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When it comes to energy resources, there aren't many places on Earth that can rival Australia in either abundance or variety ... coal, wind, waves, solar, nuclear, hydro, natural gas or biomass

Some critics describe Australia as the engine room of climate change, as we stoke the fires of global warming with coal exports and our own reliance on 'dirty' electricity production. Others more optimistically point to the ingenuity of Australian research in developing viable new technologies for harnessing cleaner, green alternatives, and even see us as having the potential to be leaders in the battle to contain climate change.

  Coal seam gas (link to series)
Greener than grass...??
Click here for coal seam gas series

  Powering up battery energy storage
Australia is in the process of a complete energy market transformation and people are thinking big to solve problems. It seems we are well on the way to forming a new power base in this country. A whole suite of technology is emerging to support that shift and economics is supporting that transformation too. Batteries have evolved enormously in the last few years, having changed their chemistry. Lithium battery will be the predominate battery for the next decade and it is predicted they will drop by 40% from their present price of $10-12,000. There are huge investments in building factories that make lithium batteries.Tesla Corporation has reached an agreement with South Australia to build the world’s largest storage battery in conjunction with a French company (Neoen) that builds wind farms (the Tesla battery will be sited at a wind farm connected to the grid). Elon Musk has promised that if the battery isn’t built in 100 days then it will be free. The battery will have a supply capacity of 100 megawatts (more than double the present largest battery installation) and be able to store 129 megawatt-hours of energy. It will provide load balancing for South Australia’s renewable energy generation and allow emergency back-up power if a shortfall in energy production is predicted.  A Brisbane company, the Lyon Group, already has proposals to build even bigger batteries in South Australia.

Commercial-scale batteries use a modular approach and are often housed in shipping containers that are readil available all around the world (since they’re uneconomical to ship back to China). The Tesla battery housing is of a different style, but is still modular.  

  Power politics and the SA Black System in 2016
What caused the Black System in South Australia
Dr Barry Manor, Sustainability Consultant, explains how the black system occurred in South Australia, creating a loss of electricity for the whole state. On the 28th September 2016 the South Australian electricity grid suffered what is known as a black system. This happens when an entire grid goes down to zero volts, completely losing all electricity. Amid a period of high winds, lashing rain and thousands of lightning strikes right across the state, this is how the black system happened:

  Switched on solar research
Australian research and development has achieved such outstanding improvements in photovoltaics that now hold the world record of 40% efficiency for converting sunlight to electricity. The next step is already underway towards demonstrating viable, economically competitive local and international solar power plants.

  All about domestic solar systems
Rick Roberts has been in the energy efficiency industry for some 16 years and shines a light on household energy efficiency and solar power.

  Be part of the lighting revolution (series)
Solid state lighting versus incandescents or fluorescents: last 100 times as long, use a fraction of the electricity; free from mercury and completely recyclable. So join the LEDers!

  Wind power (series)
Clean, green, sustainable and the most cost effective of our renewables.
It's also becoming the most over regulated of our energy industries.......

  Unexpected outcomes: the energy-water nexus in NSW
Research into the nexus between water and energy in NSW examines how some of the unintended outcomes of the water and energy markets need to be addressed.

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