eeXtra – July 2016
The latest round-up of energy-efficiency projects and innovations from Australia and around the world.
Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy Project recently broke a world record, completing 14,000 cumulative operating hours, the highest ever recorded in the wave energy industry. The project uses off-shore wave-power generators to provide electricity and desalinated water to naval base, HMAS Stirling.
The Australian Energy Market Commission recently released its third annual review of the state of competition in retail energy markets. The review found the benefits of shopping around regularly are now more substantial as the range of pricing and available services grows.
The Green Building Council of Australia has joined with the World Green Building Council to address global warming. The GBCA joins green building councils from Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden, and other not-for-profit organisations, in committing to national net-zero or carbon-zero certification.
Source: Energy Source and Distribution
The City of Sydney is seeking feedback on its draft Environmental Action 2016-2021 Strategy and Action Plan. The draft outlines progress to date and the approach to achieving 2030 Sustainable Sydney targets. Consultation closes Friday 12 August 2016.
Source: City of Sydney
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is funding a heritage building upgrade that will create an exemplary green building in Geelong to house WorkSafe Victoria. The 14-storey commercial office tower will embody the benefits of a work environment that is more liveable and energy efficient. The property will be the first Victorian office building outside of the Melbourne CBD to achieve a 5.5 star NABERS energy rating.
Corporations with high energy demands are switching to automated processes that turn potential cost-saving opportunities into reality. Energy intelligence software (EIS) uses complex algorithms to compare data across facilities, indicates energy-saving opportunities and accelerates their implementation. This automation also frees up significant time and resources for other corporate activities.
A new report by the Australian Energy Market Operator has hinted at some of the major changes facing the nation’s electricity networks, including the need to install grid-scale battery storage to alleviate grid congestion, as they evolve to incorporate more large-scale solar and wind generation.
Australia’s largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility is now running at full capacity, generating around 7 MW of solar power for the DeGrussa copper and gold mine in remote Western Australia. This groundbreaking solar plus storage project could transform the way Australia’s remote mining industry harnesses power.
Developing countries spent more on renewable power than wealthy nations for the first time last year, driving the fastest increase in uptake of green energy on record. Global investment in renewable power was more than double the amount spent on new coal and natural gas-fired power generation in 2015, the Renewables Global Status report found. ‘New markets for both centralised and distributed renewable energy are emerging in all regions,’ the report finds.
The new Australian Energy Storage Database provides details of commercial and utility scale energy storage projects in Australia and New Zealand, listing details such as technology, location, ownership, and status. The AESDB is the Australian portal to the Global Energy Storage Database developed by the US Department of Energy. Funded through the NSW Energy & Resources Knowledge Hub, the database is designed for use by for investors, developers, planners, policymakers, and researchers.
Source: Australian Energy Storage Alliance.
A new solar cell configuration developed by engineers at the University of NSW has pushed sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency to 34.5%, establishing a new world record for unfocused sunlight and nudging closer to the theoretical limits for such a device. The new record is dramatically advanced beyond previous achievements, and is edging closer to the theoretical limits of sunlight to electricity conversion – and more than three decades ahead of recent predictions.
A new report from the US Department of Energy discusses drivers in energy savings for data centres, noting a sharp decline in usage over the first half of the decade. Many of the world’s largest tech companies have taken on cutting-edge energy management software and hardware to keep their usage down.