Renewable Energy

Australia’s biggest solar farm switches on in Port Augusta

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Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 220MW (AC) Bungala solar project near Port Augusta in South Australia – has begun production marking the important first stage of the transformation of a former coal city into a… Giles Parkinson REnewEconomy The first output from Bungala – which could end up being a 300MW project if all three stages are built – was injected into the local grid last week, as final commissioning of the 110MW first stage continues. Bungala, located 12kms from ... Read More »

California becomes first US state to require solar on new homes

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California has become the first U.S. state to require solar panels on all new residential buildings as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Hurriyet The California Energy Commission said the new building standards, adopted unanimously by its members, will go into effect on January 1, 2020. “We are the first, we will not be the last,” commissioner David Hochschild said after the new mandate was adopted. “This is a landmark vote today.” According to the plan, residential homeowners could expect to ... Read More »

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern bans oil exploration

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is defending her Government’s dramatic ban on offshore oil exploration, saying the transition to a zero-carbon economy “must start somewhere” and promising that no jobs will be lost. Isaac Davison NZ Herald “Unless we make decisions today that will essentially take effect in 30 or more years’ time, we run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country,” she said at a press conference in Wellington this morning. “I ... Read More »

Australia’s greenest energy companies leave big retailers behind

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Powershop and Diamond Energy have been voted as Australia’s most green energy retailers in Greenpeace’s electricity guide. Cole Latimer The Sydney Morning Herald The two retailers were the only companies to win a five out of five star rating in the third annual Green Electricity Guide from Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre. “In taking the top two places for the third time running, five-star retailers Powershop and Diamond Energy continue to be the guiding lights in the retail energy ... Read More »

Big coal no more

JACKERATH, GERMANY - JANUARY 09: Mining machines operate in the open-strip coal mine in Garzweiler, in Jackerath, Germany, on January 9, 2018. The village of Immerath will be completely razed in order to make way for the expansion of the nearby Garzweiler open-pit coal mine. RWE, the utility that operates the mine, is moving Immerath's approximately 1,400 residents to a new settlement about 8km west. Protesters decry the expansion of Garzweiler as unnecessary as Germany has committed itself to heavy investment in renewable energy sources.  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

The industry once ruled Europe. Now it’s struggling to survive. Sara Stefanini Politico The coal lobby used to be a Brussels power player. No more. Euracoal’s staff peaked in the 1970s. The 60-year-old industry association was a force to be reckoned with as it lobbied hard for the fuel that had powered Europe’s industrial revolution and was still a crucial part of its energy mix. Today, Euracoal has just three staffers, and this year the organization left its old spacious offices ... Read More »

Winds of change: Britain now generates twice as much electricity from wind as coa

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Just six years ago, more than 40% of Britain’s electricity was generated by burning coal. Grant Wilson Iain Staffell The Conversation Today, that figure is just 7%. Yet if the story of 2016 was the dramatic demise of coal and its replacement by natural gas, then 2017 was most definitely about the growth of wind power. Wind provided 15% of electricity in Britain last year (Northern Ireland shares an electricity system with the Republic and is calculated separately), up from 10% in 2016. ... Read More »

The Bonn Climate Conference: All Our Coverage in One Place

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Hello, and welcome to our coverage of the Bonn climate conference. Jonathan Ellis The New York Times Negotiators from nearly 200 countries are meeting this week in Bonn, Germany, in the biggest climate change talks of the year. Our reporters Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer are there and will be bringing you news and updates throughout. We are collecting all of our coverage here, in one place. Let’s start with the basics. Here’s what the Bonn conference is all about ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

Germany set to pay customers for electricity usage as renewable energy generation creates huge power surplus

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Output from wind turbines forecast to hit record on Sunday German power producers are poised to pay customers to use electricity this weekend. Jesper Starn The Independent Wind generation is forecast to climb to a record on Sunday, creating more output than needed and driving electricity prices below zero, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show. It would be the first time this year that the average price for a whole day is negative, not just for specific hours. Germany’s grid operators ... Read More »

New Zealand’s incoming PM Jacinda Ardern signs coalition deal, outlines plans to go green

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New Zealand’s incoming Government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport. AP/ABC Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as prime minister this week, on Tuesday outlined agreements her Labour Party reached with other political parties joining them in the new Government. In addition to the environmental initiatives, Ms Ardern also outlined plans to raise the ... Read More »

New market prices on renewable energy means 2030 targets can be set even higher

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A healthy development in offshore wind has enabled steep cost reductions in wind power, creating the opportunity to exceed the current 2030 European RES target. Aske Chiko Wong  Politico The EU agreement stating that 27 percent of the energy supply should come from renewable energy sources was made on the assumption of a cost level that would reach €123/MWh in 2020. However, current costs are much lower, as recent development in offshore wind has made it possible to deliver green ... Read More »

Eclipse tests the power grid’s mettle as solar energy goes dark

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The total eclipse of the sun Monday is expected to prompt fossil fuel generators to ramp up quickly to fill in the gaps as solar power goes dark from Oregon to the… John Siciliano Washington Examiner  Grid operators and watchdogs say the biggest effects from the loss of solar-generated electricity will occur in California, which represents 40 percent of the nation’s solar… Other states expected to be especially hit by the loss of solar include North Carolina, Utah, and… For ... Read More »

Global Meltdown? Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilis

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This year will go down with 1979 (Three Mile Island), 1986 (Chernobyl) and 2011 (Fukushima) as one of the nuclear industry’s worst ever ‒ and there’s still another six months to go, writes Dr Jim… Jim Green New Matilda Two of the industry’s worst-ever years have been in the past decade and there will be many more bad years ahead as the trickle of closures of ageing reactors becomes a flood ‒ the… The likelihood of reactor start-ups matching closures ... Read More »

France will ‘ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040’

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Environment minister unveils five-year-plan to fulfil country’s commitments under Paris Agreement Chloe Farand    Independent France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced. Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by… France will ‘ban… Read More »

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars

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Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. Michelle Grattan The Conversation She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”. Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a… Politics podcast: Anna… Read More »

To slow climate change, India joins the renewable energy revolution

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On June 3, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an… Arun Agrawal The Conversation Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their… For observers who equate India’s energy production with a… To slow climate… Read More »