BATTERY BREAKTHROUGHA South Australian energy firm is claiming an international breakthrough in battery technology that it claims will help generators of solar and wind power store their energy. ZEN's chief executive officer, Richard Turner, says Australian utilities are interested in trialling the system and it has already begun shipping to US clients. He predicts the new products may see ZEN increase its annual revenue from about $60 million now to $500 million within three to four years.CONSUMER WORRIESThe Reserve Bank's October rate cut has lifted consumer confidence modestly, but the outlook for consumer expectations fell, suggesting worries for the economy remain. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment rose 1 per cent in October to 99.2, after a 1.6 per cent increase the previous month.BANK ANGER JUSTIFIEDSome of the public anger directed at Australian banks is justified and the only way to counter this is to treat customers well, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank says. Chief executive Mike Hirst said the hostility came from the way banks had treated their customers, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s when they closed branches and raised fees. Mr Hirst's comments come less than a week after the big banks declined to pass on in full the cut to official interest rates by the RBA.FIELD OIL DISCOVERYOil and gas producer Beach Energy has made another oil discovery that could bring in 440,000 barrels of recoverable oil. The Adelaide-based company said the new field oil discovery was made in Namur Sandstone in the Cooper Basin in central eastern Australia. "The pre-drill upside gross estimate for the Namur target of 440,000 barrels of recoverable oil is supported by wireline log data," Beach said.
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