Electricity Law Global Warming

The current unsustainable practices worldwide in energy production and consumption have led to a plethora of environmental problems. Among the most important are the following Climate change, for which energy production is 57 responsible Acid rain, caused primarily by coal burning Increased desertification, caused by unsustainable use of firewood for heating and cooking in developing countries Ozone depletion, caused by the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigerators and air-conditioning units...

Accessibility of energy

The Framework recognises that wider access to reliable, affordable and socially acceptable energy services is a prerequisite for meeting the challenge of the Millennium Development Goal109 of halving the proportion of people living on less than US 1 a day by 2015. Here the greatest challenge exists in rural areas and increasingly in large poor communities that live within the margins of cities. Rural development should be the overall priority in meeting the access challenge and should focus on...

Energy efficiency technologies

A vast amount of energy is wasted in heating and cooling unnecessary space due to the energy inefficient design and construction of buildings. This has arisen because traditional building regulations have paid little, if any, attention to energy efficient design. Studies have shown that energy conservation potentials of between 40 and 50 can be achieved merely by modification of building regulations.5 A variety of conservation measures, such as the installation of ceiling and wall insulation,...

Conventions relating to nuclear safety standards and State responsibility

The IAEA was established in 1957 by the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency.53 Pursuant to article II, its primary objective is 'to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of nuclear energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world'. The Agency also has a duty to establish and administer safety standards, but as this is stated in article III.A.6 to be a 'function' rather than an 'objective', it is clearly a secondary role. The prevalent belief at the time of the...

Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Matters

The Protocol imposes more meaningful obligations in relation to energy efficiency, although there are still many shortcomings. Like article 19 of the Treaty, the Protocol adopts the principle of sustainable development. One of the stated objectives of the Protocol is stated by article 1(2)(a) to be 'the promotion of energy efficiency policies consistent with sustainable development'. Another major objective, in article 1(2)(b) is that energy markets should be based on 'a fuller reflection of...

Nuclear energy conventions

Unlike acid rain, which is an inevitable consequence of high sulphur coal burning, nuclear radiation is normally contained within the reactor itself and only becomes a problem when the safeguards malfunction. When problems arise, however, the effects can be devastating. The widespread international impact of atmospheric contamination of nuclear radiation was dramatically highlighted by the Chernobyl incident in 1986, when significant nuclear fall-out was reported as far away as Sweden and...

The Australian governments responses at an international level to greenhouse gas emissions

As indicated earlier, the Federal government has consistently refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol unless the United States and developing countries ratify. The government has claimed that without such ratification the Protocol will not be 7 See, for example, Richardson v Forestry Commission (1988) 77 ALR 237 and Queensland v Commonwealth (1989) 86 ALR 519. effective, and will damage Australia's economy. While it continues to insist that it will not ratify the Protocol, it will be difficult to...

Assessing wind farm developments under the EPBCA

The development of wind farms as a renewable energy source has caught the attention of various state governments, which have sought to legislate specifically for their development.75 The question arises whether such developments are assessable under the EPBCA. It is likely that all wind farm developments will be referred under the EPBCA for assessment as they commonly impact on 'matters 75 See for example, Electricity Industry (Wind Farm Development) Act 2004 (Vic), and announcement by NSW...

Table of statutes

Act 376 on CO2 Quotas for Electricity Production (Denmark) 191 Agricultural Holdings Act 1891 (SA) 12 Agricultural Holdings Act 1941 (NSW) 12 Assembly Bill 1890 of 1996 (Calif) 195 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (Cth) 9 Building Act 1993 (Vic) 148 Building Control Act 1991 (Vic) 180 California Public Resources Code (US) 12 Carbon Rights Legislation Amendment Act 1998 (NSW) 145 Commonwealth Ombudsman Act1977 (Cth) 83 Conference on Environment and Development (UN) 66...

Energy Charter Treaty and Protocol on Energy Efficiency

International law in respect of energy efficiency has its origin in the Energy Charter Treaty81 and its associated Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects82 (hereafter referred to as the Treaty and the Protocol, respectively).83 The origin of these documents was the European Energy Charter (hereafter referred to as the Charter). This non-binding document was negotiated in 1990-91 between a number of western European nations and other developed countries, on the one hand,...

The Allen Consulting Groups Sustainable Energy Jobs Report

A report prepared by the Allen Consulting Group in 2003 gives an excellent overview of the sustainable energy industry (SEI) in Australia. The Group finds that unless there is government intervention in the energy market, the outlook to 2030 for SEI and renewables is limited. This is as a result of market failure and other difficulties that block the development of the industry. Governments around the world are taking action to address this problem, in particular to reduce greenhouse gas...

Advanced fossil fuel technologies

The Framework recognises that although fossil fuels will continue to be the primary energy supply option worldwide, they must be used more efficiently and their negative environmental impacts must be reduced at the local, regional and global level. This challenge also requires technology transfers from industrial to developing countries. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) included in the Kyoto Protocol is cited as a major incentive for industry leadership in this area.111 Also,...

Advanced fossil fuel and nuclear technologies

An essential component of sustainable development in the energy context involves the development of new technologies to make the production and consumption of the principal fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and coal, more environmentally friendly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution. In relation to coal, new advanced technologies such as direct coal liquefaction for synthetic fuels production, pressurised fluidised-bed combustion, and coal integrated gasifier combined...

The role of biofuels

Biofuels, as discussed in Chapter 2, are regarded as environmentally friendly types of fuel. On a fuel cycle basis, greenhouse savings of up to 5 can be gained from the use of E10 (which is petrol blended with 10 ethanol). However, the use of 100 biodiesel made from waste oil can achieve 90 cuts in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel. Biofuels currently provide around 50 to 60 ML (or 0.3 ) of road transport fuel. Most of this is manufactured from wheat starch produced in New South...

Customary international law

There are three widely accepted principles of customary international law that appear to have potential application in this area. First, the duty to prevent and control environmental harm requires States to take adequate steps to control and regulate sources of serious global pollution or transboundary harm within their territory or subject to their jurisdiction. The origins of such a duty are the Trail Smelter decision19 and Principle 21 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration on the Human...

Solar energy

Australia receives abundant quantities of direct insolation from the sun. Most of the country receives over 1600kWh per square metre per year of solar radiation, while in an area near the Western Australia-Northern Territory border over 2500kWh per square metre per year of solar radiation is received.24 This is only 10 less than the amount of solar radiation received in the Sahara Desert, where the greatest incidence of solar insolation occurs.25 The amount of solar radiation received by the...

The meaning and scope of energy law

The role of the law can be understood by considering the definition of 'energy law'. Energy law has been described as 'the allocation of rights and duties concerning the exploitation of all energy resources between individuals, between individuals and the government, between governments and between States'.91 The reference to 'energy resources' should not be seen as limited to the primary sources of energy, but should extend to secondary and substitute sources of energy. The most important...

Energy Charter Treaty

The majority of the terms of the Treaty relate to issues of international energy investment and trade. Environmental issues, including energy efficiency, are limited to article 19, which reads in part as follows In pursuit of sustainable development and taking into account its obligations under those international agreements concerning the environment to which it is party, each Contracting Party shall strive to minimize in an economically efficient mannerharmful Environmental Impacts occurring...