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Independents Crucial to Climate Change Deadlock

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

Australia’s clean energy industry urges Federal Independent MPs to back whichever party will deliver a carbon price as soon as possible and provide the optimal conditions for investment in renewable energy.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the independents had a rare opportunity to negotiate a win for their electorates, regional Australia and the environment.

The Clean Energy Council has welcomed positive comments by Independent MPs on climate change policy, particularly those made by the member for New England Tony Windsor who described an emissions trading scheme as an opportunity for the bush, rather than a problem.

Mr Windsor told media yesterday that climate change policy has been the ‘elephant in the room’ throughout the campaign. All four independents have also supported more investment in renewable energy.

“An emission trading scheme is widely recognised as being the most efficient way of reducing emissions across the country,” Mr Warren said, “It is a policy that has been supported by Professor Ross Garnaut, Former Prime Minister John Howard, former Coalition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, the National Farmers Federation, the Greens and the Labor Party.

“This is about risk management. We have to stop speculating about the validity of climate science and see the issue for what it is: an insurance policy for our future.”

Mr Warren said it was crucial there were no major changes to the Gillard Government’s renewable energy target, increased investment in the grid and emerging technologies and a clear pathway to a price on greenhouse emissions.

“Most new jobs and more than $20 billion of new investment in clean energy will be located in regional and rural Australia,” he said.

Northern NSW and Queensland are well placed to expand clean energy generation using bioenergy and large scale solar, along with other clean sources of electricity such as wind, wave and geothermal.

“Renewable energy is great news for country Australia,” he said. “It will create growth, greater economic diversity and help drought-proof farms and regions.”

Source: Clean Energy Council.

Why Australia Needs a Price on Carbon

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

Australia is the worlds top exporter of coal which generates more than 80% of its power, transports most good by road and cars clog its cities.

But the country has been a laggard in passing a law enshrining a cap on emissions and a market-based trading scheme for carbon pollution.

That could change. Analysts say a minority Labor government will face increased pressure from Independents and the Greens, who won significant voter support in the August 21 polls, to push tougher climate change policies.

Here are some questions and answers on tackling Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions:


Australia’s economy, and particularly its power generation sector, has been driven by access to nearly limitless supplies of cheap brown and black coal, and gas. Coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, still remains the cheapest source of power.

Australians also love their cars. In a nation of 22 million people, there were 15.7 million vehicles registered in 2009, up from 13.5 million in 2004, government figures show.

Australia’s net emission grew by 31.4% between 2008 and 1990, the base year for the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol climate pact.

Over the same period, emissions from power generation rose 52.1%, while transport emissions grew 29.2%. Overall energy sector emissions, making up three-quarters of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution, rose 44%.

A growing population, expanding at roughly 2% a year, and rising incomes, fuel greater demand for energy.

The projected impact of climate change on Australia also worries many. Rising sea levels, greater extremes of droughts and floods, higher temperatures, more intense bushfires, water shortages, and warmer and more acidic oceans in coming decades all point to a tougher future.


Not much. It has developed an emissions trading scheme but twice failed to win political support and has since shelved it.

The government has also set a target of cutting emissions by 5% by 2020 from 2000 levels and by up to 25% if there is a strong global agreement.

Europe has a more ambitious target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 30% if there is a strong global climate pact. Britain is targeting a cut of 34% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The Australian government has had better luck winning parliamentary approval for a scheme that mandates a target of 20% renewable energy generation by 2020 and has also laid out a A$4.5 billion initiative backing investment in clean energy.


Yes. An emissions trading scheme that sets a clear reduction target and lets the market set a price for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted is regarded as the best way to drive greater energy efficiency and investment in cleaner energy.

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) laws just passed by parliament, while boosting investment in wind farms and some other renewables, won’t bring major emission cuts, analysts say.

Instead, the RET will promote additional generating capacity to help meet projected annual growth in consumption of about 3%.

The RET is unlikely to displace coal-fired generation sharply but is likely to encourage fast-start gas-fired generation needed to meet baseload power demands when wind power output dips.

Generators say a CO2 price that effectively makes coal-fired power more expensive is needed to drive a shift to cleaner gas and new-generation renewables, such as geothermal.


Increasingly, investors are demanding certainty on CO2 pricing to ensure financing for investment plans.

Some companies and the government also say the longer the delay, the higher the costs to the power generating sector, other industries and households in meeting the minus 5% target.

Source: Reuters.

ACA – Power Bills

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

Australia’s soaring energy costs, there’s barely a family in the country that hasn’t seen their bills skyrocket by hundreds of dollar recently.

But now the definitive guide, why is it happening and how it’s possible to wind back some of these costs and take control.

“I was shocked, absolutely shocked, I, it took me a while to think, what’s going on here?” said Melbourne mum Kelly Phillips.

Kelly is using the same television, the same computer and the same fridge as last year but this years power bill is alarmingly different.

Her bill for last year was just under $600, a year later it has gone up to $915, an increase of approximately 50%. To be fair, it was a very cold winter and Kelly does have a young son, even so the actual rate has risen by 18%.

“It’ ridiculous, peak rates is when I’m using it the most, 18% jump, it’s not justified, it’s ridiculous,” Kelly said.

“I’m quite frustrated, pretty angry, but what can you do?” said Robert Vargas of Sydney. His power bill went from $270 to $1,300 in just 9 months, that’s a 5 fold increase.

“I feel quite frustrated that it has gone up as much as it had and I really don’t know what to do about it to be quite honest. I come home now and instead of enjoying myself I just turn things off as I go around the house to try and not get a bill that’s the same.”

So, why are power prices rising so steeply? Deregulation of the industry was supposed to mean cheaper power, but other factors are stopping that.

First, an increasing population, bigger households with more appliances, plus heat-waves and cold-snaps all result in a surge in electricity demand.

Add to that the fact no new power stations are being built, there’s a lack of supply. Investment in infrastructure to improve network reliability of supply is costly and throw in the Federal Government’s mandatory ‘Renewable Energy Target’ scheme, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a cost and you have expensive power.

“The cost of electricity will increase consistently over the next decade,” said Ben Freund of GoSwitch.com.au.

Australians have been zapped with about a 10% increase in their power bills in the last few years. The bad news is they’re set to rise by a staggering 100% in the next three years. The good news is, there is something you can do about it.

“Almost everyone is paying too much for their power bills because very few consumers are on the cheapest plan available,” said Ben Freund.

“There are multiple providers around and that’s the good thing about the deregulation that we’ve been through. If you’re not happy with the provider you’ve got today, you can look at going to another provider. So there is an answer to it, you can do something about this,” said Steven Mickenbecker from Canstar Blue.

Source: A Current Affair.

Major Energy Players Support Carbon Price

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

Ninteen major Australian companies have called for a price on carbon to be introduced as soon as possible.

The Clean Energy Council has released an open letter to major political parties backed by many of the nation’s top energy companies – major employers in regional Australia.

The letter calls for the introduction of a price on carbon as it is crucial to Australia meeting its emissions reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.

The Clean Energy Council’s Chief Executive Matthew Warren said Australians wanted action on climate change and cheaper clean energy and business wanted certainty to invest in more clean energy projects and jobs.

“An emissions trading scheme is widely recognised as being the most efficient way of reducing emissions across the economy,” Mr Warren said.

“It is a policy that has been supported by Professor Ross Garnaut, former Prime Minister John Howard, former coalition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, the Greens and the Labor Party.”

Carbon price schemes that have already been implemented in Europe and New Zealand, are now before the US Senate and are being planned for countries like Japan and China.

“We welcome and congratulate the role the independents are taking in ensuring climate change policy remains on the radar of the major political parties,” Mr Warren said. “Renewable energy is also great for rural and regional Australia – it will create growth, greater economic diversity and help drought-proof farms and regions.”

“Australia has the opportunity now to re-set the political agenda on climate change and return to the implementation of a carbon price in the next political term. We should seize that opportunity.”

Source: Clean Energy Council.

Inept Liberals to Spend Money Twice

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

The Minister for Energy, Bryan Green, said the Liberal Party’s planned power prices bill was a populist political stunt hiding the fact they still have no long term vision for the future of Tasmania’s electricity industry.

“Make no mistake, the State Government is keenly aware of the impact of rising electricity prices and we are determined to do what we can to ease the financial pain.”

“We have committed to making a submission to the independent Regulator about smoothing any increases and we are establishing an expert panel to conduct a major independent review of the State’s energy industry over the coming 12 months.”

“And the Social Inclusion Unit has begun work on a Cost of Living strategy which will examine all the key factors, including utility prices, that put a stress on household budgets.”

“We are working hard towards long term solutions for those Tasmanians whoa re doing it tougher; we aren’t using their struggles to score political points like the Liberal Party.”

“Mr Hodgman and Mr Gutwein can’t even decide how they should address this problem – one day they want to give relief to residential customers, the next it’s small business and then it’s farmers.”

“And they keep trying to spend money we don’t have. Tihs so-called ‘windfall’ gain of $46 million represents Commonwealth funding that is already committed to Commonwealth projects. It can’t be spent twice.”

“This demonstrates the Liberals fiscal irresponsibility and a complete lack of understanding of the State’s finances.”

“This Government will always do it’s best to support those Tasmanians who need a hand, that’s why we have some of the most generous energy price concessions in the country and we are delivering a further one-off $100 concession.”

Robertson Hopeful About Solar Power Plant

Posted by admin on November 3rd, 2010

The Queensland Government says it would like to see a large solar-power plant built in the state’s north to connect to the proposed Townsville-to-Mount Isa CopperString project.

Minister for Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson says solar technology has improved since previous solar power trials in the state failed.

“It’s been a trial of a solar concentrator,” he said.

“It’s been trialled in both Cloncurry and down in New South Wales.”

“The trials in New South Wales have shown there’s an issue of glare emanating from the solar concentrator which has put this technology in doubt.”

“But I don’t criticise that because that is the nature of early stage research and development.”

Last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard committed $350 million of funding for a solar plant, if a feasibility study finds the large-scale transmission line viable.

Mr Robertson say the State is considering applying for federal funding to help construct a range of renewable power initiatives in north Queensland.

“We’ve got time over a period of the next five or so years to get respective houses in order to prove up those technologies and decide which is the best way, or best mix to go in terms of combining that CopperString project with one or more different renewable energy technologies,” he said.

Source: ABC News.

Wind, Water and Sun Beat Biofuels, Nuclear and Coal for Energy Generation, Study Says

Posted by admin on October 22nd, 2010

Wind, Water and Sun Beat Biofuels, Nuclear and Coal for Energy Generation, Study Says
Wind power is the most promising alternative source of energy, according to Mark Jacobson.
by Louis Bergeron, Stanford News Writer
The best ways to improve energy security, mitigate global warming and reduce the number of deaths caused by air pollution are blowing in the wind and rippling in the water, not growing on prairies or glowing inside nuclear power plants, says Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford.

“That is exactly the wrong place to be spending our money. Biofuels are the most damaging choice we could make in our efforts to move away from using fossil fuels. We should be spending to promote energy technologies that cause significant reductions in carbon emissions and air-pollution mortality, not technologies that have either marginal benefits or no benefits at all.”

– Mark Z. Jacobson, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford
And “clean coal,” which involves capturing carbon emissions and sequestering them in the earth, is not clean at all, he asserts.
Jacobson has conducted the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. His findings indicate that the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options. The paper with his findings will be published in the next issue of Energy and Environmental Science and is available online here. Jacobson is also director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford.

“The energy alternatives that are good are not the ones that people have been talking about the most. And some options that have been proposed are just downright awful,” Jacobson said. “Ethanol-based biofuels will actually cause more harm to human health, wildlife, water supply and land use than current fossil fuels.” He added that ethanol may also emit more global-warming pollutants than fossil fuels, according to the latest scientific studies.

The raw energy sources that Jacobson found to be the most promising are, in order, wind, concentrated solar (the use of mirrors to heat a fluid), geothermal, tidal, solar photovoltaics (rooftop solar panels), wave and hydroelectric. He recommends against nuclear, coal with carbon capture and sequestration, corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol, which is made of prairie grass. In fact, he found cellulosic ethanol was worse than corn ethanol because it results in more air pollution, requires more land to produce and causes more damage to wildlife.

To place the various alternatives on an equal footing, Jacobson first made his comparisons among the energy sources by calculating the impacts as if each alternative alone were used to power all the vehicles in the United States, assuming only “new-technology” vehicles were being used. Such vehicles include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs), and “flex-fuel” vehicles that could run on a high blend of ethanol called E85.

Wind was by far the most promising, Jacobson said, owing to a better-than 99 percent reduction in carbon and air pollution emissions; the consumption of less than 3 square kilometers of land for the turbine footprints to run the entire U.S. vehicle fleet (given the fleet is composed of battery-electric vehicles); the saving of about 15,000 lives per year from premature air-pollution-related deaths from vehicle exhaust in the United States; and virtually no water consumption. By contrast, corn and cellulosic ethanol will continue to cause more than 15,000 air pollution-related deaths in the country per year, Jacobson asserted.
Because the wind turbines would require a modest amount of spacing between them to allow room for the blades to spin, wind farms would occupy about 0.5 percent of all U.S. land, but this amount is more than 30 times less than that required for growing corn or grasses for ethanol. Land between turbines on wind farms would be simultaneously available as farmland or pasture or could be left as open space.
Indeed, a battery-powered U.S. vehicle fleet could be charged by 73,000 to 144,000 5-megawatt wind turbines, fewer than the 300,000 airplanes the U.S. produced during World War II and far easier to build. Additional turbines could provide electricity for other energy needs.

“There is a lot of talk among politicians that we need a massive jobs program to pull the economy out of the current recession,” Jacobson said. “Well, putting people to work building wind turbines, solar plants, geothermal plants, electric vehicles and transmission lines would not only create jobs but would also reduce costs due to health care, crop damage and climate damage from current vehicle and electric power pollution, as well as provide the world with a truly unlimited supply of clean power.”

Jacobson said that while some people are under the impression that wind and wave power are too variable to provide steady amounts of electricity, his research group has already shown in previous research that by properly coordinating the energy output from wind farms in different locations, the potential problem with variability can be overcome and a steady supply of baseline power delivered to users.

acobson’s research is particularly timely in light of the growing push to develop biofuels, which he calculated to be the worst of the available alternatives. In their effort to obtain a federal bailout, the Big Three Detroit automakers are increasingly touting their efforts and programs in the biofuels realm, and federal research dollars have been supporting a growing number of biofuel-research efforts.

“That is exactly the wrong place to be spending our money. Biofuels are the most damaging choice we could make in our efforts to move away from using fossil fuels,” Jacobson said. “We should be spending to promote energy technologies that cause significant reductions in carbon emissions and air-pollution mortality, not technologies that have either marginal benefits or no benefits at all.”

“Obviously, wind alone isn’t the solution,” Jacobson said. “It’s got to be a package deal, with energy also being produced by other sources such as solar, tidal, wave and geothermal power.”

During the recent presidential campaign, nuclear power and clean coal were often touted as energy solutions that should be pursued, but nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and sequestration were Jacobson’s lowest-ranked choices after biofuels. “Coal with carbon sequestration emits 60- to 110-times more carbon and air pollution than wind energy, and nuclear emits about 25-times more carbon and air pollution than wind energy,” Jacobson said. Although carbon-capture equipment reduces 85-90 percent of the carbon exhaust from a coal-fired power plant, it has no impact on the carbon resulting from the mining or transport of the coal or on the exhaust of other air pollutants. In fact, because carbon capture requires a roughly 25-percent increase in energy from the coal plant, about 25 percent more coal is needed, increasing mountaintop removal and increasing non-carbon air pollution from power plants, he said.

Nuclear power poses other risks. Jacobson said it is likely that if the United States were to move more heavily into nuclear power, then other nations would demand to be able to use that option.
“Once you have a nuclear energy facility, it’s straightforward to start refining uranium in that facility, which is what Iran is doing and Venezuela is planning to do,” Jacobson said. “The potential for terrorists to obtain a nuclear weapon or for states to develop nuclear weapons that could be used in limited regional wars will certainly increase with an increase in the number of nuclear energy facilities worldwide.” Jacobson calculated that if one small nuclear bomb exploded, the carbon emissions from the burning of a large city would be modest, but the death rate for one such event would be twice as large as the current vehicle air pollution death rate summed over 30 years.

Finally, both coal and nuclear energy plants take much longer to plan, permit and construct than do most of the other new energy sources that Jacobson’s study recommends. The result would be even more emissions from existing nuclear and coal power sources as people continue to use comparatively “dirty” electricity while waiting for the new energy sources to come online, Jacobson said.
Jacobson received no funding from any interest group, company or government agency.
Energy and vehicle options, from best to worst, according to Jacobson’s calculations:
Best to worst electric power sources:
1. Wind power 2. concentrated solar power (CSP) 3. geothermal power 4. tidal power 5. solar photovoltaics (PV) 6. wave power 7. hydroelectric power 8. a tie between nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
Best to worst vehicle options:
1. Wind-BEVs (battery electric vehicles) 2. wind-HFCVs (hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) 3.CSP-BEVs 4. geothermal-BEVs 5. tidal-BEVs 6. solar PV-BEVs 7. Wave-BEVs 8.hydroelectric-BEVs 9. a tie between nuclear-BEVs and coal-CCS-BEVs 11. corn-E85 12.cellulosic-E85.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were examined only when powered by wind energy, but they could be combined with other electric power sources. Although HFCVs require about three times more energy than do BEVs (BEVs are very efficient), HFCVs are still very clean and more efficient than pure gasoline, and wind-HFCVs still resulted in the second-highest overall ranking. HFCVs have an advantage in that they can be refueled faster than can BEVs (although BEV charging is getting faster). Thus, HFCVs may be useful for long trips (more than 250 miles) while BEVs more useful for trips less than 250 miles. An ideal combination may be a BEV-HFCV hybrid.
Louis Bergeron is a science writer for Stanford University News Service covering earth sciences, biology, chemistry and environmental science. He has written on research findings as varied as the importance of circadian rhythm to learning retention in Siberian hamsters, energy transfer in near-collisions at the molecular scale, and tagging and tracking studies of bluefin tuna, white sharks and leatherback turtles. Before joining the News Service he worked as a freelance science writer and editor, contributing to print and online publications such as New Scientist, ScienceNOW, Exploratorium Magazine, PC World, SWARA (the magazine of the East African Wild Life Society) and Stanford Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in earth sciences from the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Supercapacitors Could Solve Capacity Factor Problems Of Renewable Energy

Posted by admin on October 22nd, 2010

By Jim Nelson • February 28th, 2008
There is no doubt about it. The growth of renewable energies over the past decade is something rarely seen.

Take wind energy for instance…

The wind energy industry added 20 gigawatts of capacity last year. That’s 31% more than the year before and 176% more than just five years ago. Europe already proved that this growth is steady, and both China and the U.S are finally jumping on board. Not even the NIMBY’s can stop it.

(NIMBY – meaning “Not in My Backyard” – refers to those who reject projects around them even if it benefits them. NIMBY-ism is the main reason why certain proposals for wind farms are rejected.)

Solar power has also presented amazing opportunities. The sale of solar cells increased upwards of 40% last year alone. It’s even made investors big money in the stock market. One of the biggest winners last year on the NASDAQ was a solar company named First Solar, Inc (NYSE: FSLR) If you would have sank just $1,000 into this company at the beginning of 2007, you would’ve walked away with $8,854.

There is only a certain amount of time during the day when windmills can produce energy – their “capacity factor.” The average capacity factor for wind power is about 30%. The rest of the time, these windmills sit like giant statues waiting for the next gust of wind. During that period – the “energy time gap” – no new electricity is going onto the power grids.

The same goes for grid connect solar power…

The sun doesn’t shine 100% of the time. Even in the vast deserts of Southwest U.S., in the peak of summer, the sun is only up about 14 hours a day. When it is up, there are problems with cloud coverage. The average capacity factor for solar power is around 25%.

Until now, batteries were the only choice. Batteries offer great energy storage, but take too long to charge. It takes anywhere from one to ten hours to charge batteries. Unfortunately, with a capacity factor for renewables under 30%, we don’t have that kind of time to wait for batteries to charge.

There is one solution for the energy problems of tomorrow By using a special type of device called a supercapacitor, we have the solution to the fatal “energy time gap.”

Batteries are chemical devices that use mass transfers over a certain period of time. Supercapacitors store ions, which can be stored and released very quickly. It’s like instant energy.

But, that’s not to say that it has to be one or the other. In fact, the two work very well together. Supercapacitors bring fast storage and release of instant power – which is crucial – and batteries use this to advance their storage and long-lasting energy release capabilities.

Changing batteries every few years at wind farms and solar plants, let alone hundreds of other battery-powered locations, becomes quite expensive and time-consuming. These supercapacitors last between 1,000 and 10,000 times as long. In fact, there is a company already manufacturing and selling these products for use in windmills.

But, supercapacitors’ advantages don’t stop here…

When a car brakes, or a crane drops, energy is released. And until now, that energy isn’t recaptured. It’s wasted. Supercapacitors can actually capture that energy and use it again for other purposes. Using the crane example for a minute…

When a crane drops its massive arms to pick something up or unload something, there is a large amount of natural energy (gravity) released. Batteries cannot charge in the time that the crane is dropping, but supercapacitors can. That energy is then stored in the supercapacitor. When the crane needs raised up again, that stored energy is used. Hundreds of different industries can apply this principle to their own energy needs.

Take transportation for instance…

Supercapacitors can collect energy as a vehicle brakes, then release it when the vehicle accelerates, giving a nice boost of energy without any emissions. Every single time someone pulls up to a stop sign or red light the vehicle wastes energy. That energy can save massive amounts of gasoline every second of the day, all over the world. And, both countries and manufacturers are starting to pay attention…

China has an enormous pollution problem. With the 2008 Beijing Olympics coming up, the country is desperately trying to turn its public transportation “green.”

Chinese hybrid bus makers recently signed two contracts for the use of supercapacitor technology. With the rush to have it done by the opening ceremony in August, we should see a rush to buy up as many of these as possible between now and then.

The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium has already arranged deals for use of its patented supercapacitors, in combination with Lithium-Ion batteries, in next-generation Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the United States.

In fact, news has already started to show up in this field. In January this year, it was announced that one of the leading automotive electronics suppliers has designed a was to use its supercapacitors in a major automaker’s electrical system, and it will go into full-scale production in the second half of next year.

The role of supercapacitors in the transportation industry is limitless, let alone renewable energies and industrial applications. It’s certainly something to keep on eye out for.

Renewable Energy Laws Finally Pass Senate

Posted by admin on October 22nd, 2010


The solar industry has welcomed the recent passing of the renewable energy target (RET) in the senate last week, paving the way for the new solar credits scheme which will replace the previous means tested, $8,000 rebate.

Under the new solar credits program, residential homes can receive solar credits funding of up to $7,000 towards the purchase of a grid connect solar system. The actual amount will depend on the location of the installation which is determined by RECS zones of which there are four (4) within Australia.

For customers who need assistance paying for a grid connect solar power system, the Federal Government are offering through financial institutions, a green loan known as “green loans for aussie homes” for up to $10,000. Under this scheme, home owners organise a free home sustainability assessment paid for by the Government. This report will document the house holders specific environmental impact which is released in the form of a “home sustainability report”. This report is provided to participating financial institutions which entitles the customer to a four (4) year no interest loan. The interest will then be paid to the financial institution by the Government.  The Green Loans For Aussie Homes program is available to 320,000 Australian homes.

The Government expects that the vehicle for delivering the money to solar companies (REC Registry) will be amended to facilitate the solar credits transactions by late September 2009.

SolarGen Grows Up

Posted by admin on October 22nd, 2010

A Heidelberg West solar panel company is experiencing unprecedented growth at a time when other markets are still struggling from the hangover of the global financial crisis.

SolarGen chief executive Marcus Denning said sales figures had been “going up and up” since the Federal Government introduced solar panel rebates of up to $8000 in November 2007, and the National Solar Schools Program last July.

SolarGen, providing installation services nationally, has quadrupled in size in less than a year.

“We had 10 people in December … we’ve now got 42,” Mr Denning said. “A vast majority of them came in around May … to cope with the massive demand.”

The rebates have concluded, but the industry is experiencing a second wave of customers who made the June 8 cut-off date for the rebates, but whose applications have only just been approved.

“About 53,000 applications are being approved nationally, so the entire industry, as far as getting stock into the country, is struggling to keep up with the demand,” Mr Denning said.

The demand from schools has been so high the Federal Government suspended the National Solar Schools Program on October 15 after claims met the 2009-10 Budget allocation. “We’ve got about 40 schools in the pipeline,” Mr Denning said.

An “emerging commercial market” was now indicated, he said.

The Australian Securities Exchange said last month that trading for renewable energy certificates would begin on Tuesday, November 24, with carbon credits to follow in early 2010.

The announcement came after the Federal Government passed legislation requiring 20 per cent of the nation’s power to come from renewable sources by 2020.

The certificates, which each represents one megawatt hour of electricity generated from renewable energy, are earned by installing solar panels, wind turbines and small-scale hydroelectric projects.

“Renewable energy certificates, they’re the new currency,” Mr Denning said.

Source : http://whereilive.com.au/

Date : 5 November 2009


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