e-extra August 2019

12 August 2019


AEMC releases proposal for wholesale demand response mechanism

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released proposals to open up the wholesale electricity market so large consumers can be more easily paid for reducing their demand on the power system. The wholesale demand response mechanism draft rule would allow non-retailers to offer demand response directly into the wholesale market for the first time.

ACCC enforces new rules for electricity retailers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has enforced new rules that will benefit most electricity consumers by both limiting standing offer electricity prices and imposing new advertising rules on electricity providers under the new Electricity Retail Code. This code came into force on 1 July 2019 in south east Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

Australia’s energy technology innovation to be supported by $2 million in new funding

The Australian Government is providing $2 million to help deliver the future of energy resources innovation through National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), the Government's Industry Growth Centre for the oil, gas and energy resources sector. The funding will support collaborative industry projects that accelerate the commercialisation of science and technology in fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

CEFC and Ironstone to provide investment through joint clean energy venture

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Ironstone have joined forces to create an integrated clean energy development and fund management company, Warada Capital. The company will focus on investments in early stage greenfield projects across a range of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities.

Construction commences on gas pipeline in Queensland

Energy infrastructure company, Jemena, has commenced construction of the Atlas Gas Pipeline located approximately 20km south west of Wandoan in Queensland. The Atlas acreage is Queensland’s first domestic-only gas supply with all gas ear-marked for the domestic market.

Australia’s first offshore wind farm project subject to labour market study

Plans for Australia’s first offshore wind farm have taken a step forward, with the project developers launching a labour market study to identify the capability of the Australian market to deliver what would be one of Australia’s largest renewable energy projects.

NSW Government approves Shoalhaven Hydro Expansion project

The NSW Government has approved the first stage of Origin Energy’s $300 million Shoalhaven Hydro Expansion project. The upgrade will generate an additional 235MW of clean energy generated, bringing the site’s total output to 475MW, or enough energy to power 160,000 homes.

Victoria’s first waste to energy plant capable of powering 2000 homes

Yarra Valley Water’s “ReWaste” energy plant has transformed more than 45,000 tonnes of food waste into 10,000MWh of clean energy, capable of powering 2000 homes, in the 2 years since it commenced operations. 

Largest electric car charging site in southern hemisphere opens in Melbourne

The largest ultra-rapid electric car charging site in the southern hemisphere, capable of adding driving range to electric cars at a rate of up to 400km every 15 minutes, has opened in Melbourne.

Tasmania provides grants for electric car charging network

Tasmania will soon have more sites for electric vehicle fast-chargers, thanks to over $500,000 worth of grants announced by the state’s Department of Environment, Parks and Heritage. The sites form the last parts of a state-wide electric car charging network.

Index reveals Tasmania on track for 100 per cent renewables by 2022

Green Energy Markets’ monthly Renewable Energy Index reveals Tasmania is set to meet its renewable target of 100% by 2022. The index tracks the contribution of the renewable energy sector around Australia, broken down by fuel type and state.

Northern Territory backed submarine cable to transfer stored solar to ASEAN grid

The Northern Territory Government has granted major project status to a scheme combining 10GW of solar with 20-30GWh of energy storage in Tennant Creek. The developer intends to set up a 3800km cable to transfer most of the installation’s output to Singapore, where it could cover 20% of power needs.

Northern Territory recommences rolling out underground power

Following the devastation of Cyclone Marcus in 2018, the Northern Territory Government has announced it will recommence rolling out underground power with works starting at Wagaman Primary School in Darwin. The program was previously scrapped in 2012.

Uber Air plans aerial taxi trial in Melbourne

Global ridesharing company Uber Air is planning to trial an aerial taxi service, with pilots running in Melbourne, Dallas and Los Angeles, The company says test flights are due to start from 2020 with plans for commercial operations to begin from 2023.

From Solar Impulse to electric flight

Podcast: André Borschberg co-piloted the Solar Impulse plane that went round the world on solar power only. He says the future of flight is electric, from passenger plants to intra-city flying pods.

CEFC finances Curtin University innovation hub

The Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) has announced a further investment in the Western Australian market, committing $120 million in finance to Curtin University to support the development of its new innovation hub. The mixed-use Exchange development will deliver improvements in energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions while providing world-class educational facilities.

XXXX beer completes Brisbane brewery solar project

Castlemaine Perkins announced last week that it had completed a $2 million project to install solar panels on its XXXX brewery in Milton, Brisbane. Made up of 2,200 solar panels, the 690kW will generate the equivalent electricity consumed by approximately 150 large Brisbane homes annually.

Kellogg’s Australia signs purchase power agreement with Beryl Solar Farm

Kellogg’s Australia has signed a power purchase agreement with Beryl Solar Farm to generate the equivalent of 100% of the forecast energy requirements of Kellogg’s manufacturing operation in New South Wales.

Wind farm project delivers a first in Australian mining

Chinese wind turbine manufacturer, Goldwind, is delivering a wind farm project at Agnew Gold Mine. The Agnew project, which received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is the first Australian mine to use wind generation as part of a large hybrid microgrid. 

Australian made wave energy technology set for trial in Tasmania

Melbourne-based company Wave Swell Energy will trial its “oscillating water column” (OWC) wave energy technology for the first time in the ocean off King Island, Tasmania. The technology will be integrated with existing wind, diesel and solar resources – a first in Australia.

AEMO identifies important role for pumped hydro storage and strategic transmission

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released an Insights paper providing deeper analysis on the important role of pumped hydro energy storage and strategic transmission developments in lowering costs to consumers and increasing the resilience of the National Energy Market.

AEMC report finds stronger competition is driving power bill savings

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) annual report on retail competition has found that average household consumers are now saving up to $760 a year on power bills due to strong competition in the market. The report analyses whether residential and small business consumers are getting what they want from the electricity and gas markets, and found that retailers were now moving towards simpler, more stable priced deals.

New report reveals business benefits of environmental sustainability

Sustainability is good for your bottom line thanks to the rise of more environmentally-conscious consumers and investors, according to a new report from the University of South Australia.

Large increase in corporate power purchase agreements likely for 2019

A significant number of large corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be finalised by the end of 2019, despite a lull in the first half of the year, predicts Energetics associate Anita Stadler. Significant activity is expected among large retailers, east coast mining projects, property groups, and the telecommunications sector.

CRC for Low Carbon Living provides innovative way forward for sustainable homes and cities

The CRC for Low Carbon Living, a seven year running collaborative research centre, continues with a suite of tools and guides to help consumers make better, more comfortable buildings and communities. It has released two videos offering a snapshot of how its work has been implemented so far.

New guide released on how to build a low carbon, high performance homes

In Australia, the residential housing sector contributes to around 9% of greenhouse gas emissions. The CRC for Low Carbon Living has produced a guide explaining the planning and creation of high-performance dwellings that actively give back to the environment and community by generating more power than they use, collecting and recycling water, and reducing the built environment’s carbon footprint. 

Registration opens for Energy Efficiency Expo

Registration is now open for the annual Energy Efficiency Expo which will showcase the latest low-carbon, cost-reducing technologies and bring together expert speakers from various industries to share insights and case studies on energy productivity. The free-to-attend event will be held 23 and 24 October 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Electric Vehicle Transition Conference

RenewEconomy and its electric vehicle-focused website The Driven are co-hosting the inaugural Electric Vehicle Transition conference in Sydney on 26 and 27 August 26 2019, bringing together the leading players and thinkers in the sector.

Is Australia’s power grid vulnerable to cyber warfare?

The New York Times reported the United States was increasing its cyber-attacks on Russia’s power grid. It has generated discussion about the reasons for – and potential consequences of – such actions. It also raises the question of how vulnerable Australia’s power grid is.

Australia’s ongoing journey to solar and storage

Australia has taken a leading role globally in the transition to smart, renewable energy, and given the abundance of sunshine, has seen near-record adoption of solar and storage systems. However there remains a need for an industry-led national energy storage systems database and clearer guidelines to eliminate inconsistencies between energy networks.

New window retrofitting product captures and releases solar energy

A technology in which solar energy is stored in a liquid medium, then later released as heat, has been applied to a transparent polymer film that could be applied to the inside of windows in energy-efficient buildings.

World’s largest solar and battery project stuns energy market

 A Californian solar and battery storage power purchase agreement is lowering the cost of electricity from solar to a US-dollar price of $1.99c/kWh for 400MW of PV. The record setting deal will seek to provide 7% of the electricity demand of Los Angeles.

World’s largest single-site solar project in Abu Dhabi begins commercial operation

Abu Dhabi is claiming the title of the world's largest single-site solar project, having hit the go-button on the Noor Abu Dhabi project this week, with a reported capacity of 1.18 gigawatts.

New material to make solar collectors cheaper and more efficient

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced the development of an aerogel that could make solar collectors, the devices which collect heat from sunlight, less costly and more efficient than ever.

Researchers create worldwide energy solar model

Danish researchers have used historical data to create a model that, at global, regional and local levels, can reveal performance of photovoltaic installations in a given geography, depending on the type of facility being used.

World’s largest electric vehicle at 111 tonnes

The world’s largest electric vehicle is a 111 tonne mining dumper powered by a 4.5 tonne 600kWh battery. Capable of hauling 65 tonnes, the vehicle uses the battery to get uphill and regenerative braking recovers energy on the way back down. The greater the load, the more power recovered.

Flying taxi with electric jets and zero emissions

The Lilium jet powered air taxi, with fully electric engines and zero operating emissions, has just completed its maiden flight. This German start up aims to take passengers 300kms in just 60 minutes.

World’s leading manufacturers join innovation network

The World Economic Forum’s Lighthouse Network has expanded with the addition of 10 new manufacturers, bringing the total number of factories to 26. The Lighthouse Network represents a range of industries and geographies and provides a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices for scaling up technology adoption.

Desert-dwelling lizards could provide energy efficiency breakthrough

Researchers studying desert-dwelling horned lizards have discovered that the creatures possess different micro and nanoscale fluid-transporting structures that can be replicated on steel, titanium and silicon. This biomimetic breakthrough could enable the production of much more efficient slide bearings for many mechanical applications.