- Renewable energy in Australia
Australia's renewable energy industries cover numerous energy sources and stages of commercialisation.
Renewable energytechnologies currently contribute about 6 per cent of Australia's total energy supply and some 8 per cent of Australia's electricity supply, with hydro-electricityby far the largest single contributor. [http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/how-solar-ran-out-of-puff/2007/04/16/1176696757654.html# How solar ran out of puff] "Sydney Morning Herald", 17 April 2007.]
Following the introduction of government Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets, [Australian Government, [http://www.orer.gov.au/ Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator] ] more opportunities have opened up for "new" renewable energies such as
wind power, photovoltaics, and solar thermaltechnologies. The deployment of these technologies provides opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases.International Energy Agency (2007). [http://www.iea.org/textbase/papers/2006/renewable_factsheet.pdf "Renewables in global energy supply: An IEA facts sheet"] , OECD, 34 pages.]
At the end of 2006, Australia had 817
megawatts(MW) of installed wind power capacity, [Global Wind Energy Council, [http://www.gwec.net/uploads/media/07-02_PR_Global_Statistics_2006.pdf Global wind energy markets continue to boom – 2006 another record year] ] mainly in South Australia. A 154 MW, A$420 million, solar photovoltaic power station is planned for Victoria. [http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article613720.ece Australia advances with solar power] "The Times", 26 October 2006.] Initiatives are also being taken with ethanol fueland geothermal energyexploration.
Marketing strategies of private companies, and government policies, influence the commercialisation process. Survey results suggest that there is considerable public support for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia. [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/16243 Australians Reject Nuclear Energy] "Angus Reid Global Monitor", 25 June 2007.]
Renewable energy resources and Key renewable energy initiatives
wind turbinecan meet the energy needs of up to 1000 homes. Wind power in Australiais clean and renewable and, at the end of 2006, there were 27 wind farms operating in Australia with an installed electricity generation capacity of 817 MW. [http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=EC139p20.pdf Energy superpower or sustainable energy leader? (PDF)] "Ecos", Oct-Nov 2007.]
The technology is proven, fast to build and economical compared with other renewable energy technologies.Australian Greenhouse Office, [http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/publications/pubs/wind-discussionpaper.pdf National code for wind farms: A discussion paper] May 2006.] However, wind power may be unpredictable and difficult to store for use when most needed. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/wind-not-the-answer-to-our-energy-needs/2005/12/29/1135732690897.html Wind not the answer to our needs] "The Age", 30 December 2005.]
Wind power in South Australia
Wind power in South Australiais a fast growing industry with 388 MW of grid-connected wind farmsinstalled at the end of 2006. South Australiais well suited to wind farms and more wind power is generated in South Australia than any other Australian state or territory. South Australia had 15 per cent of its electricity coming from wind farms by the end of 2007.The Natural Edge Project (2007). [http://www.naturaledgeproject.net/Documents/ESSP/SESP/TNEP_Energy_Solutions_Lecture_3.4.pdfHidden Benefits of Distributed Generation to Supply Base Electricity Demand] ] Major wind farms are:
Wattle Point Wind Farm(91 MW)
Lake Bonney Wind Farm(Stage 1) (80.5 MW)
Mount Millar Wind Farm(70 MW)
*Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm (66 MW)
Canunda Wind Farm(48 MW)
*Starfish Hill Wind Farm (34.5 MW)
A further 263 MW of generating capacity (
Hallett Wind Farm, 95 MW, Lake Bonney Wind Farm (stage 2), 78 MW, and Snowtown Wind Farm, 90 MW) is under construction.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology generates electricity from sunlight, and it can be used in grid-connected and off-grid applications.
The issue for the Australian photovoltaics industry today is that there is enormous market potential, built up through a natural competitiveness in Australian research and development, industry investment and government policy support. However, despite this, the industry is not yet self-sustaining and advantages gained to date could be lost.Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy. [http://www.bcse.org.au/docs/Publications_Reports/PV%20Roadmap-web.pdf The Australian Photovoltaic Industry Roadmap] p. 1.] A 2004 market report suggested that a partnership between government and industry is necessary:
"The PV industry cannot continue to actively invest in strategic industry development unless the Australian government is also committed to the journey. The industry ... requires policy and program support to assist it in bridging the gap to mainstream commercial competitiveness."Two recent projects which illustrate co-operation between industry and government are the solar power station planned for north-western Victoria, and the development of new solar cells.
olar power station in Victoria
Many projects have demonstrated the feasibility of
solar power in Australiaand a large new solar power station in Victoriais planned.
Solar Systems is to build the world’s most advanced
photovoltaic(PV) heliostatsolar concentrator power station in north-western Victoria. The 154 MW, A$420 million project, will generate 270,000 MWh per year, enough for more than 45,000 homes. It will aid in reducing salinity and create jobs during manufacture, construction and operation. It will also reduce greenhouse gasemissions by approximately 400,000 tonnes per year.Solar Systems. [http://www.solarsystems.com.au/projects.html Solar systems projects] ] Full commissioning is expected in 2013, with the first stage to be completed in 2010.Solar Systems. [http://www.solarsystems.com.au/HCPV_Technology.html Solar systems facts sheet: the technology] ]
The essential components of the power plant, developed by Solar Systems over the past 16 years, are:
*"An ultra powerful solar module for use in concentrated sunlight".
*"A cooling system to keep solar cells operating at 60°C to optimise the operation of the PV modules in a concentrated solar beam that can melt steel".
*"Low cost, high performance mirror concentrator systems".
*"A control system to manage the power station to deliver maximum reliability and output".
The commercialisation of this technology has already seen four smaller solar power stations established in central Australia, with support from the
Australian Greenhouse Office. [Solar Systems. [http://www.solarsystems.com.au/documents/SolarSystemsAP6MediaRelease-011106.pdf World-leading Australian solar technology for export under AP6] ]
New photovoltaic technology
SLIVER Cell (TM) photovoltaic technology uses just one tenth of the costly and limited supply of silicon used in conventional solar panels while matching power, performance, and efficiency. [Australian National University, [http://solar.anu.edu.au/docs/CSES.pdf Centre for Sustainable energy systems] ] Professor
Andrew Blakers, Director of the Australian National University"Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems", invented the technology with colleague Dr Klaus Weber and developed it with funding from energy supplier Origin Energyand the Australian Research Council. Blakers and Weber won the Australian Institute of Physics' Walsh Medal for their work. [ [http://abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2006/1805365.htm Super-skinny solar cells soak up the sun] "News in Science", 6 December 2006.] Origin Energy is presently developing SLIVER modules for commercialisation at its A$20M pilot plant in Regency Park, South Australia.Origin Energy. [http://www.originenergy.com.au/files/SLIVERfactsheetFIN5.pdf SLIVER technology facts sheet] ]
olar thermal energy
Australia has developed world leading solar thermal technologies, but with only very low levels of actual use. Domestic solar water heating is the most common solar thermal technology. [Lovegrove, Keith and Dennis, Mike. [http://engnet.anu.edu.au/DEresearch/solarthermal/pages/pubs/IJES06.pdf Solar thermal energy systems in Australia] "International Journal of Environmental Studies", Vol. 63, No. 6, December 2006, p. 791.]
olar water heating
During the 1950s, Australia’s
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) carried out world leading research into flat plate solar water heaters. A solar water heater manufacturing industry was subsequently established in Australia and a large proportion of the manufactured product was exported. Four of the original companies are still in business and the manufacturing base has now expanded to 24 companies. Despite an excellent solar resource, the penetration of solar water heaters in the Australian domestic market is only about 5%, with new dwellings accounting for most sales. [Lovegrove, Keith and Dennis, Mike. [http://engnet.anu.edu.au/DEresearch/solarthermal/pages/pubs/IJES06.pdf Solar thermal energy systems in Australia] "International Journal of Environmental Studies", Vol. 63, No. 6, December 2006, p. 793.]
olar thermal power
There are no large large scale
solar thermal powerstations in Australia, although the country has significant research, development and commercialisation efforts.Lovegrove, Keith and Dennis, Mike. [http://engnet.anu.edu.au/DEresearch/solarthermal/pages/pubs/IJES06.pdf Solar thermal energy systems in Australia] "International Journal of Environmental Studies", Vol. 63, No. 6, December 2006, p. 797.] CSIRO's National Solar Energy Centre in Newcastle, NSW houses a 500 kW (thermal) solar central receiver system used as a research and development facility. ['CSIRO Gets Sun Smart at the National Solar Energy Centre', June 2008, http://www.csiro.au/places/SolarEnergyCentre.html]
Australian National University(ANU) has worked on dish concentrator systems since the early 1970s and early work lead to the construction of the White Cliffs solar thermal station. In 1994, the first 'Big Dish' 400 m2 solar concentrator was completed on the ANU campus. In 2005, Wizard Power Pty Ltd was established by Canberra investor Tony Robey in order to take the Big Dish technology to commercial deployment. Wizard Power will construct a pilot power station at Whyalla to demonstrate a next-generation Big Dish design together with a chemical energy storage system using ammonia. ['Solar Power Station for Australia', The Warren Centre, Aug 2007, http://www.warren.usyd.edu.au/bulletin/NO51/ed51art6.htm]
Research activities at the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales have spun off into Solar Heat and Power Pty Ltd (now Ausra), which is currently building a major project at Liddell Power station in the Hunter Valley. The CSIRO Division of Energy Technology has opened a major solar energy centre in Newcastle that has a tower system purchased from Solar Heat and Power and a prototype trough concentrator array developed in collaboration with the ANU.
Cloncurry, a north-west
Queenslandtown, has been chosen as the site for an innovative $31 million (including a $7 million government grant) solar thermal power station. The 10 MW solar thermal powerstation would deliver about 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power the whole town. Ergon Energy will develop the project which should be running by early 2010. [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22700605-2702,00.html Cloncurry to run on solar power: Bligh] ] [http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSSYD226477 Australian town to run on solar power in 2 years] ]
In August 2008 Worley Parsons, an Australian engineering firm, announced plans to build world’s biggest solar plant in Australia within three years. Backed by nine Australian companies, including miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, they have launched a study into finding possible sites to host the $1 billion plant. [Aust firm unveils plans to build 'world's biggest solar plant' [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/12/2333041.htm] ]
Solar Cities in Australiais an innovative $75 million (US$56.5 million) program which is designed to demonstrate how solar power, smart meters, energy conservationand new approaches to electricity pricingcan combine to provide a sustainable energy future in urban locations throughout Australia. It is a partnership approach that involves all levels of Government, the private sector and the local community. Adelaide, Townsville, Blacktownand Alice Springsare the first four solar cities announced in Australia. [ [http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/solarcities/ Solar Cities - A Vision of the Future] ] Consumers will be able to purchase solar photovoltaicpanels using discounted loans. The project also plans to help low-income and rental households in the community share in the benefits of the project through other cost-saving initiatives. [ [http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=45948 Solar City to Advance Renewable Energy Down Under] ]
Geothermal energy exploration in Central Australiainvolves finding vast blocks of "hot rocks" with fracture systems that could generate electricity through water being injected, circulated through the fractures, and being returned to surface as steam. [http://www.mineweb.net/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page38?oid=20361&sn=Detail Big energy role for central Australia’s hot rocks] "Mineweb", 2 May 2007.]
South Australia has been described as "Australia's hot rock haven" and this emissions free and renewable energy form could provide an estimated 6.8% of Australia's base load power needs by 2030. According to an estimate by the Centre for International Economics, Australia has enough geothermal energy to contribute electricity for 450 years. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/hot-rock-power-the-way-ahead/2007/04/11/1175971183212.html Scientists get hot rocks off over green nuclear power] "Sydney Morning Herald", 12 April 2007.]
There are currently 19 companies Australia-wide spending $A654 million in exploration programmes in 141 areas. In South Australia, which is expected to dominate the sector's growth, 12 companies have already applied for 116 areas and can be expected to invest $A524 million (US$435 M) in their projects by the next six years. Ten projects are expected to achieve successful exploration and heat flows, by 2010, with at least three power generation demonstration projects coming on stream by 2012.
A geothermal power plant is already generating 80 kW of electricity at Birdsville, in southwest Queensland.
Several technologies for harvesting the power of the ocean are under development, including a wave energy system being trialled by Oceanlinx at Port Kembla. Wave power is especially suitable for desalinating seawater.
Biofuels produced from food crops have become controversial as food prices increased significantly in mid 2008, leading to increased concerns about
food vs fuel. Ethanol fuel in Australiacan be produced from sugarcaneor grains and there are currently three commercial producers of fuel ethanol in Australia, all on the East Coast.
Legislation imposes a 10% cap on the concentration of fuel ethanol blends. Blends of 90% unleaded petrol and 10% fuel ethanol are commonly referred to as E10,Queensland Government. [http://www.sd.qld.gov.au/dsdweb/v3/guis/templates/content/gui_cue_cntnhtml.cfm?id=52508 Ethanol case studies] ] which is mainly available through service stations operating under the BP, Caltex, Shell and United brands. Not surprisingly, E10 is most widely available closer to the sources of ethanol production in Queensland and New South Wales.
In partnership with the
Queensland Government, the Canegrowers organisation launched a regional billboard campaign in March 2007 to promote the renewable fuels industry. Over 100 million litres of the new BP Unleaded with renewable ethanol has now been sold to Queensland motorists.
Biodiesel produced from oilseed crops or recycled cooking oil may be a better prospect than ethanol, given the nation’s heavy reliance on road transport, and the growing popularity of fuel-efficient diesel cars. [ [http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=EC133p22.pdf The biofuels promise: updated thinking] "Ecos", Oct-Nov 2006.]
Biomasscan be used directly for electricity generation, for example by burning sugar cane waste (bagasse) as a fuel for thermal power generation in sugar mills. It can also be used to produce steam for industrial uses, cooking and heating. It can also be converted into a liquid or gaseous biofuel. [ [http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/renewable/recp/biomass/index.html Renewable Energy Commercialisation in Australia - Biomass Projects ] ] Biomass for energy production was the subject of a federal government report in 2004. [ [http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/AFT/04-031sum.html Summary of report - Biomass energy production in Australia Status, costs and opportunities for major technologies ] ]
Major renewable energy companies
BPhas been involved in solar power since 1973 and its subsidiary, BP Solar, is now one of the world's largest solar power companies with production facilities in the United States, Spain, India and Australia. [ [http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7810 Solar Power Profitability: BP Solar] "Environmental News Network", 25 May 2005.] BP Solar is involved in the commercialisation of a long life deep cycle lead acidbattery, jointly developed by the CSIROand Battery Energy, which is ideally suited to the storage of electricity for renewable remote area power systems ( RAPS). [ [http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=EC141p35.pdf Wind energy round the clock] ]
nowy Hydro Limited
Snowy Hydro Limited, previously known as the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, manages the Snowy Mountains Schemewhich generates on average around 4500 gigawatthours of renewable energyeach year, which is around 74% of all renewable energy in the National Electricity Market in 2005. The scheme also diverts water for irrigationfrom the Snowy RiverCatchment west to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Riversystems.
Edwards first began manufacturing water heaters in Australia in 1963. Edwards is now an international organisation which is a leader in producing hot water systems for both domestic and commercial purposes using solar technology. Edwards exports to Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. [ [http://www.edwards.com.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=828 Edwards solar hot water] ]
Origin Energyis active in the renewable energy arena, and has spent a number of years developing:
* Several wind farms in South Australia.
solar cellbusiness using technology invented by a team led by Professor Andrew Blakersat The Australian National University, with 75W modules to be released soon.
Geothermal power, with Origin's geothermal investment coming from a minority shareholding stake in Geodynamics. [Geodynamics. [http://www.geodynamics.com.au Geodynamics: Power from the earth] ]
Pacific Hydrois an Australian company that specialises in electricity generation using renewable energy. Its focus is on hydroelectricityand windpower. Power stations owned by Pacific Hydro include:;Wind
*Codrington Wind Farm
*Challicum Hills Wind Farm
Portland Wind Project;Water
*Eildon Pondage Power Station
*Ord River Hydro Power Station
*The Drop Hydro
Solahartmanufactured its first solar water heater 50 years ago, and products currently manufactured by Solahart include thermosiphon and split system solar and heat pump water heaters. These are marketed in 70 countriesaround the world and overseas sales represent 40% of total business. Solahart enjoys a market share of 50% in Australia. [ [http://www.bcse.org.au/docs/Renewable%20Energy%20Page/Manufacturer%20Profiles/solahart.pdf Solahart Industries] ]
Solar Systems is a leader in high concentration solar
photovoltaicapplications, [Solar Systems. [http://www.solarsystems.com.au/Excellence%20Awards%20win.pdf Solar Systems wins National Engineering Excellence award] ] [ [http://www.abc.net.au/ra/innovations/stories/s1782276.htm Solar technologies reaching new levels of efficiencies in Central Australia] "ABC Radio Australia", 12 November 2006.] and the company is preparing to build the world's largest photovoltaic Solar power station in Victoria, Australia. [ [http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/10/solar_systems_t.html Solar Systems to Build A$420 million, 154MW Solar Power Plant in Australia] ] [Solar Systems. [http://www.solarsystems.com.au/ Solar Systems home page] ] This project will use innovative concentrator dish technology.
Solar Systems has already completed construction of three concentrator dish power stations in the
Northern Territory, which together generate 720kW and 1,555,000 kWh per year. This represents a saving of 420,000 litres of diesel fuel and 1550 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Wind Prospectdeveloped the 46 MW Canunda Wind Farmin South Australia, which was commissioned in March 2005. A second South Australian wind farm, Mt Millar Wind Farm, was commissioned in January 2006 and this provides a further 70 MW of generation. More recently, a third nd farm has reached financial close for Wind Prospect in South Australia. This is the 95 MW Hallett Wind Farmwhich is expected to be fully commissioned late in 2008.
ubsidies for fossil fuels
Governments in Australia provide substantial financial support for the production and use of fossil fuels, through direct payments, favourable tax treatment and other actions. These subsidies keep the cost of fossil fuel energy artificially low and make it harder for renewable energy to compete. They distort energy markets, encourage greater use of fossil fuels, create higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions and improve the profitability of energy companies that produce or use fossil fuels. In an era when climate change response has become urgent, continuing to subsidise fossil fuel production and consumption is unacceptable. [University of Technology Sydney (2007). [http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/whatwedo/ISFsubsidiesreport2007.pdf Energy and Transport Subsidies in Australia] ]
Politics of global warming
Australia is one of the major exporters of
coal, the burning of which causes global warming. Australia is also one of the countries most at risk from climate changeaccording to the Stern report. Renewable energy technologies provide opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases.
Australia ratified the
Kyoto Protocolin December 2007 under newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and will meet its targets. Australia had not ratified the Kyoto Protocoluntil then, due to concerns over a loss of competitiveness with the US, which also rejects the treaty. [Australian Government (2004). [http://www.dpmc.gov.au/publications/energy_future/docs/energy.pdf Securing Australia's Energy Future] ] Some business groups have lobbied the Australian government to prevent Australia from reducing greenhouse gas emissions [http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1568867.htm The Greenhouse Mafia] "Four Corners", 13 February 2006.] and these include the coal, oil, cement, aluminium, mining and electricity industries. [http://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/WP84.pdf The Dirty Politics of Climate Change] "The Australia Institute", 20 February 2006.]
Renewable energy programmes
Australian Greenhouse Officehas responsibility for delivering several renewable energy programmes. It has policy responsibility for some financial incentives for the production and use of renewable energy, and for the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) which requires an additional 9,500 GWh of electricity to be produced from renewable sources by the year 2010:Australian Government. [http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/government.html Australian Greenhouse Office: Government programmes] ]
:"The legislation behind MRET, the "Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000", came into effect on 1 April 2001 and requires electricity retailers and major electricity users to purchase a specified percentage of their electricity from renewable energy generators. These parties must acquire Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which demonstrate that they have sourced power from renewable energy generators. Each REC represents one megawatt hour of electricity. If an electricity retailer or major user hasn’t acquired enough RECs to meet their annual target under the legislation, they must pay a $40/MWh penalty." [ [http://www.greenhouse.vic.gov.au/strategy/partb-2.htm Greenhouse response actions] ]
Despite the Tambling review, the Howard government decided not to extend the Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets Scheme. [Allens Arthur Robinson, [http://www.aar.com.au/pubs/ener/foewpjun04.htm#No_ex Federal Government Energy White Paper] ] However, various state Labor governments have recently announced their own renewable energy target schemes. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200611/s1784884.htm NSW announces renewable energy targets] "ABC News", 9 November 2006.] [ [http://www.climatechange.sa.gov.au/news/news_4.htm Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007] ] [ [http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/s1898635.htm Earth, Wind & Fire] "Four Corners", 16 April 2007.]
Politics of wind power
From 2001 to early 2006, the main driving force for the establishment of wind farms in Australia was the Government's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target or MRET. [Lovegrove, Keith. [http://www.australianreview.net/digest/2004/09/lovegrove.html Election 2004: The Government’s non policy on energy] "Australian Review of Public Affairs", 10 September 2004.] Diesendorf, Mark (2007). "Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy", UNSW Press, p. 107.] However, by mid-2006, sufficient renewable energy had been installed or was under construction to meet the small MRET target for 2010. Also, in 2006, several Federal Government Ministers spoke out against several wind farm proposals.
Leaked minutes from a 2004 meeting between leaders of energy intensive industries and the Australian government describe how both groups were worried that mandatory renewable energy targets were working too well and were "market skewed" towards wind power. [http://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/WP56.pdf Minutes of a meeting of the Low Emissions Technology Advisory Group (LETAG) with the Australian Government] 6 May 2006.]
Mark Diesendorfhas suggested that the Howard Government tried to stop the development of wind power, the lowest-cost, new, renewable electricity source, until such time as coal-fired power stations with CO2 capture and sequestration and possibly nuclear power stations are available. [Diesendorf, Mark (2007). "Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy", UNSW Press, p. 109.]
Survey results suggest that there is considerable public support for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia. In one recent survey, 74% of respondents favoured a "greenhouse strategy based mainly onenergy efficiency and renewable energy, and 19% favoured an "approach that focuses mainly on nuclear power and clean coal technologies."
The Australian results from the 1st Annual World Environment Review were based on a survey of 1,007 Australian men and women. They were published on 5 June 2007, and these are the main findings pertaining to renewable energy and energy efficiency: [ [http://www.gmi-mr.com/gmipoll/release.php?p=20070605 First Annual World Environment Review Poll Reveals Countries Want Governments to Take Strong Action on Climate Change] "Global Market Insite", 5 June 2007.]
* 86% of Australians polled are concerned about climate change. Twelve per cent are not concerned (40% are very concerned and 46% are fairly concerned).
* 88% of Australians think that the Government should do more to increase the use of solar power. Seventy eight per cent say the government should do more to boost wind power, 58% hydro power, 50% tidal power, and 38% geothermal power. (Despite the push from the Federal Government on the nuclear power issue, nuclear power is the least popular alternative. Only 25% think that the Government should do more to increase its use).
* 84% of Australians surveyed think that the Australian Government should make it easier for people to buy renewable electricity.
* 89% think that all electricity should contain a minimum 25% of power generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Only 3% disagree.
* 82% think that the Australian Government should make it easier for people to buy solar panels.
* 80% think that the Australian Government should make it easier for people to buy energy efficient products, such as energy-saving light globes, water-saving shower heads and insulation etc.
* 85% of Australians surveyed think that the Government should raise national fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.
* 87% think that the Government should do more to increase the number of cars that don’t use petrol.
Several recent reports have discussed the possibility of Australia setting a renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020. [CSIRO (2007). [http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/images/stories/agribusiness/firstreport.pdf "Rural Australia Providing Climate Solutions"] p.1] Australian Conservation Foundation (2007). [http://www.acfonline.org.au/uploads/res/res_a_bright_future.pdf "A Bright Future: 25% Renewable Energy for Australia by 2020"] ] Combined with some basic energy efficiency measures, such a target could deliver 15,000 MW new renewable power capacity, $33 billion in new investment, 16,600 new jobs, and 69 million tonnes reduction in electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions.
Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets
Clean Energy Future Group
Effects of global warming on Australia
Garnaut Climate Change Review
Geothermal energy exploration in Central Australia
Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy
List of Australian renewable energy topics
List of renewable energy topics by country
Martin Green (professor)
Photovoltaic and renewable energy engineering in Australia
Renewable energy commercialization
Solar Cities in Australia
Solar power in Australia
The Natural Edge Project
Wind power in Australia
Mitigation of global warming in Australia
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*New South Wales Government (2006). [http://www.deus.nsw.gov.au/Publications/NRET%20Explanatory%20Paper%20FINAL.pdf "NSW Renewable Energy Target: Explanatory Paper"] 17 pages.
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* [http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/recp/ Renewable energy commercialisation in Australia]
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* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/cool-wind-blows-for-investors/2007/09/02/1188671793924.html?page=fullpage# Cool wind blows for investors]
* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/energy-the-new-cash-crop-report/2007/10/16/1192300715794.html Riches in energy harvesting, farmers told]
* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Greens-unveil-farm-renewable-energy-plan/2007/11/12/1194766559200.html Greens unveil farm renewable energy plan]
* [http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2008/s2158472.htm Renewable energy revolution for NSW cane growers]
* [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=agZQK4zQ0zpg&refer=australia Suntech Power to Seek Investment Opportunities in Australia]
* [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23607840-11949,00.html Coalition calls for 'solar continent']
* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/australian-breakthrough-snapped-up--by-eager-americans/2008/06/15/1213468240519.html Australian breakthrough snapped up - by eager Americans]
* [http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/suns-rays-alone-can-power-australia-by-2030/787947.aspx# Sun's rays alone 'can power Australia by 2030']
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