Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Event 27 June The Need for Leadership to Address White Supremacy in the NGO Sector

  Pro Bono Australia  Luke Michael, 14 June 18 

Charities and not for profits need to show leadership to address the issue of white supremacy in the NGO sector, a prominent Aboriginal writer and activist believes.

Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer and activist who spoke on a panel at the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) 2018 Summit on Wednesday.

She was joined by Victorian ombudsman Deborah Glass OAM, Will Stracke from the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Reason Party leader Fiona Patten, and Centre for Social Impact CEO Kristy Muir.

The panel discussed the “shifting nature of leadership and the role of citizens to shape their own prosperous and inclusive society”.

One of the topics discussed was the need for greater diversity in leadership, particularly around race and gender.

Stracke admitted during the panel discussion that leadership in the trade union movement was “too white”.

“One of our values that we say is ‘diversity is our strength and solidarity is our power’,” Stracke said.

“And that’s about the diversity of our movement and our movement is very diverse… but I think we as a union movement [still] need more voices.

“We’ve very white in terms of our leadership and we need to get better at that.”………

“Leadership needs to be much more representative of the people,” Glass said.

“It’s not just gender, it’s race, it’s disability, it’s everything we all stand for. We can’t have leaders speaking for us who don’t represent us, who don’t look like us or don’t speak like us.”………

Gorrie has organised an event to discuss “dismantling white supremacy in the NGO sector” at Victorian Trades Hall on 27 June.

She told Pro Bono News why she decided to create the event.

“I decided to put on that event after chatting to a number of different people that work in the not-for-profit sector,” she said.

“And [people of colour] are doing twice as much work just to survive I think.”

Gorrie said while white supremacy was found across all sections of society, it was especially disappointing to see it in the not-for-profit sector, considering the sector’s purpose to make the world a better place.

……..“I think a lot of not for profits make a lot of money and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy was a really good example of that. Most of the money in the strategy went to non-black organisations.“So there is a lot of money to be made in perceived black dysfunction and I don’t know if it’s possible for them to do the work they’ve set out to do if they haven’t examined and [removed] the white supremacy within themselves.”https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/06/need-leadership-address-white-supremacy-ngo-sector/

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June 15, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACTION, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victorian lower house passes treaty legislation  after Greens accept Labor deal

‘Bill creates framework for Indigenous body to represent Aboriginal Victorians 
and advance treaty process Calla Wahlquist @callapilla  7 Jun 2018

‘The legislation passed with the support of the Greens after
the Aboriginal affairs minister, Natalie Hutchins, proposed amendments
that went some way towards addressing concerns raised
by Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman and Northcote MP Lidia Thorpe.

‘Thorpe proposed additional amendments on the floor of parliament,
particularly demanding an acknowledgement of Aboriginal sovereignty
by the state of Victoria, but they were not adopted. …

‘The amendments to the Victorian legislation were moved
in response to concerns raised by Thorpe, the only
Aboriginal person in Victorian parliament, who said she was
concerned about a lack of engagement with elders;
a potential sidelining of Victorian traditional owners in favour of
government-appointed people on the representative body; and
the failure of the legislation to explicitly acknowledge the
sovereignty of Aboriginal clans in Victoria.

‘The latter remains a significant concern for Thorpe,
who said in parliament on Thursday that she was disappointed the government
had decided against including a firm acknowledgement in the legislation
that traditional owners in Victoria retained sovereignty over their lands.

‘“Treaties are between two sovereigns, and to talk about treaty
or to go ahead with treaty negotiations and not actually recognise
that Aboriginal people are the sovereign people of this land,
then I think that’s one of the major failures of this legislation,”
Thorpe told Guardian Australia.
“If we can’t start by addressing sovereignty, then that’s a joke.” … ‘

www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/07/victoria-on-brink-of-passing-treaty-legislation-as-greens-accept-labor-deal

June 8, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Victoria | Leave a comment

Solar microgrid to launch in the heart of coal country

 SMH,    By Cole Latimer, Dairy farmers in the heart of Victorian coal country will soon be able to trade solar power using blockchain processes.

A virtual microgrid will be created in the the Latrobe Valley, exchanging energy generated from 200 Gippsland dairy farmers, 20 businesses and 150 households, powered by a decentralised, peer-to-peer blockchain energy trading platform called Exergy.

Ivor Frischknecht, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s chief executive, said the trial was the first step in transitioning the agricultural region – near the state’s coal-fired power stations – to renewable power. It would be the first major trial of a blockchain-based virtual microgrid in Australia.

“The ‘virtual microgrid’ concept brings an alternative approach to energy where the control remains with the customers, rather than retailers, who can choose to opt in depending on the current prices and energy types, or their willingness to provide demand response,” Mr Frischknecht said.

The project will be built by LO3 Energy, a New York-based company that created the world’s first local energy marketplace, in Brooklyn, which allowed participants to trade energy using blockchain technology.

…….. The Victorian virtual microgrid will comprise solar installations, battery storage, and demand response and enabling technologies combined with LO3’s Exergy peer-to-peer trading mechanism, which uses blockchain processes to allow those within the market to buy and sell locally generated renewable energy.

With the energy-hungry farming industry still recovering from the 2016 milk crisis, it promises a cost-effective and resilient solution for farmers to create and manage their own energy and profit from trading their excess generation,” LO3 Energy founder Lawrence Orsini said.

“Engaging with farms is a key part of the project as they have the capacity to install large solar generation and storage. Exergy makes it possible for them to become mini-power plants and gain revenue for energy they don’t use.”

The farms will be given loans to build solar installations by the Sustainable Melbourne Fund, which will be repaid through council fees.

ARENA will also provide $370,000 in funding for the $775,000 project.

“The local Latrobe Valley marketplace would allow Gippsland farmers to take greater control of their energy use, providing the opportunity to sell their power back to the grid,” the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said, “consumers will also be paid for choosing to conserve energy at peak times.”

The study will run to the end of the year, with plans to roll out a pilot microgrid in Gippsland in 2019. https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/solar-microgrid-to-launch-in-the-heart-of-coal-country-20180426-p4zbtf.html

 

May 9, 2018 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

Australia’s first lithium battery recycling plant established in Gisborne, Victoria

Australia’s first lithium battery recycling plant launched https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-first-lithium-battery-recycling-plant-launched-19366/, By Sophie Vorrath on 27 April 2018 

April 27, 2018 Posted by | business, rare earths, Victoria | Leave a comment

Worrying changes to Gippsland mining plan – risk of radioactive pollution

Fingerboard mine changes are ‘significant and disturbing’ — MFG, http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5272468/mine-changes-are-significant-and-disturbing/David Braithwaite@DaveismOfficial 8 Mar 2018,  MINE-Free Glenaladale has not been directly advised by Kalbar what the changes to its project will entail, and spokesperson Pat Williams said it was waiting for the revised project description to be posted on Kalbar’s website.

“One of our members tried to get more information from Kalbar. All he was told was that the new project area was 1675 hectares (an increase of more 200 hectares) and that there would be a revised project description on their website in a few days,” Pat Williams said.

“So the only information we have to go on is the interview with Kalbar spokesman Martin Richardson.”

Mine-Free Glenaladale believes rather than being “refinements”, the extra processing plant for rare earths, as well as zircon and titanium, and the new mine path, are significant and substantial changes to the original proposal that was put to the referral for the environmental effects statement.

“It is unfathomable that as an effectively different project, they shouldn’t be required put in a new referral to allow for public comment,” Pat Williams said.

“Rare earth mining and processing has very bad press around the world.

“We understand there are only a handful of rare earth mines in Australia, and none in areas where there are so many conflicting land uses and such potential damage to the environment.”

Mine-Free Glenaladale also disputes Mr Richardson’s description of the mine tailings as sand, quartz and clay, claiming tailings from mineral sands mines contain large amounts of concentrated heavy metals and radioactive elements. 

Concerns are also held about the possibility of high levels of radioactive elements thorium and uranium.

The intervention of the mining warden with some affected landowners to effect mediation with Kalbar has also been viewed by the group as intimidatory.

Mine-Free Glenaladale has called on Kalbar to hold a “whole of community” meeting so people can hear the same information at the same time and get the opportunity to ask questions.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | environment, Victoria | Leave a comment

Opposition to planned Gippsland mine – risks of thorium contamination

East Gippsland fights mineral sands mine https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/east-gippsland-fights-mineral-sands-mine, Alan Broughton, Bairnsdale,March 23, 2018

March 29, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Victoria | 1 Comment

Victoria: peat fires near Cobden could continue burning for months

Peat fires burning near Cobden could smoulder for months, cause further evacuationABC South West Vic  By Matt Neal 24 Mar 18 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Neighbours not happy as a man builds his nuclear war bunker in Victoria

Neighbours’ fury as man builds bunker for nuclear war, news.com.au, By Luke Mortimer • A Current Affair Producer Mar 20, 2018  He’s a former Yugoslavian who spent years guarding plutonium stockpiles and he refuses to be a sitting duck the day they may go off, preparing for all out nuclear war.

Jakov Loncarevic migrated to Australia in 1979 but in 1996 he fled Melbourne for Minyip, a tiny town 337 kilometres west. He purchased a block of land that he’s spent the past two decades making “nuclear proof” with a four-metre deep bunker in which he plans to wait out a nuclear winter.

Mr Loncarevic took A Current Affair reporter Martin King down into the bunker in which he claims he built by digging out 40,000 buckets of soil and constructing with 2500 bags of concrete, 40 tonnes of recycled steel and 20 tonnes of wood.

“(It’s my) emergency survival place,” he told King.“In case of unforeseen events … I will survive.“When the conditions become unbearable at floor level … I’m down here.

Mr Loncarevic says he has the supplies to wait out two years once a nuclear winter sets in, with a staggering 900 kilograms of sugar stored in industrial fridges, 200 kilograms of rice and dried beans, 6000 litres of water, 40 kilograms of washing detergent, 200 pairs of socks, 200 pairs of under wear, 100 t-shirts, and 120 kilograms of honey.

But despite being prepared for nuclear war, Mr Loncarevic is losing the war with his neighbours after council issued him with an order to stop building.

Neigbours fed up with living next door to the military-compound-style structure have told King of their embarrassment living next to it.

Mother Bec, a nurse who works in the nearby regional centre of Horsham, said her property’s value is in decline as no-one would want to buy in next to Mr Loncarevic’s house.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s frustrating. It’s wrong,” Bec said.

Her parents-in-law, Joe and Rae, lifelong Minyip residents who live another two doors up, told A Current Affair of how the house had transformed from a “lovely, little” weatherboard home owned by an elderly lady into a Soviet-style military compound.  And Mr Loncarevic is losing popularity with his neighbours by the day.………..https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/03/20/19/05/neighbours-fury-as-man-builds-bunker-for-nuclear-war

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Victoria, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s first offshore wind farm wins international funding

The Age , Cole Latimer, 6 Dec 17, Australia’s first offshore wind farm, an $8 billion 2000 megawatt project, has secured financial backing from a major international green energy investment fund.

Offshore Energy has joined with Danish fund management group Copenhagen Infrastructure Partnership to develop the renewable energy project.

The offshore wind farm, dubbed the Star of the South, will be built 10 to 25 kilometres off the coast of Victoria’s Gippsland region, in the Bass Strait, and could provide one and a half times the energy of the now-closed Victorian Hazelwood coal-fired power station.

Offshore Energy managing director Andy Evans told Fairfax Media the partnership would transform the company and lift the viability of offshore wind for Australia………

Star of the South is currently Australia’s only offshore wind project.

“The industry doesn’t really exist at the moment,” Mr Evans told Fairfax Media.

He said there is currently a greater focus on solar and onshore wind projects in Australia, as they are currently cheaper than offshore wind, however, “the cost of offshore will come down, and has already seen falling costs in Europe.”

However, it is not Australia’s only offshore renewable energy project in development.

There are a number of wave energy projects currently underway around the nation’s coast. Wave Swell Energy is one wave energy generator that is also using the Bass Strait as its testing grounds.

The group is carrying out commercial validation of its technology off King Island, in the Bass Strait.

It has signed an offtake agreement with Hydro Tasmania for an initial 200-kilowatt trial unit, and will operate during 2018 after its initial funding goals are reached. http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/australia-s-first-offshore-wind-farm-international-funding-20171205-p4yxfb.html

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Heating oceans make South East Australian hot spots

Global hot spot: Exceptional heat pushes up ocean temperatures off Australia http://www.theage.com.au/environment/weather/global-hot-spot-exceptional-heat-pushes-up-ocean-temperatures-off-australia-20171125-gzsrey.html, Peter Hannam

Australia is home to a global hot spot for sea-surface temperatures, with a record burst of prolonged heat in the country’s south-east helping to make conditions several degrees warmer than average.

Daily weather charts generated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the unusual warmth is almost unmatched around the world, compared with normal temperatures.

Only patches off Greenland and New York in the US are as abnormally warm compared with long-run averages. (See chart below.)

“It’s clear sea-surface temperatures around south-eastern Australia, and Tasmania in particular, are well above average,” Blair Trewin, senior climatologist for the Bureau of Meteorology, told Fairfax Media.

Record warmth

Continue reading

November 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, Victoria | Leave a comment

King Islanders to get free electricity in renewable energy trial

Renewable energy trial provides King Island with free power http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/renewable-energy-trial-provides-tasmania-with-free-power-20171117-gznwk7.html, Cole Latimer   

New technology will provide free power to King Island as it aims to prove low-cost energy generation claims.

Wave Swell Energy, a group developing ocean wave energy generation technology, is carrying out commercial validation trials off Tasmania’s King Island ahead of a potential listing.

The group has built what Wave Swell chief executive Tom Denniss described as “big concrete caverns”, which use the constant back and forth flow of the ocean to generate energy.

“As waves pass into the inside of the cavern the water level rises, this causes pressure on the air, which blows open valves at the top of the unit and turns a uni-directional turbine; as the water recedes it causes negative pressure which closes the valves, creating a cyclical process. The air opening and closing the valves turns a turbine, generating a consistent flow of power.

“What sets this apart from other wave generation technology is its lack of moving parts,” Mr Denniss said. “It sits just below the water line, it’s like an iceberg, but with only two-thirds underwater.”

The blocks are located in water depths of around 10 metres, and typically found up to 500 metres offshore. They connect to the mainland via undersea cables and provide energy to the onshore grid via a transformer unit.

A single, one-megawatt generation offshore unit weighs about  4500 tonnes. It is built onshore and moved into place using semisubmersible barges.

The group is carrying out commercial validation of its technology on King Island, and has signed an offtake agreement with Hydro Tasmania for an initial 200-kilowatt trial unit, and will operate during 2018 after its initial funding goals are reached.

Denniss said all energy generated will initially be provided to the King Island grid and Hydro Tasmania for free.

Current tests put generation costs at $100 per megawatt hour, or 10¢ a kilowatt hour.

“This is really about ensuring independent verification, and Hydro Tasmania verifying that we can produce at the low cost of 10¢ per kilowatt hour,” Mr Denniss said.

Typical solar systems cost around 13¢ per kilowatt-hour and wind about 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, not including grid costs.

Mr Denniss added that the units can also be used as breakwaters or as an artificial reef, with trials demonstrating an increase in marine life where they are installed.

Wave Swell is still looking to investors to raise $8.3 million over the coming months, having secured $2 million in investment to date, and has set a goal of raising $10 million in total funding, Mr Denniss told Fairfax Media.

“We are targeting anyone for funding, from energy companies, construction companies, or individuals who see upside in investing.”

It has used RFC Ambrian to arrange a private placement of 1.73 million shares at a value of $4.80, and anticipates having a total of 6.9 million shares on issue, putting a potential value of $33 million on the company.

The group plans to list after the successful commercial viability trials of the technology on King Island.

Mr Denniss said it will most likely carry out an initial public offering on London’s AIM exchange, although it will not rule out a listing on the ASX.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | energy, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target now becomes law

Victoria Renewable Energy Target written into law, without support of LNP, REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath on 23 October 2017 Victoria has become the first state in Australia to have its renewable energy target written into law, after the Labor Andrews government’s Renewable Energy (Jobs & Investment) Bill was passed by Parliament on Friday.

State energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Friday the governments’ VRET of 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025, had passed the Legislative Council with 20 votes to 18, and despite not winning a single vote from the opposition Coalition party.

The “historic” vote comes amid growing confusion and concern about what the federal Coaltion’s National Energy Guarantee means for Australia’s energy sector, and particularly for the renewable energy industry, with no national renewable energy target in place beyond 2020, and the suggestion development could go backwards under the new plan, resulting in just 28-36 per cent renewables by 2030.

The state governments, in particular, have reacted with frustration to the NEG, which – as Giles Parkinson pointed out here on Friday – is a decision by the Turnbull government to essentially rely on the same state-based renewables targets it has so often derided as reckless.

All of Australia’s Labor states and territories have their own renewable energy targets, each of them more ambitious than the federal government’s goal of 20 per cent by 2020.

Queensland and the Northern Territory are aiming for 50 per cent by 2030; South Australia is already there but looking to add more; while the ACT has already signed contracts with wind and solar farms to take it to 100 per cent renewables by 2020.

Victoria’s own target, now legislated, is expected to cut the average cost of power for households by around $30 a year; $2,500 a year for medium businesses and $140,000 a year for large companies. It is also forecast to drive a 16 per cent reduction in the state’s electricity sector emissions by 2034-35, and create up to 11,000 jobs.

Despite these projected benefits, the state targets have been used regularly by the federal government as scapegoats for rising electricity prices and the closure of ageing coal plants – an irony that is not lost on the states, particularly considering the federal Coalition needs their approval for the NEG to be put into place, because it requires significant changes to the National Electricity Market rules…….http://reneweconomy.com.au/victoria-renewable-energy-target-written-law-without-support-lnp-31448/

October 23, 2017 Posted by | energy, politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

A kind of censorship: Melbourne’s Federation Square restricts anti Adani protest

Anti-Adani protest censored by operators of Melbourne’s Federation Square
Exclusive: Operators demand images of newspaper headlines and politicians, and ‘explicitly negative’ environmental messages be removed, Guardian, 
Michael Slezak, 20 Sept 17 The operators of Melbourne’s Federation Square have censored the content of an anti-Adani slideshow presented there, demanding that all images of newspaper headlines and politicians, as well as “explicitly negative” environmental messages be removed.

On Saturday, a coalition of environmental groups held a screening of the documentary Guarding the Galilee at Federation Square, attended by about 300 people. The film is about the fight to stop Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, which would be the biggest coalmine ever built in Australia and one of the biggest in the world.

In the week before the event, Federation Square demanded to see the slideshow that would be presented before the screening and then demanded much of it be removed.

In email correspondence a Federation Square representative told the event organisers they “cannot permit any slides with protest messaging, slogans or memes together with slides that show pictures of politicians, newspaper headlines or any explicitly political messaging”.

The operators objected to any content that was “negative and inflammatory” and demanded the majority of the slides be removed or significantly altered.

 That included removing all pictures of newspaper headlines, politicians, political memes, protests or pictures of the Great Barrier Reef with “inflammatory messaging”.

Federation square also demanded that the “stop Adani” logo be changed to black and white, and that it not take up a whole slide……….

The event was organised by groups including Bayside Climate Change Action GroupStopAdani ElthamCrochet for Coral not CoalDarebin Climate Action Now, GetUp Melbourne East, AYCC Victoria, Melbourne Ports Stop Adani Group and Market Forces.

The groups crowdfunded the event and major sponsors included the National Tertiary Education Union and Melbourne builders Jenkinson Building. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/20/anti-adani-protest-censored-by-operators-of-melbournes-federation-square

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Victoria | Leave a comment

Victoria takes the lead on Renewable Energy Targets

Mixed Response as Victoria Moves on Renewable Energy Targets, Pro Bono, Lina Caneva, Editor, 5 Sept 17   The Victorian government has become the first Australian state to introduce legislation in a bid to have its renewable energy targets enshrined in law, but the move has received a mixed response. The state government said it was “harnessing the power of renewable energy to drive down prices, attract billions of dollars of investment and create thousands of local jobs.”

Premier Daniel Andrews said the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET) legislation was the largest renewable energy auction in Australia.

The legislation, introduced into parliament last week, set new renewable energy targets for Victoria of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.

“It’s the first time such ambitious renewable energy targets have been enshrined in state legislation anywhere in Australia,” Andrews said.

“Importantly, the VRET will cut the average cost of power for Victorians by around $30 a year for households, $2,500 a year for medium businesses and $140,000 a year for large companies, while driving a 16 per cent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2034-35.”

The government said the competitive VRET auction for up to 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity would provide enough electricity to power 389,000 households – or enough energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.

However Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said Australia desperately needed a nationally consistent energy and climate change policy, with bipartisan support……..

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the commitments made by the state government would “turbocharge” the renewable energy industry in Victoria.

“The renewable energy auction is a major step forward for communities, businesses and the state’s renewable energy industry,” Thornton said.

“This will turbocharge significant private investment in low cost renewable energy to fill the gap and bring power prices down.

“Victoria is realising an immense opportunity to grow its economy and preserve its future energy security through the establishment of a strong and long-term VRET scheme, which will ensure the roll-out of renewable energy projects well beyond 2020.”

Thornton said the auction round was the largest renewable reverse energy auction program to date in Australia, building on the success of the ACT government’s program.

“This is a significant addition to the Victorian government’s clean energy commitments to date, which include solar trams, solar schools, an energy storage initiative and a renewable energy certificate purchasing initiative,” he said.

Victoria’s opposition leader Matthew Guy said the Coalition would oppose the plan. https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/09/mixed-response-victoria-moves-renewable-energy-targets/

September 6, 2017 Posted by | energy, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victoria’s smart renewable energy policy

Victorian government generates smart policy to drive surge in renewable energy,  http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/victorian-government-generates-smart-policy-to-drive-surge-in-renewable-energy-20170823-gy2he1.html The transition from coal-generated electricity to renewable energy is inevitable and crucial. Science has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that carbon emissions from coal and gas are a primary cause of dangerous global warming and climate change.

One of the main financial burdens on Australian families and businesses in recent years has been the sharp increase in the price of electricity, which has been driven by a surge in gas prices, and, many contend, by over-investment in transmission infrastructure – poles and wires – by power companies. Another key reason is the lack of investment in renewable energy, which is becoming increasingly competitive even with the cheap coal that still provides most of our baseload electricity.

The main reason investment in renewable energy has slowed is political; a lack of policy consistency and the perplexing anti-renewables stance of former Coalition prime minister Tony Abbott undermined confidence by generating uncertainty. Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions rose in the March quarter by 1.6 per cent, the biggest rise in almost a decade, making it all the more difficult for the country to meet its international commitments.

So the Victorian government’s decision to provide some certainty is welcome, and should help lead to affordable, reliable renewable energy. The government is asking green energy companies to tender for a contract to supply 650 megawatts of power, which is sufficient to meet the demand of every household in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley. The move comes a month after the government announced new battery storages that can deliver four hours of power to two regional Victorian towns of 100,000 people, and two solar farms to power Melbourne’s entire tram network, the world’s biggest.

The measures are fundamental to achieving the state government’s renewable energy targets of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. At the moment, about a 10th of the state’s power comes from renewable sources. The policy is all the more necessary following the recent closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station, which provided more than a fifth of Victoria’s electricity.

 The government’s modelling suggests the renewable energy “reverse auction” will spark $1.3 billion of investment in wind and solar, and ultimately reduce power prices for businesses and households. That remains to be seen. It will be important to monitor prices to prevent those least able to afford power from carrying a disproportionate cost. Again, the move to renewable energy is not optional, so there should be consideration of policies to relieve the burden on those on the lowest incomes.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | energy, Victoria | Leave a comment