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Giles Parkinson

Malcolm Turnbull announces $2 billion on 2GW pumped hydro scheme

March 16, 2017
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Malcolm Turnbull has announced federal government plans to spend $2 billion on a 2GW pumped hydro scheme in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains, in what could be the most significant intervention in Australia’s energy markets in half a century. The proposal – which is subject to a feasibility study and funding agreements from Snowy Hydro’s […]

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SA to spend $500 million on Australia’s largest battery storage and gas power plant

March 15, 2017
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South Australia has announced plans to install the nation’s biggest battery storage installation, as part of a state government response to the series of blackouts and what it says are the failures of the National Electricity Market. The $500 million scheme includes plans for a new battery storage installation of at least 100MW, a new […]

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Tesla founder predicts imminent end of the fossil fuel era

March 14, 2017
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US EV and battery maker Tesla has suggested that the inflection point grid-scale battery storage is not 20 years away – as some politicians and industry groups would argue – but within sight at just 100 days away. That, at least, was the time it would take to Tesla build a 100MW battery storage facility in […]

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Australian Energy Market Operator warns of looming domestic gas supply crisis

March 12, 2017
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The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned of a looming domestic gas supply crisis, and noted that shortages over the 2018/19 summer would present huge opportunities for new technologies such as battery storage and demand management. The warning of shortages, which are expected to impact electricity markets the worst in the states on NSW and SA, […]

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LG Chem: solar and battery storage beating grid power in most Australian states

March 10, 2017
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South Korean battery storage maker LG Chem has claimed that solar and battery storage is already beating grid power in most Australian states. According to Jamie Allen, the marketing head in Australia for LG Chem, a 5kW rooftop solar system and a 10kWh battery storage device (such as LG Chem’s own 9.8kWh offering) can be […]

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Coal, the biggest risk to grid security, not solar or wind

March 9, 2017
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A new study has found that the biggest threat to network stability in Australia’s electricity grid comes not from an increase in renewables, but from the control settings on the dominant fleet of “synchronous generators” – namely the country’s coal and gas fleet. The significant new study – submitted to government authorities, network operators and […]

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Coalition’s “clean coal” plan to power heavyweights Gina and Clive in Galilee basin

March 1, 2017
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A 2009 proposal from businessman Clive Palmer that would be used to help provide electricity to Galilee coal mines planned by Palmer himself, Gina Rinehart, and Indian group Adani, has been revealed as the so-called “clean coal” power generator being promoted by the federal government. Waratah Coal, the company owned by Palmer’s Mineralogy, confirmed to […]

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Neoen aims to reach 1GW wind and solar by 2020

March 1, 2017

French renewables company Neoen has revealed plans to install a total 1GW of large-scale wind and solar in Australia, after completing finance for the 109MW Hornsdale 3 wind farm in South Australia. Hornsdale 3, which is currently under constructions, last year signed an off-take agreement with the ACT government to provide electricity at a fixed […]

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Solar power market heading for big 2017, as costs drop sharply

February 24, 2017
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A new report has predicted that solar power is headed for a “huge year” in Australia in 2017, on the back of a boom in the large-scale market and a home solar and storage market that is expected to treble. The Climate Council’s State of Solar 2016, published last week, confirms solar is now the […]

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Australia can reach 100 per cent renewable energy says CSIRO

February 24, 2017
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The nation’s chief scientific body has advised there are no technical barriers to prevent Australia from achieving 100 per cent renewables on its electricity grid, and that levels of around 30 per cent were just “trivial”. The comments were made by CSIRO lead energy research scientist Paul Graham at the Senate select committee into the […]

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Victorian government to build Australia’s first grid scale battery storage facility

February 22, 2017
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Victoria’s Labor government is calling for expressions of interest to build a 20MW battery storage array, in what would likely be Australia’s first grid scale battery storage facility. The 20MW battery storage facility is being earmarked for western Victoria, where the Australian Energy Market Operator has identified opportunities to improve grid stability, and where many […]

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US-based solar tower and storage developer surprised of Australia’s “new coal” pursuits

February 21, 2017
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US-based solar tower and storage developer SolarReserve has expressed surprise that Australia’s federal government is pursuing “new coal” plants, saying that solar towers with storage beats coal on just about all fronts. Tom Georgis, the company’s head of international development, says solar towers and storage can match and beat coal on capability – providing baseload […]

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Rooftop solar saved the day, but households got paid a pittance

February 18, 2017
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Solar power played a major role in reducing stress on grids in Queensland and New South Wales during the massive heatwave late last week, but were solar households fairly rewarded for their contribution? As we reported last week, coal and gas dependent Queensland has recorded more than 40 more high priced events in 2017 than […]

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The PM has battery storage added to his solar system at his Point Piper mansion

February 17, 2017
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Amid the threat of summer power blackouts in the NSW, it has emerged that Australian Prime Mininster Malcolm Turnbull has added battery storage to the solar system at his harbourside mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper. Related PostsResidential Solar PV Price Index – November 2016 (15 Nov, 2016) Tesla Motors to begin charging drivers for access […]

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Fossil fuel generators, not renewables should be blamed for high energy prices

February 9, 2017
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The Australian Energy Regulator has been investigating more than half a dozen “high priced” events on the National Electricity Market, and some of the reports it has already completed make astonishing reading. Take the events of last November 18 in New South Wales, when the spot price of electricity jumped to more than $11,700/MWh in […]

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Modelling from government advisor shows high RET may be cheapest option

December 16, 2016
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Modelling from the federal government’s preferred energy market advisor reveals that a high renewable energy target offers the cheapest avenue for consumers to reach the country’s modest emissions reduction targets for 2030. The latest modelling from Frontier Economics, a long-time critic of the RET, are based on a cost of large-scale solar plants that assumes […]

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NSW & QLD stand against reforms that could help keep prices down for consumers

December 16, 2016
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The Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales are standing in the way of reforms that the Australian Energy Regulator says will help put a lid on network costs and keep prices down for consumers. Queensland, which retains its networks, and New South Wales, which will retain most of its while it leases some, […]

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Rooftop Solar Subsidy to be reduced on 1 January 2017

December 12, 2016
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An Australia-wide, upfront subsidy for rooftop solar systems is set to be reduced within a few weeks when the “deeming period” for solar systems declines from 15 years to 14 years on January 1. The long-standing rebate for the purchase of rooftop solar systems is based on the estimated output of a system over 15 […]

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A Change in market rules will help reduce wholesale energy prices

December 4, 2016
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While the Coalition and the fossil fuel lobby has tried to use blackouts in South Australia as an excuse to go slow on renewables and abolish state-based targets, others are pushing for a rethink about electricity market rules and operations so the grid can embrace 21st technology and practices. A new report has highlighted how […]

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NSW Minister pushing for households to share energy with other households

November 30, 2016
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New South Wales parliamentary secretary Adam Marshall wants to slash the development fees for large-scale renewable energy projects in the state. The Young National Party MLA told the North Coast Energy Forum in Coffs Harbour last week that in the case of one 300MW solar project slated for his electorate, fees are 10 to 20 […]

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Battery storage take-up in Australia to snowball forward

November 23, 2016
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A NSW-based community solar and battery storage bulk buy program has been so successful that the promoters believe the battery storage sector may be in the early stages of mass-market uptake. The campaign, led by Suncrowd, has attracted thousands of people at roadshows in regional towns in New South Wales in the last few months, […]

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Climate conspiracy gets hold of Senate as Coalition attacks coal opponents

November 23, 2016
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Australia’s federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has attacked “latte-sipping” opponents of coal mining in a day at Parliament that also featured vigorous debate questioning climate science in the Senate. Asked during question time by Greens MP Adam Bandt about a US government report that warned of a 1.5m rise in sea levels by 2050 if greenhouse […]

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IEA questions Australia’s commitment to coal

November 22, 2016
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The International Energy Agency has questioned Australia’s commitment to extract thermal coal from huge new reserves in Queensland, in the face of what describes as “increasingly questionable” economics. In its latest World Energy Outlook, the conservative Paris-based organisation said thermal coal demand in China had peaked three years ago and was declining, leaving the fate […]

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The network value of solar isn’t that valuable says Victoria regulator

November 17, 2016
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In the second phase of a report commissioned by the state Labor government, Victoria’s pricing regulator has concluded that the value to the network of rooftop solar is not as much as many might expect – and even then is subject to time and location. The 176-page report released by the Essential Services Commission on […]

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New report exposes myth around Australia’s “cheap energy”

November 15, 2016

Australia’s wholesale electricity prices  have hardly budged in the last few decades, thanks largely to the impact of renewable energy, a new report has shown. The report, the latest of Hugh Saddler’s monthly reports from Pitt & Sherry and The Australia Institute, suggests renewables have acted to help bring down wholesale prices from where they […]

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What a Trump presidency means for the global energy market

November 11, 2016
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What does a Trump presidency mean for the global energy market? The reality is that we simply don’t know. Nevertheless, it doesn’t look good. And on any conventional assessment, it is a disaster on many levels – particularly for the efforts to address climate change and for the clean energy industry in the US. Trump […]

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Oz Minerals to use solar power to run a $1 billion copper mine in South Australia

November 4, 2016
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Australian copper miner Oz Minerals is looking to solar power to help run a $1 billion copper mine it plans to build in South Australia, in what would be the biggest commitment to renewables by a mining company in Australia. Managing director Andrew Cole says the company could use solar power to help run the proposed […]

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Tesla founder plans to lead global push to 100 percent renewable energy

November 2, 2016
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On Friday, in Los Angeles, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the latest elements of his plan to lead a global push to 100 per cent renewable energy: a solar roof shingle and the second generation of his home and utility scale battery storage offerings. While revealed with a lot less fanfare and a […]

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Proposed tariff would keep solar households connected to the grid

October 30, 2016
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Australia’s main network lobby hopes to encourage more than one million households with solar and storage to stay connected to the main networks, rather than quit the grid, with the proposal of a new tariff for stand-alone power systems. A new report commissioned by the Energy Networks Association predicts that by 2050 some 10 per […]

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Half a million solar panels installed every day in 2015: IEA

October 25, 2016
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An average of half a million solar panels a day were installed globally in 2015 and more than four wind turbines every hour, as renewables overtook coal for the first time and became the largest single source of installed capacity in the world. The International Energy Agency – in its medium-term outlook report for renewables – expects […]

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Newcastle NSW – world’s largest coal port – to get 5MW solar farm

October 19, 2016
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The council of the former “coal city” of Newcastle, NSW, is seeking expressions of interest for a 5MW solar farm to be built on a closed landfill site as part. The tender, released on Tuesday, is part of Newcastle Council’s plan to cut its emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and source 30 per […]

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