Does Battery Storage Help Or Hurt The Environment?

an eco-warrior dreaming about a powerwall

If you want to save the environment and have limited funds, then buying batteries should not be a priority.

Millions of Australians have installed rooftop solar to help the environment and save money.

Many are hoping home battery storage will soon let them do the same.

The cost of home energy storage is falling rapidly and it may not be long before it pays for itself.  But at its current price it will not save money, even under favourable circumstances, when used on-grid.  Despite this, there have been hundreds, or possibly thousands, of people who have installed home battery systems because they want to help the environment.

Have these people  made a horrible mistake? [Read more…]

Coal Power Eliminated From South Australia With Help From Rooftop Solar

coal miners hat

The last coal miners in South Australia have hung up their helmets, and the last coal fired power station has shut its doors.

History has been made with the closure of the Northern Power Station which has eliminated the use of coal in South Australia. And I say good riddance to you, Northern Power Station. I’m sorry you are no longer providing employment for people in Port Augusta or at the Leigh Creek coal mine, but I’m not sorry you are gone because you kill people and I am a firm believer that electricity generation should be death light. [Read more…]

Global CO2 Emissions Stall, Economy Grows, Thanks To Renewables

power station with solar

The massive deployment of renewables has helped global CO2 emissions fall.

Interesting news from two separate studies from different agencies this week folks. The first — from the International Energy Agency (IEA) — found that carbon emissions have stalled worldwide for the second year in a row. The second, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), outlined the associated benefits of doubling the share of renewables in the world energy mix. [Read more…]

Paris climate talks: out of weasel words comes light at the end of the tunnel

paris climate talksWhat do you think about the hoopla surrounding the signing of the Paris Climate Talks agreement readers? Happy? Deflated? A sense of the same old, same old? Or a new beginning for the planet? [Read more…]

Bushfires in Australia: who’s going to talk about the elephant in the room?

bushfire

Photo Credit: flickr user bertknot

A worrying time for your correspondent this week readers as bushfires, which have claimed well over a hundred properties continue to rage in my region of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

While my town is safe for now, bushfires rage further up the Mountains and down in the Lower Mountains where over the bulk of property loss has occurred. This is not to ignore other bushfires in Australia occurring in other tinder-dry regions where unseasonably hot conditions and lack of decent rain is a major problem.

Now is not the time to pontificate as the emergency situation is still very real according to the Rural Fire Service however when the time comes for sitting down and evaluating the loss, will the subject of a changing climate be included? Controversy rages higher than any bushfire on this subject with many people saying that the jury is still out on the human cause of climate change. This is not to dismiss their point of view. [Read more…]

From ‘Frack Off’ to ‘Hello Sun’?

anti fracking protestors

They are probably not demonstrating against AGLs solar business!

photo credit: flickr – kateausburn

Unless you’ve been living a hermit’s existence with no access to news outlets, the Internet or NSW premier Barry “Bumper” O’Farrell’s rants you’ll have heard the constant chorus “Frack Off!” being directed at the (not-so-green) gas industry led by AGL. The choice insult refers of course to the gas industry’s latest controversial method of extracting gas by fracturing deeply buried rock using a pressurised fluid. [Read more…]

Newly crowned as net producer, PV looks to full payback of dirty energy debt

holy grail film poster

Yes folks, we’ve reached the holy grail.

Always rewarding to bring readers good solar news and this week’s offering is just that. The achievement/milestone/breakthrough (call it what you will) is that the amount of the energy produced by global PV solar power has surpassed the amount of fossil fuel energy needed to make the panels.

It seems fairly certain that a tipping point has been reached, or will be reached in the very near future, say researchers at Stanford University. [Read more…]

Bushfires, bloody hot weather and a brave new world

bushfires in Tasmania

Bushfires in Tassie – photo: flickr/ToniFish

As I sit here writing this week’s rant, we are (it seems) in the middle of one of the worst heatwaves ever to strike the continent. Characterised by indecently high temperatures, bushfires and breathless “on the spot” news reporters, the harsh weather is crossing the land from west to east, north to south. [Read more…]

Big Polluters In Doha Refuse To Help Drowning Nations

someone drowningAs climate talks negotiators ride off into the Qatari desert mostly empty handed and the world’s media trots out the usual “lost opportunity” stories for his year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, it may be time to look at what might have been for renewable energy projects for smaller “frontline” climate state victims in our region. [Read more…]

What’s behind the Qatari enthusiasm for solar power?

Every now and then here at Solar Quotes HQ we like to tear ourselves away from the short sighted solar power policies of our elected representatives and gaze at overseas solar energy trends. Are other countries’ solar sectors hamstrung by suffering cutback after cutback in solar feed-in tariffs? Do they have the equivalent of our conservative regimes cutting back on renewables almost as soon as they gets their bums on the seats in their respective state parliaments?
[Read more…]

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