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In a major victory for community pressure and investor activism, Origin Energy announced yesterday that they would divest 100 per cent of their gas interests in the Northern Territory's massive Beetaloo Basin, along with fracking plans in the Lake Eyre Basin and WA's Kimberley region.
The world is moving more quickly towards renewable energy than people thought even a year ago, and Australia can expect an imminent boom in large-scale solar investment, according to Grant King, the CEO of Australian energy utility Origin Energy.
Origin Energy – Australia’s biggest electricity retailer – has promised it will not fight against new technologies, and has vowed to ‘embrace’ new products such as rooftop solar, batteries for storage and smart meters.
The head of Origin Energy’s solar business, Phil Mackey, says many rooftop solar systems aren’t working and customers don’t know it, but Origin Energy admits it's also at fault, writing off $17 million from the cost of having to replace sub-standard inverters installed by its own people.
Origin Energy has become the latest big Australian energy utility to admit that its future is split between the traditional grid-based assets and distributed generation, where consumers continue their rapid uptake of rooftop solar and, soon enough, battery storage and electric vehicles.
Origin Energy has been fined $2 million after the Federal Court found it and its marketing company SalesForce had exploited vulnerable consumers in their own homes in order to get them to sign energy contracts.
Origin Energy has provided further details of its impending major push into the domestic solar market, saying that it expects rooftop solar to grow five-fold over the next 15 years, and battery storage will also emerge.
The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.