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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.

  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 is not 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 renewable energy generation in SA 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 readily available all around the world (since they are uneconomical to ship back to China).

  Power politics and the SA Black System in 2016
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, amid a period of high winds, lashing rain and thousands of lightning strikes right across the state, 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. 

  Practical power policies not politics please
  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.

  Some good news for renewables
Some good news for renewables
New Energy Levels: Mark Bretherton, from the Clean Energy Council, explains the role of this peak renewable energy organisation and the role of other organisations and factors in Australia’s renewable energy sector. The last few years have been challenging for the renewable energy sector when the federal government decided to review the Renewal Energy Target (RET) at the beginning of 2014. The RET is the most important policy for the renewable energy industry, encouraging the lowest cost types of renewables to be built. The uncertainty created by that review meant that financiers were reluctant to lend the money required, investments dropping by 90% for large scale renewables like wind farms and solar farms. The 13 projects that were underway in 2013 slowed to a trickle, with only a couple of projects still underway. The 18 months of chronic uncertainty were ended when bipartisan support for a lower target was achieved.

  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.......

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

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