Australian news, and some related international items

Costs of solar photovoltaic energy tumbling, as climate change action becomes more urgent

 the cost of renewable energies was tumbling, with solar panel production costs down 70 per cent in the past year.

Tap solar and wind power or face catastrophic consequences experts warn Catherine Best AFP July 23, 20122:AUSTRALIA needs a bipartisan approach to climate change to seize opportunities in renewable energy and ward off the worst impacts of global warming, experts say.

The Climate Commission says now is the critical decade to get the policy settings right to encourage green-energy industries or risk catastrophic consequences for future generations. Its latest report, released on Monday, says Victoria – which has a heavy reliance on brown coal – receives enough sunshine to produce double its current energy needs.

The commissioners say there are untapped opportunities for solar and wind power generation, which is steadily becoming a more affordable electricity source.

But the industry needs certainty there will be the ongoing political will to support investment in green power.

“Getting a reasonable degree of policy certainty going forward is
fundamental. We can’t afford to have some of the flip-flops in the
future that we’ve had in the past when it comes to policy,” climate
commissioner Gerry Hueston told reporters in Melbourne.

“So it is important that we do try and develop an agreed bipartisan
approach so that people can have the confidence to invest because
certainly the opportunities are there.”

The report predicts climate change will unleash on Victoria more
devastating bushfires and heatwaves, while thousands of coastal
properties could be swamped, with sea levels forecast to rise by a
metre by the end of the century.

Climate commissioner Professor Will Steffen said extreme weather
events would only get worse without intervention.

If the right investment decisions were made in the next five to 10
years, the temperature increase could be limited to 2C, avoiding the
worst consequences of climate change, he said.

“This is the critical decade … to make the right investment
decisions, to adopt the right strategies that deliver the reduction in
emissions,” he told reporters. “This is going to be the decisive time
for what sort of climate we’ve got for the second half of this

Mr Heuston said the cost of renewable energies was tumbling, with solar panel production costs down 70 per cent in the past year.

Last year $250 billion was spent globally on renewable energies, and
Australia had an opportunity to tap into this emerging market, he

July 23, 2012 - Posted by | General News

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