Water Journal : Water Journal August 2012
industry news water AUGUST 2012 19 Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors Business, Director of Ocean Energy, Tim Fuhr said: "We see great potential in harnessing the vast power of the ocean. By working with OPT and Australian industry on this project, we will advance wave energy in Australia and globally." A Practical Solution to a Hard Climate Policy Problem A scheme that auctions power contracts to low-emissions technology companies could help Australia transform its electricity sector and meet its long-term climate change targets at the lowest cost, according to Grattan Institute's Energy Program Director, Tony Wood. Launching Grattan's new report, Building the bridge: a practical plan for a low-cost, low-emissions energy future, Mr Wood said that while a carbon price was an essential part of the response to climate change, government needed to take a further step to drive down the cost of low-emissions technologies. "Right now, investors are reluctant to back low-emissions technologies because they are expensive and high risk," Mr Wood said. "There is also real uncertainty government will make decisions that keep the carbon price rising over time and give these technologies a chance in the market against traditional electricity sources." The report proposes that government enters into long-term contracts with project developers to buy electricity at a price that makes low-emission projects viable. It does so through a series of six-monthly auctions, held over 10 years, that award power contracts in specific technology categories. Developers bid to provide low-emissions electricity and the lowest bids succeed. The scheme could produce about five per cent of Australia's power. Mr Wood said Grattan's proposal would complement the Government's Clean Energy Future Plan, which states: "There is a strong case for the Government to help by encouraging innovation in clean energy, particularly during the early stages of the transformation." However, it could also complement the Emissions Reduction Fund that the Federal Opposition has promised to introduce as part of its Direct Action Plan to counter climate change if it wins Government. "This proposal is not just another subsidy for renewable energy of the sort we have today, but addresses a real and recognised limit to carbon pricing," Mr Wood said. "Government has to give confidence to the long-term carbon market. Our solution is designed precisely to build a bridge between the current carbon market and the market for low-emissions technologies that the country needs." Osmoflo Wins Fourth Contract from the Wheatstone LNG Project Osmoflo has consolidated its position as a lead supplier of water solutions, including desalination plants, to the Australian LNG industry following the award of a fourth contract for the giant Wheatstone Project. The Chevron-led $29 billion project includes the provision of an 8.9 million tonne per annum liquefied natural gas plant plus domestic gas plant near Onslow on the north-west coast of WA. Gas will be drawn by subsea pipelines from a field some 250 kilometres out to sea. Through Bechtel, the project's engineering, procurement and construction contractor, Osmoflo is already building two seawater desalination plants for Wheatstone, which will provide in excess of 11 megalitres of treated water a day. A third plant has been supplied under a rental agreement. Much of the desalinated water provided by these plants will be used for general construction purposes, including site compaction; however, a portion will meet the potable water needs of construction crews. This latest order calls for the provision of two systems, one at the village housing construction crews and a second at the facility itself, which will further treat a percentage of the desalinated water to ensure that any used for potable purposes is of a quality better than Australian Drinking Water Standards and World Health Organisation Guidelines. Each system will incorporate cartridge filtration, calcite remineralisation, disinfection by ultraviolet and chlorine injection units. The contract also requires speedy delivery, especially for the system that will be installed in the village. Environmental Sustainability Survey Provides Useful Benchmarks A 2011 Corporate Environmental Sustainability And Climate Change Governance Survey by NCS International (NCSI) survey attracted over 100 responses that represented 22 industry sectors. The survey sought to promote better understanding of prevailing trends in business sustainability and climate change. Survey respondents rated the importance of various sustainability issues to their business based on plans for the next three years, with the top five key drivers identified as: • Energy efficiency; • Corporate governance around environmental sustainability; • Regulations for environmental, energy and carbon reporting; • Measuring and reporting carbon emissions; • Customer requirements for environmental performance. The basic building blocks of corporate governance were in place at the majority of organisations. Sustainability or environmental policies were commonly in place, as was executive accountability for environmental and sustainability outcomes. Dedicated environmental teams are established within 75% of the responding organisations. Some of the sustainability drivers that the survey found to be less important included carbon offsetting, assurance of carbon reports and marketing benefits arising from environmental reporting. The larger organisations were generally more advanced on their sustainability actions, but board member responsibility and carbon offsetting were slightly more common with smaller organisations. The full survey report, including a detailed list of all issues and responses, can be accessed at: www.ncsi.com.au/ documents/Report-Corporate-Env-Sus-tCC-Governance- Survey-2011-12.pdf NCSI will conduct a second survey in late 2012 to allow for a longitudinal analysis of the responses to these issues.
Water Journal September 2012-1
Water Journal July 2012