22.6 C
Byron Shire
November 27, 2021

North Coast shines with its use of solar

Latest News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

Other News

Brookies bring out pre-mixed Negroni

The Negroni is my favourite cocktail. It’s quick and simple to make yourself, if you have all the ingredients (equal quantities of gin, Campari and vermouth plus ice and a slice of orange).

Asbestos: it’s in 1 in 3 homes

This year’s National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign asks Australians to ‘Think Twice About Asbestos’. The campaign challenges complacency by reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.

Vale Mullumbimbian, Noel Ernest James

A Mullumbimbian through and through, Noel James was born in Mullum on April 3, 1928, in what seems to be a world away from today, but in his words, ‘it was only 93 short years ago’. 

Coal activist given 12 month jail sentence over Newcastle action

A 22-year-old coal activist has been sentenced to a minimum of 6 months jail without parole for taking nonviolent direct action as part of the Blockade Australia mobilisation in Muloobinba/Newcastle.

Leigh Thomas says political affiliations not relevant to Council decision making

Leigh Thomas is the lead candidate for Group M running in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections. Mr Thomas...

IP dispute over aquaponics invention

Two organic farmers from Nimbin, Andrew Bodlovich and Hogan Gleeson, invented a sustainable food production system that they hoped would help feed the world. Now they say they risk losing 20 years of work owing to a legal battle with ‘big business interests’ that backed the technology.

The north coast is leading the nation in its uptake of solar panels. Photo Energy Wise Group
The north coast is leading the nation in its uptake of solar panels. Photo Energy Wise Group

North Coast residents are leading the nation in their uptake of rooftop solar panels, and have reduced their electricity consumption by about 20 per cent over four years, according to data from Essential Energy.

Total Environment Centre spokesperson Mark Byrne said ‘the reduction in use of electricity on the north coast was about three times the decline of the national market in the same period.

That’s despite an increase in the region’s population of about five per cent.

Mr Byrne said there were a number of factors that had led to the drop in electricity usage.

‘While consumers have used less energy in response to escalating bills, that’s happened across most of the national market,’ he said.

‘The standout reason for the steep decline on the north coast has been the massive uptake of rooftop solar systems.

‘In many postcodes more than a quarter of households have rooftop solar.

‘The system size is increasing, in spite of rebates being rolled back and there being no mandated feed-in tariff for energy exported to the grid.’

Mr Byrne said the 20 per cent decline represented an annual saving of 219,000 tonnes of carbon pollution, which was equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road.

But despite the take-up of solar by households, Mr Byrne said businesses on the north coast have been slow to embrace solar.

In other energy news, the NSW Greens have warned that the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision to slash 23 per cent of the operation spending in the state’s electricity distribution network would result in thousands of job losses.

NSW Greens MP, Dr John Kaye.
NSW Greens MP, Dr John Kaye.

Under the ruling, Greens NSW MP John Kaye said approximately 3,350 jobs would disappear from the state’s electricity grid, leaving the Baird government’s poles and wires sell-off facing an uncertain future.

‘The Australian Energy Regulator and the highly defective rules it enforces have locked NSW into a less reliable and ultimately much more expensive energy supply,’ he said.

‘Electricity prices might fall in the short term but within five years NSW will be saddled with a skills deficit that will condemn the state to becoming an energy technology backwater.

‘Opportunities for much lower energy costs will be lost.

‘Hollowing out the distribution and transmission workforce to create a temporary dip in power bills represents the worst kind of short term thinking.

‘To meet the Regulator’s unrealistically tight operations budget constraints, the distributors will be forced to shed experienced technical staff and abandon apprenticeships.

‘In the short term, reliability and service quality will suffer. In the longer term, the state will be badly left behind in the global move to smart grids, local renewable energy trading and household energy storage.’

Dr Kaye said private investors would be taking another look at the NSW electricity industry and asking serious questions about the consequences of the AER determination.

‘The Baird government should abandon privatisation and instead grow the wires and poles businesses into other activities that reduce the number of job losses and drive new energy solutions.

‘Ausgrid, Endeavour and Essential Energy are well placed to become key players in energy management and new renewable and storage technologies,’


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

Kingscliff Public School gets long-awaited upgrade

If you were wondering what is happening at Kingscliff Public School, construction is well underway on an upgrade.

Community carers and responders program launched

Following the recent second anniversary of the bushfires that hit our region, Resilient Byron say they are proud to announce the beginning of their...

Leigh Thomas says political affiliations not relevant to Council decision making

Leigh Thomas is the lead candidate for Group M running in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections. Mr Thomas is a member of the...

When we get to 95 per cent vaccination, this will happen

Just when we were getting used to the current COVID roadmap, it has changed directions. Adjustments to previous settings scheduled for this milestone were announced yetserday.