - it's difficult to keep up with the rapid-fire announcements)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Home Solar Incentive Slashed

Once more the state government here in Queensland has taken action to slow down the progress of solar energy. Except this one was predicted by me.

The Solar Bonus Scheme has paid 44 cents/kWh for surplus energy generated by households from their solar panels - rewarding people not just for getting solar panels, but for being more energy efficient.

Having promised during the election to keep the scheme, the new government technically kept their promise by reducing the 44c to 8c - less than price households pay for electricity.

CEO of the Clean Energy Council says analysis shows this will cost 4500 jobs (out of 11,000 in the industry). Climate Spectator calculates that move (touted as a cost saver) will reduce electricity prices by 0.2%, and that it's more about "being seen" to do something.

Householders have until midnight July 9 to register under the previous (more rewarding) scheme.
Meanwhile in opposite news Japan is introducing a feed-in tariff equivalent to 53 cents Australian. This is predicted to boost Japan to be the 2nd largest PV market in the world.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Solar Spill

The Canadian province of Alberta has just had it's 3rd oil spill in a month. With well over a million litres of spilt oil, and more pipelines being planned, Greenpeace Canada thought it might be time to remind people of a safer cleaner energy source.

Similar to my previous image, this is another good reason to move away from fossil fuels.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2 Billion Dollars

This graphic shows some good reasons (apart from climate change of course) to end fossil fuel subsidies.

2 billion dollars is just how much is lost by giving mining companies tax-free fuel. Australia's total subsidy of fossil fuels is around $12 billion. Even more startling is that the USA figure is over $1 trillion dollars. (That's $1,000,000,000,000 per year!)

Monday, June 18, 2012


This poster is part of the artwork for tonight's Twitterstorm. For 24 hours, twitter will be running hot with tweets to #endfossilfuelsubsidies.

For the non-twitterers, there's also artwork you can put on facebook profile.

This is the follow-on action from the global petition a few weeks ago.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Plastic Spoons

A friend shared this interesting image/message with me.

I understand that as consumers we like buying stuff, but if we're throwing it away after 20 seconds of use, there might be a better option.

[Related link: 10% Off Coffee]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Corey Parker

I've mentioned Brisbane's EzyGreen program before. Recently they've put out this new ad, featuring some humour from Brisbane Broncos football star, Corey Parker.

I like the message. Being more energy efficient doesn't have to mean sacrifice - a lot of things can be achieved just by making smart choices (the Convenient Solutions). And programs like EzyGreen make them even more convenient.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Smart Homeowners Go Solar

This is a graph of the price of solar panels in Australia. Is it any wonder that solar panels are becoming very popular, very quick - especially with electricity prices going in the opposite direction.

But it seems that it still takes a while for the message to get through. A recent USA study showed 74% of people vastly overestimating the cost of going solar (thinking it was a 5-figure sum). But 8 out of 10 also said they would go solar if cost was not a factor. That's a lot of solar power potential - when they realise just how economical it is.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Titanic-like scenario

This cartoon was a very appropriate link to the current petition to world leaders, that i mentioned earlier this week.

It illustrates well the slowness of action relative to the size of the impending consequences.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Win A Petrol Bowser

OK, that's a fairly unexpected title. But that's what's happening. As part of the promotion for the Nissan Leaf electric car, Nissan Australia have launched - where you can win your choice of converted petrol bowser. (Because who needs bowsers in a world without petrol?)

If you saw my video last week, you will have seen some of the options available, and you can check out all of the options on the website. My faves include the Pacman arcade game and the electric piano - but finally i voted for the jukebox.

Get in quick - the competition closes June 18.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Greenpower Potential

The people at Greenpower (the program that enables Australians to buy their electricity from renewable sources) have put together a great infographic.

Every bit of Greenpower purchased adds on top of the national renewable energy target of 20% by 2020. So the households of Australia have the power boost our nation to 50% renewable energy. All it takes is for people to make that decision and call the electricity company.

[More posts on Greenpower]

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Keeping Warm This Winter

Here in Australia winter is starting to make its presence felt with some chilly nights. The New South Wales "Save Power" initiative has put out a Warming Your Home In Winter factsheet.

These tips not only help us keep warm, but could also save us hundreds of dollars.

[Other fact sheets by Save Power]

Monday, June 04, 2012

Global Subsidies

The 350 group did this simple graphic for their petition to world leaders (over 1 million people have already signed).

It's a tough job for renewable energy to succeed when the odds are being stacked against it.

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