1. Can Solar Power the Grid on its Own?
Solar is a phenomenal energy source. But can it power our grid all on its lonesome? Well…sort of. With enough panels working hard on a sunny day, powering our grid entirely with solar is possible. Here’s the catch. Solar is an intermittent energy source. During sunny days the grid can be supplied with plenty of power, indeed more than we need. However, what happens on cloudy days? What happens when the sun goes down? Power from the sun can only be viable 24/7, all year round, when coupled with effective energy storage technology. Find out more here.
2. The NSW Greens Want Greener Building Codes for a Greener NSW
An effective way to ensure we live in greener homes into the future is to make solar panels and battery storage compulsory on all newly constructed dwellings. The soon to be released NSW Greens PV policy includes their roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030. The Road map contains a litany of green proposals of which compulsory new home solar and storage is one. The NSW Greens are committing billions to the policy. A greener NSW?
3. South Australia Funding an Energy Storage and Battery Bonanza
In November last year, the South Australian Liberals allocated $50 million for ‘ready to go’ grid sized energy storage project proposals like the now famous Big Battery. The response was very positive, with 50 proposals covering batteries, pumped hydro, solar thermal, hydrogen and other forms of energy storage being submitted for assessment as of last Thursday, February 7th. Australians may find it interesting that the federal coalition seems to be at policy odds with their State brothers and sisters. Are we about to see a new type of storage war from which we all benefit?
4. Renewables Momentum to Stall Without Federal Panning
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton has welcomed the findings of a recent ANU study, applauding Australia’s renewables progress. However, he warns that historical, current and ongoing federal energy policy turmoil undermines key investor confidence. Without a clear direction emanating from Canberra, the government risks wasting gains and stalling progress by creating a hesitant investment environment. Will the federal coalition yield to common sense?
5. First of its Kind Court Ruling Refuses New Coal Mine Because of Global Warming
A landmark ruling in the land and environment court has refused the development of a new Hunter Valley open cut coal mine. Part of the decision determined by the court was due to the negative impacts the mine’s emissions would have on climate change. The judgement, along with other reasoning, cited Australia’s commitment to the Paris Accord, stating the coal mine would be in conflict with Australia Paris commitment to carbon emission reductions. Are we witnessing a landmark precedent?
6. The Physical Evidence of Global Warming is Being Ignored by the Morrison Government
Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan has delivered an open attack on Scott Morrison and his government for their flagrant disregard of the profound and devastating impacts of climate change. In the impassioned article Flanagan suggests that “Tasmania is burning while those in power laugh at us.” He cites the recent and significant environmental degradation in Tasmania, painting Morrison and his team as at least complicit, if not a direct contributor to the environmental crisis. Ignorance? Or putting another lump of coal on the fire.
7. News from Abroad. The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm is About to Go Online
Just off the coast from the city of Hull in the UK, the world's largest wind farm is poised to delivery electricity to tens of thousands of British electricity consumers this week. The 1.2 GW Hornsea Project will reach full operational output by 2020, eventually supplying over 1 million residences with green, renewable energy. The good news is, the project has two more stages in planning. When complete, the Hornsea Project will supply a projected 2 million British homes with wind born electricity. The ampere is blowing in the wind.
8. Toyota Criticised for Producing Anti Electric Vehicle Commercial
Toyota has long promoted its hybrid line as the flagships and backbone of its environmental credentials. However, they have publicly rubbished all-electric vehicles in a new commercial campaign in order to promote their new hybrid Corolla. It would appear the environment has little to do with the corporate environmental policy if it interferes in the tough, competitive arena of selling vehicles. Nothing is sacred when there are cars to be sold. Hypocrisy? Jealousy? Or is it about market share and a poor choice of technology?
9. Yes It’s Hot, But It’s Only Going to Get Hotter
Australia keeps on breaking records. Unfortunately, the records we break are those related to our hottest days, hottest months, hottest seasons and hottest years. What’s more, the forecast looks grim. The Paris Agreement equilibrium is to keep temperature increases to 1.5 degrees. Current trends and models suggest a worrying likelihood that we will breach this average before 2030. Are we doing enough?
10. This Week’s Video - Air Pollution
With all the talk of saving money on electricity bills, the financial benefits of renewables and the politics of energy, it’s worth a reminder from time to time about the main driver behind the necessary shift from fossil fuels. It’s also critically important to reiterate the role of leadership in protecting the globe and its citizens from corporations that are less concerned with global health as they are in meeting the demands of shareholders. Hold your breath.
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Photo credit: Youtube