A meterologist, a climate science professor and the Deputy Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute gave us their insights on the recent "unusual" tropical weather patterns appearing in South Australia, what exactly is causing the continual blackouts, and how renewables can help.
Tagged With renewable energy
Shortly after shareholders approved the acquisition of renewable energy firm SolarCity on Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that his company's dope new solar shingles could cost less than wack conventional versions of the same thing, even before saved energy costs are accounted for.
It's really hard to argue against policies that promote renewable energy. But people like Donald Trump will bend over backward to do it — like he did today on (failed presidential hopeful) Herman Cain's radio show. Trump claims that wind turbines are a major threat to bird populations. But he's just talking crap without any context.
For the past 16 months or so, it's felt as though our planet has been shaking us by the shoulders, trying to wake us up to the fact that we've kicked the thermostat into overdrive. The good news is, America finally seems to be listening. According to a new report by the US Department of Energy, wind and solar production took off last year as the price of clean energy technologies plummeted.
Researchers for the first time have found a "quantum-confined bandgap narrowing mechanism", where UV absorption of solar energy can easily be extended into the visible light range. This mechanism may one day allow the design of a new class of composite materials for light harvesting and optoelectronics.
Just 6 per cent of New South Wales is using renewable electricity. By contrast, Tasmania is on 95 per cent (but with good reason) and fellow mainlander South Australia is sitting at 40 per cent.
And with just $1.4m set aside in the budget to foster the renewable energy sector, the New South Wales doesn't seem to be keen to lift its ranking among the states from dead last to anything better.
Aussie company Redflow announced its innovative zinc-bromine ZCell battery earlier this year, and tomorrow it's getting its first public debut at the Australian Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition in Sydney. The enclosure for the 10kWh home energy storage system has just been revealed, designed to be easy to install with failsafes against battery fluid leakage.
Most commercially available solar panels only are able to convert between 15 and 22 per cent of the sunlight they're exposed to into electricity. As part of an ongoing effort to improve the efficiency of increasingly important solar technology, a team from UNSW has created a solar cell module that boasts a world record efficiency rate of 34.5%.
Following the announcement of the much-anticipated Tesla Model 3 — with many Australians having pre-ordered the car sight-unseen — a coalition of stakeholders has released a report calling on the Federal Government to act on electric vehicles. Increased uptake of low and zero-emission cars in Australia could be the key to meeting our climate, energy production and air quality goals, with regular vehicles making up Australia's fastest growing source of emissions.
Though the technology was popularised by US company Tesla Energy's Powerwall, innovation in battery storage has often been made by Australian companies — as many remote areas of the country are dependent on off-grid technologies. Aussie company Redflow is no different, announcing their new ZCell battery — an energy storage system that presents an alternative to traditional lead acid and lithium ion batteries.
Enphase Energy has been in our sights recently for their modular home battery — a more flexible contender to Tesla's Powerwall — but now Enphase has eyes on the southern hemisphere as well. Today, Enphase has opened a new research ad development facility in Wigram, Christchurch.