Clean energy rocks

The fossil fools in the Australian government can wave their lumps of coal in the parliamentarian chambers as much as they like. It won’t change a thing. Clean energy is moving in and taking over, simply because it is cheaper and better for all.

The clean energy revolution is happening. In Australia as well as all over the world. The numbers show it, as you can see below in this blogpost. The goal is to reach the 100% renewable electricity mark by 2030, and we will need more people and businesses to get on board to make this happen.

The only ones trying to stop us from reaching that goal are our politicians and the polluting energy industry they represent. But they are losing the grip. The current Australian government is making a complete fool of itself trying to keep this polluting industry alive with subsidies and support.

King Coal’s days are numbered in any case, and so are the plans for the Adani coal mega-mine. Juice Media commented on that with it’s latest ‘Government ad’ video – spot on:

“The Australien Government has made an ad about its renewable energy policy, and it’s surprisingly honest and informative.”

A whole lot of countries – actually every single country in this world except for the United States – agreed in Paris in 2015 that it would be a great idea if we could limit the average global warming to a 1.5°C degree rise above pre-industrial levels.

But since then, the same governments have failed to acknowledge which kind of action on the ground this would mean in reality.

The reality of staying below 1.5°C is that we will have to get to the 100% renewable electricity mark by 2030 – which again means what we will need to more than double our deployment of renewables every year.

That’s not as unrealistic as most people think. We can do this, and lots of us are already engaged in the preparations. We will need to vote in an entirely new set of uncorrupted politicians, but in the meantime, there’s no reason to sit and wait for that to happen. We can vote with our wallets and roofs – as over 1.8 million households in Australia already have done with their decision to install solar on their roofs.

Solar owners are a political force to be reckoned with – and they have all the morally right reasons along with sensible economical prospects coming their way.

Below are some recent quotes, tweets and numbers that support their story:

» One Step Off The Grid – 6 June 2018:
How all-electric solar homes could save owners thousands
“Disconnecting from gas and living in all-electric, solar powered homes could save Australian households thousands of dollars in energy costs, a new study has found – as much as $18,000 over 10 years for the millions of new-build homes expected to built around the country by 2030.”

“Buying electricity over the grid has more than doubled in cost over the last decade. Yet, at the very same time, the cost of electricity from solar power has halved and halved again. On the income side, the price being paid for solar exports has more than doubled in the last few years too.”
~ Adam Blakester, project director, Farming the Sun – a community solar collaboration

“A report by RMI finds that a suite of clean energy technologies could be a more cost-effective option than the $500 billion in natural gas investments currently planned. If wind and solar power reach half of power generation in the U.S., wholesale energy costs could drop by up to 25 percent.”

» Greentech Media – 16 May 2018:
If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More
“A new “holistic” analysis from Berkeley Lab details grid conditions under a high-renewable energy scenario.”

Renewables in reality: reliable and cheap

“Just put the bloody solar panels and the wind in and stop telling us it’s unreliable. They say, ‘It’s expensive’. But it’s going to be more expensive if none of us can bloody breathe. With the diesel generators, there were always blackouts and brownouts. EDL came in with these two big windmills and the solar panels, and ever since it’s been extremely reliable.”
~ Jason Wright, hotel worker in Coober Pedy which runs 70 percent on renewables, and heads for 100.

“Innovation in renewable energy and other emerging technologies, including battery storage, has already created cheaper electricity than any new natural gas-fired power plant. Innovation in renewable energy and other emerging technologies, including battery storage, has already created cheaper electricity than any new natural gas-fired power plant.”

» Medium | World Economic Forum – 31 May 2018:
Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

» Vox – 30 May 2018:
New renewable energy projects are expected to be profitable with little government support

» Ensia – 29 May 2018:
Suddenly, solar energy plus storage is giving conventional fuels a run for their money
“The increasingly competitive dynamic duo of solar photovoltaic plus battery storage is taking energy markets by storm.”

» Ozy – 29 May 2018:
Solar might soon be the ‘main game’ in the energy field. This man made it happen
“Today the American solar industry is worth $1 billion and is growing rapidly — from $42 million in revenue in 2007 to $210 million in 2017.” “In 2016, the industry generated about $154 billion in economic activity. Typically working away from the limelight, one of the key players in making sure the industry shines through the dark clouds is 48-year-old entrepreneur Arno Harris.”

» Wired – 22 May 2018:
Batteries still suck, but researchers are working on it
“One of Ionic Materials’s key investors told WIRED’s Steven Levy last year that the company is trying to combine the best aspects of the low-cost alkaline batteries with power and rechargeable nature of lithium ion. If the company can crack that formula, it believes it can even power an entire smart grid with its technology.”

» Serree – 17 May 2018:
World-leading new greenhouse gas reduction targets for the ACT
“The ACT government has cemented its leadership position, announcing it is bringing forward its net zero emissions target from 2050 to 2045.” 

» The Fifth Estate – 17 May 2018:
ACT joins world leaders on net zero and moves to enable gas-free suburbs
“…The ACT government this month also proposed draft amendments to its Territory Plan to allow for a trial of gas-free suburbs.”

» RenewEconomy – 4 May 2018:
The subsidy-free wind farms that returned money to ACT consumers in 2017
“The Ararat wind farm actually delivered a dividend to ACT energy consumers of nearly $90,000 from its opening early in 2017 to the end of December. The smaller, but lower cost, 19.8MW Coonooer Bridge wind farm delivered an even bigger dividend of $480,000 over the calendar year.”

Companies go for green energy

Increasingly, major international companies are voluntarily investing in producing and covering their own needs with energy from renewable sources, even though they are not energy companies. The increase is mainly due to rapidly falling prices for wind turbines and solar panels, coupled with an increasing demand on sustainability from both investors and consumers.

The International Agency for Sustainable Energy, IRENA, explains this in a new report, where experts have analysed data from more than 2,400 major international companies and business groups in 40 countries. The authors conclude that the tendency is a increasing rapidly.

It is the first time such an analysis like this has been done. 17 per cent of all companies in the survey have set fixed targets for their expansion and use of renewable energy. Private enterprises are currently generating an amoung of energy equivalent to France’s total energy consumption.

Of the 2,400 companies surveyed, there are more than 50 that get 100 percent of their energy from sustainable sources, while more than 200 companies cover 50 percent of their energy needs with renewables.

» More information on

The Carbon-Free City Handbook

The Carbon-Free City Handbook reveals 22 actions — and associated resources — for cities globally to move toward climate-neutrality and see results within a year.

“We encourage you to share The Carbon-Free City Handbook with your local leaders.”

» Read more and download the PDF on

Top 100 local climate solutions in Danish municipalities

A new publication showcases showcases 100 of the best climate solutions from 80 Danish municipalities. It is The first comprehensive survey of climate action in Denmark.

“It is our hope that ‘Klima100’ will foster green knowledge sharing among municipalities in Denmark and beyond,” writes the publishers, Sustainia and Realdania.

‘Klima100’ emphasises how municipalities are getting serious about setting ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, Ærø, Copenhagen, Sønderborg and Aarhus municipalities aim to become carbon neutral between 2025 and 2030.

“With ‘Klima100’, we shine a light on 100 of the best climate solutions from municipalities across Denmark. Never before has such a comprehensive picture of Danish local climate action been painted. Klima100 proves that our municipalities do not lack ambition, inventiveness, or the will to act when it comes to fighting climate change locally,” Realdania’s Chief Philanthropic Officer, Anne Skovbro said.

» Read or download the report

» Home page:

‘Klima100’ contains a list of 100 of the most innovative climate solutions from local governments across Denmark. The publication provides an in-depth understanding of how Danish municipalities are adapting to climate change, working towards slowing global warming, and creating a greener future.

The next steps

New Zealand: Carbon price required

A 500-page report takes a wide-ranging look at what New Zealand is doing about its contribution to zero emissions by 2050 – some good pluses and a couple of difficult minuses.

New Zealand’s previous government asked the Productivity Commission to examine the “opportunities and challenges of a transition to a lower net emissions economy”. A few months into their work, the government changed and the new climate change minister, the Greens’ James Shaw, reinforced the urgency of the inquiry by asking the commission to consider the possibility of a net zero target for 2050.

The resulting 500-page report, now available in draft form, is a huge and comprehensive piece of work. From the very beginning, the commission knew what they were up against, writing that: “…the shift from the old economy to a new, low-emissions, economy will be profound and widespread, transforming land use, the energy system, production methods and technology, regulatory frameworks and institutions, and business and political culture.”

The report finds that the carbon price required to get to zero net emissions in 2050 is fairly modest. In one model, it rises from its present price of NZ$21 per tonne to NZ$55 in 2030 and NZ$157 in 2050 — within the NZ$100-250 range of global estimates consistent with the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2℃. In other words, New Zealand does not have an unusually difficult decarbonisation challenge.

Although the report covers all main aspects of society and economy, there are three big changes that stand out:

Transport must be electrified rapidly (in some models, nearly all light vehicles entering the fleet must be zero-emission by the early 2030s)

• Huge numbers of trees – up to an extra 2.8 million hectares, tripling the current plantation estate – must be planted to absorb carbon dioxide. These trees have to go somewhere, probably on sheep and beef farms

• A lot of new renewable electricity generation will be needed, nearly doubling the present capacity, which is already 85% renewable.

The impact of widespread consultation, evidence and research is clear throughout. Although it is only advice, the report is a valuable resource for all future work on emissions reduction. It joins a chorus of similar studies issued recently, such as Vivid Economics analysis, ‘Net Zero in New Zealand’.

» Download the Productivity Commission’s draft report:
Transitioning to a low-emissions economy (PDF)

»

» The Age – 17 May 2018:
Haven’t got a rooftop? You can still go solar and cut your energy bill
“A new trial has been launched to provide solar power savings to those without rooftop solar. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing funding for trials of ‘solar gardens’, which could allow up to a third of Australians who are unable to install their own solar panels save money with solar power.”