The week in green numbers…

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The true cost of air-con; the coal power countdown; tallying the cost of natural disasters; and how much iron sulphate was dumped into the ocean?

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7,000: The Australian-dollar amount in added electricity infrastructure investment that the Productivity Commission estimates each 2kW air conditioning systems requires – $4,000 in distribution, $1,400 in transmission, and $1,600 in generation costs.

1060: The megawatt amount of Australia’s coal-fired power capacity that was put on ice over the past two weeks, with the closure last week of 700MW at Queensland’s Tarong plant, and of one of the units at Yallourn (360MW) in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley on Wednesday.

2.4 million: The reduction in tonnes of carbon pollution emitted from the electricity generated for the National Electricity Market – a 7.6 per cent decline in emissions intensity compared to 2011-12 level.

100: The tonnes of iron sulphate dumped into the Pacific Ocean by controversial American businessman Russ George as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, according to a Guardian investigation revealed this week.

10,000: The size, in square kilometers, of the artificial plankton bloom that the above iron sulphate has spawned, according to George’s claims, which have apparently been confirmed by satellite images.

510 billion: The US-dollar amount in insured natural disaster losses incurred between 1980 and 2011, according to a report released Wednesday from global reinsurance giant Munich Re. The report found  that weather-related loss events in North America “nearly quintupled” during the 32-year period, compared to an increase factor of two in Europe, a trend that the study has linked to manmade global warming.

180: The number of solar panel makers that will either go bankrupt or be bought out by 2015, according to a research report released on Tuesday.

10.9 billion: The pounds sterling amount that the UK could save on its annual energy bill by 2030 with the introduction of energy efficiency incentives, according to a new report by environmental policy group Green Alliance and WWF.

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3 Comments
  1. win 7 years ago

    There should be a special charge on household using an air-conditioning unit. Is it fair on those frugal families who choose not to run an aircon to subsidize the former?

    • Jonathan 7 years ago

      Agree win. In Italy, there is such a charge for households. A second connection charge when installing a high demand device, like an AC unit.

      Not only is it a cross subsidisation by more frugal to air-conditioner lovers in the current situation in Australia. It is the poor, who can’t afford air conditioners, subsidising the rich!

  2. Jonathan 7 years ago

    Sophie, is the 2.4 million tonnes an annual, monthly or weekly figure? And for what period?

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