Construction Set To Begin At Australia’s First Single-Axis Tracking Solar PV Project

This article originally posted at Clean Technica. View the original post here.  While Australia’s carbon policy seems to have hit a dead-end, good news from the renewable energy sector continues to pour in. The country will soon see construction begin … Continue reading Construction Set To Begin At Australia’s First Single-Axis Tracking Solar PV Project

Big savings from renewable energy target but consumers miss out

Originally posted at Eco-Business. View the original post here.  While Prime Minister Tony Abbott says renewable energy significantly increase electricity bills, a new study finds wind energy actually forced down wholesale power prices by more than $3.2 billion over six years – … Continue reading Big savings from renewable energy target but consumers miss out

Nigel Morris: Dear Prime Minster Tony Abbott – can you please stop lying about the RET

The letter below was written by Nigel Morris, Director at SolarBusinessServices. The original letter can be found here. Dear Prime Minister I don’t like to publicly criticize leaders but I am compelled to take you to task. Can you please … Continue reading Nigel Morris: Dear Prime Minster Tony Abbott – can you please stop lying about the RET

WA by-election leaves renewables vulnerable

Originally posted at Climate Spectator. View the original post here

The panel reviewing the Renewable Energy Target (headed by Dick Warburton who suspects the academies of science across the G20 nations may be telling fibs about human-induced global warming) has released a relatively brief discussion paper as part of a request for submissions.

As expected, it canvasses the complete abolition of the large-scale and small-scale sections of the RET. It asks the following three pivotal questions, likely to deeply unsettle the renewable energy sector: Continue reading “WA by-election leaves renewables vulnerable”

Policy Watch: Wind farmers to benefit from tax changes… But only if RET remains intact

Views Of J-Power's Nunobiki Wind FarmA proposed amendment to the Farm Management Deposits (FMD) Scheme could see the non-agricultural production income threshold for farmers nationwide extended, allowing those participating to draw more income from wind farms without penalty.

The FMD scheme is a piece of legislation designed to assist farmers in preparing for conditions of financial hardship by providing a tax deductible form of income-banking in times of plenty.

Under the amended system, there will be greater scope for farmers to reserve income from non-agricultural sources, such as rents paid on wind farms, when afflicted by drought or other natural disasters.

The increased income, for many, will be crucial in determining the viability of ongoing commitment to agriculture, according to Deputy Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council (CEC), Kane Thornton, who noted that

“In many cases we have seen that hosting wind turbines has been the difference between staying on the land and being forced to sell the family farm.”

These decisions, however, must also take into consideration the predicted increase in frequency of natural disasters, like drought and bushfires, exacerbated by inadequate national action on climate change. Continue reading “Policy Watch: Wind farmers to benefit from tax changes… But only if RET remains intact”

WA Senate re-run may give reprieve to renewables

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Originally posted at RenewEconomy. View the original post here.

The large-scale renewables sector may be the beneficiary of the WA Senate rerun, with a Perth-based electoral analyst and blogger saying a likely even left/right split the most likely outcome – making it more difficult for a Coalition government to scrap or castrate the renewable energy target.

Given the tendency for by-elections to result in a swing against the government, a WA-based electoral expert believes that the WA Senate election will likely result in a three Liberal, two Labor and one Green split. The result would mean that it will be difficult for the Abbott Government to get its legislation through. Continue reading “WA Senate re-run may give reprieve to renewables”

Labor’s victory in SA offers hope for a little energy sanity

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Originally posted at Renew Economy. View the original post here

The surprise return of the Labor government in South Australia means that the book is not entirely closed on Australia’s mainland for renewable energy.

Indeed, while the broad thrust of national renewable energy policy will be directed by the Abbott government, the return of the Jay Weatherill Labor government in Adelaide, the election of Mike Hodgman in Tasmania, and the ambition of the ACT Labor government means that there are some counters to the apparently ideologically-driven opposition to renewables in the Federal government.

As RenewEconomy has noted before, it is not by accident that the three states and territories most supportive of renewable energy in Australia are those with no, or relative weak, fossil fuel interests.

Continue reading “Labor’s victory in SA offers hope for a little energy sanity”

Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads

Last week, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine injected new blood into his frontbench in preparation for the state election this November, promoting member for Morwell Russell Northe as Minister for Energy and Resources.

Victoria’s new Minister for Energy, Russell Northe

Northe steps into the role at a time of great uncertainty surrounding  the energy sector. The Abbott government’s stacked RET Review clouds the prospects for renewable energy in the country and compounds the impact of  Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws. The rooftop solar boom continues to disrupt the business model of the big fossil-fuel-based energy companies and the last scrap of coal power’s social licence went up in the recent fire at the Hazelwood coalmine.

The context of energy policy (and politics) is well known. Yet Victoria’s new energy minister is Russell Northe is somewhat of an unknown quantity. Yes 2 Renewables had a look over Northe’s record to get a better sense of the man. Here’s what we found. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Victoria’s new energy minister at the crossroads”

Pollie Watch: Clive Palmer keeps shtum on the Renewable Energy Target

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Wealthy mining magnate and Federal MP Clive Palmer has once again refused to be drawn on the issue of his Palmer United Party’s (PUP) stance on the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

According to The Australian, Palmer told an audience in Launceston yesterday

 “We’re looking at all those issues at the moment because we haven’t formed a view on what we’ll do with legislation coming before the Senate and when we look at what advantage we can do with our position,”

Palmer’s position here is important because it is likely to determine the viability of any attempt to scrap or seriously amend the RET scheme at the federal level. It is not yet certain, however, whether the PUP will ultimately maintain the balance of power in the Senate, given the potential reshuffling of the six seats available in WA’s Senate election re-run. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Clive Palmer keeps shtum on the Renewable Energy Target”

Pollie Watch: Will SA Liberals kill wind energy jobs, investment?

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.35.03 AMSouth Australia is national leader when it comes to renewable energy. Wind energy and more recently roof top solar has boomed in the state.  

With the state heading to the polls this weekend, many renewable energy observers are wondering how a change of government will affect South Australia’s incredible energy transition. 

Liberal party candidate for Frome, Kendall Jackson, in on the record supporting restrictions on wind farm developments:

In regards to wind farms, the Liberal team is supportive of our local communities and ensuring local farmers are not unnecessarily disadvantaged by power station development. We believe there should be adequate distance between peoples homes and wind turbines — five kilometres from towns and two kilometres from homes.

The “adequate distance” suggested by the Liberal party candidate are arbitrary. It makes no reference to objective factors such as noise standards, acoustic modelling, turbine type, community support or environment/biodiversity considerations. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Will SA Liberals kill wind energy jobs, investment?”