Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Japanese companies join in starting storage battery business in South Australia

TEPCO JV to enter Australia battery biz

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004473933May 30, 2018
 TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Jera Co., a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and Chubu Electric Power Co., said Tuesday that it will enter storage battery business in Australia.

The thermal power and fuel company agreed to explore opportunities to deploy energy storage solutions in the Asia-Pacific region with Australian power company Lyon Group and Fluence Energy LLC, a U.S. storage battery maker partly held by German industrial giant Siemens AG.

Under their plan, the three companies will spend a total of ¥120 billion to build solar power plants equipped with lithium-ion batteries in three regions in Australia.

Their combined power generation capacities will reach some 550,000 kilowatts.

One of the power plants will be built in South Australia. It will have a 100,000-kilowatt battery system, one of the largest in the world.

The generated electricity will be sold locally. The companies aim to start running the power plants in 2019.

Jera expects to invest around ¥10 billion. The company hopes to learn know-how about the storage battery business, as the renewable energy market is forecast to expand.

Advertisements

June 1, 2018 Posted by | South Australia, storage | Leave a comment

Australians trust Labor more than Liberals, on energy policy

Labor trusted more on energy: Newspoll https://au.news.yahoo.com/labor-trusted-more-energy-newspoll-190748195–spt.html

More voters trust Labor to deliver lower power prices and secure supply than the coalition, despite the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee policy, a Newspoll shows.

The poll shows 39 per cent trust Labor, 37 per cent back the coalition, while 24 per cent remain uncommitted to keep prices down and secure supply, the Newspoll conducted for The Australian showed.

It comes as the federal government has pushed its NEG while facing mutiny in the partyroom over coal-fired power stations, such as Liddell.

The poll was conducted between May 24-27 and covered 1591 voters across regional areas and the major cities.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Scientists refute Ben Heard’s paper opposing reneweable energy

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources? https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/luot-cwg051718.php New article gathers the evidence to address the sceptics LAPPEENRANTA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 

Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts?

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard (at left) and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues.The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer each of the apparent issues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future. Continue reading

May 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Community Buying of solar power – a very good deal for Australia’s Non Profit organisations

NFPs Encouraged to Make the Switch to Solar   A new campaign has launched aiming to help the not-for-profit and community sector make the switch to renewable energy. Pro Bono,  Luke Michael, Journalist, 15 May 18

Community Buying Group and Moreland Energy Foundation officially launched The Big Solar Switch campaign on Monday.

The campaign aims to facilitate Australia’s largest switch to solar power by actively reducing barriers of solar installation for the not-for-profit and community sector.

Developed exclusively for charities and community organisations, the initiative uses the strength of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost and barriers of installing solar PV systems.

Packages contain a “best value” guarantee which includes negotiated rates for the sector, extended warranties, expert advice and links to funding.

Alison Rowe, the CEO of Moreland Energy Foundation, said unlike individual households and businesses, the charitable sector has not had the benefit of a dedicated program to assist them in the uptake of solar.

“Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL) has a proud history of supporting communities to benefit from solar installations. We are excited by the opportunity to support the NFP and charitable sector to navigate the process of installing solar PV,” Rowe said.

“MEFL has a wealth of experience having facilitated the installation of over 10 MW (megawatts) of solar. Being an NFP ourselves we understand the resource challenges facing the sector and strive to make the process of investigating solar simple.”

Jill Riseley, the chair of Community Buying Group, told Pro Bono News electricity prices were causing a big headache for community organisations.

………Community Buying Group is hoping for around 10,000 organisations to make the switch to solar power during the campaign.The campaign’s roll-out will firstly focus on the housing sector, with the initial deadline for housing providers on 15 June.

This rollout for large NFPs will commence in late June.

Riseley encouraged the sector to buy-in to the campaign.

“The story we’re really trying to get out to the sector is that it’s a permanent reduction in one of their core operational expenses and it’s a real game changer for the bottom line of many NFPs,” she said.  https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/05/nfps-encouraged-make-switch-solar/

May 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Australian businesses on the move to renewable energy

Almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables
Climate Council says capacity of firms to generate solar power has doubled in less than two years, Guardian,  
Ben Smee, 15 May 18, 

Almost half of Australia’s large businesses are actively transitioning to cheaper renewable energy, including many going off the grid by building their own generators and battery storage, as power bills threaten their bottom line.

A new report by the Climate Council details the increased speed of a business-led transition to renewables as power bills have increased.

The average household and small-business energy bill is more than 80% higher than a decade ago. Gas prices have increased threefold in five years.   

Many businesses – including 46% of large operations – have responded by seeking green alternatives. The Climate Council report, released on Tuesday, said the capacity of Australian businesses to generate their own solar power had doubled in less than two years.

Business owners report making their investment back through cost savings in less than five years.

The general manager of AustChilli at Bundaberg, Ian Gaffel, said the decision to invest in solar panels was a “no-brainer”.

AustChilli employs more than 100 people in the agriculture and food manufacturing process. The business initially built a 100kW solar system and about 18 months ago added an additional 200kW.

Solar now accounts for about a quarter of the business’s power usage.

“We looked for many years at the idea before jumping in a few years ago,” Gaffel said. “We’re a growing business so as we’ve grown the energy we’re using goes up.”

“My role is on the financial side and from the numbers it was a very easy decision……..

Gaffel said the cost savings gave the business more confidence and certainty when deciding to expand and hire more employees. The next step for the business will likely be battery storage, which will further decrease its reliance on the energy grid.

The story is being repeated across the country, particularly in the manufacturing industry, where increased power bills have squeezed profits……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/15/almost-half-of-australian-big-business-moving-to-renewables 

May 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Australia’s scarce water could be helped by solar and wind power

Solar and wind could ease Australia’s water shortage https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/solar-and-wind-could-ease-australia-s-water-shortage-20180513-p4zf1t.html -By Cole Latimer, 

Australia is one the world’s top 20 water-stressed nations but a shift to more renewable energy could lessen the nation’s water pressure.

A report by the World Resources Industry identified Australia as one country vulnerable to water stress where the potential for cheap renewable energy, solar and wind as opposed to fossil fuels, could reduce water consumption country-wide as these technologies use minimal – or zero – water.

May 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, solar, wind | 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 can be the first 100 per cent renewables-powered continent

‘Captain Sunshine’ says Australia is not living up to its solar potential,    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/captain-sunshine-says-australia-is-not-living-up-to-its-solar-potential-20180426-p4zbr0.html   By Cole Latimer Australia can be the first 100 per cent renewables-powered continent, but it needs the political will to do so, a global solar expert says.

“Australia is not living up to its potential for power generation. It should be aiming for 100 per cent renewable energy, but Australia is up against the older, entrenched fossil fuel industry,” renewable energy entrepreneur and the chief executive of energy investor Energiya Global Capital, Yosef Abramowitz, said.

Dubbed “Captain Sunshine”, Mr Abramowitz is considered a global authority on the application and commercialisation of solar energy technology and has raised millions of dollars to build solar energy projects in Israel and East Africa.

Currently, solar energy accounts for just over 5 per cent of Australia’s total power generation despite it having the world’s highest average solar radiation – the potential for solar energy – of about 58 million petajoules of energy, or about 10,000 times the nation’s annual energy consumption. The size of a solar farm needed to power all of Australia would cover about 6270 square kilometres or approximately 0.1 per cent of the country.

“It’s a myth that the technology is not quite there yet. The time is now to scale towards 100 per cent given Australia’s amazing solar, wind and land resources,” Mr Abramowitz told Fairfax Media.

One of the major hurdles for the integration of more wind and solar power into Australia’s energy mix is the intermittency of the generation. For example, what to do when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Overcoming this requires more consistent generation, known as “reliability”, in the grid, which can be provided through gas- and coal-fired generation as well as pumped hydro storage. This need for reliability is one of the main pillars of the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee, which has limited the levels of wind and solar in the future energy mix to ensure a secure grid.

A solar farm large enough to power all of Australia would only cover 0.1% of the country.

Earlier this week, the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, also warned of flow-on economic effects caused by rising levels of rooftop solar. She said as more people installed rooftop solar, the proportional costs increased for those who still relied solely on grid power for their electricity.

Mr Abramowitz said while the task of shifting to complete renewable generation seemed gargantuan, it was possible.

“In Israel, we wanted the whole southern tip of the country to be 100 per cent powered by solar energy during the day, from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, – it seemed unlikely,” Mr Abramowitz said. “Today, that region is 70 per cent powered by solar energy during the day and can be 100 per cent by 2020.”

He said Australia lacked the political will to make the push for more renewable energy but added that it was a two-way street and the people needed to demand a shift in energy.

“Political leaders will follow the people’s will, we’d like to see more green audacity,” he said.

He said with more political support and policy frameworks solar markets could strengthen in Australia.

“Australia has had an on/off progress in solar –  investors need to see a horizon,” he said.

“It’s difficult for the investment community to go ahead now, Australia needs to project a long-range horizon that investors can get excited about.

Australia needs to re-examine its coal-fired power plants and consider the costs of phasing them out; the timing is a political decision but the economic decision is simple.”

He added that Australia’s vast gas resources could also be utilised to aid this shift away from coal power.

Mr Abramowitz said solar power could provide a massive economic opportunity for the Northern Territory, particularly in remote communities. “When you have people living off the grid they tend to be poorer, as there is a real correlation between a lack of access to energy and a lack of economic development,” he said.

May 2, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Renewable energy jobs up by a third – Australian Bureau of Statistics

27 Apr 18, The number of jobs in Australia related to renewable energy production grew by one-third in 2016-17 to 14,820 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS Director of Environment and Agriculture Statistics, Lauren Binns, said the 33 per cent increase on the previous year was mainly due to a number of major wind and solar energy projects starting their construction phase.

“The increase in employment in 2016-17 was driven primarily by three states, Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia ” said Ms Binns.

Queensland had the largest increase in renewable energy employment, gaining an extra 1,220 FTE jobs, as a result of construction of large scale solar farms.

New South Wales and South Australia, on the other hand, realised most of their increases from new wind farm construction.

“In recent years, Australia has experienced growth in the amount of energy derived from renewable sources. While the proportion of energy from renewable sources remains relatively small there is considerable interest in renewable energy activities and associated employment,” said Ms Binns.

While roof top solar employment accounts for nearly half of the renewable energy jobs, the numbers have declined substantially over time, from a peak of 14,300 in 2011-12 to 6,430 in 2016-17.

The ABS publication, Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia, provides experimental estimates of the levels of employment in renewable energy by state and territory, and by types of renewable energy activities. 
The scope of employment estimates in this publication is employment in activities principally motivated by the production of renewable energy, and/or by the design, construction and/or operation and maintenance of renewable energy infrastructure.

Further details can be found in Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, 2016-17 (cat. no. 4631.0), available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/4631.0Media%20Release12016-17?OpenDocument

May 2, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy | Leave a comment

South Australian clean energy businesses launch power-trading platform using blockchain

Business News 23rd March 2018, A group of small and medium-size South Australian businesses plan to launch a first-of-its-kind power trading platform using blockchain technology in an attempt to save money and buy and sell local clean energy.

Blockchain-based microgrid developer LO3 Energy, of New York, is working on the project with solar and electrical firm Yates Electrical Services, of Paringa, South Australia, a region known for its vineyards, almond and fruit orchards — and incredibly high electricity prices.

The blockchain, perhaps best known as the technology behind the digital currencies Bitcoin
and Etherium, is a decentralized ledger that enables and tracks all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. The technology uses encryption to ensure that transactions and data are secure, and provides verification and validation to users.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3029020/south-australian-businesses-launch-blockchain-app-to-cut-costs-trade-local-clean-energy

March 23, 2018 Posted by | business, energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Floating solar array included in South Australia Water’s big move into solar power

SA Water set to add another 5MW solar, including floating PV array http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-water-set-add-another-5mw-solar-including-floating-pv-array-85781/  By Sophie Vorrath on 22 March 2018   One Step Off The Grid   

South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier, SA Water, is set to install another 5MW of solar PV, including a floating solar plant, after local outfit Enerven was awarded the tender for the job.

Enerven said on Wednesday that it had won a Stage 1 contract to design and construct ground-based solar installations at facilities in Hope Valley, Christies Beach and Glenelg, and to develop a floating solar PV array.

SA Water, which has targeted zero net energy by 2020, began its shift to solar last year, with a tender to install 100kW solar and 50kWh battery storage at its Crystal Brook Workshop site.

The utility, which manages more than 27,000km of water mains, including 9,266 km in the Adelaide metropolitan area, said it was installing the solar and storage system to manage periods of high electricity prices, and to ensure safe and sustainable delivery of water to customers.

Ultimately, the company aims to get its on-site renewable energy generation to the point where it is equal to the total annual amount of energy used by SA Water’s buildings and desalination operations.

And it is not alone in its quest. As we have reported on One Step Off The Grid, a number of Australian water utilities are turning to solar and/or wind energy to lower costs and help guarantee supply.

In Queensland, Logan City Council has installed an off-grid solar and battery storage system as part of a micro-grid powered “electro-chlorinator” that will help maintain local drinking water quality 24 hours a day.

The solution – delivered by the Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance and solar installer CSR Bradford – combined a 95kWh Tesla Powerpack with 323 PV panels at the site of the relatively new 20 Megalitre Round Mountain Reservoir, which provides drinking water for residents in Flagstone, Yarrabilba, North Maclean, Spring Mountain and Woodhill.

In the regional Victorian city of Portland, Wannon Water has installed a 100kW solar system on a water tank at its treatment plant at Hamilton that was expected to cut the plant’s grid electricity consumption by 25 per cent.

In NSW, a community-funded 100kW floating solar array has been installed at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant in NSW.

And Queensland’s City of Gold Coast is proposing to install a series of floating solar PV arrays on its network of wastewater ponds – both to help power the city’s wastewater treatment plants and to cut evaporation from the ponds.

Enerven says design of the SA Water solar project has commenced, and is due for completion in September 2018.

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Solar energy poised to take off in a big way in New South Wales

NSW, the sleeping giant of rooftop solar, is about to awake http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-sleeping-giant-rooftop-solar-awake-68621/   By Giles Parkinson on 22 March 2018 

March 22, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall carrying out the Liberal agenda – Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households.

SA’s New Premier Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households. Gizmodo, Hayley Williams Mar 19, 2018 

Incoming South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has today revealed that the Liberal government will not continue with Jay Weatherill’s plan to install batteries in thousands of low-income households. The new government’s plan will instead focus on means-tested subsidies for battery systems, and on the grid scale a focus on interconnectivity with NSW.

In a radio interview with ABC RN Breakfast this morning, Marshall talked briefly about his focus for South Australia in the upcoming years, including the direction he was planning to take with Jay Weatherill’s many renewable initiatives. Marshall confirmed that the party would be continuing with a $100 million home battery subsidy outlined mid campaign, rather than following through on the Labor campaign that would have installed Tesla batteries in South Australia’s Housing Trust homes at no cost to their occupants.

While on the surface Marshall’s plan sounds similar, promising batteries in 40,000 homes where Labor had aimed for batteries and rooftop solar on 50,000 houses, the Liberal plan cuts low income earners out of the equation. “[Jay Weatherill] was doing it for Housing Trust homes in South Australia. That’s not part of our agenda,” Marshall clarified. “Our agenda is the 40,000 homes and we’re going to do 10,000 a year.”

While the grants – around $2,500 per home – will be means tested, they are intended for houses with existing rooftop solar, and still require an upfront payment that low income earners will not be able to afford. The cheapest battery available in Australia is the Ampetus Super Lithium at $2,300 for 2.7kWh of usable storage, but this doesn’t include the cost of installation, a separate inverter and the solar panels to go with it.

Disappointingly, Marshall has said he will not be upholding Weatherill’s promise of a 75 per cent renewable target for South Australia. “We don’t believe in state-based renewable energy targets,” he explained. “We do support a national approach.” Yet experts have said that the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee sets too soft a target for the electricity industry to pull its weight on meeting Australia’s emission targets under the Paris Agreement, making it all the more disappointing that South Australia will now be doing even less to help……..https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/03/sas-new-premier-cuts-access-to-solar-batteries-for-low-income-households/

March 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

India’s solar parks – a good system for Australia, too

Farming the sun’s rays: Should Australia follow India’s lead and create solar parks?   http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-21/farming-the-suns-rays-australian-farmers-should-follow-india/9526812 NSW Country Hour By Michael Condon, 21 Mar 18, [Excellent graphics] 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

South Australia’s new Premier vows to kill the Tesla battery storage plan

Marshall’s first promise as SA premier: Kill Tesla battery plan  http://reneweconomy.com.au/marshalls-first-promise-as-sa-premier-kill-tesla-battery-plan-68601/  By Giles Parkinson on 19 March 2018 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia, storage | Leave a comment