As Australia’s Prime Minister plays with lumps of coal and prays for rain, a major new scientific report has called for the urgent, world-wide phase-out of fossil fuels, as the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C drifts rapidly and dangerously out of reach.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in a report on how electricity consumers have been ripped off by network companies, generators and retailers, has targeted rooftop solar for the most dramatic action.
At first blush it might sound like a no-brainer but when energy distribution companies are involved, nothing is quite what it seems, argues Giles Parkinson.
‘There’s a dramatic transformation that’s taking place in Australia’s energy system, a once in a lifetime transformation as we move into the world of micro-grids, demand management, rooftop solar and battery storage.’ Yes, these are the words of energy minister Josh Frydenberg.
Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy For all the talk about the National Energy Guarantee and how it is supposedly addressing the energy ‘trilemma’ of cost, emissions and reliability, it seems they are still making hard work of some of the obvious and... Read More →
Oh, the irony of it all. Ausgrid, one of the country’s biggest electricity network operators in Australia, is looking to install more rooftop solar as a way of saving money on network investment.
The battery storage industry is warning that the market for lithium-ion battery installations could be killed even before it has taken off if proposed new Australian standards do not fall in line with international installation guidelines.
Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy This is not Grid 2.0 In the first draft of the Finkel Review, chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel spoke of an ‘unstoppable’ energy transition, driven by new technologies and the role of the consumer. But he may... Read More →
The federal government’s ability to hand Adani Energy a $1 billion loan to help finance the rail link for the Carmichael coal project in the Galilee basin have been dealt what could be a decisive blow by the emergence of a ‘reputation’ clause.
Even as Australia’s large-scale solar market starts to hit its straps, much of the talk at this year’s ASC Solar and Energy Storage Conference remained focused on the household market – an unstoppable residential shift to solar and storage that is currently being re-energised by high electricity prices.
Dr Zhengrong Shi, the founder of Suntech and the former UNSW PhD graduate known as the ‘Sun King’, is returning to the solar market with a newly developed lightweight, ultra-thin and flexible panel that he is hailing as the biggest change to the solar industry in decades.
With the future of some of its coal-fired generators in doubt, the town of Collie in Western Australia may be revitalised with new solar, biomass and pumped hydro facilities.
Rebounding large scale solar and wind investment, coupled with a stable rooftop PV sector, has seen Australia register almost 50 per cent growth in clean energy investment in 2016.
Global photo-voltaic (PV) volumes rocketed up an unexpected 40 per cent to something like 75 GW driven by the extraordinary growth in China, where something like 22 GW were installed in the first six months.
Two major forces stand opposed in 2017. One is the falling cost of clean energy technology – solar, wind, storage and other smart controls – that is heralding what Alan Finkel calls an ‘unstoppable’ energy transition away from centralised, polluting fossil fuel plants.
Byron Bay-based Enova Energy is to lift its solar feed in tariff to 12c/kWh from January 1, up from 10c/kWh – agreeing to pay more than double the ‘recommended’ tariff in a state that does not mandate a minimum.
Chief scientist Alan Finkel has outlined the case for serious and urgent market reform in Australia’s energy markets, saying the solutions for the massive and ‘unstoppable’ transition to a grid based around wind and solar exist, but the market structures and the supporting policies do not.
The sale of a 50 per cent stake in Australia’s biggest network operator, Ausgrid, to two Australian super fund managers has been hailed in just about all media quarters as a really good deal. But is it really?
Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy The political rhetoric about climate and clean energy in the domestic market may suggest Australia is making huge leaps backwards, but things are looking a little different on the international arena. Over the weekend, long-serving Canberra bureaucrat... Read More →
At RenewEconomy’s Energy Disruption conference in Sydney this week there were lots of talk, lots of slides, lots of ideas about the future of the country’s energy system. It’s quite clear, as AGL Energy boss Andy Vesey admitted, that nothing will stay the same.
Just five years to slash emissions to zero – that is the growing reality check for Australian policy makers if they fail to ratchet up the nation’s climate policies between now and 2030.
Even before the dust settled on the outcome of Australia’s federal election on Saturday, environmental groups and renewable energy promoters were celebrating a significant victory – the departure of far right members of the Coalition and other conservatives who had stood in the way of climate policies and renewable energy.
Nearly three years ago, on the eve of the last Federal election, this web site warned that a Tony Abbott-led Coalition government presented a grim outlook for clean energy and climate change, and we warned too that it could be even worse than most people feared.
Renewable energy and climate change have been barely more than peripheral issues in an extended election campaign that has almost entirely focused on the economy, budget numbers and ‘national security.’
According to global analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the future is clear: wind and solar will replace coal and gas fired generation, and a lot quicker than many think.