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IT on carbon par with steel industry

Chris Jenkins, August 16, 2007

A study claimed to be the first audit of the carbon output of Australia's IT systems says IT and communications used by the commercial sector are on a par with the aviation and steel industries as an atmospheric polluter. The study, commissioned by the Australian Computer Society, revealed that the use of information and communications technology by Australian businesses produced 7.94 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005.

From The Age

Plasma TV graveyard

Hannah Edwards, August 12, 2007

Australia's hunger for the latest high-tech televisions and other electronic gadgets is creating record amounts of toxic waste. About 98 per cent of discarded televisions, computers and mobile phones, end up as "e-waste", dumped in landfills. Many of the items contain dangerous materials including mercury and cadmium.

From The Age

Rich are biggest polluters, worst water wallies

Miki Perkins, August 12, 2007 The Age

People living in Melbourne's wealthiest inner suburbs are the state's biggest greenhouse polluters, responsible for more than double the emissions of those in less affluent areas, a new "consumption atlas" reveals. The Australian Conservation Foundation's online atlas allows Australians to track greenhouse pollution and water consumption suburb by suburb. It shows that each person in the Docklands and Southbank areas produces 31 tonnes of greenhouse pollution each year, almost double the 17 tonnes per person for those in the shire of Hume, in the city's outer north-west. The state average is 20 tonnes.

Making energy efficiency EASI

Senator Christine Milne, August 2, 2007
Senator Milne today launched a bold multi-billion dollar plan to substantially upgrade the energy efficiency of Australia's 7.4 million homes over the next decade, significantly reducing greenhouse emissions, household expenditure and energy infrastructure investment. Senator Milne said “Energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse emissions, yet we've barely scratched the surface of what can be achieved. The EASI initiative is about making it easy for Australians to save money and the environment without investing their own time and money. If governments adopted this model, Premier Iemma's new power station announced yesterday would be unnecessary. Efficiency gains would more than make up for the projected demand increases, and greenhouse emissions would fall, not rise.

The Energy Efficiency Access and Savings Initiative, or EASI, would:

  • organise a free energy audit by an accredited auditor;
  • advise householders of all efficiency opportunities with a payback period of ten years or less;
  • organise and pay the upfront costs of implementing cost-effective opportunities;
  • collect repayments as a proportion of savings on the home's energy bills over a ten year period. Repayments will be less than the savings on energy bills so that no householders will ever be "out of pocket".

EASI is designed to be cost neutral. Householders will pay no upfront costs and repayments will always less than savings on energy bills.

For more information contact Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562 or [email protected] EASI media release

ACT implements feed in tariff to boost solar power

ACT Greens Deb Foskey, MLA, 6 August 2007

Deb Foskey, Greens MLA, today said that the rebate the ACT Government is offering to pay people who feed solar power into the grid is a generous one.

"There is no doubt that the offer of 3.88 times the average standard rate will encourage many house owners to install solar panels on their roofs. This, in turn, will increase the viability of solar technology as the most appropriate form of renewable energy currently available to the ACT. The proposal for solar feed-in laws is the big ticket item in the ACT Government's long overdue Climate Change Strategy. Retrofitting public housing is the Strategy's other major measure which will make a real difference, as reducing energy use is the single most effective way we can reduce our carbon emissions."

For more information contact Roland Manderson, m 0412 241 379 ACT Greens

A very green computer

Zonbu PC
Zonbu PC

"The Zonbu is a new, very energy efficient PC. The Zonbu consumes just one third of the power of a typical light bulb. The device runs the Linux operating system using a 1.2 gigahertz processor and 512 meg of RAM. It also contains no moving parts, and does even contain a fan. You can get one for as little as US$99, but it does require you to sign up for a two-year subscription."

From Metaefficient

Call for greener buildings

Royce Millar, July 26, 2007 The Age

The leader of Victoria's architects has called for an end to high-rise housing and offices that do not meet strict world's best green standards.

Royal Australian Institute of Architects president Philip Goad said yesterday it was time high-rise buildings were subject to a tougher environmental code. Green Star ratings for commercial buildings are voluntary. Apartment buildings, but not single apartments, must meet Victoria's five-star rating.

"But I don't believe we yet have had a truly green high-rise proposition. We're still waiting for a green high-rise residential tower, one that sets new standards," Mr Goad said.

He said unless buildings were clearly sustainable they should not be allowed.

Thousands at risk from halogen-light death traps

Mark Russell, July 22, 2007 The Age

Thousands of Victorian homes fitted with halogen downlights are potential death traps, with 57 house fires in Melbourne over the past 18 months directly caused by the fashionable lights igniting roofing insulation.

Sustainability Victoria's Roger Kluske said he was shocked by the number of house fires caused by halogen lights. "Halogens are a bloody nightmare and they're everywhere, in homes, office buildings, cafes … The easiest thing to do would be to ban them," he said.

45% Renewable Energy For Germany By 2030

Friday July 6, 2007 MetaEfficient

Germany plans to boost the percentage of electricity generated by renewable resources to 45 percent by 2030 in a bid to curb global warming, environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday. Gabriel told reporters that a progress report on a renewable energy law passed in 2000 showed that the country had already surpassed the quota of 12.5 percent set for 2010. He said Berlin was now setting a more ambitious target to produce at least 20 percent of electricity used in the country with renewable resources such as wind and solar power by 2020 and 45 percent by 2030.

Nuclear expansion is a pipe dream, says report

John Vidal, environment editor, Guardian Unlimited Environment
Wednesday July 4, 2007 Article link

  • Hope for new era of cheap, clean power is a 'myth'
  • Building more stations would increase terror risk

Homeowner of solar-hydrogen house has $0.00 utility bill

Conrad Quilty-Harper, Mar 17, 2007 Engadget

Mike Strizki, a civil engineer living in New Jersey has converted his home into a completely energy self-sufficient abode that runs exclusively on a combination of solar and hydrogen power.

Using solar energy to keep homes cool

Martin LaMonica, March 20, 2007, CNET News.com

SolCool's air conditioner can be run directly from solar panels, existing wiring or even, in a pinch, batteries. The solar-powered air conditioner is one of a growing number of energy-efficient products designed to save money, reduce pollution and maintain power during blackouts.

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