Posts filed under ‘renewable energy’

Andrews Government proceeding with Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET)

20150914-Yes2renewables-VRET-submission
The Daniel Andrews Labor government will set Victorian Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025. Currently the Government is currently looking at a 20 percent target by 2020.

But they’re now taking submissions from the community to determine what the actual targets should be.

About 12 per cent of Victoria’s power is currently generated from wind and solar renewable energy. Almost 85 per cent is generated from the polluting brown-coal power plants located in the Latrobe Valley, such as Hazelwood and Yallourn.

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September 14, 2015 at 12:42 am 1 comment

Moreland roofs now generate 12MWh power annually from Solar PV

JugendSolar_small_0Welcome to the local solar revolution.

Moreland City Council has just installed an extra 100kW of solar PV panels – 390 new panels in all – on the Coburg Civic Centre roof. This adds to the existing 9kW system that was already functioning.

These panels will meet 30 per cent of the building’s energy needs, as well as saving 160 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, with an estimated saving of $23,000 from Council’s electricity bill each year,

Read more at MEFL: Coburg Town Hall gets solar-powered.

We think this is great news. Keep up the good work City of Moreland in transitioning to zero net emissions.

It is not only our Council that has been going solar, another item from the MEFL newsletter uses figures from the Clean Energy Regulator to show that at the end of February 2015:

  • 3,961 solar power systems had been installed in Moreland with a capacity of 10,708 kW
  • 414 solar power systems (1,622 kW) have been installed the 2014-15 financial year
  • 86 households have installed solar (244 kW) through the current bulk-buy coordinated by MEFL’s Positive Charge initiative
  • On average, householders in Moreland have installed 3.9 kW solar power systems

I also checked the latest figures for March 2015. In December 2013 I looked at the penetration of solar PV in Fawkner and more broadly across Moreland. Figues in brackets are from November 2013 data, so you can compare the change.

Suburb Total Dwellings Dwellings installed Percent Installed capacity
Fawkner 3060 4520 328 (246) 7.3% (5.4%) 940kW (571kW)
Hadfield, Glenroy and Oak Park 3046 11482 811 (635) 7.10% (5.5%) 2167kW (1391kW)
Coburg 3058 11303 1092 (835) 9.7% (7.4%) 3178kW (1990kW)
Pascoe Vale 3044 9127 680 (546) 7.5% (6%) 1716kW (1238kW)
Brunswick 3056 7014 504 (389) 7.20% (5.5%) 1264kW (835kW)
Brunswick South, Brunswick West 3055 3933 303 (246) 7.70% (6.3%) 756kW (563kW)
Moreland LGA 51330 (56139) 4027 (3343) 7.80% (6.1%) 10950kW (7666kW)

Congratulations Moreland. We now have a power station the equivalent of a 12MWh of annual generation capacity operating during the day on the roofs of Moreland. A good proportion of this energy would be used near production, saving in energy transmission losses. Of course Moreland is not the only municipality enjoying the solar PV revolution. Here are the latest stats of some Melbourne northern region solar PV installations:

Municipality Total Dwellings Dwellings installed Percent Installed capacity
Moreland 51330 4027 7.8% 10950kW
Moonee Valley 36135 3050 8.40% 8583kW
Darebin 46499 4400 9.5% 11316kW
Hume 54920 8007 14.6% 24692kW
Whittlesea 52770 7394 14.00% 20888kW
Banyule 43137 3681 8.50% 9959kW
Maribyrnong 23539 2026 8.60% 5753kW
Melbourne 10236 551 5.40% 2132kW

As you can see from this table the urban/rural fringe municipalities of Hume and Whittlesea have a much greater penetration of solar PV, now exceeding 14 per cent. These are not wealthy areas, with new estates where people have a substantial mortgage but also see solar PV as a cost effective way of saving on their utility electricity consumption. Moreland at 7.8% is second lowest after the City of Melbourne.

This graph shows the solar PV monthly aggregate installation across Moreland postcode areas time series:

Click to open larger version

Click to open larger version

There is still a lot of opportunity for take up of solar PV in Moreland.

If you are thinking of doing so, Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL) offshoot Postive Charge offers a solar PV bulk buy to save when purchasing.

This is one reason why consumer demand for electricity is falling.

But due to the loss of the carbon price from July 2014, utility scale energy production from both black and brown coal is rising. We need action at both state and Federal level to enhance emission standards that will result in the closure of some of our ageing coal fired clinkers like Hazelwood, which is the most polluting and inefficient power station in the industrial word, and produces substantial population health impacts and social costs.

 

April 15, 2015 at 11:21 pm 1 comment

Time for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target?

Candidates at the Brunswick candidates forum were asked a number of questions including whether Victoria should implement our own state-wide Renewable Energy Target (VRET) following the example of South Australia and the ACT.

Jane Garrett MP under pressure on renewable energy target for Victoria

Labor’s Jane Garrett MP under pressure on renewable energy target for Victoria while Greens candidate Tim Read looks on

Here is what I wrote in my report of the forum at Nofibs

Garrett, while supportive of renewables and action on climate change waffled on in her response including having a dig at the Greens in not supporting the CPRS scheme in 2009. However, she was accused of not answer the specific question regardomg setting a target.

Peter Allan again highlighted the lack of a direct answer from Garrett, “We don’t get an answer to a very specific question, which is what target should we be aiming for? There is no technical barrier for us to be moving very rapidly to renewable energy. There is no cost barrier. What there is is a political barrier. It is to do with vested interests that hold us back; the protection of the coal industry, the protection of large energy companies. That’s why we need a strong target.”

His statement brought strong applause from the audience.

Tim Read outlined very briefly the Greens policy of a Renewable Energy target for Victoria of a 40 pc reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, and close to 90 pc by 2030. Dean O’Callaghan advocated rapid reduction in emissions aiming for 100 pc reduction by 2020.

The Liberal Candidate Giuseppe Vellotti said “I fully support renewable energy targets” without explaining what those targets might be.

There were also relevant questions raised on East West Link, Recycling, and urban planning and development in Moreland.

The Napthine Government has been widely reported as one of the worst Government’s on its environment record for the last half century. See Gay Alcorn’s Guardian article : Victoria’s environmental record under scrutiny: how green is Denis Napthine?.

Even the Age has sought to editorially comment on The shameful absence of environmental policies.

The latest Climate Council report – The Australian Renewable Energy Race: Which States are Winning or Losing? – outlines that Victoria and NSW have moved from leaders to laggards in Australia’s renewable energy race.

It notes that:

  • Victoria has excellent wind and solar resources, however, the restrictive policy environment makes it the least favourable investment environment of any Australian state for renewable energy. Victoria has moved to actively discourage renewable energy, so, in contrast to South
    Australia, investment in renewable energy has dried up. Victoria’s
    restrictive policy environment has cost the state an estimated $4 billion in lost investment and 3,000 jobs.
  • Despite having 57% of the population Victoria and NSW only have 40% of renewable energy jobs.
  • Victoria’s electricity comprises only 12% of Australia’s new renewable energy capacity and NSW 7%.
  • Victoria currently has no emissions reduction targets or policies in place.

Friends of the Earth Yes to Renewables campaign has been very effective in highlighting the importance of developing Renewables in Victoria:

November 19, 2014 at 12:32 am 1 comment

Wills MP Kelvin Thomson goes into bat for ARENA and renewable energy

DSC03892-CAM-carbonpricing-2nd-birthday-Kelvin-ThomsonFederal MP for Wills, Kelvin Thomson spoke in the second reading debate for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014 on 28 August 2014 defending the need to maintain low carbon investment support and the Renewable Energy Target.

Thomson highlighted that ARENA has supported more than 190 renewable
energy projects, with more than $1.5 billion in private sector investment. An equal number of renewable energy projects is in the pipeline which might draw up to $5 billion in private sector funding. Rural and regional areas of Australia have benefited through job creation with about 70 per cent of projects in rural and regional areas.

“Experience from renewable energy markets overseas has shown that stable, long-term policy support provides the renewable energy industry with the required incentives to expand the renewable energy market. A clear commitment from the federal government on the policy framework surrounding renewable energy in Australia, such as the renewable energy target, provides the long-term certainty needed to encourage the growth of Australia’s renewable energy industry.”

Globally 144 countries have renewable energy targets in place with 138 support policies, up from 138 & 127 in 2012, while Australia is going backwards abolishing carbon pricing and in winding back renewable energy programs

He attacked the Government for having a “predetermined view of climate change” and that they “do not believe in it—full stop.”

On the Warburton review of the Renewable Energy Target: “The tragedy of the removal of RET is that it will jeopardise around one per cent of GDP in committed capital investment. It is regrettable that we have got a government that is more concerned with the ideological outcome or the vested interest than it is with a sound and visionary policy, which is what the renewable energy target is. This is real sovereign risk, not that bogus sovereign risk levelled at the mining tax or recently by the trade minister when he was talking about the budget in the Senate.” Thomson said.
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September 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

Warburton Review recommends slashing Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

Earth Relay for Climate Action - BrunswickNo surprises in the Warburton Review recommendations published this week. The review panel was after all hand picked to return a result the conservative and ideologically driven Abbott Government would be happy with.

Chaired by self confessed climate denier and former chairman of Caltex Dick Warburton, the recommendations involve changing the target by either closing the scheme to new investors or by setting targets based on the growth of electricity demand. The review also called for the outright abolition of the small-scale RET scheme – the scheme that assists solar PV panels installation on domestic houses and small businesses. This change would push up the cost of panels by 50 per cent according to a Sydney Morning Herald Report.

The review was very narrow in focus and did not consider adequately the climate science imperative for rapid climate change action and need to rapidly transition to renewables in stationary energy, and the need to do this as part of the global uptake in renewables, and nor did it assess or model the substantial health benefits and reduced medical costs provided of reduced air pollution.

Link: Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target
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August 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm 5 comments

Victorian Premier warns 100,000 premises may lose power during extreme heatwave

20140115-Jacana-heatwave-electricity-transmission-DSC03741-w640

The Premier Denis Napthine warned Victorians that 100,000 premises may lose power during the extreme heatwave due to demand on the state’s electricity grid. Thank you Premier, for your incompetence at managing electricity generation in Victoria.

Climate scientists have been warning of the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves, with a long term trend of increasing temperatures and 2013 being our hottest year on record. (See this 2009 study by Alexander and Arblaster – Assessing trends in observed and modelled climate extremes over Australia in relation to future projections (PDF))

Much of the electricity system is about managing peak demand through ensuring adequate generating capacity in the network. Victoria’s continued reliance on aging brown coal fired generators with impediments to diversification through renewables has let down the electors and residents of Victoria, badly. We are now seeing the results of poor climate and energy policy at the state level.
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January 16, 2014 at 3:29 am Leave a comment

Doorknocking for 20 000 Conversations about Renewable Energy before June!

In June Rob Oakeshott will table 20 000 renewable energy surveys collected from around the country by climate action groups like us as part of the national 100% Renewables Campaign.

We’ve set a target of 500 surveys, and we’ve already started, talking to people at the Sydney Road festival (see Jody pictured above), in the Coburg Mall, and coming up this weekend in fantastic Fawkner.

If you’d like to be a part of this national community campaign for green energy – get in touch! Details are below:

Doorknocking for Renewable Energy
Saturday, May 7, 1pm – 4pm (training from 1pm – 2pm)
Meet at Fawkner Neighbourhood House at the CB Smith Reserve
Corner of Jukes Road and Williams Road, Fawkner

Call Ellen on 0408 583 694 for more information.

May 4, 2011 at 8:16 am Leave a comment

March Politics in the Pub – Carbon Pricing

‘Renewable Energy or Just Less Money for Beer’ was the question that animated the discussion at Climate Action Moreland’s first Politics in the Pub for 2011. Views in Climate Action Moreland have been mixed on this most hotly of debated issues, proving that we do represent a broad cross section of Morelandian society!

We are all united on the need for urgent climate action however, and so the debate was focussed on whether or not carbon pricing would be effective to actually start to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  While some of the discussion considered the more technical aspects of carbon pricing, many people also added their thoughts on the political implications of either choosing to implement a carbon price now or whether we should wait for more clear alternatives.

What do you think about carbon pricing? Tell us your thoughts.

If we don’t get the carbon price, will Tony Abbott be elected? If we do, will this mean that we see no more action on climate in Australia, even though the carbon price will not significantly drive down emissions in its current form?

May 4, 2011 at 7:54 am Leave a comment

Part 2: Labor’s climate policy funding shuffle dance

This is the second part of our special series on the Labor Party’s 2010 climate policies. Part one is here. This edition, we discuss the funding shuffle dance that is Labor’s renewable energy policies.

Renewable energy (which includes ‛clean coal’ – who knew?)

Renewable Energy Future Fund (is this superannuation for wind farms?)

Well, it’s $652 million to support renewable energy projects, and development of low emissions technologies. It will also be used for energy efficiency programs for households and business. Sounds good, investing in new renewable technologies, doesn’t it? Except, as the Beyond Zero Emissions report outlines, we already have the technology to transition Australia to 100% clean energy.

But hey, we can always improve on existing technology, right? And household energy efficiency is a really effective, cheap way to reduce emissions, so that’s a great use of taxpayer dollars. Only problem: $9 million of this renewable energy money will be used to pay for the Big New Focus Group (BNFG) Huh. Wonder what else they’ll drain this one for. Don’t worry, it’s just a Future Fund, and the future never arrives! Right?

Connecting to the matrix

This is a new policy announcement – $1 billion over a decade to connect renewable energy projects to the electricity grid. Now, if we could only take that $2 billion going into ‛clean coal’ research and put it into actual renewable energy, we might have something substantial to connect to the grid. And how about the rest of the $9 billion we spend on fossil fuel subsidies? We could connect up a lot of renewable energy projects with $9 billion!

Solar Flagships (conjuring up confused images of ships with flags and solar panels)

This was announced in last year’s budget and was supposed to be a $1.5 billion program to establish large solar-power stations. This is great, yes? This is what Australians want – large scale renewable projects! So how’s it going so far? (more…)

August 18, 2010 at 12:09 am 3 comments

Door-knocking success with Hazelwood campaign

40 supporters of Climate Action Moreland have door-knocked and leafleted more than 2500 Brunswick homes to launch a new strategy to engage the community on climate issues in this key election year.

The door-knocking, on 17 April and 2 May, will continue at least once a month, with a focus on the campaign to replace Hazelwood power station, the dirtiest in the developed world. It was supposed to close in 2005, but the government extended its licence for another 25 years. Hazelwood is a national embarrassment, 80% foreign owned and responsible for 3% of Australia’s and almost 15% of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action Moreland wants it shut down by 2012 and replaced with renewable energy. We want the government to make shutting down Hazelwood an election promise, but they’ll only do that if we can show there is real community concern on the issue.  So we’re taking the issue to the streets of Brunswick… door by door! (more…)

May 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm 1 comment

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