Hobsons Bay rolls out first virtual power plant

Hobsons Bay City Council has taken a big step towards its net zero carbon ambitions with a large-scale roll out of its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and the installation of new solar panels across more than 40 council-owned buildings.

The thermal energy brick that promises to end our grid stability woes

Storage remains the pain point in the renewables transition so it’s no surprise a cheap, clean and scalable energy storage technology invented by Australian scientists is attracting attention. Researchers from the University of Newcastle have been developing the energy storage technology called “miscibility gap alloy” for nine years and are now scaling it up for […]

Haystack solar garden could spur a solar gardening revolution in Australia

Community solar group Pingala has teamed up with the Community Power Agency and Komo Energy on Australia’s first major offsite solar garden project. And there could be more if we can overcome the financial hurdles such as lumping solar co-operatives in with corporate investment schemes. Common in the US and parts of Europe, solar gardens […]

Nikola Tesla dreamed of free electricity; what happened?

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if electricity was free? Tesla is the well-known trademark of entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk and his electric cars, but what about Tesla, the man? More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invented alternating current (AC), the polyphase alternating current system, which laid the foundation […]

What the gas industry is up to in Australia and the US

If you caught a glimpse of the ABC’s QandA on Monday night you’d see the Coalition government is hellbent on supporting the gas industry, such as proposing a gas pipeline from Western Australia to the eastern states regardless of what the science says or what the last fire season made abundantly clear.  So we’re taking […]

Federal government sending mixed messages on gas

The federal government has been hinting that they will announce significant investment into natural gas to drive down prices and create jobs.

Tim Forcey on how to beat the winter gas blues and save money and health  

There’s a simple and highly effective solution that will save you dollars and health this winter. It’s simple: switch your split reverse-cycle airconditioner to “heat” and turn off the gas.  Australians living in the cooler climates burn a lot of gas in winter. If we burn less, we can save money on our household budgets, […]

Carbon’s capture is not of emissions but the political status quo

Carbon capture and storage technology as an emissions reduction strategy is like slapping a band-aid over the fossil fuels industry – a last ditch attempt to keep coal-fired generation alive.

How Covid is changing the way we use energy

As response to Covid-19 becomes the “new normal”, lots of people are predicting what will happen beyond the immediate crisis. The obvious answer is “it depends”. It depends on how governments, business and households react. The reality is there will be powerful competing forces.

Next generation fault detection throws away the rule book

Imagine a self-learning or machine-learning system for fault detection. One where algorithms find patterns and correlations between a range of data sources to work out the most efficient order for fixing faults. A major data science research program on this by Buildings Alive has produced some promising results. Over time, buildings have become complex creatures […]

Yes, Mr Cummings, energy efficiency is boring – if you have a one inch deep mind

The evil gnome who has taken up permanent residence on the shoulder of British prime minister Boris Johnson and whispers dark instructions into his ears, last week pronounced energy efficiency as “boring“. His name is demonic comings. I’m sorry, that was a mistaken auto-correction by my dictation software; it should have read Dominic Cummings, who […]

Multi million dollar renewable energy deals for Australia’s biggest cities

Australia’s two largest cities and Adelaide City Council are stepping out in front with major renewable energy commitments starting this month. The City of Sydney announced that starting 1 July, all of the city’s operations — including streetlights, sportsfields, buildings and city hall — will be powered entirely by renewable energy. The city’s $60 million […]

Alan Pears: Submission on the federal government’s Technology Investment Roadmap

The Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper provides a useful review of a range of technologies that could contribute to management of Australia’s climate impact. But this is just one (important) element of the actions required for Australia to build a successful clean energy-based economy.

Gas is not the solution for our clean energy future

Say it with me: gas is not a transition fuel. COVID-19 could be the trigger for the much-needed step change in our clean energy transition. But the Morrison government has stacked the National COVID-19 Coordination Committee with oil and gas sector representatives, pushing for fossil fuel lobby-led economic recovery. It looks like gas is tipped […]

The electricity market is about to turn upside down – in a good way

On 31 August 2018, three public advocacy groups wrote to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) asking it to change the rules governing how the Australian electricity market works. Their request? Allow consumers to be paid for electricity they avoid using.

Amory Lovins and Alan Finkel in free live-streamed webinars

Rocky Mountain Institute guru Amory Lovins is a household name in climate and sustainability circles. He’s renowned as a leader in super-efficient buildings, factories and vehicles. And he advocates for integrative design as the new normal for investments in energy efficiency that yield expanding rather than diminishing returns. Next week Australians will get a chance […]

Power purchase agreement whiz Jackie McKeon joins Renewable Energy Hub

Jackie McKeon, who has just taken on a new role as director, energy services at Renewable Energy Hub, knows a thing or two about renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) and says now is the perfect time to make the switch – even if it may not look like it.

On how the all-electric, net zero horse has already bolted

News from the front desk, Issue 483: Last week, the Morrison government unleashed its technology roadmap on Australia, starring natural gas in a leading role. It didn’t take long for people to start protesting the pro-gas sentiment pushed by the government and its friends in the gas industry. Atlassian chief executive and renewables advocate Mike […]

Energy retrofits in community housing are tough, but there is a way  

There are many barriers to energy retrofits in the community housing sector – which needs them most – but here’s a thought: what about combining government funding with private impact-linked private capital to kickstart the economy post-Covid at the same time?

Looking for savings? Energy efficiency is the best place to start 

It’s great to see property companies setting themselves ambitious emissions reduction targets, says Buildings Alive chief executive officer Craig Roussac, but are they making the most of the easiest, cheapest tactic to cut emissions: using less energy?

Australian cleantech startup accelerator receives federal funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is looking to support renewable energy startups by awarding $480,000 in federal funding over the next 12 months to EnergyLab Australia, the nation’s largest cleantech startup acceleration program.