This Australian territory has just banned fracking
The Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory announced today that he would be implementing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, while the government carries out an independent inquiry into the practice.
This comes as Victoria is set to introduce a permanent ban on all forms of unconventional gas exploration, including coal seam gas and fracking.
The panel conducting the inquiry is going to assess evidence as to the effects of fracking on the surrounding environment — including groundwater, surface water, geology and ecosystems.
“It's clear that Territorians are concerned about the effects of fracking on our land, water and environment. My government is acting on those concerns," said the Territory’s Chief Minister, Michael Gunner.
"We heard loud and clear the concerns of everyday Territorians, pastoralists, amateur and commercial fishermen, tourism operators, traditional owners, Indigenous rangers and environmental groups."
However, critics have come forward to say that the current ban does not align with the more stringent one the public was promised during election season. Initially, officials had promised that the moratorium would cover all unconventional methods of gas prospecting, but the recent ban is limited only to fracking.
"There'll still be exploration in the Northern Territory on a whole range of different permits from mining to other things and we do want mapping to happen for example or other activities in the general exploration field," said Gunner at the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference..
"The moratorium includes exploration — you cannot hydraulically frack unconventional gas reserves for exploration - but general exploration activities which a lot of people do, not just onshore gas companies for unconventional gas reserves, that's all fine, you can explore the Northern Territory."
The ban will take effect immediately, while the public has four weeks to comment on the terms of reference for the inquiry.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.