Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s clean energy transition is underway – and fast!

Time for Australia to wake up to scale and pace of clean energy transition, REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson on 1 November 2017 UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is a very rich man, with a very big business that consumes a lot of energy.

In the last few months he has come to the same conclusion as tens of thousands of Australian homeowners and thousands of businesses, big and small: the best way to cut your bill for energy is to generate your own.

Gupta this week unveiled the details of his plans to build 1 gigawatt of large-scale solar, battery storage, pumped hydro and demand management for the Whyalla steel works and other big energy users in South Australia.

Gupta reckons it will slash his company’s energy bills by around 40 per cent, and he intends to repeat the dose in his even bigger steel plants in Melbourne and Sydney, which he says will be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy within a few years.

Most businesses reckon they can achieve similar savings, which is why the likes of Nectar Farms are turning to wind and battery storage for a $750 million investment in a new glass house and energy park near Stawell in Victoria, and why zinc refiner Zinc Metals is turning to solar to slash the costs of electricity in north Queensland and, like Gupta, help to expand the business.

It’s why Telstra has contracted to take the output of a 72MW solar farm in Queensland, and will do the same with many more such facilities; it’s why Foster’s Brewing is going 100 per cent renewables;why Woolworths is also turning to solar, along with countless other large retailers, and mining groups.

Households can do even better. The pay-back for a rooftop solar system is probably less than five years – for an asset that will last 25 years. The savings on an electricity bill, even without the generous “premium” tariffs that too many still enjoy, are well over 50 per cent.

As Gupta says, and nearly two million household and businesses understand, it’s not a difficult equation. The cost of solar has plunged 90 per cent in the last five years, and the cost of storage is following suit.

The cost of grid power, on the other hand, has more than doubled……


November 1, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy

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