Five things we learned this week …., REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson 23 November 2012“…. It’s not just renewables the incumbents have to contend with, it’s also falling demand. And it seems much of it is to do with consumer choice. A press release from Mark Dreyfus, parliamentary secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency this week highlighted just how far we have reduced our consumption, even as we bulk up on household appliances.
An eight star (yes, 8) TV in the small to medium range now costs $21 to run, one sixth the running cost of a 3-star TV, and one-twentieth the cost of a 1-star TV. Even in the large category, a 7-star TV costs just $69 a year to run, compared with a 2 star TV currently which costs $250 a year to operate. Samsung got a gong for the 8-star, LG for the 7-star.
Dreyfus says 10-star TVs are now coming into the market, causing the government to upgrade its star rating scheme to remove the bottom three rungs. These and more efficient fridges and laptops are expected to save households and businesses $5.2 billion dollars in 2020 alone. The biggest consumer in the household in terms of kilowatts consumed is often the clothes dryer. That’s where solar comes in as a really useful energy source - just hang them outside.
And don’t miss Sophie Vorrath’s The week in green numbers …. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/five-things-we-learned-this-week-42434
Solar panels, energy efficiency, high utility prices, are causing slump in demand for coal powered electricity
Power industry in the dark as demand wilts WA Today October 19, 2012 – “…… Demand slump The process itself is clear enough. Higher prices are prompting people to use less power, whether at home or at work. The higher dollar has forced some energy-intensive manufacturers to reduce output or shift abroad.
Solar panels sprouting on roofs at the pace of about 300,000 homes a year and more insulation batts underneath them are also curbing demand, particularly at peak times. Buildings are also much more energy efficient. Read more »
Energy firm claims battery storage breakthrough SMH, October 10, 2012 - Peter Hannam
Carbon economy editor A South Australian energy firm is claiming an international breakthrough in battery technology that will help generators of solar and wind power store their energy more cheaply.
ZEN Energy Systems today unveiled a computer-controlled storage system - with one model about the size of a bar fridge – which almost doubles the effectiveness of batteries.
“This technology is a game changer for the renewable energy industry and has the potential to change the way individuals and communities use electricity in the future,” ZEN’s chief executive officer, Richard Turner, said.
Mr Turner said as many as 10 Australian utilities are interested in trialling the system and the company has already begun shipping large-scale container-sized units to US clients…….. Read more »
Adelaide is leading the way in water-sensitive urban design and green roof technology.
Roof gardens proven to cool buildings ABC Radio The World Today Nicola Gage reported this story on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 ELEANOR HALL: Roof gardens are becoming more prevalent in the world’s major cities.
Now a study has found that not only are they building mini-ecosystems, they’re also cooling buildings significantly and reducing carbon emissions, as Nicola Gage reports.
NICOLA GAGE: Major cities have inherently been linked to pollution and rising carbon emissions, but 22 stories up on the roof of a building in Adelaide, there’s a micro-climate that’s returning wildlife to the city.
GRAEME HOPKINS: It’s had bees up here collecting honey, it’s got birds and we’ve identified two moth varieties and no doubt the birds have been chasing the moths. So there’s a whole ecosystem and this has
happened spontaneously on the 22nd floor, so it’s quite amazing. Read more »
Global challenge 13: How can growing energy demands be met safely and efficiently?
“……..Question 13 was posed by the Millennium Project in a global context. However, when applied to Australia and other rich countries, the assumption that energy demand should continue to grow must be challenged at the outset.
There is huge potential for increasing the efficiency of energy use through technological improvements (known as “energy efficiency”) and reducing the demand for energy services by fostering behavioural changes (known as “energy conservation”). These are the cheapest and fastest ways of cutting unnecessary energy demand. The key foci are buildings (including the appliances and equipment they contain) and industry.
In the near future, a new tool will become widely available for monitoring and reducing electricity demand: the smart meter as a component of the “smart grid”. Read more »
more than half the cut in power use was due to photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water systems and energy savings programs in Victoria and New South Wales that encourage use of more efficient lightbulbs and appliances.
the cost of solar energy and energy-efficiency schemes was modest compared with other factors pushing up electricity prices……
Solar panels linked to lower power usage, Illawarra Mercury, ADAM MORTON, 20 Jun, 2012 SCHEMES encouraging people to install solar panels and save energy have cut household power consumption and will restrict the pace at which electricity bills increase in coming years, a new analysis has found.
While solar incentive schemes have been criticised as an expensive way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an industry analysis has found they have led to a reduction in the amount of fossil fuel electricity drawn from the national power grid.
It suggests it is likely no new baseload power plants will be needed over the next decade.
Electricity consumption fell 3.2 per cent over the three years to 2011, ending years of dramatic increases and bucking projections that it would continue to soar due to economic and population growth. Read more »
This has special relevance in Australia where customers are witnessing a marked fall in the cost of technologies such as solar PV, as well as being subjected to rising electricity prices, a situation exacerbated by the utilities’ push for time-of-use pricing.
Intelligent efficiency could have a dramatic impact on the demand outlook for Australian utilities, and the sort of new generation needed in coming decades, plus whether or not the tens of billions of dollars being spent on transmission and distribution networks is money well spent.
Industry awaits dawn of federal solar project, BY GILES PARKINSON The Australian June 08, 2012 “……..Smart thinking HERE’S a new concept in reducing energy consumption: intelligent efficiency. Essentially it refers to a movement beyond energy-efficient light bulbs and other savings devices to a systems-based approach that combines the benefits of a suite of new technologies such as smart meters, renewables such as solar PV and electric vehicles. Read more »
Solar funds redirected to councils, poor, Business Spectator, 6 Jun 2012 The federal government has finally announced what it plans to do with the $45 million left over after the solar hot water rebate program was wound up earlier this year.
Climate change parliamentary secretary Mark Dreyfus said on Wednesday $24 million would be spent on a new program to help local councils install solar or heat pump hot water systems in community facilities. The remaining $20.7 million would be redirected to the existing home energy saver scheme (HESS), which helps poor Australians buy more efficient white goods and air-conditioning systems……
The Australian Greens claimed credit for forcing the government to spend the money on programs that would continue to support the solar hot water industry. ”The Greens highlighted the scheme was underspent and insisted the funding allocation be maintained and not lost to general revenue,” leader Christine Milne said in a statement. ”So directing this support to lower income householders and to community facilities is a great way to direct the benefits where they
are needed most.”
The Australian Council of Social Services praised Labor for pumping an extra $21 million into the HESS. ”It will assist households to better understand and manage energy use,” council chief executive Cassandra Goldie said in a statement.
“New funds for investment in solar hot water systems are an excellent extension of the scheme that will allow households to take action to reduce energy costs.” Australian Manufacturing Workers Union NSW secretary Tim Ayres said the government had pledged the $45 million would be spent on locally-made products…
One hopes that Tony Abbott might expand his vocabulary from ‘no’ in this particular case. After all it was under the Coalition’s watch that the energy efficiency standards and labelling program started to make an impact. Minimum standards for the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, refrigerators, water heaters, fluorescent tubes, air conditioners, electric motors, and transformers were put in place by the Howard government. Indeed, thanks to Malcolm Turnbull, we started a worldwide trend in phasing out conventional incandescent light globes that create 99 times more heat than light.
Abbott’s power bill ‘yes’ test, CLIMATE SPECTATOR, Tristan Edis, 5 Jun 2012 A little noticed piece of legislation was introduced into parliament last week which is likely to make a big difference to energy bills and carbon emissions – the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Bill (GEMS).
This bill aims to move the country toward a single national system for implementing and enforcing minimum standards of energy efficiency and energy rating labels, instead of the current state-based model we currently have.
What many people may not realise is that the measures which have made the greatest impact to date on reducing Australia’s energy emissions have nothing to do with renewable energy, or natural gas, or clean
coal. Instead it has been lots of little incremental improvements in the energy efficiency of mundane things like refrigerators, light bulbs, houses, office buildings, water heaters, air-conditioners, televisions, and electric motors driven by regulated minimum standards and mandatory energy rating labels. Read more »