The solar industry has hired the brains behind the anti-mining tax ad campaign to make rooftop solar a major political issue in the WA Senate re-run. The outcome will be critical to the future of renewables and solar in the country. Can the promise of cheap solar power influence an election?
Clean energy and low-carbon investors are abandoning Australia as the new Federal government, and its conservative colleagues at state level, turn their interests and policies away from renewables and long-term abatement incentives.
BHP and Big Coal this week talked up coal as the solution to world’s energy poverty crisis, even its environmental problems. But they are only kidding themselves, and a few conservative governments.
The ACT has announced plans for a 50MW precinct that will feature the latest solar technologies and storage options. Meanwhile, it will soon announce details of its major wind auction – the only bright light on the Australian landscape for 2014.
German utility giant RWE reveals huge losses and admits it got its strategy wrong. It should have invested more in renewables, and it may be too late to catch up; the decline in fossil fuel generation is irreversible; and it will now focus on distributed energy and smart technologies.
IEA blows away some renewable energy myths held dear by Abbott government. Solar and wind add little, if anything to grid costs, they do not need new back-up capacity, and will deliver broader systems benefits.
Surging gas prices are forcing base load gas generators to be closed, and their value written down. One response might be to hedge against rising prices by boosting renewables. But Tony Abbott is more likely to find a way to jam gas into a revised “low emission” energy target.
Tesla’s plans for a $5bn battery ‘gigafactory’ aim to drive down the cost of EV battery packs, and shake up the US energy storage industry. An EV start-up is about to help transform the world’s electricity markets, as well as the transport industry.
EnergyAustralia takes massive loss as it writes down value of Yallourn brown coal generator, and some of its gas-fired generators. Worse may be to come as demand falls, solar soars, gas prices surge due to the LNG boom and even coal costs rise as legacy contracts are removed.
Climate Change Authority report recommends ‘significant tightening’ of Australia’s existing emissions reduction target, to a 19% cut by 2020, and 60% by 2030. It also proposes a strict ‘carbon budget’, and a fund to buy cheap international credits.
AGL Energy, poised to become the biggest coal generator in NSW, refused to endorse current fixed renewable energy target. CEO Michael Fraser says it is clear that renewables would overshoot 20% if target left as is, and noted demand is falling and it may not be possible to build enough wind farms anyway.