RNE 6.67% 7.0¢ renu energy limited

renewable energy

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    Not much has changed since the age of steam. If you live in Australia or North America, the computer screen on which you are reading this text is most likely to be powered by coal. Think about it… state of the art technology, powered by coal!

    Electricity demand continues to expand worldwide, with consumption projected to grow by nearly 100% by 2020 (International Energy Outlook 2001). Electricity generation generally relies on burning fossil fuel which produces carbon dioxide (CO2) as one of its waste products. Concern has developed over the last decade about the effects of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) on the atmosphere, particularly with respect to global warming.

    As a result of these environmental concerns, the world is facing an energy production dilemma. There is an increasing worldwide demand for energy to maintain and expand economic prosperity, whilst at the same time there is general agreement that global warming and pollution are harming the global environment in which we live.

    Community concerns are forcing governments and industry to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to explore clean renewable sources of energy. Developed countries, excluding the USA, collectively agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Kyoto Protocol.

    Incentives are now in place in most developed nations to promote the development of clean, renewable energy.

    Fossil Fuel Alternatives
    The expansion of the nuclear power industry appears to be socially unacceptable. Solar and wind power cannot replace fossil fuels, just augment them and they are limited in scope, intermittent, and unreliable. Large-scale hydroelectric projects are now rejected on environmental grounds. Hot dry rock has the potential, worldwide, to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

    Australia’s Programme
    In November 1997, the Prime Minister’s Statement “Safeguarding the Future: Australia’s Response to Climate Change” indicated that by the year 2000 a mandatory requirement would be imposed on retailers and other large buyers of electricity to source an additional 2% of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

    The Prime Minister’s Statement culminated in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 which commenced operation on 18 January 2001. The specific objective of the Act is to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable sources by issuing renewable energy certificates (REC’s). These REC’s provide an income stream for renewable energy generators. Fines, currently equivalent to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, will also be imposed on electricity distributors that fail to meet their requirements under the Act.

    By 2010 an additional 9500 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity will be required in the Australian market. This is equivalent to over 1000MWe of new generation capacity. In addition the green power market, where individual consumers elect to purchase renewable energy, will add at least another 2000 gigawatt hours onto the renewable energy market by 2010, adding a further 200MWe of capacity for which REC's will be required.

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