As Australia’s south-eastern states continue to swelter and burn, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) has embarked on a nationwide campaign for the establishment of more ambitious national climate and renewable energy policies. The “Safe Climate Roadmap”, launched Monday, calls for a 40 per cent in carbon emissions on 1990 levels by 2020, a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy within 10 years, and for Australia’s energy incumbents to move Australia beyond coal and gas.
The campaign will see young people team up with voters in key electorates and send an open letter calling on their MP to adopt the suggested “evidence-based policies,” which the AYCC says are much more in line with the consensus climate science. The campaign is said to be a response to recent extreme weather events in Australia, as well as the federal government’s current position on carbon pollution reduction, renewable energy investment, and protection of the Great Barrier Reef from coal port expansion. It has already attracted several high profile signatories, including model Julia Nobis, writer Eva Cox and The Global Poverty Project.
In other news…
Power outages, sparked by the periods of extreme heat that have characterised Victoria’s 2013-14 summer, would have been much more common but for the contributions of energy efficiency, a new report has found. The report, released today by the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA), found that the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) Scheme helped reduce peak demand by 187MM over the January heat wave. “Without the contribution from the VEET, the demand at 4pm on 16th January would have been 10,427 MW exceeding the previous electricity peak of 10,415 MW on 29 January 2009 in the lead up to the Black Saturday bushfires,” the report says. As well as saving over $500 million in the reduction of Victorian household and business energy bills, the report says the energy efficiency scheme reduced stress on infrastructure during the hot spell and likely reduced the prevalence of system black outs.
Victoria’s Hazelwood coal-fired power station was operating at one-quarter of its generation capacity on Monday, after bushfires cut the power to a mine that feeds the brown coal plant. Reports say authorities are still fighting to control a significant fire in an unused section of the Morewell open cut mine – one of the many fires in Victoria over the weekend, sparked by some of the state’s worst bush fire conditions in recorded history. The fire has damaged SP AusNet power lines, cutting power to coal dredges and conveyors and leaving just two of the plant’s eight generation units in working order. A GDF Suez spokesperson said power to the plant, which was relying on an alternative coal supply for the time being, was likely to be restored on Tuesday. Power outages were considered unlikely at the time of publication. On Sunday night, 34,000 households lost power just before 10pm, when the powerline that fed electricity from Morwell to Warragul was damaged by fires. Power was restored at about 3am.
Chinese solar giant, Yingli Solar, has entered into a distribution agreement with Australian PV dealer, Energy Matters, to supply and install Yingli Solar’s monocrystalline PANDA Series modules and multicrystalline YGE Series modules to homes and businesses. It will also distribute Yingli Solar modules to solar installers through its wholesale distribution arm, Apollo Energy. The deal, announced on Monday, leverages Yingli Solar’s position as the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer and Energy Matter’s nine years’ experience in Australia’s residential and commercial renewables market.