Filed under: News
With a headline referring to Volvo cars being made out of batteries, you could be forgiven for thinking that Volvo want to make heavy cars made out of recycled lead from batteries. Instead, Volvo are investigating how to incorporate batteries into the panels.
Conceivably, the weight saving would be sensational, as well as dealing with difficult packaging problems. There are likely to be some technical hurdles to overcome. In the meantime, hats off to Volvo engineers for creative and innovative thinking!
Filed under: News
Only two weeks to go until the the 2010 All-Energy Australia Conference in Melbourne on October 6 & 7 at the Exhibition Centre in Southbank. We’re particularly looking forward to the ‘Conversation Cafe’ session that our very own Mike Lloyd is taking part in on the topic of: ‘Future Directions of Green Intellectual Property‘ on Thursday October 7 at 12:45pm in the exhibition hall.
Registration to attend this conference is free so sign up and come along to check out over 177 exhibitors and various sessions on renewable energy.
All-Energy Australia is the sister show to All-Energy UK, Europe’s largest all-renewables event which has now been running for 10 years; 1,750 people from 16 countries visited the highly successful Australian launch last year.
Filed under: News
Although perhaps not as glamorous as hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles, improving fuel efficiency in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles has an important, if interim, role in reducing carbon emissions, and should be embraced. This article provides an informative overview of some of the technology used in Ford’s ECOnetic range, and in particular the Focus. Fuel saving features include auto-start-stop, smart regenerative charging, low tension FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive), improved efficiency power steering system and use of low viscosity lubricants. Well established fuel saving measures such as low coefficient of drag and low rolling resistance tyres are also mentioned. In combination with a driver information system (to encourage more efficient driving style) and a turbo diesel ICE, fuel consumption of 3.8L/100km is claimed. Unfortunately, the very attractive car featured in the photograph is actually badged as the (considerably less economical) RS model; it seems unlikely that the ECOnetic will look as good.
Readers looking for a interesting, balanced, and attractive website considering a broad range of renewable energy technologies, and the need to tackle climate change, could do a lot worse that to visit http://www.newgencoal.com.au/.
The most surprising thing is that this website is that it is run by the Australian Coal Association. Cynical readers might have expected something defensive or political from such an industry lobby group, this website is anything but.
If only some our politicians who claim to be looking out for the interests of the Australian coal industry were to read this material, they too might realise the need for action on climate change. If the coal industry claims to get it, why don’t our politicians?
Filed under: News
The inaugural on-line innovation competition held in conjunction with the Australia’s Ausinnovation festival April/May 2010 clearly showed the passion Australians in general have for preserving their environment. The competition was hosted on the popular Spigit ideas management platform, which provided participants with the ability not only to submit their ideas for public feedback but also to attract “investment” of notional currency in their idea, simulating a real world venture capital market. The winning ideas resulted from a combination of “market value” and the expertise of our judging panel. See this link for more.
Filed under: News
The Wandoan Power Consortium has announced that they have been short-listed for the next stage of the federal government’s CCS Flagship Program, using a plant which will combine Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IRC) coal based power production with carbon capture and storage.
While technically complex, IGCC has tremendous potential for Australia. CO2 can be efficiently captured from the IRC process before the gas is burnt, avoiding the complexity of post combustion CO2 capture. IRC is also thought to be a very useful solution to helping to reduce CO2 emissions from the burning of Victoria’s significant brown coal reserves. While the burning of coal and especially brown coal has its critics, the fact remains that the world may be dependant on coal for many years to come, and technologies which can reduce the impact of coal combustion may make a real difference to CO2 emissions worldwide.
Filed under: News | Tags: clean and sustainable technologies, clean coal, cleantech, coal tech 2009
Griffith Hack’s IP management consultant Mike Lloyd has just returned from the Coal Tech 2009 conference held in Brisbane, and came back a clean coal converted man:
Coal is sometimes used as the whipping boy in the clean energy debate, but the coal industry and its supporters are showing there are a number of options for dramatically improving its greenhouse gas emissions. Coal is undoubtedly important for Australia, providing about 75% of its power at an internationally competitive price, $43 billion worth of export income and 8% of its GDP. It also produces over one third of our greenhouse gases. Coal is also very important on a international scale, providing a key power source in many countries. Regardless of what its detractors may wish for, coal will be with us for many years to come.
A broad range of technologies are or have been developed to reduce emissions from coal mining and consumption, and some of these look close to being commercial ready. Coal’s relatively high greenhouse gas profile may actually help their adoption. Zero greenhouse gas emissions from clean coal technologies, while possibly being desirable in the long term, may not be necessary to achieve a significant overall reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gases emissions. Instead even a gradual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the coal industry may be enough to have a helpful overall impact, and should be achievable in practice.
Nonetheless a big hurdle remains before these technologies are widely adopted. Some of these technologies require multi-billion dollar investments. Many of these investments may be unlikely in the current Australian political uncertainty regarding long term carbon emission pricing. Until these uncertainties are resolved, it will be difficult for the coal users to make either high emission or low emission investments in coal technologies. High emission investments will hobbled by the potential for high carbon pricing – low emission investments will be hobbled by the potential for low carbon pricing and how this will affect their business case. Maybe if the world can achieve a consensus on carbon policies during the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Australia’s politicians can in turn agree on the long term policies required to underpin major new investments in this area.