Skip navigation

Tag Archives: renewable energy



Brian Merchant
Energy / Renewable Energy
January 16, 2012

Matthijs Koster via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

According to one of China’s top cabinet members, over 11% of the nation’s power is now generated by renewable sources. Yet despite that figure – as well as heavy investment in renewable energy technology and pointed efforts to corner the market for solar panels – China is still betting on the continued dominance of fossil fuels.

Today, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao delivered the opening remarks at this year’s World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. In his speech, he touted a list of impressive steps his nation has made towards cleaning up its energy sector: China has “phased out backwards facilities”, reduced carbon emissions by “184 million tons on an annual basis”, and “shut down small coal plants” that totaled 80 GW of capacity – which, Wen noted, was the “equivalent to the energy consumption of a small European country”. There were energy conservation initiatives that impacted industrial sectors, as well as those targeted towards business and the citizenry.

“Although china’s per capita energy consumption is much lower than OECD countries, we encourage citizens to live in a low-carbon way,” he said. “We require that room temps be no lower than 26 C in summer, 20 in winter.”

Most striking of all, Wen claimed that the share of clean energy in the country’s mix had jumped to 11.4% from 8.3% in 2010. Most of that comes from newly completed hydroelectric plants, but Wen also said that a combined 50 GW of wind and solar power came online in 2011 alone. And yet, China still expects fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to power his nation’s economy for the foreseeable future.

“Fossil fuels will continue to dominate energy consumption for a long time to come,” Wen said, so “we need to follow a low-carbon approach to consuming” hydrocarbons. By which he means embracing energy efficiency and conservation measures.

“We must give top priority to conservation and efficiency,” Wen said. “To save energy is indispensable to easing tension between supply and demand. Even energy-rich OECD countries need to promote a conservation-minded way of life.” He said that we needn’t compromise quality of life, but “rely on scientific advancements and technology to improve efficiency to drive social and economic development with minimum energy consumption.”

  • by: By Ron Corben in Bangkok
  • From: AAP
  • April 30, 2012 9:22PM


  • Thai firm to invest $572m in Aussie wind turbine plants
  • Aimed at staying in step with nation’s future energy policies
  • Move part of its acquisition and expansion plans


A wind farm power turbine electricity generator at Codrington, Victoria. Picture: Nicole Cleary Source: AdelaideNow


Related Coverage

THAI energy company Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc is planning to invest $600 million ($572 million) in new wind turbine plants in Australia, tripling its local wind-power output to 300 megawatts.

The expansion by Ratchaburi’s subsidiary, Ratch-Australia Corporation, is aimed at staying in step with Australia’s future energy policies, Ratchaburi Electricity chief executive Noppol Milinthanggoon said.

The planned investment comes as Ratchaburi Electricity is moving to complete a $US813 million acquisition of Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund in raising its stake to 80 per cent by June 2012.

Noppol said Ratchaburi Electricity is to invest a further $US30.5 million in Ratch-Australia to meet the 80 per cent target from a current stake of 68 per cent.

A spokesperson for the company said the Australian offshoot will lead the expansion as part of the company’s offshore investment plans.

Ratch-Australia operates three wind power plants in Victoria at Starfish Hill, Toora and Windy Hill. Toora is said to be one of the world’s largest wind turbines and the second largest wind farm in Victoria.

The Toora operation has 12 turbines with a production capacity of 1.75 megawatts, meeting the power needs of 6600 families.

“We have a goal to invest in at least three wind energy projects with a total production volume of 200 megawatts from an existing 100 megawatt capacity,” Noppol said.

He said the company was also looking to overhaul and expand the production capacity at Ratch-Australia’s existing plants.

Ratch-Australia Corporation currently oversees three natural gas power plants, two coal power plants and three wind power plants with a total production capacity of 1126 megawatts.

The company says it has firm agreements covering 90 per cent of the generated electricity to be purchased under contract over the next 11 years.

Read more:

June 11, 2009 – 3:45PM

More than 17,000 jobs could be created in the geothermal energy industry by 2050, a new report says.

The geothermal industry, which involves extracting heat stored in the earth to generate power, is growing in Australia with almost 400 tenements for projects and around $1.5 billion in projects underway.

WWF and the Australian Geothermal Energy Association (AGEA) on Thursday released a report, Power to Change: Australia’s Geothermal Future.

Paul Toni from WWF says the report is the first in a series looking into the potential of geothermal energy.

“The energy stored in hot rocks near the earth’s surface in Australia is a thousand-fold what we use each and every year,” Mr Toni said.

“We must reshape our economy and our energy sector if we are serious about tackling climate change.

“Capable of running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, geothermal energy is one of the vital clean energy resources needed to make this transformation.”

He said the Cooper Basin, which overlaps the borders of Queensland, NSW and South Australia, holds enormous potential for geothermal electricity.

AGEA chief executive Susan Jeanes says Australia has the chance to be a world leader in geothermal technology.

“This industry provides opportunities for workers to move from industries like coal, oil and gas, into clean energy jobs as much of the technology and expertise is transferable,” Ms Jeanes said.

March 18, 2009

RENEWABLE energy company Pacific Hydro has challenged claims the Government’s climate change policies will cost jobs, saying it will create at least 1200 new positions at Hydro over the next five years if they are implemented.

Pacific Hydro chief executive Rob Grant told The Age any potential job losses in coal mining would be offset by the construction and operation of four wind farms once legislation for an emissions trading scheme and a 20 per cent renewable energy target were passed. Two of the wind farms would be in Victoria, creating 600 jobs.

The promise of green jobs comes as experts and environmental groups hit out at a threat by mining giant Xstrata to fire 1000 coal miners in NSW and cancel plans to invest $7 billion in new jobs if the Government’s scheme passed the Senate.

During question time in Federal Parliament yesterday, the Opposition raised concerns by Envirogen, a company that converts “fugitive emissions” from coal mines into energy, that the Government’s emissions trading scheme would force it to close, risking 100 jobs.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded by saying, “The whole function of introducing a carbon price into the economy is to encourage the development of renewable energy industries and, in turn, to generate further employment from it.”

Mr Grant said he expected at least 10 wind farms to be built by all players in the wind energy sector, potentially creating 3000 on-site jobs, 1000 long-term operational jobs and an increase in manufacturing jobs in tower construction.