Australian Renewable Energy Agency awarding US$9M to Ethtec cellulosic ethanol project

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is awarding $11.9 million (US$9 million) in funding for Australian biofuel company Ethanol Technologies Limited (Ethtec) to complete the development and demonstration of its advanced biofuel technology. As part of a $48-million (US$36.5 million) project, Ethtec aims to construct a $30-million (US$23-million) purpose-built pilot-scale... Read more →

Power-to-gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia’s gas grid; A$5M award to AquaHydrex

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced a trial for a new type of electrolyzer which could see excess renewable energy stored in the gas grid and used to decarbonize Australia’s gas supply. On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA has provided A$5 million (US$4 million) in funding to Wollongong-based... Read more →

CSIRO team working to commercialize membrane separating H2 from NH3; opening up an export market for Australia renewable H2

Researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have years of experience researching the best ways to separate pure hydrogen from mixed gas streams. Now, the researchers have developed a thin metal membrane that can separate high-purity hydrogen from ammonia used as a hydrogen carrier. Ammonia (NH3) has... Read more →

Australia and Japan developing safety standards for marine transport of liquid hydrogen; KHI building carrier

Australia and Japan recently signed a memorandum at the headquarters of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which will allow liquid hydrogen (LH2) to be shipped in bulk for the first time. Ship containment systems are being developed in Japan that will be capable of safely transporting liquid hydrogen in... Read more →

The Fast Cities Network. Click to enlarge. Brisbane, Australia-based Tritium, developer of the Veefil Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charger, has launched a Fast Cities Network initiative to establish Australia’s largest fast-charging network in Australia and the first in Eastern Australia. Located within the SE Queensland region, the proposed 430 km... Read more →

Australia CSIRO and India CSIR launch A$6M partnership on dimethyl ether

Australia’s CSIRO and its equivalent in India, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), have launched a three-year, A$6-million (US$5.6-million) collaboration focused on improving processes involved in the production of dimethyl ether (DME), a clean-burning synthetic liquid fuel. DME is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic and can be produced from natural... Read more →

Australian Smart Grid demand management project shows EV drivers could halve charging costs

In Australia, as part of the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial (earlier post), DiUS Computing delivered a demand management demonstration project using Victoria’s Smart Grid. The project, which ran from June to December 2012, was the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s Smart Meter infrastructure for electricity demand management. The results... Read more →

Australian techno-economic analysis of renewable aviation fuels identifies research priorities to lower the high costs

A techno-economic analysis of renewable aviation fuels by Australian researchers has found that, based on currently available long-term reputable technological data, biorefineries producing biofuels from microalgae, oil seeds of the Pongamia tree, and sugarcane feedstocks would be competitive with crude oil prices at $1,343, $374, and $301/bbl, respectively. Sensitivity analyses... Read more →

2013 TS030 Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Toyota Racing unveiled the revised TS030 Hybrid car which will run in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this season. The TS030 made its debut in the WEC in 2012, and notched up three victories in six races.... Read more →

Interrelationship between EV energy economy (y-axis) and and the electricity grid emissions intensity (x-axis) in determining full fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions. The color regions represent 100 gCO2e/ km increments in full fuel cycle emissions performance. A conventional Mazda 3 would sit around midway of the middle color band at... Read more →

A representation of the newly developed catalyst on an aluminium oxide surface depicts the core-shell structure. Click to enlarge. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, along with collaborators from Italy and Spain, have designed new core-shell type catalysts inspired by the concepts of supramolecular chemistry that oxidize methane 30 times... Read more →

Location of the Ichthys project. Source: INPEX. Click to enlarge. Japan-based INPEX Corporation and its joint venture partner Total have made the final investment decision (FID) for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, representing an investment of US$34 billion dollars. INPEX is the operator—its first time in... Read more →

Licella signs MoUs with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand on renewable aviation fuels

Australia-based Licella, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ignite Energy, has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand to examine the development and commercialization of a process to convert woody biomass into sustainable aviation biofuel. Licella has developed a process using a continuous flow catalytic hydro-thermal... Read more →

Australian Government releases discussion paper on mandatory CO2 standards for new light-duty vehicles beginning in 2015

The Australian Government has released a discussion paper outlining the issues involved in the setting of mandatory standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles from 2015. The planned CO2 standards will complement the Government’s carbon price scheme and help to reduce carbon emissions from light vehicles. The paper... Read more →

Modelled vehicle sales per year in Scenario 3. Source: AECOM. Click to enlarge. According to a recently published report commissioned by the Victoria (Australia) Department of Transport from AECOM, electric vehicle (EV) technology offers the state of Victoria potentially significant economic benefits by the late 2020s. Such economic benefits could... Read more →

Australia’s per capita CO2 emissions are higher than those of the US due to an emissions-intensive energy sector. Click to enlarge. Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled Australia’s carbon pricing plan—a core element in a new clean energy plan—in a short address to the nation. Under the scheme, around 500... Read more →

Virgin Australia, Dynamotive and partners developing renewable aviation biofuel from mallees trees using a fast pyrolysis pathway

Australia-based airline Virgin Australia is partnering with Renewable Oil Corporation (ROC), Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation and Future Farm Industries Co-operative Research Centre (FFI CRC) to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel that also has benefits for the Australian farming community and the environment. The consortium plans to use fast pyrolysis and... Read more →

Ford EcoLPi Falcon goes on sale in Australia; new liquid injection LPG engine delivers more performance, lower fuel consumption

Ford’s EcoLPi Falcon has gone on sale in Australia and is making its debut at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. The new EcoLPi in-line six-cylinder engine is an advanced liquid phase injection, dedicated LPG powerplant that produces 27% more power and 10% more torque than previous E-Gas... Read more →

Renault and Better Place partner in Australia to launch Fluence Z.E. with switchable battery in 2012

Renault and Better Place formed a strategic partnership in Australia, expanding their global relationship. Under this agreement, Renault will import the first electric car equipped with a switchable battery, the Fluence Z.E. (earlier post), into Australia, and Better Place will provide the electric car charging network and services that make... Read more →

Final report of Garnaut Review Update recommends carbon pricing scheme for Australia “to do its fair share” on climate change

It will be much harder and more expensive for Australia to do its fair share on climate change without a carbon pricing scheme, according to the final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011, Australia in the Global Response to Climate Change. The final report recommends that... Read more →

Possible e biomass to liquid fuel refining process pathways. Source: CSIRO. Click to enlarge. Establishing an economically and environmentally beneficial, bio-derived Australian and New Zealand aviation fuels industry is a viable proposition, according to a report compiled by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s national science agency) in... Read more →

Australian auto manufacturing industry collaborating on electric vehicles; launch of EV Engineering Ltd.

Leading companies in the Australian automotive manufacturing industry are collaborating on the design and engineering of electric vehicles with the launch of EV Engineering Ltd. EV Engineering will design and engineer seven proof-of-concept fully-electric versions of Australia’s number-one selling passenger vehicle, the Holden Commodore. This project will take place over... Read more →

Garnaut Climate Change Review issues first of 8 update papers in 2011; reaffirms decision-making framework and need for mitigation efforts

As commissioned by the Australian Government in 2010, the Garnaut Climate Change Review, led by Professor Ross Garnaut, has issued the first of a series of papers scheduled for this month and next updating the 2008 Climate Change Review. (Earlier post.) A Final Update Report will be presented to Australia’s... Read more →

New Australian JV for algae biofuels; partnership with Rio Tinto

A new Australian company has been established to produce commercial quantities of renewable hydrocarbon biofuels from algae. The company, Muradel Pty Ltd, is a joint venture of Murdoch University, Adelaide Research & Innovation Pty Ltd (the commercial development company of the University of Adelaide), and commercial partner SQC Pty Ltd.... Read more →

Estimated annual greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the QCLNG project. More than half the emissions come from the LNG facility. Source: QCLNG EIS. Click to enlarge. BG Group has approved implementation of the first phase of a US$15-billion project to convert coal seam gas (CSG) to LNG—the first... Read more →

Victoria Begins Major 5-Year Electric Vehicle Trial

Premier John Brumby launched the Australian state of Victoria’s Electric Vehicle Trial, with more than 50 organizations and 180 households to participate in the five-year, A$5-million (US$4.9-million) trial. (Earlier post.) About 60 vehicles will be used in the trial and have been provided by Blade Electric Vehicles, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan... Read more →

Univ. of Queensland to Lead International Algae Aviation Biofuel Research Project

The University of Queensland, Australia will host and lead a international research consortium focused on developing renewable aviation fuel from algae. International partners include Boeing, Virgin Blue and Amyris. Queensland partners in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative, in addition to the University, include Mackay Sugar, Brisbane-based IOR Energy, James Cook... Read more →

CSIRO and Australasian Aviation Partners Launch Study on Sustainable Aviation Fuels Industry

Australia’s CSIRO, together Australasian aviation partners, is leading a study to help develop a sustainable aviation fuels industry. Called the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road Map, the study aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of a sustainable aviation fuels industry in Australia and New Zealand. The project has been developed... Read more →

The EV Trial and Scoping Study are part of a larger effort on low-emission and electric transportation in the state. Click to enlarge. The government of the state of Victoria, Australia is developing a five-year trial of electric vehicles—the most comprehensive trial of EVs in Australia so far. The trials... Read more →

Amyris and University of Queensland Partner on Renewable Jet Fuel from Sugarcane

The University of Queensland, Australia (UQ) and US-based Amyris Biotechnologies Inc., a synthetic biology company focused on developing renewable hydrocarbon biofuels (earlier post), are partnering to explore potential business opportunities for the conversion of sugarcane into renewable jet fuel. The agreement, which was signed at the San Francisco offices of... Read more →

The study found that for small and medium passenger vehicles, expected lifetime cost per kilometer for EVs is already lower than that of conventional ICE. The total cost of ownership includes the vehicle price, annual fuel and maintenance costs and insurance. Future costs have been discounted at 7%. Source: AECOM.... Read more →

Map showing an overview of the Gorgon Project. Source: Chevron. Click to enlarge. Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, will proceed with the development of the large Gorgon natural gas project offshore Western Australia. Development proposals for the project were approved on 13 Sep by the Western... Read more →

Algal Fuels Consortium (AFC) Wins $2.724M Australian Development Grant; Commercial Partner Sancon Has Rights for Commercialization in China

The Algal Fuel Consortium (AFC) recently won an A$2.724-million (US$2.259 million) research grant under the Department of Resources Energy and Tourism’s Second Generation Biofuels program in Australia. The grant will support the development of microalgal mass cultivation systems to generate biomass from captured CO2 emissions. This will then be used... Read more →

The Ford Falcon (XT model shown) will be the first global RWD application of the new 2.0L EcoBoost engine. Click to enlarge. Ford Australia is investing A$230 million (US$188 million) to improve the fuel efficiency and environmental impact of its Australian-made models, including the first global rear-wheel drive application of... Read more →

Australia Reels From Split Weather System, Suffers Effect Of “The Big Dry” And “The Big Wet”

by Jack Rosebro Land surface temperature anomaly across Australia between 25 January and 1 February, 2009, during the first of two heatwaves in the Southeast as well as flooding in the North. The darkest reds and the darkest blues show a 10ºC temperature differential from baseline (white). Source: NASA. Click... Read more →

Australia Sets Target of 5-15% Carbon Reduction by 2020, Announces 2010 Carbon Market

by Jack Rosebro Business-as-usual trajectory and 2020 target trajectories for greenhouse gas emissions, 2005-2020. Click to enlarge. Australia’s politicians, business groups, environmentalists, and citizens are debating the country’s first proposed carbon reduction and trading plan White Paper[1], which was announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week. The plan calls... Read more →

GM Holden To Build New Small Car Alongside Commodore

Concept sketch of the new Holden small car. Click to enlarge. GM Holden will build an all-new small car in Australia alongside the Commodore range. The second carline will start in the third quarter of 2010 with support from the Federal and South Australian Governments. It will be GM Holden’s... Read more →

Blade Electric Vehicles Conversion of the Hyundai Getz Picks Up Momentum

Australia-based Blade Electric Vehicles (BEV), a small start-up that converts the Hyundai Getz into a lithium-ion powered electric vehicle with a range of 120 km (75 miles), recently won a contract to supply 200 of the converted Getz (called the Electron) vehicles to New Zealand. BEV expects to have 18... Read more →

Australia Publishes Aviation Green Paper; Precursor to White Paper on Aviation Strategy in 2009

Passenger air journeys within and to and from Australia. Click to enlarge. The Government of Australia has published an Aviation Green Paper, and is inviting comments on it to be considered in the development of a White Paper in 2009. The Aviation White Paper will be the first attempt to... Read more →

Australia Seeks Public Discussion of Measures to Encourage the Adoption of More Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Projected average CO2 emissions of the Australian LDV fleet under a range of CO2 targets. Fleet-wide improvements take a long time even with aggressive new vehicle targets. Click to enlarge. The Australian Transport Council and the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Working Group, with support from... Read more →

Queensland Premier Puts 20-Year Moratorium on Oil Shale Development

Queensland (Australia) Premier Anna Bligh has placed a 20-year moratorium on the development of oil shale in the state. The announcement immediately blocks the further development of a planned demonstration plant over the McFarlane oil shale deposit in the Whitsunday region. Bligh said she would not allow the environment to... Read more →

Altona Resources Signs MOU with CNOOC on Arckaringa CTL Project in South Australia

The Arckaringa CTL and cogen project is situated close to a major rail line and highway, and is targeting exports to Asia as well as domestic use. Click to enlarge. Altona Resources Plc, an Australia-based energy company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CNOOC (Beijing) Energy Investment Co.,... Read more →

In the Grip of Drought, Australia Considers A Carbon Market

by Jack Rosebro Average increase per decade of Australia’s mean temperature, 1950-2007, in degrees C. Click to enlarge. Source: Australia Bureau of Meteorology Australia’s Department of Climate Change has published a Green Paper[1], or preliminary proposal, of its plan to limit the amount of carbon dioxide that the country’s major... Read more →

Jamison Report Calls for Fast-Tracking Development of Electric Vehicles in Australia

A report commissioned by Australia’s National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) calls on the Australian Government to set a target of reducing oil dependence by 20% by 2020; 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050 and to do all it can to fast-track the development of the electric car in... Read more →

Report Projects Electricity, LPG and CNG Will Be First Alt Fuels with Expanded Use in Australia If Oil Supply Declines

Transport sector fuel consumption in the scenario of fast decline in oil supply, slow technology response, and a 60% reduction in GHG from 2000 levels. Click to enlarge. Australia’s transport fuel mix will substantially change in response to the increasing cost of oil and the need to reduce greenhouse gas... Read more →

Australia Gets Its Own “Stern Review”: Draft of Garnaut Climate Change Review Is Released

by Jack Rosebro Estimated probability of extreme climate impacts, responses, and threshold excess under each of the four emissions scenarios proffered by the Garnaut Review. Click to enlarge. After ten months of research, forums, lectures, consultations, and review of public comment, the Australian government has released a draft[1] of the... Read more →

TNT Launches Australia’s First Hybrid Truck Fleet

A Hino hybrid truck. TNT Express Australia has put 10 Hino Hybrid trucks into service, becoming the first business in Australia to start operating a fleet of diesel-electric hybrid as replacements for conventionally powered vehicles. Speaking at the official launch of the hybrid truck fleet in Sydney, TNT Express Australia... Read more →

CSIRO Awarded A$59.6M for Research into Low Emission Transport Fuels

Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) has been allocated A$59.6 million (US$49 million) over four years to increase research into renewable and non-renewable natural resources which can produce low emission transport fuels. Under the Energy Transformed National Research Flagship, work will be expanded to include research related to... Read more →

Westport Awarded A$1.4 Million for LNG Truck Evaluation from Australian Government

Westport Innovations Inc has received an A$1.36 million (US$1.06 million) from the Australian Government’s Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP) for a project to evaluate the use of LNG as a fuel for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia. Mitchell Corp., Sands Fridge Lines and Murray Goulburn Cooperative, who each operate large... Read more →