Category Archives: Renewable Energy

Grid connected rooftop solar and the end of the solar bonus feed-in tariff – where to get advice

In this article you will find an explanation of who the end of the feed in tariff in NSW will affect, what you need to do if it affects you, what you need from a smart meter and how to shop around for a good energy retailer, and whether it is time to start thinking about investing in grid-connected battery technology (including some bulk buy schemes which have started in NSW).

Article prepared in October 2016 by Dr Melinda Hillery, Public Officer, FuturePLANS.

Renewable Energy Day Official Opening, 10am Saturday, 3 December 2016

You are invited to attend the Official Opening of #REday16 Renewable Energy Day by ACT Minister Mick Gentleman MLA
Including a presentation by ACT Minister Shane Rattenbury MLA
to be held 10.00 – 10.30 am Saturday, 3 December 2016
Mount Majura Solar Farm, corner of Majura Road and Lime Kiln Road, Majura ACT 2609

To be followed by Morning Tea
Renewable energy sites around the region will then open their doors and offer guided tours. You are welcome to join us on a tour of sites on one of the free buses, or as a self-drive experience.

For more information visit:  REday.com.au .

Please RSVP  to attend the Official Opening by cob Wednesday 30 November.

‘Australia crashes in Climate Change Performance Index’

The Environmental Decision Group reports that Australia has been ranked fifth last out of the 58 countries assessed in the latest Climate Change Performance Index, released at the UN climate talks in Marrakech.

The countries on the list below Australia are Kazakhstan, Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia, while the best performing nations are France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The index notes a gap between the national and state policies in Australia: while the former are ‘rather unambitious and uninspired’, the latter manage ‘to some extent to take independent action’.

Details here.

New Wind Energy Planning Framework for NSW

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW advises that, on Monday August 29th in Yass at 6.30pm, the proposed New Wind Energy Framework will be on exhibition.

The Department of Planning and Environment (DOPE) has released this New Wind Energy Framework for public comment, which has been developed to help balance investment in wind energy with the needs of the community.

Submissions close on 16 September, 2016. You can download the proposed Framework from here.

DOPE will also be holding a number of public information sessions on the proposed New Wind Energy Framework at:

Yass on Monday August 29th, 2016: At Yass Soldiers Club, 86 Meehan St, Yass
Crookwell on Thursday September 1st, 2016: At Crookwell RSL Services Club, Goulburn St, Crookwell
Glenn Inness on Monday September 5th, 2016: At Glen Innes Services Club, 120 Grey St, Glen Innes
Mudgee on Wednesday September 7th, 2016: At Club Mudgee, 99 Mortimer Street, Mudgee

Registration will open at 6pm at all the venues for a 6:30pm start.

If you have any questions, contact Cerin Loane, Policy and Research Coordinator, on clone@nature.org.au or (02) 9516 1488
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW

“Power to the people: how communities can help meet our renewable energy goals”

Iain MacGill, the Co-director of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets, UNSW, writes about this in today’s issue of The Conversation.

He writes about “Energy for the people”:
“Community renewable energy (CRE) may have a key role to play. Community energy can involve supply-side projects such as renewable energy installations and storage, and demand-side projects such as community education, energy efficiency and demand management.

“In short, community renewable energy revolves around community ownership, participation, and consequent benefits from community-scale renewable energy projects.”

Read the full article here.

Guardian campaign: ‘Keep it in the Ground!’ Fantastic news!

On 21 May The Guardian wrote:

Here’s some great news to brighten your weekend.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has sold off its entire $187m investment in BP. There’s no word from them on why, but it certainly looks like the foundation is quietly getting out of fossil fuel companies. Since 2014, it has dropped 85% of such investments it had held.

Bill Gates says he’s not keen on the divestment argument but we know that the pressure you’ve put on the foundation through Keep it in the Ground – as well as the folks at Gates Divest in Seattle and the wider divestment movement – has been having an impact behind the scenes.

You can read our story on it here.

There was also good news from around Europe this week. Portugal ran for four days straight on renewable energy alone and last Sunday, Germany powered almost all its electricity needs from clean sources. There was so much renewable energy on the grid that at several times in the day, power prices turned negative – effectively paying consumers to use it.

Change is happening.

Yours Sincerely

James Randerson – assistant national news editor

ABC News: Five Southern Highlands families win appeal against Hume Coal accessing their land

10 May 2016,  full story here

By Jean Kennedy and Philippa McDonald

In a landmark court victory, five families from the New South Wales Southern Highlands have won their appeal to stop mining company Hume Coal accessing their land for exploration drilling.

The landowners of five rural properties in Sutton Forrest appealed against a November decision by the court that allowed the Korean-owned firm prospecting rights over their properties.

Chief judge Brian Preston of the Land and Environment Court ruled in favour of the landowners and ordered Hume Coal to pay their legal costs.

Is this the way to tackle climate change?

The Renew Economy website is reporting that ‘The Coalition digs deeper into fossil fuels with new “growth centre”‘.

They report that ‘The federal government has announced the establishment of a $15.4 million fossil fuel “growth centre”, to help prop up Australia’s oil, gas, coal and uranium sectors during what it describes as a “challenging time” for the industry.

‘Part of the government’s $248 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative, the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre was unveiled on Wednesday by federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg and minister for innovation and industry, Christopher Pyne.’

The website of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre is here, if you wish to see the government’s own description of it.

And this at a time when the rest of the world is moving rapidly to renewal energy!

Is energy storage finally poised for a breakthrough?

A feature article in The Guardian discussed this oh-so-topical issue; published here on 4 February. The author, ,  points out that ‘Banks of batteries and other technologies could lower energy bills and help renewable power, says energy storage industry as it gears up for bumper year’.

The article commences ‘“It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs – but we don’t have the same system for electricity,” says Jill Cainey, director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network.

‘But that may change in 2016, with industry figures predicting a breakthrough year for a technology not only seen as vital to the large-scale rollout of renewable energy, but also offering the prospect of lowering customers’ energy bills.

‘Big batteries, whose costs are plunging, are leading the way. But a host of other technologies, from existing schemes like splitting water to create hydrogen, compressing air in underground caverns, flywheels and heated gravel pits, to longer term bets like supercapacitors and superconducting magnets, are also jostling for position.’

Well worth reading the whole article.

Now you can become part of the Power Revolution!

The old argument that “renewable energy cannot provide base power and therefore we still need coal and gas” can finally be put to rest.

Home battery power has gone through major developments just in the last six months. The ABC’s science program “Catalyst” explores what options are available to home owners now and what is coming in the near future.

If you missed this exciting program, you can watch it via youtube here!