The latest round-up of energy-efficiency projects and innovations from Australia and around the world.

Australian solar: 12 new sites get support as production triples

The 12 new solar PV installations have been determined as part of ARENA’s multi-million dollar large-scale solar round. The plants are expected to unlock almost $1 billion of commercial investment and boost regional Australian economies. ‘Six plants in Queensland, five plants in NSW and one plant in Western Australia are slated for funding, in a major milestone that’s expected to triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW,’ announced ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

Source: ARENA

See: 12 new plants get support as production triples

Australian property industry world leader in environmental performance

Australian and New Zealand property companies continue to lead the world on environmental, social and governance performance, according to the 2016 GRESB report. ‘This result confirms once again that our industry is a world leader that is serious about cutting emissions and energy usage,’ said Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council of Australia.

Source: Property Council of Australia

See: Australian property industry world leader in environmental performance

Sugarcane raises new power project

MSF Sugar has announced a $75m biofuels project to be built in the Tablelands near Cairns, Qld. The project will use the sugarcane byproduct called bagasse to produce 24 megawatts of electricity, enough to power every home in the region.

Source: Energy Business News

See: Sugar company announces $75m biofuels projects

Australian National University invests in battery storage and integration

The Australian National University will establish an international research program to improve ways to store renewable energy under a new $8 million partnership with the ACT Government. ‘As the proportion of renewables in the grid grows, battery storage and its integration are becoming increasingly important to address intermittency in renewable energy supply,’ said Professor Ken Baldwin of the ANU’s Energy Change Institute.

Source: Energy Source and Distribution

See: ANU invests in battery storage and integration

AEMO releases latest Energy Update

Energy Update is a bi-monthly publication about the activities of the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian energy industry. This edition outlines AEMO’s strategic initiatives for 2016–18.

Source: AEMO

See: AEMO Energy Update

World Energy Statistics 2016

A new publication from the IEA presenting comprehensive world energy statistics, from all sources—coal, gas, oil, electricity, renewables and waste. The 789-page report covers energy supply and consumption for all OECD countries and over 100 other key energy-producing and consuming countries, as well as world and regional totals.

Source: IEA

See: World Energy Statistics 2016

Stockland leads the charge in sustainable communities

Stockland has more Green Star-rated communities than any other developer in Australia, after the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) certified six new communities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. ‘Stockland is leading the charge in its commitment to sustainable communities, and this leadership will transform the shape of Australia’s cities,’ said Romilly Madew, CEO of GBCA.

Source: GBCA

See: Stockland leads the charge in sustainable communities

A rapid shift to electric vehicles

Beyond Zero Emissions has released a study that models an Australian transition to 100% electric vehicles, powered by renewable energy, over a ten year period. The study finds this shift would eliminate at least 6% of the nation’s greenhouse emissions.

Source: Beyond Zero Emissions

See: Zero Carbon Australia Electric Vehicles

Solar PV in Australia, report

2015 was Australia’s biggest ever year for deployment of utility-scale solar with the connection of 280 MW of power station solar. Australian PV installs show 19% year-on-year growth for 2015 resulting in solar energy meeting 2.8% of electricity demand.

Source: Australian PV Institute

See: PV in Australia 2015

Rural communities on the frontline of climate change

A new report from the Climate Council finds the increase in extreme weather events is disproportionately affecting those in rural areas, with serious social, health and economic impacts. Renewable energy can reduce costs for rural/remote communities, who traditionally pay higher prices than their urban counterparts.

Source: Climate Council

See: Climate Change & Rural Communities report

Battery storage set to bolster South Australian grid

The world’s largest battery storage ‘virtual power plant’ is coming to South Australia, with funding from ARENA. ‘ARENA is at the forefront of determining how batteries can best support renewable energy to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable power,’ Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of ARENA said.

Source: ARENA

See: Battery storage set to bolster South Australian grid

Sheep flock to solar research farm

A 3.275 megawatt solar farm at the University of Queensland’s Gatton campus has shorn grid electricity use at the campus by 40% over its first year. However, the cost of mowing the 7 hectares around the panels came in $40,000. That’s when the sheep came in.

Source: ABC News

See: Sheep flock to solar research farm

Your energy strategy needs updating

Industrial energy management programs aim to deliver improved productivity and a reduction of costs and emissions. The changing structure of the power market affects these factors in many interconnected ways, explains US energy consultant Peter Garforth.

Source: Plant Services

See: Your energy strategy needs updating

How buildings are becoming more efficient

With the last three summers each being progressively the hottest on record, the world’s air conditioners have been cranked up to the max. The International Energy Agency says more enforcement of building codes is necessary to break this unsustainable cycle.

Source: Energy Manager Today

See: How buildings are becoming more efficient

Expanding the energy efficiency toolbox through green banks

ACEEE recently reviewed progress in the US of six green banks and four similar entities. The goals were to understand how green banks are working in specific market sectors and to identify promising strategies and lessons learned, with a particular focus on energy efficiency.

Source: ACEEE

See: Expanding the energy efficiency toolbox through green banks

Energy efficiency is 3rd largest resource in US power sector

An American report finds that without its current energy efficiency practices, the US would need the equivalent of 300+ additional large power plants to meet the country’s energy needs.

Source: ACEEE

See: Energy efficiency is 3rd largest resource in US power sector