And the winners are… Accurate Information and Optimism

collage111_560

Tim Adams, principal of F2 Design and a member of the Geelong Sustainability committee, is our guest in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 2 March 2016. He is full of good ideas and has got some 10-Star rated news to share with us – from the stock market as well as the housing market. Recently Tim has been engaged as consultant and mentor to the groundbreaking initiative of ‘The Sociable Weaver’, a consortium of Small Giants and Martin Builders to deliver housing products with performance up to 10 Stars.

We also present a 9-minute interview with ABC-host and sustainability champion Costa Georgiadis – about lies, consumerism, kids and the planet – and three inspirational excerpts of speeches by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 111:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software


Tim Adams, principal of F2 Design, is also the Immediate Past President of the Building Designers’ Association of Victoria, the creator of the BDAV’s ‘10 Star Challenge’, and a member of the Geelong Sustainability committee and of the Alternative Technology Association. His home is acknowledged as ‘The House With No Bills’.

Tim has 40 years working experience in the area of Building Design consulting as an employee in architectural practices and more recently as principal of F2 Design.

Since commencing as F2 Design in 2000 the practice has developed a reputation for the design of high performance houses and providing expert advice in energy efficiency and sustainability to architects, building designers, builders, developers as well as private clients.

Tim initiated the BDAV 10 Star Challenge in 2010 after previously researching the potential of achieving 10 Stars scores in the NatHERS software to confirm that the goal was achievable. (Challenge finalist 2013 & 2014, Challenge winner 2012)

Regular publications of technical information, observations and opinion have appeared in a range of print media including BDAV News, Renew and Sanctuary. Rethink Building Materials published in late 2014 suggested that the contributors were ‘35 of Australia’s world leading thinkers’.

The House with No Bills in Renew 120 was a description of Tim’s own high performance house, designed in 2006, which has delivered carbon neutrality and costs nothing to run.

Tim is frequently asked to make public presentations to events like DesignBuild, ATA Speed Date a Sustainability expert, Geelong Sustainability Sustainable House Day Forum, Seymour Alternative Farming Expo, The New Jonses and presented a paper on the BDAV 10 Star Challenge to the Liveable Cities 2015 conference.

At the end of 2015 F2 Design was included in a select panel of high performance house designers for the Mullum Creek project.

» Tim Adams was also guest in The Sustainable Hour on 7 May 2014:
‘Green sustainability is the ultimate blue’

» www.f2design.com.au



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“Clean energy can be conservative”

Jay Faison said he has made a ‘seven-figure’ buy of online ads insisting “clean energy can be conservative.”

“Our mission is to make conservative clean energy a priority for the GOP. It may take some time, but absolutely, we can do it. It’s critical for the longevity of the Republican party.”
~ Jay Faison, conservative entrepreneur-turned-activist on opening a new office for his foundation ClearPath (Bloomberg)


 LISTENER SERVICE 

More information

Links, quotes and excerpts in relation to this Sustainable Hour


Jack Nyhof awarded

On Thursday, The Sustainable Hour’s youth reporter Jack Nyhof from Geelong High School was awarded by the Victorian Local Governance Association in partnership with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Congratulations to Geelong’s environmental youth champion! Well done!

Green Carpet Awards 2016
A Future Proofing Geelong event held in conjunction with the Geelong Sustainable Living Festival

“The Green Carpet Awards 2016 were held in recognition of the individuals and organisations that work hard throughout the year to grow sustainability and resilience within the region to support the local community.

The Green Carpet Awards are an initiative of Future Proofing Geelong and aligned with the goals and objectives of the group and the Low Carbon Growth Plan for the City of Greater Geelong.

The event was held at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) at 6.30pm on 26 Friday February, opened by Tim Hellsten. Master of Ceremonies for the event was gardening celebrity and ABC Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis. There was a dress code too: ‘Op Shop Chic’. The inaugural awards included:

Award Name Award Type Winner
Volunteer of the Year The Golden Chicken The Sustainable Hour

Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson

Innovation Award Herb Trophy Vicki Perrett and Geelong Sustainability” Greener Living” activity at the Geelong Show
Community Engagement Award Bums on Seats Awards

 

 

 

 

 

Biodiversity terrarium

Michelle Crofts and the students of Mathew Flinders Secondary College for their Urban Garden project

 

Kylie Pollock, Warralilly for the Warralily Discovery Trail Map launched at the Wetland Walk and Talk with Costa.

Business Award Herb Trophy Kerrie, Peter and Nick Kruger

The Chicken Feeder and Kruger Sheet Metals

LCGP / Emission Reduction Award for Community Project Light Globe Trophy Dan Cowdell and Geelong Sustainability Group

“Act on Climate Festival”

Best Community Project Herb Trophy Barwon Heads Sustainability Group

“Borrow a Bag” campaign

The Peoples Choice Award

 

Busy bee award Vicki Perret and Viv Burke and Geelong Sustainability group for the 2nd Edition of the Geelong Sustainability Directory
Costa Georgiadis

Quiet Achiever Award

Costa Gnome Transition South Barwon for the Grovedale Community Orchard
Geelong Local Foods Champion Herb Trophy Emma Jarman

Extravaganza

local food and wine festival

Best Partner Project

 

 

Herb Trophy Geelong Environmental Film Festival and Youth Leadership Project.

Jane Millet, GPAC

Suzette Jackson, Innate Ecology

Karina Donkers, Youth Dept CoGG

Kelly Clifford, GPAC Ed

 

Thank you Wathaurung Glass Costa Georgiadis

 

 

 



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Leonardo DiCaprio

“Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the world’s top climate change champions. In less than a week, he received over 15 million ‘likes’ on a Facebook-post where he wrote: “We don’t have to dream about 100% clean energy. We have the technology we need to create 100% clean energy for all of us right now. Together, we can make it happen for everyone, everywhere. Visit go100.me/1QnSLgr

» Read more on www.theguardian.com

100%! is a movement to make 100% clean energy affordable and accessible for 100% of us: “People around the US are already working toward a 100% clean energy future and we’ll be sharing their inspirational stories on social media, so please join us there too!”

» Home page: act.100.org

» Facebook page: www.facebook.com/100isNow

» Mashable – 2 March 2016:
Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t just talk about climate change — he’s actually trying to save the planet

 



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“I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collaps and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy… and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
Gus Speth



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Costa Georgiadis

IMG_1398costa-on-stage_560

How do you get an entire school to talk about composting and waste with excitement and big smiles? How do you get kids started on the journey to become sustainability and energy literate – and towards an environmentally conscious behaviour?

Try the Costa Effect! Lots of action and new projects are taking off in the Geelong region after the ABC’s legendary Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis visited schools during three weeks of February 2016. He inspired more than 5,000 students in the region with his messages about sustainability, composting, gardening and protecting the environment combined with entertaining stories, jokes, acting and lots of laughter.

Costa truly is an environmental ‘info-tainment’ beacon and powerhouse. Not only is he able to catch kids’ attention, he’s got a solid message to the adults as well.

» Listen to this 9-minute interview where Costa talks about what drives him: www.climatesafety.info/costa

 


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Al Gore

“Last week, Al Gore rocked TED with one of the most electrifying talks on our planet’s future you’ll ever hear. He asks three questions about climate change: Do we have to change? (Oh, yes we do; stunning stats and some jawdropping footage help make his case.) Second question: Can we change? And here’s the surprising part: We’ve already started. So then, he asks the big question: Will we change? In this challenging, inspiring talk, Gore says yes: “We’re going to win this.” If you’ve got climate-change fatigue, feeling helpless and hopeless — take the time to watch this rousing talk on the state of Earth right now.”

» Al Gore’s TED-talk on www.ted.com

 



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Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim, the President of The World Bank, told Sky News millions could be plunged into poverty by climate change.

Published by Sky News on youtube.com on 23 November 2015



 
» World Bank: World could be 4 degrees hotter by end of century

» Download the report: ‘Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal’



 CLIPPINGS 

Notes of the week

Miscellaneous clippings fom the news steam – stories we took notice of during this week


CLIMATE


Notion of a Climate Frontier in northern Victoria

Weekly Times from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre reports that we are already experiencing a ‘new climate’, one that has become noticeable since about 2000.

Their map of rainfall patterns is striking and a stark reminder of how strong Climate effects have already been. With so much lag in climatic effects from present day emissions it’s a bit frightening to think how much worse the patterns might become.

While they don’t specifically slate this to climate change, this research is an incredibly powerful piece of work because it meshes with many people’s lived experience of how the climate is shifting. Coming from an agricultural centre has given it a lot of traction amongst rural people.

» Read more on www.aegic.org.au

» Friends of The Earth Melbourne using it in their work in northern Victoria: www.melbourne.foe.org.au/bendigo

Note:
The climate movement and especially the mainstream conservation movement has a great reluctance to discuss the greenhouse gas profile of ruminant agriculture – and grain crops that are used by it. BZE & MSSI University of Melborne’s Land Use Report puts land sector emissions at 51% of total emissions in this country, contrary to what UNFCCC accounting methodology tells us.

Of that 90% are associated with ruminant livestock agriculture, mostly in the northern part of Australia north of the New South Wales / Queensland border in Queensland and Northern Territory. Land clearing, savannah burning and enteric fermentation being the three top sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

TWS has launched a campaign about land clearing in Queensland. Alastair Leith noted that the issue of why the land clearing continues to happen – it’s removal woody regrowth mostly to make cattle pastures – does not get a mention in the story. It is production of bos indicus (brahman cattle) that are mostly ground into burger mince that is frozen and exported, with about 15% by value and less by head of cattle sent for live export.

 



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Massive cuts to climate science

The CSIRO plan to cut over 100 jobs from the agency’s climate science staff. Cutting climate science now, as the demand escalates for both reducing our emissions and protecting our communities from worsening impacts, just doesn’t make sense. It’s like flying into a violent storm and ripping out the radar, navigation and communication instruments.

To get the facts out about how significant and damaging these cuts will be for Australia and the world, the Climate Council has made a very important contribution to the campaign to stop the destruction of climate science research capacity in Australia. It has released a report – ‘Flying Blind: Navigating Climate Change Without CSIRO’ – that describes the impacts if the massive cuts to the CSIRO climate science research go ahead. And they have a video to share:

The report has received widespread media coverage, because the report reveals some worrying findings:

  • The cuts to CSIRO’s climate science capacity will damage Australia’s ability to understand, respond to and plan for a changing climate.
  • If the cuts proceed, Australia will have already reneged on a key promise in the Paris climate agreement.
  • The cuts will leave a gaping hole in international science community’s ability to understand climate change in the Southern Hemisphere.

Share this widely with your friends and networks. And if possible, go the extra step of asking them to do the same. Australia’s climate scientists need our support.

 



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“To keep climate change below 2°C, some have proposed a need for more radical geoengineering options if emissions are not phased out quickly enough. These include schemes to cool the Earth by reducing solar radiation. But these proposals fail to address other knock-on issues of carbon dioxide emissions, such as ocean acidification. They also pose large risks, are beset with ethical issues and beg the question of who is going to take responsibility for such schemes.

The Paris agreement proves that the world’s nations know we need strong climate action. But society faces tough choices as we seek to find economically, socially and environmentally feasible ways to meet the targets. Informed decisions will depend on robust science at both local and global scales, which means that far from being done, climate science is now more important than ever.”
CSIRO scientists John Church, Alistair Hobday, Andrew Lenton, and Steve Rintoul

» www.theconversation.com

 



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Why are we being such idiots about climate change?

How come we don’t seem to make meaningful progress on climate change?

A future powered by clean energy is possible. We have the solutions – the technology, the sun and the wind. All we need is the political will. So why is it so hard to find this political will?

Here is a piece written in May 2014 by veteran environment writer and science journalist John Carey who has been writing for Newsweek, National Wildlife and Business Week for three decades before going freelance in 2010 writing for Scientific American and Conservation, among others.

John Carey issues a rousing call to arms for us all to step up and play our part:

» Read his piece on www.ideas.ted.com

 

“Combat the lies and deceit from the Koch brothers and other deep-pocketed climate deniers Americans have already tamed the atom and put a man on the moon. We can also lead the world in the fight against climate change.”
Lorne Benedict

 



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POLITICS


“As a community we have a real power to continue to push for progress on climate in 2016 and beyond, but it’s vital we know what we’re up against.”
Rev. Fletcher Harper



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‘Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre’ launched

Get ready for “the next wave of investment” in fossil fuels, says the Australian government, highlighting once again that it is in complete denial about the reality of global warming and the urgent need to stop burning fossil fuels.

If anyone was ever in doubt that Australia is run by mining-industry puppets, a media release from Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher and the federal government on 24 February 2016 spells it out so everyone can understand it: This government is either suffering from delusional disorder – or it is blindly acting on orders from the fossil fuel industry. Either way, it is wasting away millions of dollars of tax payers money on giving life support to a dying industry.

This was the media release that went out, and which can be seen on Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne’s website:

“A new Growth Centre established by the Australian Government will drive innovation, competitiveness and productivity across the oil, gas, coal and uranium sectors. The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, to be known as National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), will promote collaboration and innovation across the energy resources sector.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne said the Australian Government was investing $15.4 million over four years in the growth centre. Minister for Energy, Resources and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg, said the Growth Centre would help position Australia’s energy and resources sector for the next wave of investment.

“Australia’s energy and resources sectors make a vital contribution to the Australian economy. During this challenging time, the Growth Centre will drive collaboration and innovation, and direct research to industry needs, ultimately improving productivity to ensure Australia remains globally competitive,” Mr Frydenberg said.”

» Source: www.pyneonline.com.au

 

Fossil fuel growth centre funded while silence on Mission Innovation global commitment
On the opening day of the Paris Climate conference our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in a stylish but lacklustre speech with few new initiatives, announced support for the Mission Innovation multi-country program to research, develop and commercialise clean energy systems.

Eight days later Foreign Minister Julie Bishop reiterated the same message of accelerating research, development and demonstration of clean energy.

Instead of a major announcement in supporting and boosting clean energy research and development as per the commitment made in Paris to Mission Innovation, Christopher Pyne announced an Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, to be known as National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).

That sounds like a rather backwards move in providing research funding to an industry producing the largest crisis on the planet.

This new centre to promote fossil fuel oil and gas extraction will be funded by $15.4 million over four years. The headquarters will be in Perth co-located with the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WAERA) at the Australian Resources Research Centre. WAERA is a partnership between CSIRO, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. The Growth Centre plans to establish nodes in Adelaide and Brisbane as well.

» www.nofibs.com.au

 

Comments

“This sick joke is going to cost you $15 million dollars and quite perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with the screwed priorities of the Liberal National Party.”


“So let’s have a look at it – the year is 2016 – an Energy Resources Growth Centre which won’t include renewable energy in its charter but will include fossil fuels is established with a $15 million kitty. This from the same government who signed an international agreement to restrict its CO2 emissions a couple of months ago.”


“Government is turning a deaf ear to frank advice, listening instead to miners pushing their own projects, their economists saying whatever the miners tell them and mining departments agreeing with the same economists.”
Michael West, Business columnist

» Read more on: www.theage.com.au

 

“In both state-sponsored and market-driven models, capitalism is failing to solve social ills, fostering corruption and creating income inequality.”
Dambisa Moyo, economist



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12 submarines = $150 billion

It’s been revealed that Australia’s new fleet of 12 submarines could cost $150 billion to build and operate over 30 years. That’s about the same amount of time we have to slash emissions and avoid runaway global warming.

Mr Turnbull has his priorities wrong. $150 billion would buy 214 million solar panels – 9 for every Australian – AND 375,000 wind turbines.

 



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 FINANCING DESTRUCTION 

$50 billion of loans to coal, oil and gas in Australia

from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac since 2008

The big banks are still up to their necks in dirty fossil fuels. The 2015 data is in and Market Forces have found nearly $50 billion of loans since 2008 from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac to coal, oil and gas in Australia.

While banks in the US and Europe start implementing coal phase out policies, Australia’s banks have supported the idea of acting on climate change, but have failed to back it up with policies and proof that they mean it.

We need to confront this head on – for those customers of the big banks that haven’t yet put their banks on notice, please do it today at www.marketforces.org.au/banksonnotice – tell your bank you’ll move your business elsewhere unless they stop funding fossil fuels.

Check out the coverage of this story at www.theguardian.com

» Read more www.marketforces.org.au/2015lending
 

 

Money talks, so take your hard earned cash elsewhere. Or explain to your kids/grandkids how you helped finance climate change. Your call.”
Jerry Johnson

 



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BP’s carbon bomb

BP is risking another Deepwater Horizon, and doing it in one of the most remote, inhospitable, and pristine parts of the world. As there is no established offshore oil and gas industry in South Australia, BP’s oil well containment response system would be based in Houston, supplemented by shared equipment based in Singapore and Norway. This would give it an estimated disaster response time of 32 to 157 days, and it would be operating in a far more inhospitable ocean than the Gulf of Mexico, where it took the company 87 days to cap Deepwater Horizon. The only logical conclusion the senate can come to is that drilling in the Australian bight for oil will create unacceptable risks to Australian marine reserves, threaten South Australia’s AU$1 billion coastal tourism and AU$442 million fishing industries, and create these risks for a project that is absolutely incompatible with keeping global temperatures under the 2DegC threshold agreed by all parties to the Paris Agreement.

Bight oil is a carbon bomb that will blow any chance of the world remaining below 2DegC of warming. The message of the Paris Agreement was loud and clear: the day of fossil fuels is over, and investments in new fossil infrastructure is incompatible with a healthy climate. BP’s project in the Great Australian Bight is a carbon bomb larger than four times Australia’s annual CO2 emissions, and it has no place in a world trying to rapidly and justly transition to clean energy and clean economies.

BP doesn’t need a Bight oil plan, it needs a Plan B for a just transition to clean energy. BP is a member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, “an industry-driven initiative which aims to catalyse practical action on climate change in focus areas such as the role of natural gas, carbon reduction instruments and tools, and long-term energy solutions”, but it is dropping billions on white elephant hunts at a time when it is losing billions in profits and dropping thousands of workers. This demonstrates that it has no interest in being part of climate solutions, only greenwash.

 



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SUBSIDIES


fossilfuel-subsidy-favour

The myth around subsidies

Ever hear the story about why renewable energy can’t compete without a subsidy? You hear it all the time from the fossil fuel industry. And the response from renewables? Take away fossil fuel subsidies, and they’d be glad to compete on level terms.

This graph above, displayed by David Hochschild, a commissioner with the California Energy Commission, at the Energy Productivity Summer Study in Sydney, illustrates why the fossil fuel and nuclear industries don’t want that to happen.

This graph, that Hochschild sourced from DBL Investors, shows the accumulated energy subsidies in the US under federal programs. Oil and gas dominate, followed by nuclear. Federal renewable energy subsidies, in the form of investment and tax credits, are a small fraction.

“The fossil fuel industry hates to talk about that,” Hochschild told RenewEconomy in an interview after his presentation.

“There is a myth around subsidies, but there is no such thing as an unsubsidised unit of energy.”

He said the oil depletion allowance had been in place for the oil industry since 1926, and would be ongoing, despite the fact it was one of the most profitable industries in the world. He cited insurance costs for nuclear plants – met by taxpayers – “without which there would be no nuclear plants”.

For natural gas, it was the drilling, or fracking, which had been made exempt from compliance with the safe drinking water act: “That is subsidy,” he said. And he pointed to taxpayer funded rail networks that have helped coal.

By contrast, the large-scale wind and solar industries in the US have had to content with repeated changes to their federal support mechanisms. The tax credits have been changed seven times in a decade.

“How can you plan a wind turbine factory or project in those types of conditions,” he asked.

And he used this graph to illustrate the short-term nature of the subsidies that renewable energy does get. And the biggest benefit. “You put subsidies in renewable energy and costs go down” to the point where they are not needed any more. That has not happened with fossil fuels and nuclear.

» Source: RenewEconomy: Graph of the Day: The myth about energy subsidies
 



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FOSSIL FOOLED: Comparing fossil energy with renewable energy

For every kilowatt-hour of electricity a coal power plant produces, it also generates these negative outputs:

  • 7,200 Btu of wasted heat
  • 3.9¢ in health damages
  • 13.3¢ in air pollution, mercury, and climate damage
  • 0.8¢ in damages from destroyed land, abandoned mines, mercury emissions, transportation fatalities, and subsidies

Cumulatively, the Harvard School of Public Health estimates the environmental and health burden adds 18¢ per kilowatt-hour of power — $345 billion per year in total—far outstripping the cost to produce the electricity.

For comparison, a new coal power plant produces electricity alone for a minimum of 6.5¢ per kilowatt-hour, while wind power (with none of the health and environmental damage) produces power for 4-8¢ per kilowatt-hour.

In other words, the full cost of energy from a coal power plant far outstrips the value of its electricity.

Coal: 6.5¢ + 18¢ = 24.5¢ per kilowatt-hour, while resulting in a destroyed environment

Wind: 4-8¢ per kilowatt-hour, while protecting a sustainable environment

» See more at: www.catholicclimatemovement.global

 



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China to close more than 1,000 coal mines in 2016, or 9% of its total 10,760 mines.
» reut.rs/1PRA1V9 via @Reuters

 



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RENEWABLES


WA’s largest solar rooftop project completed
Broadway Fair Shopping Centre in Crawley is now home to Western Australia’s largest rooftop solar array. The 312 kW system is expected to provide more than 30 per cent of the shopping centre’s electricity usage.

The solar PV system consists of 948 solar panels and will generate enough clean electricity to power 70 homes. Supplied by SunEdison and installed by Infinite Energy, the system was prompted by a re-roofing project that saw the shopping centre’s entire roof being replaced.

The system uses the following equipment:

  • Australian-designed and made SunLock Solar framing system
  • 948 high efficiency Ben Q 330 W solar panels
  • Fronius inverters
  • around 6 km of wiring.

 

  • The projected annual output of the system will be almost 500,000 kWh.

Broadway Fair announced its plans to install the system over a year ago, after consultations with the Energy Matters, which was acquired by SunEdison in September 2014. Paul Avon-Smith, General Manager of Broadway Fair, said the centre was looking for a solution to grow income and provide a buffer against escalating costs.

“SunEdison and Infinite Energy presented us with a solar solution that made strong economic sense with the environmental benefits of reduced carbon emissions being a nice bonus,” Mr Avon-Smith said.

Nick Brass, SunEdison’s Head of Commercial and Industrial Sales, welcomed the fact that Broadway’s customers and tenancies had caught on to the message that clean energy makes “real and immediate economic sense”.

“People are catching on in a big way that solar is not only good for the environment, but translates into real cost savings.”

WA Minister for Energy Mike Nahan will officially launch the system on 3 March 2016.

» www.ecogeneration.com.au

 

100% Renewable Energy: What We Can Do in 10 Years
It will take at least three decades to completely leave behind fossil fuels. But we can do it. And the first step is to start with the easy stuff.   

» Read more

 



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Better batteries

“Interest in battery storage is even stronger than the energy industry expected, helped along by the marketing power of Tesla, and interest from popular programs such as Catalyst. And consumers don’t seem to care about details such as returns on investment.”
Giles Parkinson

» RenewEconomy: This battery storage revolution could happen quicker than we thought



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POLLUTION


Australia’s biggest climate polluters

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has released a report looking at which companies were Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters in 2014-2015. The report, ‘Australia’s 10 biggest climate polluters’, finds that just ten companies are responsible for the equivalent of one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution.

The report identified AGL as the biggest climate polluter in Australia in 2014-15, as measured by scope 1 and scope 2 emissions reported to the Clean Energy Regulator.

The report also found that emissions are increasing from all but two of the top 10 companies, and that the majority of these emissions have come from increased production from coal-fired power stations.

Limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees is necessary to give the world a good chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. This means that emissions reductions must be made at all levels of our economy, particularly in the highly emissions intensive energy and mining sectors. ACF is calling for an energy transformation, including a phased closure of our coal-fired power stations and a transition to a clean energy economy.

» Australia’s 10 biggest polluters

Geoff Cousins, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, wrote:

“The data’s out. In Australia right now, 10 companies are pumping more climate pollution into our skies than Switzerland, Denmark and Ireland combined. Just 10 companies.”


“We’re exposing these companies because they are dramatically damaging our climate and harming our communities. AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia, GDF SUEZ Australian Energy, Rio Tinto, Origin Energy, Stanwell Corporation, Alcoa Australia Holdings, CS Energy, Glencore Holdings and Woodside Petroleum: enough is enough.

And the biggest polluter of them all? It’s AGL. Last year, their pollution nearly doubled. They are doing some good things with clean energy – but their pollution has to stop.

Every month, when we pay our electricity bills, many of us unwittingly hand our money straight to these polluting companies. By digging up, extracting and burning coal, oil and gas, these companies are polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink. They are fuelling global warming and damaging our Great Barrier Reef.

But you have a choice – give your money to these big polluting companies or switch to a cleaner energy retailer that champions a brighter future.

Which retailer’s best? To help you decide, check out how power companies in your state measure up in the Green Electricity Guide from our friends at Greenpeace.

ACF has done some research into cleaner power companies too. To help you build a brighter future, we’re teaming up with Powershop to launch our Generate the Change campaign.

  • We recommend Powershop because they’re ranked #1 in Greenpeace’s Green Electricity Guide. Owned by a 100% renewable energy generator, the company is carbon neutral and has no investments in dirty energy like coal.
  • They’ll help you say “see ya later” to dirty energy online in five minutes. They will notify your current retailer for you (and pay any exit fees up to $75) and there will be no interruption to your power supply. What’s more, they’re one of the cheapest energy retailers in Victoria.
  • For every person who switches to Powershop through our Generate the Change campaign, Powershop will make a financial contribution to ACF’s work so we can keep campaigning for a cleaner, brighter future.

SWITCH NOW

Let’s leave in droves and show the big polluters what the future looks like.

Make the switch today to a company that supports clean energy.

Let’s generate the change!”

Geoff Cousins, President
Australian Conservation Foundation

PS: Have you already switched to 100% clean energy or are you completely off the grid? Tell your local Member of Parliament you’ve joined the clean energy future, and they should too.

PPS: Love clean energy but can’t switch retailers? Ask your MP to crack down on climate pollution, phase out coal-fired power stations and support clean energy!

The Guardian, The Australian (paywall), The Age, RenewEconomy, Brisbane Times, Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald and The Warrnambool Standard reported the news.
 

» The report is available here: www.acfonline.org.au

 


LOCAL GEELONG NEWS


Green roof competition launches for Geelong businesses

Geelong businesses are being encouraged to create gardens on their unused roof spaces with a Green Roof Competition, which was launched at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre in February 2016.

Future Proofing Geelong is offering funding assistance for rooftop assessments and Cleantech Innovations Geelong is providing a prize pool of $10,000. There will also be assistance with planning and a free Green Roof workshop for interested businesses.

“By incorporating a garden on a roof space, businesses can help rejuvenate our inner city landscape, making it more liveable, sustainable and productive,” said Cr Andy Richards, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability.

GMHBA is one local organisation that has created a successful garden on their roof. The Community Harvest Project is now a source of produce for local not-for-profit groups which feed the homeless.

“The benefits of greening up a roof space are endless. Imagine a relaxing area for your staff, producing food for people to use in their lunches, reducing the temperature on the floor below and therefore reducing the demand for air conditioning,” said Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia.

“This competition is a great starting point to encourage businesses to think how they can improve their work environment and help counteract the ‘heat island effect’ found in inner cities,” said Cr Michelle Heagney, Portfolio Holder for Central Geelong.

Geelong is one of Australia’s only north facing cities, making our buildings ideally suited for gardens on roofs.

“We’re encouraging any business that is curious about how they could transform their roof into a garden, to express their interest and attend the workshop,” said Cr Richards.

All designs and/or builds entered will be in the running for a $10,000 prize pool which will be judged and announced at the end of 2016.

» More information is available at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/greenroofcomp



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Rusty’s ‘bike library’: Pushy Library

First community bike library opening in Geelong, known as the Pushy Library

Pushy Library is a library for ‘pushies’ – pushbikes – instead of books. It is a basically a reuse centre for bicycles.
Select your own pushy that has been rescued and is ready to ride away!

Also available:

• parts to do your own repairs
• we can do the repairs for you
• accessories
• workshops to learn basis maintenance of a pushy
• safety checks on pushy, especially important on the packet bike you just purchased
• build your own pushy, from available stock, then ride away
• pool tools available to use on-site, please do not bring your own tools to the Pushy Library
• order a pushy to suit individual requirements
• bicycle restoration service

As a part of reaching out to the community the Pushy Library is offering a free bike safety check for students who ride to school. These checks are best carried out on school premises at the bike lock up area.

Opening in Geelong area on 4 March 2016.

Opening Times:
Friday 11:00 to 16:00
Saturday 11:00   to 16:00

Christmas, Easter and Anzac day, Pushy Library will be closed. The university semester breaks gives the Pushy Library the opportunity to give volunteers a rest. You need to check the opening days during uni breaks.

Donations: Pushy Library needs pushies, parts, tools, storage units, anything to reuse and recycle for the benefit of this community project.

Location: 2 Lomond Tce, Geelong East, 3219

Telephone: 040 6644 249

» www.cyclinggeelong.com.au

 


VICTORIA STATE NEWS


New Energy Jobs Fund application

Communities can now apply for support to local community-owned renewable energy projects.

  • The New Energy Jobs Fund’s ‘community category’ supports both the development of new energy or renewable energy project business cases and the implementation of projects for the benefit of local communities.
  • This category will also assist the establishment or expansion of advisory services to consumers, communities and businesses on best practice application of new energy technologies or systems.
  • Only not-for-profit organisations, co-operatives, social enterprises or local councils will be eligible to apply under this category.
  • It will assist these organisations to take positive steps towards delivering social, environmental, economic and technological benefits and sustainable outcomes to their local communities.
  • Community-based projects funded for business case development in the first or second years (from this or other government programs) will be eligible to apply for project implementation funding in subsequent year(s).

All applications are due by 2pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on 16 March 2016.

» www.business.vic.gov.au



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Climate policy and framework
Want to have your say on the Victorian government’s climate change policy? Fill in the form and upload your document at www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/have-your-say

The Victorian Government is playing its part by setting a strong foundation through legislation and programs, but it is only through community input and feedback that we can see the opportunities and barriers in the way and how to break through them.

The government is building a framework for climate change action that will be released in 2016. The framework will build on the work already being done to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The framework will outline:

  • a shared vision for a Climate Ready Victoria in 2030
  • principles of state government focus and action
  • the role for all Victorians to support the shared vision
  • key actions of government in mitigation and adaptation to support the vision.

Do you have a vision for a climate-ready Victoria? Help the Victorian Government develop a vision for a climate-ready Victoria, go to: www.participate.sustainability.vic.gov.au/climate-change-framework



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The Melbourne Repair Cafe

Don’t throw out that broken bicycle or toasted toaster, because a group in Melbourne want to help you fix it: The Melbourne Repair Cafe.

Melbourne Repair Cafe will focus or start in the Inner West of Melbourne with the option of branching further afield as they grow. Organiser and Permablitz Collective member Michelle Fisher said the cafe aims to help the environment by reducing the number of items being thrown away.

“People can bring their broken items to be repaired rather than thrown out into landfill,” she said.

The first repair cafe was set up in Amsterdam in 2009 and the movement has since spread worldwide with locally organised groups in more than 20 countries including Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Romania and India.

Repair cafes already exist in Sydney, Albury-Wodonga and Mullumbimby, but Ms Fisher’s group will be the first repair cafe to establish in Melbourne.

Ms Fisher said the group, which will meet in a cafe in Seddon in Melbourne’s inner-west, was not a drop-off fix-it service; rather it was a place where people could learn new skills.

“People are losing the ability to repair things themselves,” she said.

“There are those that do know how to repair things and are happy to share that knowledge.”

So far the group has attracted people with skills in electronics, woodworking, computers, textiles and bicycle repair.

“We’ve got a few all-rounders who just like to play with things and take them apart and troubleshoot,” Ms Fisher said.

“We’ve set up a meet-up group where people register and say what skills they have.”

The first Melbourne Repair Cafe event is to take place at Rhubarb Wholefoods cafe in Seddon on Sunday 6 March 2016.

The Melbourne Repair Cafe launched on 21 February 2016 at the Future Living Festival in the Yarraville Gardens, which is being run as part of the annual Sustainable Living Festival.

» Website: www.melbournerepaircafe.org

» Article about the initiative: www.permablitz.net

» This is a Transition Town Maribyrnong initiative and comes under the umbrella of the international Repair Cafe Foundation (www.repaircafe.org/en).

» meet-up group where people register

 

 



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EVENTS


Energy seminar in Colac

On 5 March 2016 at 1pm–4pm: ‘Cheaper energy: where to now’

Come along to this free community seminar. Panelists include:

  • Phil Hapgood, Solar Consultant, Radiant Energy Systems
  • Ben Walsh, Electrician and installer of Tesla-type batteries
  • Richard Leith, Owner-Builder, Off-the-Grid Home at Stonyford
  • Tim Forcey, Chemical Engineer, Academic and Energy Analyst

Following afternoon tea take advantage of the free consultations with either Panel Members or Display Vendors including:

  • Bendigo Bank, Representative who provide Green Loans
  • Nick Frcek, Relationship Manager, Apricus Australia, Solar Hot Water installer
  • Dan and Ben Walsh, Walsh Electrical Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, solar hot water product displays.

The event takes place at Colac Neighbourhood House in Colac. It is organised by the Colac Otway Shire Sustainability Group, a not-for-profit and non-political organisation. For further information please contact Tony Brown, President on 0401764114

» www.facebook.com/events/1719597588277730

 



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Climate change performance in Geelong

A one hour multimedia music performance called ‘Music for a Warming World … and a Requiem for Coal’ is going to be put on in All Saints Anglican Church, 113 Noble Street, Newtown, on Friday 11 March 2016 at 6pm.

Stunning visuals and original folk and world music telling the biggest story of our time.

$15 at the door. The concert is followed by a short address and tea/coffee.

 


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Surf Coast 40km trek and fundraiser

The inaugural Surf Coast Trek – a 40km walk for charity along the Surf Coast Walk (SCW) from Aireys Inlet to Torquay.

Surfcoast Trek will be held on the 9th April 2016. Open to individuals and teams of four, the Surfcoast Trek will involve a 40km walk from Aireys Inlet to Torquay along the Surfcoast Walk. You will pass through a diverse range of landscapes including cliff scenery, scenic Ironbark bushland, and long sandy beaches. Bringing together fitness, fun and fundraising for a good cause.

Event Date: Saturday 9th April 2016
Walk Distance: 40 km Coastal Walk
Location: From Aireys Inlet to Torquay, Victoria

28 February 2016: $ 55,187.73 raised so far.

» www.surfcoasttrek.com.au

 



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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer