renewables

1. Tesla. Green to the Core and Advancing the Energy Transition

Elon Musk’s Tesla is acutely aware that they produce carbon emissions. Its total emissions equate to 282,000 tonnes of Co2. However, Tesla has just released its first impact report citing its achievements in the reduction of greenhouse emissions. The numbers they claim are astonishing. Tesla’s entire reason for existence is the reduction of greenhouse emissions, and according to the data they have just released, it would appear they are achieving their goals. Their ambitions are far-reaching, this is just the beginning. Tesla, a climate corporate leader.

 

2. A Solar Dominant 100% Renewables World Possible by 2050

A four-year joint study conducted by a German and Finnish collaboration has determined that a 100% renewables world is feasible by 2050. This is not just household power; this is across all sectors from transport and heating to desalination. Interestingly, the report indicates that energy will also be cheaper, solar dominant and is indeed achievable before 2050. What will drive this rapid change? Money of course. It would appear the world loves cheap energy. Climate catastrophe avoided…do motivations matter?

 

3. Cheaper Batteries Means More Affordable Electric Vehicles

Analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 2022 will be the year that electric vehicles become cheaper than internal combustion engine vehicles. The rapidly falling price of batteries will be the key contributor to the vehicle price drop. However, batteries are not the only contributor. Firstly, demand will foster the mass production of EV drive trains delivering manufacturing cost efficiencies. Secondly, requirements to make ICE vehicles more emissions friendly will add to the price of ICE vehicles. Electric commuters to become the norm.

 

4. Hazelwood. 53 Years of Coal Power to be Replaced by the Wind

Hazelwood power station situated in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley was one of the largest and dirtiest coal fuel power stations in the country. Now, like 13 of its thermal coal brothers, the iconic station sits in silence since its decommissioning in 2017. Now, in a radical turn for the cleaner, a proposed wind farm may see power generation returned to the Valley with a wind farm that will generate electricity for 200,000 homes – and that’s only one of the benefits. Blowing the coal dust away.

 

5. Hazelwood Power Station. No Loss to Power

With the retirement Hazelwood power station, a particularly large coal-fired electricity generator, one might expect a noticeable depletion in power to the grid. Of course, this was fuel for the federal LNP coal-fired power agenda. Only a coal-fired replacement would ensure grid stability, we were told. However, in the last two years, the growth of renewables and their contribution to the grid have surpassed Hazelwood’s generation capacity in its final days. Hazelwood. Missed by a few but not the grid.

 

6. The Morrison Government Hell Bent on Coal. Still

Just one “very small” coal power plant. Despite the climate science and the overwhelming market push away from coal-fuelled power generation, Scomo and Angus have set aside $10 million for feasibility studies into new coal power generation. This includes feasibility studies into upgrades to existing coal-fired power plants. While this will suit the Queensland Nationals, their city colleagues believe it will spell their electoral doom. LNP energy policy. Caught between a rock and…a lump of coal.

 

7. Solar and the Renewable Economy Generating Jobs Growth

According to data from the Australian Bureau of statistics, the number of full-time equivalent jobs rose 28% in 2017-18 as compared to the preceding year. Large scale solar projects have helped the employment figures jump to 17,740 jobs, a 60% increase from 2015-16. Now, solar jobs have eclipsed Hydro jobs with 2880 full-time equivalent positions as compared to Hydro’s 2020 and wind’s 1890. One would assume that jobs growth in renewables will more than cover the job losses caused by the phasing out of fossil fuel power generation. Renewables - so much more than just electricity.

 

8. Huge Surge in Aussie Rooftop Solar Installations

Aussie solar citizens are responsible for adding a record 500 megawatts of solar capacity in the March quarter. Showing the clear advantages of government solar rebates and benefits, Victoria's incentive scheme drove a 90 per cent increase in Victoria’s rooftop solar installations. Green Energy Markets projects that solar rooftop solar will top 2000MW this year. These figures would indicate that the ACCC’s desire to end rooftop solar subsidies by 2020 is, at the very least, premature. Clearly, the figures suggest government based incentive is the primary driver of rooftop solar uptake and should be continued. 100% solar homes?

 

9. The Bad News Continues for Aussie Thermal Coal Exports

Currently, Japan buys 39% of Australian mined thermal coal. In a likely blow to Aussie resource export income, Japan’s environment minister has announced he will oppose any new plans to build or expand coal-fired power stations. The Japanese are transitioning to a renewables future at a rate faster than anticipated. Already, Japanese projections are threatening the likelihood of new thermal coal mines going ahead in Australia. It’s anticipated that Aussie thermal coal exporters will have a decade to adjust to the Japanese new energy policies. Is it the beginning of the end of Aussie thermal coal revenue?

 

10. This Week’s Video. When Nuclear Power Plants are Compromised

The perceived benefits of nuclear power generation must be weighed against the catastrophic results of meltdowns. Relative to solar and wind energy production, nuclear energy production is extremely complex. When things go wrong nuclear plants cannot be shut down with the flick of a switch. At Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear plant, things went terribly wrong. The disastrous environmental impact will be enduring. Learn what happened. See how complex nuclear systems are no match for the force of mother nature are. Watch it here.

 

Next Step

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Or talk to an Instyle Solar expert about the best solutions for home energy storage or PV-panels.

Otherwise, head back to the solar blog to find even more great educational content.

Photo credit: Depositphotos

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