18.2 C
Byron Shire
May 26, 2022

Energy efficiency ‘cheaper than renewables’

Latest News

One person is in ICU with covid in the Northern Rivers region

There is one person in ICU in the Northern NSW Local Health District and 23 people in hospital with COVID-19. 

Other News

One person is in ICU with covid in the Northern Rivers region

There is one person in ICU in the Northern NSW Local Health District and 23 people in hospital with COVID-19. 

Bittersweet announcement about koalas

Bitter in its necessity and sweet in the action it might prompt, it has been announced today that koalas have been listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act. 

Ballina Jetboat Surf Rescue stuck in the shed

Dave Carter, the President of Ballina Jetboat Surf Rescue, has gone public about a controversy which has been keeping his team's boat out of rescue service for the last three months.

Grants to support arts and culture flood recovery

Nearly 50 arts and cultural organisations, screen practitioners, individual artists and collaborative groups impacted by recent floods will have access to $500,000 in funding.

Byron Council’s new bioenergy gas electricity plant

Not sure if it will be on full moon, but to be built snuggled up between Sunrise and the...

Questions about Julian

A couple of questions have been puzzling me for some time: 1. How can Julian Assange be charged with breaking...
Sapoty Brook, Transition Byron Shire

 

All fired up, l to r:  local energy expert Colin George from Cool Planet,  Qld GM of Beyond Zero Emissions Emma Bosworth, lead researcher and presenter Trent Hawkins and Transition Byron Shire's Sapoty Brooke at last night's event.
All fired up, l to r: local energy expert Colin George from Cool Planet, Qld GM of Beyond Zero Emissions Emma Bosworth, lead researcher and presenter Trent Hawkins and Transition Byron Shire’s Sapoty Brooke at last night’s event.

 

Energy efficiency is a cheaper and easier way than renewables to get reductions in carbon emissions, a new report has found.

And reverse-cycle air-conditioning should replace gas heaters because it uses eight per cent less energy.

Heat pumps also are better than solar hot water in winter in cooler climates, according to Trent Hawkins, project coordinator for the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan.

These were some of the controversial findings of the report, sponsored by Beyond Zero Emissions, which Mr Hawkins presented to a full house at the Byron Sport and Cultural Complex last night.

He said lax building regulations resulting from a cheap-energy economy are putting Australia behind in the global drive for energy efficiency in buildings.

The report was created by collaboration of more than 100 volunteers, each of them experts in their field.

Key recommendations are to replace gas with the more efficient electrical energy, retrofit houses for energy efficiency, and install rooftop solar extensively.

The International Energy Agency predicts power generation from renewable sources will exceed natural gas by 2016. By investing in gas, Australians are at risk of rising prices. Whereas investing in efficiency and renewables provides freedom from the three main energy companies. According to the report the national cost of gas over 30 years equals the national buildings efficiency retrofit cost.

Recommended cost-effective government programs include:

  • LED lighting conversions should be rolled out now. Installing LED lighting now provides an 80 per cent saving over halogen, for example.
  • The federal government program to fully insulate houses should be completed.
  • Actions should be taken to drive the double-glazing industry in order to halve heat loss through windows.
  • Solar incentives should be continued to achieve the goals of 28GW of residential rooftop solar and 3GW on commercial buildings. Network upgrades required to accommodate this expansion of solar amount to only a relatively small $17 billion.

Other recommendations include awnings and shading of windows, conversion to induction cooktop stoves, and installation of energy-management systems.

Energy-management systems providing better feedback have resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in some commercial buildings. Smart meters in homes typically provide a 15 per cent reduction.

The report concludes that overall reductions in energy use of 53 per cent in residential and of 43 per cent in commercial buildings can be achieved over a 10-year time-frame. Economic expenditure is the same as business-as-usual over 30 years, but zero emissions can be achieved when combined with conversion to a renewable-energy grid.

Last year the International Energy Agency warned that growth in the use of coal in developing countries could lead to as much as six degrees rise in average global temperature by 2100. A media report mistakenly quoted the date as 2050, and this created disagreement during discussion after the presentation.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

North Coast Festival of Flavour

Organisers of the North Coast Festival of Flavour on 3–5 June 2022 say it’s not to be missed, as the producers, farmers, restauranteurs, brewers,...

Organic avocados at the farmers markets

We love it when the fuerte avocados make their way back to the market. As I walked over to the Organic Avocado stall, my...

Frida’s Field: nose-to-tail lunch

On Saturday 4 June, Frida’s Field will pay homage to their holistically-reared Angus-Wagyu cattle by hosting a special five-course nose-to-tail long lunch featuring all...

Tweed Council ‘opt in’ to States agritourism – with conditions

The ‘confusing’ Agritourism SEPP was once again back on the table at last week's Tweed Council meeting as Cr Firth pushed to 'opt-out' over the State government's lack detail on conditions.