According to The Australian Financial Review, Woodside Petroleum chief executive Meg O’Neill has called for “serious consideration” to be given to kick-starting stalled gas mega-projects, such as Sunrise in the Timor Sea and at Browse off the coast of Western Australia, as the world turns its back on Russian energy.
Ms O’Neill said taking all Russian exports out of the global oil and gas market would have a “very extreme” effect, especially given the time it would take for the global energy system to adapt.
But the implications are positive for Australia and Woodside in particular, amid the heightened importance placed on energy security and a preference for oil and gas from OECD countries.
According to The Australian Financial Review, foreign buyers are surging back into Australia’s new housing market, accounting for 7.9 per cent of the demand for new homes across the country, after close to doubling over the March quarter, according to NAB.
It is the third consecutive quarterly rise in the overall share of market sales to foreign buyers – it was at 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter last year – taking that proportion to its highest level since midway through 2020.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the Japanese material industry will need an estimated 24 trillion yen (US$187 billion) in investments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, according to the ministry of trade and industry.
The ministry presented the figure at a meeting of the Industrial Structure Council, the ministry’s advisory body.
The cost could rise since it is based on data compiled from each sector’s current estimates on what is needed to go carbon free by 2050, the target year for the government to achieve net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology for collecting CO2 and storing it underground, is included in the estimated cost.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Toyota Motor Corp is plugging into the luxury electric vehicle (EV) market with its all-new Lexus RZ, the first EV-only model from its high-end brand.
By 2030, the global automaker seeks to have all Lexus cars sold in Europe, North America and China be EVs.
The Lexus RZ, which was developed exclusively as an electric vehicle model, is an SUV type, which is popular worldwide, with up to a 450-kilometer cruising range on a full charge.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Hyzon Motors, a Nasdaq-listed producer of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, will build a green hydrogen refuelling depot in Victoria as it seeks to demonstrate the viability of the zero emission vehicles.
Hyzon said in January it will spend more than $50 million to expand production in Australia as it looks to position itself to profit from rising interest in hydrogen-powered trucks and buses.
Hydrogen power is widely seen as being suited to heavier vehicles as the technology has a longer range than battery types, but the development of the industry has been curtailed by high costs and a lack of infrastructure, which has stunted market confidence to spend millions of dollars in ordering hydrogen trucks.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese gas companies are preparing plans to source liquefied natural gas from Malaysia, Australia and the US in case of what they fear could be a looming disruption of supply from LNG projects that Japan jointly developed with Russia.
In western Japan, Osaka Gas said it planned to bring forward gas procurement from suppliers in Australia and the US or buy on the spot market if there was a disruption of shipments from Russia.
According to The Australian Financial Review, asking rents jumped by as much as 21 per cent in some capital cities over the past year and further sharp rises are likelyin coming months as the number of available rental homes falls to critical levels, data from SQM Research shows.
Across the combined capitals, asking rents for houses climbed nearly 15 per cent during the year, while unit rents rose 11 per cent.
Brisbane posted a 21.2 per cent rise in house rents – the highest increase of any capital city – followed by Sydney with 19.1 per cent.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, stocktaking of books at a municipal library here is now fully automated under a trial experiment that potentially could see humans removed from the process altogether.
A robot assigned to locate books by reading data stored in integrated circuit (IC) tags on each tome can finish the task in a matter of "several tens of minutes" whereas it takes a full day for library staff to take stock of books by relying on bar codes, authorities of this northeastern city said during a recent open demonstration test.
The robot read the data with 99.5 percent accuracy, officials said, adding that the technology will be further tweaked with the goal of practical application in the future.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese researchers said they have found a way to create “self-repairing plastics” that can be used in smartphones, cars and other products and reduce the amount of waste now fouling the planet.
Takuzo Aida, a chemistry professor at the University of Tokyo, and his colleagues said a tiny amount of a specialized agent mixed into ordinary plastic can automatically heal cracks and fissures.
“The technique could lead to the development of a sustainable made-to-last plastic that does not need to be discarded or recycled,” Aida said.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the major Japanese gas buyer, Osaka Gas, backs an ambitious $US10.75 billion ($15 billion) green hydrogen project in the Northern Territory desert.
The project called Desert Bloom Hydrogen (10 gigawatt) will combine a large solar farm in central Australia with novel, modular 2MW hydrogen producing units capable of extracting water from the atmosphere to create green hydrogen, heat, and power, meaning there will be no need to deplete riverine water sources or aquifers.
It aims for initial production of about 2500 kg/day, rising to about 35,000 kg/day from the $600 million first phase, before moving to a second, export-oriented stage involving up to 410,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year. Production cost is said to be less than $US2 per kilogram.
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