e-extra June 2020

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Visit for the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia. Download the ‘COVIDSafe’ government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This highly secure app enables public health workers to notify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 more quickly and effectively.  

You can also download the ‘Coronavirus Australia’ government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android. has help for energy consumers and information on what governments and market bodies are doing in the energy sector. This includes links to all state and territory government online information.

Video series on Australian manufacturing businesses pivoting in response to COVID-19

The department is promoting the work of Australian manufacturers supporting the response to COVID-19 through a series of video case studies. The series, available on YouTube, profiles companies that are working directly with the Australian government to boost supplies of PPE and medical supplies. It also showcases companies that are proactively pivoting to respond to Australia’s needs.

Urgent inquiry begins into protecting energy consumers from COVID-19 retailer failure

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is considering an urgent request from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) so consumers can have certainty about their power during COVID-19. The AER says the way electricity is supplied to households and businesses is under threat because of the risk of a large-scale, cascading retail failure or ‘financial contagion’ in the National Electricity Market.

Mining Innovations enlisted to help fight COVID-19

National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) is providing funding to assist businesses in the energy resources sector towards helping households and businesses recover from the pandemic and limit future outbreaks.

Hydrogen’s potential to power Australia past COVID-19

Almost 80% of Australian Hydrogen Council members who responded to a survey reported that COVID-19 had not negatively affected their hydrogen strategy.

IEA launches Everything Energy podcast

A new podcast series from the International Energy Agency (IEA) will bring together top energy experts to put the IEA’s analysis in context and promote a better understanding of today’s energy issues. The first episode focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 on energy demand and carbon emissions.

The COVID-19 crisis is causing the biggest fall in global energy investment in history

A new IEA report says the COVID-19 pandemic has set in motion the largest drop in global energy investment in history, with spending expected to plunge in every major sector this year.

Energy efficiency has been hit hard by COVID-19

Nearly every sector of the global economy has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the energy-efficiency industry is no different. Energy-efficiency workers in the US filed for nearly 70,000 unemployment claims in March.

Energy transition at the heart of Africa’s COVID-19 response, say dialogue participants

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held a virtual high-level dialogue to discuss Africa's needs in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the role of the energy transition in the post-pandemic recovery.

Government policies and projects

Technology Investment Roadmap to low emissions

The Australian Government is developing a national Technology Investment Roadmap that will prioritise investments in new and developing low emissions technologies.

New legislation helps pave the way for Australia’s hydrogen industry

The Australian Parliament has passed the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (OPGGS) Amendment Bills amending the OPGGS Act 2006, which could help facilitate Australia’s hydrogen industry.

Momentum is building for Warrnambool's Hycel Hydrogen Hub

Deakin University has recently appointed three federally funded project specialists to establish the energy and transport program of Warrnambool’s Hycel Hydrogen Hub. The move continues the hub's expansion towards becoming a fully operational hydrogen research, testing and manufacturing facility.

Green light for world-leading renewable hydrogen from wastewater project

A project is in the pipeline to produce low-emission hydrogen and graphite from sewage at a wastewater treatment plant. Western Australian-based technology company, Hazer Group, will use biogas to produce around 100t of fuel-grade hydrogen and 380t of graphite each year.

ARENA funded study looks to scale up renewable hydrogen for export

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $1.71 million in funding to BP Australia to assess the feasibility of building a renewable hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Geraldton, WA.

Largest wind farm in Australia accredited for the Renewable Energy Target

The Clean Energy Regulator has approved the accreditation of the largest wind farm under the Renewable Energy Target -- Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, Victoria, with a total capacity of 531.9MW.

PPA sign-off gives certainty to Australia’s largest solar farm

The Queensland Government-owned renewable generator CleanCo has signed a 352MW PPA with Neoen to build Australia’s largest solar farm near Chinchilla.

Solar-wind-battery microgrid completed and powering remote WA gold mine

An ARENA-backed 56MW solar, wind and battery project built to power Gold Field's Agnew Gold Mine in remote Western Australia has been completed, marking the largest hybrid microgrid of its kind in Australia.

Future consumer value from Distributed Energy Resources

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recently submitted a rule change request to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to introduce uniform technical standards for distributed energy resources, including residential solar PV.


World’s biggest cleantech competition eyes emerging battery sector in Australia

The world’s largest green business ideas competition, ClimateLaunchpad, is turning its eye toward the emerging battery technology sector in Australia, striking up a partnership with the Future Battery Industries CRC.

Australian investors play key role in America's largest solar and battery project

America’s largest solar and battery storage project is set to go ahead in Nevada after the 690MW project was given the all-clear by the US federal government. The Gemini solar and storage project is being co-developed by the Australia-founded global energy investment outfit, Quinbrook Infrastructure.

Lion commits to 100% renewables by 2025

Since setting a target to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2025 from its 2015 baseline, Lion has established a ‘whole brewery’ carbon reduction approach across its Australian breweries, including energy efficiency initiatives, biogas utilisation, rooftop solar and renewable energy PPAs.

UQ's Tesla battery brings huge savings        

Installing the state’s largest behind-the-meter battery, a Tesla, has saved the University of Queensland almost $74,000 in electricity costs in 3 months.

Call to unlock Australia’s bioenergy potential

Energy infrastructure company, Jemena, has called for a national approach to green accreditation for renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, as part of its submission to the ARENA Bioenergy Roadmap.

Why energy efficiency is the new black

GPT Group’s head of sustainability and energy says there’s been a shift in immediate focus, with energy efficiency ‘back in a big way’ as businesses look to keep costs down in a time of financial strain.


Taking a photo can help avoid bill shock for Victorians

Victoria's Essential Services Commission is allowing Victorians to correct an estimated bill by sending a photo of their gas meter to their energy retailer.

Testing the 'leakiness' of Australian homes

Parts of southern Australia have experienced their coldest May in a century. Many Australians have probably felt the warmth seep out of their homes, only to be replaced by wintery winds that rush through gaps in windows and doors.

Power-saving tips that will also save you money

Electricity and gas make up a big slice of the household budget, so it pays – or more to the point, saves – to use energy wisely. There are some very simple ways to save money on energy bills.

Renewable energy powered 400,000 more homes in NSW last year

New data from the Nature Conservation Council shows solar and wind power production in New South Wales grew 39% last year, powering an additional 400,000 households.

Building tomorrow’s homes for the post-COVID economy

National Building Code standards are tightening up as Australia strives to improve energy efficiency and meet its international climate obligations. Accelerating this transition could deliver more than half a billion dollars for the construction industry over the next decade.

Research and innovation

New recyclable material could revolutionise construction industry

An international research team, led by Monash University, is pioneering a recyclable material that could revolutionise the building industry and be used in space exploration.

Push for high energy users to source electricity from renewable sources

A new research project aims to identify opportunities for the Hunter to transform into a diverse renewable energy-based economy. The project, led by Beyond Zero Emissions, is working with the region's high-energy-users on a plan to produce their industrial heat from electricity generated from renewable energy.

Why Australia's vast coastline could become the next big renewable energy resource

A new Australian-developed system is to begin generating electricity from ocean waves later this year, with a report showing three-quarters of Australia’s energy needs could be met by renewables by 2025.

Two sides are better than one for solar panels

Double-sided solar panels which tilt to follow the sun have been found to be the most cost effective model to date. A global analysis has found that this setup produces almost 35% more energy than immobile single-panel systems.

Australian researchers claim world-first boost for lower cost solar cells

Australian researchers have passed a major international milestone for the durability of next-generation perovskite solar cells, a key step towards the commercialisation of ultra-low-cost solar panels.

How ‘zombie’ solar cells could power indoor devices without sunlight

Australian researchers are developing a new type of smart solar cell that can adapt to the amount of available light, meaning it can work indoors. These cells can even outperform extremely efficient versions that are normally used for trips into space.

In search of the lighting material of the future

Researchers in Switzerland have gained insights into a promising material for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The substance enables high light yields and would be inexpensive to produce on a large scale.

Aussie-designed Raine electric scooter ready to electrify the daily commute

The high-performance Raine electric scooter, designed by a Melbourne startup, is set to help transform the urban commute. The scooter has been developed by seasoned entrepreneurs with a passion for electric skateboards to meet the needs of an urban commuter.

Electric boats can generate energy for the grid on remote islands

Floating PV cells could become a power source for remote islands, thanks to technology developed by Australian engineers. Networks of homes have been used as virtual power plants, and vehicle-to-grid technology has turned electric cars into a source of power.

All-electric flight with Australian propulsion paves way for commercial use

Electric aviation propulsion company magniX has played a leading role in a pioneering all-electric flight, with a successful test of an electric-powered Cessna Grand Caravan 208B in Washington.

Reports and analysis

Australian renewables achieve 21% of electricity generation in 2019

The Australian Energy Statistics have revealed a 21% growth in renewable energy output. This has been driven by a 46% increase in solar output and a 19% rise in wind power.

Wholesale energy prices continue to fall

Wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market fell to their lowest Q1 level since 2015 as gas prices continued on the downward path established in 2019.

Australian businesses concerned about climate risk, new research shows

Research conducted by National Australia Bank has revealed 90% of Australian small-to -medium business owners are concerned about climate change risk and the environment, with 55% intending to switch to renewable energy sources.

IRENA releases first Global Renewables Outlook

A report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency has shown the path towards a sustainable energy system, highlighting climate-safe investment options until 2050. The policy framework needed for the transition, and the challenges faced by different regions are highlighted.

Study shows global pumped hydro storage market prospects by 2026

According to a Global Market Insights report, the pumped hydro storage market is anticipated to exceed $300 billion mark and is projected to represent a cumulative installation of 200GW by 2026.

Global market research conducted on energy recovery ventilators

An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) features a heat exchanger for providing controlled ventilation into a building. Research has shown ERVs are gaining demand in the commercial and residential sectors.  


US renewables beats coal for first time since the 1800s

The USA’s annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded that from coal for the first time since before 1885, according to the Energy Information Administration.

General Electric no longer in the lighting business

General Electric is no longer in the light bulb business after announcing that its 129-year-old lighting unit will be sold off to smart home manufacturer, Savant Systems.

Norway environmental heavyweights to build $4.5 billion EV battery industry

Two Norwegian environmental heavyweights are teaming up under the name Morrow Batteries, to build a battery factory with 32GWh capacity.

Energy efficiency helped the Empire State Building save money and cut carbon

In 2009, the owners of the Empire State Building resolved to cut carbon emissions and save money at the same time. 11 years later, the building’s emissions are 40% lower, its annual electric bill is $4.4 million smaller, and the project is on the way to paying for itself more than twice over.