Vietnamese Community in Victoria Gets Solar Power Grant

Solar Panel

It was recently announced by the Labor Government that the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association (AVWA), together with the Yarra Energy Foundation, would get funding from the second round of the $20 million NEJF.

A press statement published on the website of the Victoria State Government mentioned that the aim of the project is to boost the uptake of renewable energy by making use of the Vietnamese language to encourage nearly 86,000 residents and businesses in the Vietnamese community.

According to Lily D’Ambrosio, the Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, the particular project would also extend financing options to aid the community members in acquiring solar energy.

The applicants to the second round of the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund provided the Labor Government with innovative ideas for projects that would help achieve a clean energy future and support in placing Victoria as a leader in adapting and achieving new energy technologies.

The press release also stated, “The fund is a key component of our $200 million Future Industries Fund to support high growth, high-value industries, such as the new energy technologies sector that are critical to securing Victoria’s future as a competitive, innovative, and outward-looking economy.”

The New Energy Jobs Fund is just one of the various methods of the Labor Government to assist businesses and communities in Victoria to develop projects that could help in generating jobs and back up a clean energy future.

For the second round of the NEJF, the Labor Government has received 50 applications which yielded to having 21 successful projects with an accumulated total of $6.7 million in grants.

The Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio stated, “This project combines the AVWA’s expertise in translation and community engagement with the Yarra Energy Foundation’s track record in delivering solar projects. Renewable energy is vital to Victoria’s energy future – making energy supplies cleaner, attracting investment, and creating jobs.”

To read the press release, click this link.

Poll Results Reveal Most Australians Not in Favour of Keeping Liddell Coal-Fired Power Station Open

Coal Power plant

As the Climate Council reported on its website, the majority of the people (77 percent) thought that public money should not be used to keep the said power station open after its initial planned closure in 2022. Fifty-nine percent of the poll respondents selected the option of introducing a Clean Energy Target policy as a solution to promote and back new renewable energy to replace the power station.

The Chief Executive of the Climate Council, Amanda McKenzie stated, “Australians are practical people, and given the choice of putting a billion dollar band-aid on old lady Liddell, or rolling out a new lower cost, clean technologies – it is a no-brainer.”

New coal-fired power stations are twice as expensive as wind and solar, resulting to two-thirds or almost 66 percent of those who participated in the poll prefer coal-fired power stations to be replaced with renewables. The poll also revealed that the preference to have the station shut down after its supposed closure cuts across political party orientation and age. Almost half of Liberal voters (47 percent) and the majority of Labour voters (82 percent) agree that the oldest working power station in Australia must be substituted with renewable energy.

“The public has made its mind up on Liddell – and more broadly on the future energy direction of the country. Now it is up to our elected leaders to listen and act,” McKenzie added.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents said that keeping the old power station would only make their energy bills more expensive. Residents living in New South Wales were the most concerned, with approximately 55 percent anticipating that energy costs will continue to rise if the station remains open.

McKenzie further commented, “Most of the public is now fully aware of the negative impact of ageing and new fossil fuel energy production on their hip pocket.”

ReachTel conducted the survey with 2,176 respondents across Australia on 20th September.

View the full report here.

Investors Demand Top 60 Banks to Take Action Against Climate Change

Green Investment

The investors have written to the CEOs of the largest banks in the world including Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC Holdings, Bank of America, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Australia’s majors.

A report published on Bluenotes website mentioned that the letter was coordinated by ShareAction and Boston Common Asset Management, and calls for tougher and more appropriate climate-related disclosure to be given to investors on four major aspects:

  • climate-relevant strategy and implementation
  • climate-related risk assessments and management
  • low-carbon banking products and services
  • public policy engagements and collaboration with other actors on climate change

The letter is a priority for global banking regulators, and it also asks for greater transparency from banks in terms of the methods they utilise to manage the financial risks related to climate change.

Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva highlighted the key elements of how regulators were thinking in a recent presentation at a forum titled “Green finance: Can it Help Combat Climate Change?” The forum was coordinated by the BIS, OMFIF, World Bank Group, and Deutsche Bundesbank.

He said, “Any good policy to combat climate change requires a ‘price’ to act as an incentive to reduce a negative externality such as greenhouse gases (GHGs), in line with basic welfare economics.”

Da Silva also stated that a “shadow price” would be sufficient to lessen emissions in a perfect world. “In particular, in the cost-benefit analysis of investment projects, (we should) to take into account these negative externalities (congestion, pollution, toxic emissions).”

“The ‘right price of carbon’ is a tricky issue. We need to be pragmatic and use various metrics to reach emission targets, calculating abatement costs while incorporating all the available information on new technologies that reduce them,” he added.

The letter from ShareAction demanded details from the banks regarding their plans to assist and aid the transition to a low-carbon economy – implying an investment of up to US$93 trillion by 2030.

To read the full report of Bluenotes, click here.

Brisbane Airport Invests in Massive Renewable Energy Solar PV Project

Rooftop Solar

The said project is allegedly a 6 megawatts system which is consist of 22,000 panels and will be installed in six sites at Brisbane Airport (BNE). The panels will be covering an area of 36,000 meters squared or more than double the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

A report published on the website of Brisbane Airport Australia stated that the Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal will support 1.98 megawatts with 7,133 panels extending more than 11,675 square metres, which will make it the biggest single rooftop solar panel installation at an airport in Australia and also the largest commercial rooftop solar system in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, over 200 kilometres of cabling will be utilised for the installation.

The BAC General Manager Assets, Krishan Tangri said that one of the most expensive expenses in the airport is electricity, especially when there are many large establishments that require cooling, lighting, heating round the clock.

Tangri stated, “We are acutely aware of the increasing energy needs of running a major airport and since 2012 we’ve had an extensive energy reduction program in place resulting in the completion of 40 projects which collectively save more than 8 GWh per year.”

“Once fully operational, the new system will account for 18 percent of BAC’s direct electricity consumption, further complementing the savings we are making through air conditioning control optimisation, lighting control upgrades and LED technology within BAC buildings, carparks, and street lighting,” he added.

An Australian commercial solar company that specialises in serving Australian businesses with solar energy solutions, Epho, partnered with Shakra Energy’s Managing Director Sam Khalil. Khalil will oversee the effective and efficient development of the project.

Epho Managing Director Oliver Hartley stated, “To win this project, Epho had to demonstrate superiority in project management, stakeholder management, engineering, operations, and work health and safety. The introduction of such a significant solar system is a prime example of how BAC is adopting world-leading technologies in harmony with its sustainability focus.”

Full report here.

Australia Will Not Meet Paris Commitments Without Major Shift to Renewables

Power Plant

Presently, power generation accounts for 35 percent of the total emissions, which is reportedly twice as much as fuel combustion and transport, which accounts for 18 percent.

While Tony Abbot was Prime Minister, the emissions reduction target committed to in Paris is 26 to 28 percent lower than the 2005 level. Because of this, the government has been working to decide on a CET in official policy before the current year ends.

However, the Australia Institute claims that even the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s proposed clean energy target would not be enough to satisfy the international duties signed under Abbot.

The Executive director of Australia Institute, Ben Oquist, stated, “This analysis of the economic modelling demonstrates meeting these targets for the electricity sector with a policy like the clean energy target is likely to require 66 to 75 percent of electricity to be supplied by renewables.”

Oquist added, “If Australia adopts a weak clean energy target which does not provide a strong signal for renewables, we risk turning Australia’s moderate Paris targets into an extremely expensive task. It remains to be seen if we choose to meet those Paris commitments the easy way or the hard way.”

Rod Campbell, Australia Institute’s Director of Research and author of the discussion paper said that is contrasting that the government-commissioned plan indicates that policies would “minimise renewable energy penetration such as carbon pricing and an emissions intensity scheme have already been rejected.”

He further remarked, “All that remains is the CET that would bring in the largest share of renewable generation or the prospect of failing to meet our Paris climate targets.”

Read here for more information.