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Peter Hannam

Peter Hannam covers broad environmental issues ranging from climate change to renewable energy for Fairfax Media.


Coal extends retreat despite power surge

Power carbon

Peter Hannam The share of coal in eastern Australia's electricity generation network has continued to recede, along with emissions, despite a March heatwave that lifted power demand for the first time in 16...


Rising cost prompts solar purchase

Dee Sauvarin looking over her roof and the new installation of solar panels on her Melton West home.15th March 2013, THE AGE, Picture by Mal Fairclough

Peter Hannam For Dee Sauvarin it was a fear of soaring power prices that pushed her into solar power.

Financial Services

Insurer's push to band together on flood alerts

A flood warning sign.

Peter Hannam Australian insurers are wasting millions of dollars gathering data on hazards, such as floods.


Switch to fully renewable energy within reach: report


Peter Hannam Australia's main electricity market could source all of its electricity from renewable energy with the help of a carbon price of as low as $50 a tonne, according to research at the University of NSW.


Electricity retailer 'strike' unplugs renewable sector's growth plans

Pacific Hydro Ltd.

Peter Hannam A 'buyer's strike' by two of Australia's biggest electricity retailers is potentially stalling growth in the renewable energy industry.


Renewables future at mercy of big power retailers

A wind farm near Canberra.

Peter Hannam A buyer's strike by two of the biggest electricity retailers is potentially stalling growth in the renewable energy industry.


IMF calls for end to global fuel subsidies

SMH MONEY 090511 - Generic illustration of fuel gauge showing low on fuel and low on cash;Fuel; gas; petrol; diesel; petroleum; money; dollar; finance; liquidity; reserves; red; debt; recession; inflation; currency; gauge; dial; meter; empty; crisis; danger; level; cost; credit; crunch; credit crunch; illustration; needle; symbol; business; car; fill; petrol pump; gas pump; oil market; auto; dashboard; empty. ROYALTY-FREE IMAGE,

Peter Hannam International Monetary Fund says subsidies increase inequality and raise greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy subsidies 'aggravate global warming': IMF


Peter Hannam IMF urges nations to slash their $US1.9 trillion in annual subsidies which harm the environment and aded to inequality.


Coalition faces carbon tax contradiction, report finds

Nine big emitters support a repeal of the carbon tax.

Peter Hannam Scrapping the carbon tax would effectively halt investment in the country's renewable energy sector overnight without other changes to support the industry, according to modelling by research group...


'Sun King' investigated in wake of Suntech's insolvency

Zhengrong?Shi, chief executive officer of Suntech Power Holdings Co., stands for a ribbon cutting ceremony during the opening of Smart Energy Week 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. The trade show on products and technologies from energy industries takes place through March 2.

Peter Hannam Former solar billionaire and Australian citizen Shi Zhengrong is being investigated by Chinese authorities over financial dealings that may have contributed to the insolvency of his company, Suntech...

Drought in NZ sends global milk prices soaring

Generic milk.

Peter Hannam Global milk prices have soared to a record high as New Zealand's worst drought in decades drains growth and conditions limit output in Australia and elsewhere.

Big dry sends global milk prices soaring


Peter Hannam Global milk prices are at record highs - but the impact won't be felt at your supermarket just yet.


More pain to come on power prices

Generic power lines.

Peter Hannam and Brian Robins Origin Energy boss warns a new round of capital spending might place pressure on power prices.


Ambitious Sun King falls from grace

Dr Zhengrong Zhe

Peter Hannam Suntech Power, the solar giant founded by Australian Shi Zhengrong, is teetering on the edge.

Report rejects subsidised premiums in flood zones

Barry Percival ferries his partner Trish Knight home  in an inflatable boat down the flooded main street of Gundagai after collecting essential supplies as flood waters inundated low lying areas of the town on Monday 5 March 2012. Photo: Andrew Meares

Peter Hannam A Productivity Commission report into climate change adaptation has argued against subsidised premiums for homeowners living in flood-prone regions, a finding that drew praise from insurers and the...


'Sun King' still upbeat as solar giant nears default

Shi Zhengrong.

Peter Hannam Shi Zhengrong, the former billionaire dubbed the 'Sun King' for the meteoric rise of his solar company, Suntech Power, remains 'upbeat and very positive', even as a possible debt default looms.

Cheer for fans, not clubs, after solar firm fails

Adelaide too hot for Phoenix (Thumbnail)

Peter Hannam Customers of failed solar company Unleash Solar are likely to fare much better than creditors owed millions of dollars, after serial rescue company Clean Energy Enterprises took over their contracts.


Coal investments a turnoff

Coal shareholders.

Peter Hannam As many as one in four superannuation holders would shift investments if found to be investing in coal.

Coal use is declining on national grid

Hazelwood Power Station.

Peter Hannam The share of coal in eastern Australia's electricity generation network has fallen below 75 per cent for the first time, helping to drag down carbon emissions.


Rise and fall of the 'Sun King'

Shi Zhengrong

Peter Hannam It's a tale of soaring wealth and then plummeting fortunes rarely seen even in Australia's famously boom and bust mining industry.

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