Here’s a wrap-up of all the key news across solar and other renewables last week. Grab your coffee, here’s the industry must-knows for the week (01/05/2023 edition):
• Australia is leading the way in solar and wind energy production per capita compared to any other country. Despite being physically isolated from neighbouring nations and unable to share electricity across borders like European countries, the Australian approach is highly replicable because it relies on cost-effective, mature technology from vast production runs that use readily available resources. (PV Magazine)
Renewable electricity generation in Australia’s National Electricity Market, including indicative generation to meet the government’s 2030 target.
• Do we need to rethink the current policy structures related to mineral and fossil fuel ventures, given the predicted magnitude of energy and transmission infrastructure on Indigenous Estate for Australia to get to net zero emissions by 2060?
The National Native Title Council (NNTC) is advocating for extensive policy changes following the publication of the Net Zero Australia study which predicts that achieving net zero emissions in Australia by 2060 would require around 50,000 km2 or 43% of new renewable energy and transmission infrastructure to be located on Indigenous land. (National Native Title Council)
• Exciting news! Carol Schwartz (AO), a well-known business and community leader, has been named the new Chair of the Climate Council. With Amanda McKenzie, one of Australia’s most seasoned climate CEOs, by her side, Ms.Schwartz’s appointment signals a bold new era of climate advocacy for the organisation.
“Our ultimate aim is to get emissions plummeting in the crucial ‘make or break’ 2020s and to position Australia as a true global leader on climate action.” (Climate Council)
• Big news for sustainability! Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo become the first zoos in NSW to be powered by renewable electricity. The switch means that the equipment that the Wildlife Hospitals teams use to treat injured wildlife, the pump that reuses water for seal enrichment and the heat lamps that many primates like to bask in, are all now powered by renewable electricity. But more importantly, clean energy is a step towards helping secure a future for all animals.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia’s landmark switch to renewable electricity from Red Energy means that every year from now on, approximately 7,000 tonnes CO2 are no longer being released into the atmosphere. The emissions saved every year is the weight equivalent of about 300 humpback whales. Taronga had set its target to be powered by 100% renewable electricity before 2030 – and the switch means the not-for-profit organisation achieved its goal seven years earlier! (Taronga.org.au)
The zoos’ equipment, including heat lamps for the meerkats, is now powered by renewable energy.
Image: Taronga Zoo
• Business fleet users account for nearly half of all passenger vehicles sold in Australia. How can we encourage them to go electric?
The newly launched $12.8 million Origin Accelerate EV Fleet Program aims to find out. Part-funded with $6.2 million from ARENA, the program will see Origin Energy lease 1000 passenger EVs and 1000 smart chargers (one for each supplied EV) to fleets across the country. (ARENA)
• Say hello to the future of lawn mowing! The team from New Zealand’s Massey University AgriFood Digital Lab has created a PV panel solar-powered robotic lawn mower. No more fuel emissions or loud engines – just a green, clean cut for your lawn.
The SunScout Pro features three fully integrated 50 W solar panels that charge a 20 Ah lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. One of the PV panels is located on top of the robot, while two additional modules are fixed onto a sliding, retractable structure. (PV Magazine) https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2023/04/27/pv-powered-robotic-lawn-mower-from-new-zealand/
Say goodbye to traditional lawn care and hello to the future with SunScout Pro!
Image: SunScout Pro on Kickstarter
Albanese government’s new electric vehicle strategy explained | 7.30
After 13 years of political debate the government has announced a plan to impose fuel efficiency standards in line with most of the developed world. It’s part of a strategy to increase electric car sales in Australia. But beyond that commitment, no details have been given about how these standards will work. Casey Briggs explains.