A regular round-up of energy-efficiency projects and innovations from Australia and around the world.

Solar storage suburb

A residential battery storage trial is now up and running in the Western Australia suburb of Alkimos, supported by $3.3 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ‘Combining community-scale battery storage and rooftop solar presents a win-win for energy retailers, developers and consumers and can provide households with the benefits of storage without on-site installation and maintenance,’ said Ivor Frischnecht, ARENA CEO.

Source: ARENA

See Proving the case for solar and storage suburbs

Support for Tassie retailers

The Tasmanian Retailer Development Program provides tools and skills for retailers to increase turnover and improve profitability. The program will be delivered through a series of workshops across the state.

Source: Tasmanian Government

Updated audit standard can drive ambitious energy savings

The Energy Efficiency Council and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage are working to increase the uptake of the new Australian Standard for energy audits. The standard, AS/NZS 3598:2014, was released in October 2014 but   many consultants were still offering audits under the less-robust older version of the standard.

Source: The Fifth Estate

See Why it’s time to update energy audit approaches

The BIM revolution is here

Digital technologies for Australian buildings are featured in a free new ebook, which rounds up four recent presentations by experts in the field. The focus is on building information modelling (BIM), which is being embraced in Australia and New Zealand.

Source: The Fifth Estate

See Smart Building – What you need to know about the BIM and digital tech revolution

Cost of saving energy is not going up

A new report from ACEEE highlights the energy efficiency successes of 14 program administrators in the US. The report finds that while savings are going up, the cost of saving energy is not. Big savings are even possible in regions with low electricity prices.

Source: ACEEE

See Highlighting big savers in energy efficiency

Shopping on sunshine

From Shell Harbour to Darwin, shopping centres around Australia are increasingly going solar. ‘In the last couple of years a lot of shopping centres have been getting a NABERS rating and they’re looking to sustainability and energy efficiency,’ said energy consultant PC Thomas.

Source: The Fifth Estate

See Stockland, GPT and AMP Capital shopping centres in sunnier outlook

Energy efficiency cleans up jobs market

Almost  2 million Americans now work in the energy efficiency sector, a new study by Environmental Entrepreneurs  shows. Energy efficiency boosts energy productivity, which means getting more economic output from every unit of energy, i.e. more bang for the buck.

Source: The Climate Group

See Clean energy creates 2.5 million jobs in the US, with energy efficiency paving the way

Life gives back energy

Around 7% of the electricity generated in Germany comes from biomass. Unlike wind or solar energy, biogas can be produced around the clock. Could it be produced to meet demand?

Source: Phys.Org

See The flexible way to greater energy yield

Confirmed (again): energy efficiency saves money and emissions

Data show how energy efficiency is the cheapest and cleanest ‘fuel’, since its costs are much lower than any new power plant with any resources or technology. In the US, LED lighting is considered the most promising technology for city managers to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the short-term.

Source: ACEEE

See Energy efficiency saves both money and emissions: new studies

Smart energy for offices – have your say

The Fifth Estate is seeking input into the next ebook in their ‘Greening Your Office’ series. Businesses that supply renewable products or consultation, as well as agencies involved in the emerging energy sector, are invited to participate.

Source: The Fifth Estate

See Our next ebook: Smart energy for offices – opportunities to get involved

Gas Price Trends Review

This report provides estimates of industrial and residential gas prices, the cost components of these prices and their historical trends, for each Australian state/territory. Gas Price Trends Review also discusses the complexities driving these price trends and provides background to the development of wholesale and residential gas markets.

Source: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

See Gas Price Trends Review

Compressed air systems: an easy fix for energy savings

Compressed air systems tend to be leaky, and finding and fixing these sometimes tiny holes and gaps is a great way to save money. Matching compressed air distribution to the job at hand can also be a big energy saver.  Assessing and patching systems should be undertaken with a systematic approach.

Source: Energy Manager Today

See Compressed Air Systems: Low Hanging Fruit for Energy Savings

6 for 2016: Global Energy Market Trends

The convergence of various energy and environmental disciplines, together with ever-changing global market dynamics, makes 2016 an interesting year. Six key themes are important to watch, and this paper explores each of them in more detail to prepare you for a year of critical energy decisions. The paper is free to download.

Source: Schneider Electric

See 6 for 2016: Global Energy Market Trends