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Category: Featured

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Solar power does work - and a lot better than we thought

Solar power does work – and a lot better than we thought

Data from Australia’s solar farms show that utility-scale solar is working better than expected and is a lot more productive than official government forecasts suggest. And most new solar farms should have tracking devices to follow the sun.

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Australia readies for big solar boom as PV costs continue fall

Australia readies for big solar boom as PV costs continue fall

A combination of price falls in the international markets, driven by increased scale of manufacturing, and falling costs in Australia, driven by the ARENA tender process, is expected to trigger a major rush in investment in large scale solar projects.

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John Hewson pushes "trillion dollar" opportunity in "refined" coal

John Hewson pushes “trillion dollar” opportunity in “refined” coal

Coal-fired cars? Climate campaigner John Hewson promotes discarded technology that his business partners say could turn coal into a “universal fuel” and ensure long-term survival of coal industry – in Latrobe Valley and elsewhere. Environmental campaigners are horrified.

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ACCC says it's OK for big utilities to exploit market power

ACCC says it’s OK for big utilities to exploit market power

ACCC says it’s perfectly OK for big utilities to exercise their market power and force up prices, as they did to devastating effect in South Australia last month. And although the regulator identified the lack of competition in the state a decade ago, it still chooses to take a pot-shot at renewables.

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Five years to zero emissions – Australia's climate reality check

Five years to zero emissions – Australia’s climate reality check

If Australia fails to move on its climate policies, it may have no choice but to cut emissions to zero within five years to meet its share of the global effort to avoid a climate crisis. But it’s not something that policy makers want to admit.

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World-leading solar and battery storage project lures BHP

World-leading solar and battery storage project lures BHP

BHP says potential for solar and battery storage at remote and off-grid sites is “enormous” as it signs on to world-leading project near Cooktown in north Queensland. Co-funders ARENA says it is clear battery storage is already competitive in certain locations.

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Gas bubble looms as energy ministers baulk at zero emissions target

Gas bubble looms as energy ministers baulk at zero emissions target

Energy ministers hailed progress, but their summit ducked key issues. They refused to embrace the target zero net carbon emissions, while South Australia indicated it favoured an “emissions intensity” scheme to replace the renewable energy target.

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Dirty power games: Coalition steps on the gas

Dirty power games: Coalition steps on the gas

More evidence emerges of how big utilities game the market in South Australia, and how the fossil fuel industry tried to blame it all on renewables. This comes as energy ministers meet to consider proposals to open up the national gas market.

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Origin says energy future lies "beyond" the grid

Origin says energy future lies “beyond” the grid

Origin Energy says growth in energy markets will lie “beyond the grid” in the transition to low-carbon economy, but it doesn’t expect consumers to leave the grid in large numbers. Its solar sales doubled, but remain a small fraction of the overall market, while storage uptake is slow.

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Fossil fuel industry holding Australian economy to ransom

Fossil fuel industry holding Australian economy to ransom

South Australia was supposed to show the limitations of renewables but instead has highlighted the abuse of power and price gouging by fossil fuel incumbents. Energy ministers can either seize the moment and push for change, or protect the narrow business interests of a few powerful players.

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UK Tories wake up to nuclear folly, as wind and solar found to be cheapest

UK Tories wake up to nuclear folly, as wind and solar found to be cheapest

The Tory government in the UK has finally woken up to the fact that solar and wind is cheaper than nuclear. It may mean a big shift in its energy strategy, as it focuses on distributed generation rather than mega projects. Shouldn’t Australia be leading on this?