e-extra March 2020

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Government policies and projects

The Australian Government invests in RACE to support affordable clean energy

The government is investing $68.5 million in the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 (RACE for 2030) Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to improve energy affordability and reliability.

Hydrogen potential for local gas networks in South Australia and Victoria

ARENA has announced $1.28 million in funding to Australian Gas Networks to establish the Australian Hydrogen Centre which will investigate blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines in South Australia and Victoria.

New trading platform aims to unlock investment in renewables

An online market platform called the Renewable Energy Hub creates power purchasing deals customised to new energy technologies, including grid-scale battery storage systems.

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) register goes live

Australia has its first database of distributed energy resources installed throughout the National Electricity Market after the Australian Energy Market Operator launched its DER Register.

The pathway to cleaner greener Australian airports

Australian airports could substantially reduce their carbon footprint, according to a CEFC report that identifies 15 initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

South Australia big battery doubles savings to consumers

The Tesla big battery at Hornsdale doubled the amount of money it saved consumers in its second full year of operation. Its rapid response to massive network faults once again helped to keep the lights on, a new report has found.

Tasmania to invest $50 million toward green hydrogen future

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan will see a $20 million investment in the Renewable Hydrogen Fund, another $20 million in concessional loans and a further $10 million for support services.

Another 100 stand-alone solar and battery systems to be installed by Western Power

Western Australia has unveiled plans to roll out another 100 solar and battery-based stand-alone power systems in sparsely populated regional areas of the state.

Victorian energy regulator puts end to 'bait and switch' energy deals

Victorian energy companies will no longer be able to ‘bait and switch’ customers by offering low initial prices only to jack these up within months.

Victoria acts to secure a more reliable energy system

The Victorian Government is making amendments to the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005 to unlock renewable projects and improve the reliability of the state's energy supply.


Stimulating business investment in innovation

A new Innovation and Science Australia report explores opportunities to stimulate business investment in innovation. The report draws on the board’s experience as well as quantitative and qualitative analyses with over 180 businesses.

Brisbane company develops novel approach to waste to energy

Wildfire Energy has developed a technology which converts biomass and waste feedstocks into energy without costly pre-treatment.

Rio Tinto pledges net zero emissions by 2050

Rio Tinto has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, supported by $1.5 billion worth of investments in climate-related projects over the next 5 years.


New South Wales pilot program offers interest free loans for battery and solar

The CEFC has committed $7 million in debt finance to support the uptake of home energy storage batteries as part of the NSW Government Empowering Homes Program. 

CEFC funding discounted home loans

The CEFC is backing Bank Australia’s new green home loan, which will use energy efficiency measurement tools to determine eligibility. The Clean Energy Home Loan offers eligible borrowers a 0.4% discount on their home finance.

Energy saving home loan uses government scorecard

The Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard provides a star rating and certificate for new and existing homes based on their energy efficiency. Bank Australia is now offering discount home loans to customers who use the scorecard assessment when buying, building or renovating.

Three rooftop solar companies suspended by regulator

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has taken action against three solar installation companies for non-compliance and fraud within the national small-scale renewable energy scheme, including the use of unaccredited panels.

Research and innovation

Electric cars may be able to support Australia’s grid by end of this year

Melbourne-based EV-support company JET Charge plans to unveil a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging solution that will be as easy as plug and play. EV owners will be able to use their vehicles to store, transport and sell energy, becoming providers as well as consumers — prosumers.

First Australian-built electric aircraft creates a buzz

Adelaide company Eyre to There Aviation is set to be Australia’s first manufacturer of electric aircraft after inking a deal with a European designer. 'Australia is currently the only country that already certifies electric aircraft for training purposes, so we have an opportunity to be a world leader,' managing director Barrie Rogers said.

Australian solar skin invention could power cities and vehicles of the future

Researchers have been awarded $3 million towards innovative ‘solar skin’ technology that draws solar power to the surfaces of buildings or vehicles.

Queensland researchers smash solar efficiency record for ‘quantum dot’ solar cells

Researchers at the University of Queensland say they have broken the efficiency record for solar cells using the innovative ‘quantum dot’ approach. This has the potential for greatly improved performance of solar panels in low-light environments.

Generating electricity 'out of thin air'

Scientists have developed a method to generate electricity from moisture in the air.  'Air-gen' is low-cost, non-polluting and renewable, the researchers say. It can work indoors, and even in the extremely low humidity of the desert.

Artificial leaves for solar power

Researchers have turned to leaves to develop artificial photosynthesis — replicating the process plants use sunlight to convert water and CO2 into energy.

Cybertruck touted to beat regular utes on towing and loads

Elon Musk has addressed skepticism about Cybertruck's power in pulling and carrying heavy loads. The Tesla CEO said the vehicle can pull 3.4 tonnes of payload and will come with a real-time towing and payload calculator.

Reports and analysis

Clean Energy Regulator Quarterly Carbon Market Report shows record highs for all carbon markets

Renewable Energy Target and Emissions Reduction Fund carbon markets delivered more than 50 million tonnes of CO2e abatement towards the Paris Agreement targets. This is expected to increase by another 9 million tonnes in 2020.

ACCC releases report on gas supply outlook across east coast market

The 2020 supply-demand outlook in the east coast gas market has improved and LNG netback prices have decreased. However, domestic prices remain high and there is significant uncertainty about future supplies, according to the Gas Inquiry 2017-2025 Interim Report.

Australian Energy Regulator (AER) shines a light on consumer vulnerability

The Consumer Policy Research Centre has examined regulatory approaches to consumer vulnerability for the AER. The research highlights the need for regulatory environments to evolve and ensure all consumers benefit from investment in new energy resources and technologies.


Report says energy storage market will grow to $546 billion in revenue by 2035

The total energy storage market is expected to grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, according to a report released by Lux Research.

How renewable energy will make all the cheap hydrogen we need

If the hydrogen economy is to advance, it must receive investment support of $70 billion by 2030. That’s according to the Hydrogen Council, which says that the cost to produce and distribute hydrogen from clean energy sources will fall by as much as 50% over the next decade. 

Nordic steel giant to use renewable hydrogen to produce fossil-free steel by 2026

Svenskt Stål AB (Swedish Steel) has announced it will make substantial investments to accelerate the transition of its steel furnaces to using emissions-free, renewable hydrogen.

India lands world’s largest, super cheap solar and storage tender

India has clocked a major renewable energy milestone with the world’s largest 'firmed renewables' auction, and locking in the some of the cheapest prices for solar energy and storage.