Renewables

Renewables campaign meeting Saturday

Just a remonder for those interested in campaigning on climate & renewables: there’s a meeting at 3pm this Saturday, May 26th, in the common room at Christie Walk (entry via 101 Sturt St). We’ve launched The Playford Declaration, and will be looking at how to promote it and what areas we might want to campaign on in the next few months.

Please RSVP by contacting Roman (email: roman.orszanski@foe.org.au, mob: 0424447817) if you’re interested in the campaign and/or are coming along to the meeting. Up for discussion: the declaration, low cost renewables for the poor, gas fracking, divestment, and a ban on fossil fuels.… Read more >>

The Energy Transition

At the recent visit by Bill McKibben for 350.org, FoE Adelaide released The Playford Declaration. It says, in part, the following:

Here in South Australia we are in the midst of an energy transition
from  fossil fuels to renewables plus storage.

We applaud what the former State Government has achieved in the construction of renewables and battery storage; the solar subsidy it announced for low income citizens; and the planned move to overlapping local grids to provide a robust network.

While South Australia is well on target to hit its plan for 50% renewables, and predicted to reach 73% renewables by 2025, it is still funding the search for more gas fields, fails to oppose oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight, and is still considering unconventional gas and fracking in the north and south-east of the state.

It makes no sense to search for new fossil fuels which we cannot burn if we hope to contain warming to at most the 1.5 – 2 degrees we pledged for the Paris Agreement.

We need to recognise that the Energy transition is not yet complete.

Premier Thomas Playford in the mid 1940s shifted our energy system to use brown coal from Leigh Creek.
We need visionary politicians who realise that we need to both rapidly move to 100% renewable energy,
and to stop burning fossil fuels.

We call upon current and would-be politicians (and Premiers!) to take inspiration from Playford’s example and commit to a just, socially equitable energy transition: support not only a rapid move to renewables but also stop the support and funding of fossil fuels, whether for domestic use or export, for the sake of the state, the nation, and the planet.

Read the full declaration at adelaide.foe.org.au/jet/ or download the PDF

If you’re interested in working on the renewables transition campaign, there’s a meeting for FoE members and supporters at the common room at Christie Walk (entry off 101 sturt st) from 3pm on Saturday, May 26th.Read more >>

The Future is Renewable

South Australia is currently on track to hit 73% renewable energy by 2030, unless the State Government  interferes massively in the energy markets.

We could do a lot better if the new State Government actively supports the transition to renewables.

Given the Federal Government’s support of coal, and its antipathy to renewables, we need to actively promote renewables and the transformation of our energy markets.

There’s a meeting for FoE members and supporters at 3pm on Monday, April 30th at the common room at Christie Walk to discuss what such a renewables campaign might do. If you’re interested in FoE Adelaide taking up such a campaign, please come along, or email roman to let him know you’re interested (roman.orszanski@foe.org.au)… Read more >>

Stinging critique of NEG

In a stinging critique of the NEG prepared for the Australian Conservation Foundation, energy economics consultancy CME says the NEG – the detail of which remains scant – would deliver an inefficient and opaque electricity market that deliberately hides emission prices and undermines competition in wholesale and retail markets.

The report – co-authored by CME director Bruce Mountain, who has been vocal in his concerns about the NEG – also argues that the policy would deliver outcomes to protect coal generators from competition from increasingly cheap wind, solar and battery storage.

The “ultimate cost” of this inefficiency, the report warns, “will be borne by consumers in the form of higher electricity prices, in emission reductions that are more expensive and in a less secure power system.”

— Sophie Vorrath, reporting in renewEconomy on Feb 2nd… Read more >>

Little storage needed for 35-50% renewables: new Finkel report

A new report commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel, The role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix, says the required investment in energy security and reliability over the next five-10 years will be minimal, even if wind and solar deployment moves far beyond levels contemplated by the Energy Security Board.

“At an aggregated national level, Australia can reach penetrations of 50 per cent renewable energy without a significant requirement for storage to support energy reliability

The contrast with ESB modelling – and the attempts by Coalition parties at state and federal level to dismiss high levels of renewable energy as “reckless” – could not be more pronounced.

While the ESB, in arguing for a National Energy Guarantee, speaks of the system threats and urgency to act with a level of “variable” renewables accounting for between 18 and 24 per cent of total generation, this new report says surprisingly little storage may be needed with 35 per cent to 50 per cent wind and solar.

Even in the 50 per cent variable renewable energy scenario – more than double that contemplated at the high end by the ESB – the new report suggests enough battery storage may be available “behind the meter,” households and businesses, to meet the storage needs.

Pointedly, the study models levels of “variable”renewable energy – wind and solar” that are far higher than that contemplated by the ESB in its argument for an “urgent” reliability option.

The new study’s “low renewable” share – 35 per cent – is twice the amount of wind and solar modeled by the ESB for 2030, at just 18-24 per cent, and yet it sees little need for a lot of added storage.

The study’s medium renewables scenario aims at 50 per cent share of variable renewbles by 2030, while its “high” share models 75 per cent wind and solar penetration.… Read more >>