e-extra November 2019

6 November 2019

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Government establishes $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund

A new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure.

Pilbara breaks new ground with renewable energy

Western Australia’s Pilbara region is set to be home to the first major iron ore mining operation in Australia to be run entirely off renewable energy during the day. The project is receiving $24.2 million in funding from ARENA.

High-energy safe battery from University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide designed and patented battery technology - which could revolutionise electricity storage by providing a far safer, cheaper and more reliable model than those already on the market - has secured a $1 million research contract to bring it to market.

Every Building Counts - a major plan for emissions reduction

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Property Council of Australia earlier this week launched 'Every Building Counts – A practical plan for emissions reduction in the built environment'. The report presents 75 recommendations developed through a comprehensive assessment of global and local policies and programs.

Australian rooftop solar installations hit record 180MW

The latest data shows the boom in small-scale rooftop solar (up to 100kW) continues in 2019, with year to date reaching 1.5GW and running nearly 40% ahead of last year, and poised to break the 2GW barrier. The level of sub-100kW rooftop solar installations in Australia has now reached 9.5GW, across 2.2 million systems, mostly on household rooftops but also on many small businesses.

Ultra-rapid electric car chargers roll out

22 ultra-rapid chargers are set to appear from Adelaide to Brisbane. The chargers will allow some electric vehicles to power-up in just 10-15 minutes.

Plans to electrify Sydney's 8000-strong bus fleet

The NSW Government is assessing the logistics of converting Sydney's bus fleet to electric from diesel.

Sydney's 100% renewable energy milestone

Renewable electricity will power all Sydney City-owned properties from 1 July 2020. An agreement with energy company Flow Power will ensure all City of Sydney operations, including pools, sports fields, depots and buildings will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Canberra reaches 100% renewable electricity target

The Australian Capital Territory now sources the equivalent of all its electricity from renewable sources, and in doing so has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% and given a significant boost to the Canberra economy.

Work begins on huge Australian rooftop solar array

The first panels have been installed at one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays in Adelaide. The 5 hectare roof of the Tonsley Innovation District will have a total installed capacity of 2.34MW, with plans to increase the solar capacity at the site to as much as 6MW as the district grows over time.

Solar deal goes down well at 300 NSW pubs

Hundreds of pubs across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will drink to big savings through an agreement with Simply Energy. The establishments will secure a supply of renewable energy at a price significantly cheaper than current wholesale electricity spot prices.

Australia’s wineries harvest solar energy

Electricity is the single biggest cost incurred in the winemaking process. Looking to save on bills and conserve the environment, wineries across Australia are rapidly taking on solar PV.

Solar farms – as in actual farms with crops and PV systems

Solar farms take up a lot of room but they thrive in places with many of the same qualities favoured by food crops. In 'agrivoltaics,' crops and solar panels not only share land and sunlight, but also help each other function more efficiently.

Guide to benefit sharing options for renewable energy projects

This new guide from Clean Energy Council will assist project proponents, financiers, policy makers and communities in understanding the range of benefit sharing methods available.

Trimming energy costs in agriculture

There are still many easy options to reduce energy consumption within the supply chain. However, without a systematic approach to energy management many of these low-cost and even no-cost opportunities won’t be identifiable.

Chinese EVs headed for Australia

Once Chinese EVs start to arrive in Australia, a more competitive market will benefit drivers and businesses.

First all-electric cherry picker arrives

EV alternatives have become increasingly popular for work vehicles that are in constant daily use. Now, an elevated bucket truck carries enough battery storage to fully power operations with over 200km of range.

Sustainability value in old buildings

Design, sustainability and heritage experts agree there are few existing buildings that can’t be transformed into monuments of high-performance. Demolition and re-building from scratch is neither realistic nor sustainable.

A major retrofit for energy efficiency can be surprisingly affordable

Existing buildings typically have mountains of untapped potential to slash emissions and running costs. There’s a way to save as much as 25% on energy bills without spending an extra cent on capital upgrades.

ABB wins contract to convert world’s largest offshore wind farm to UK grid

ABB has been selected by energy companies SSE Renewables of the UK and Equinor of Norway to supply its high-voltage direct current (HVDC) Light converter systems to connect the world’s largest offshore wind farms in the Dogger Bank region of the North Sea to the UK transmission network.

Converting wastewater and seawater into hydrogen

Researchers in the US have developed an inexpensive molybdenum-phosphide catalyst that efficiently converts wastewater and seawater into hydrogen.  The findings stem from a three-year project funded by the US Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

World’s first hydrogen-powered ship docks in London

The Energy Observer catamaran has arrived in London as part of a six-year, zero emissions voyage around the world.  The vessel is the first to create its own hydrogen fuel from sea water as it sails.

Artificial leaf converts sunlight, CO2 and water into usable syngas

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed an artificial leaf that can produce synthetic gas (syngas) through photosynthesis.

The Green Great Wall of China

When completed, a Green Great Wall of trees will stretch more than 4800km across the north of China, forming a living barrier along the edge of the encroaching Gobi Desert. The 50-year project involves the planting of more than 88 billion trees. Similar initiatives are taking place in Africa.

Energy efficiency in data centres

In 2018, Chinese data centres produced almost 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide,  generating the equivalent environmental footprint of around 21 million cars. The environmental impact of data centres is coming under greater scrutiny.

Space technology to protect Pacific nations from climate change

Pacific islands vulnerable to climate change will benefit from space technology to help them plan for and prevent natural disasters, thanks to a new UK and Australian partnership.

Japan proposes wooden cars

One-fifth the weight of steel but five times the strength, plant-based cellulose nanofiber (CNF) offers carmakers the opportunity to build strong, lightweight cars while sustainably removing as much as 2000 kg  of carbon from the car's life cycle.

British train operator recycles 50% more energy back to the network

With a fleet of modern trains now in operation, energy previously lost to heat from friction on the trains is returned to the network -- an extra 5.6 GWh every 4 weeks compared to 18 months ago.

Green ski slope on top of waste incinerator

Skiers can descend a 450m slope with views of Copenhagen, atop a mountain of waste for recycling and electricity generation.

IEA Energy Efficiency 2019

Energy efficiency has tremendous potential to boost economic growth and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, but the global rate of progress is slowing. Energy Efficiency 2019 examines in detail the reasons for this and also focusses on ways digitalisation is transforming energy efficiency.