The energy internet, the ‘smart’ grid, solar energy and battery storage are converging and the economic benefits are clear. Change is coming to the energy landscape. A transition to a new energy economy is happening. In a country like Australia – awash with energy both under and above the ground – this transition could be rapid and profound. There is a lot to lose for those who can’t keep pace. Last month the government committed $1bn to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. The fund will have “the primary purpose of earning income or a profitable return” on debt and equity extended to renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-emissions technologies. While many will argue the right way for that money to be used, investment like this is well timed. There are a number of converging technologies driving the transition. Their interaction will affect how we travel, how we live, the way our cities and houses are designed, our fuel supply and attitude to energy efficiency, and even how we interact. One of the maturing technologies is solar. Over the past five years, solar has become a big part of our energy world. The Australian energy market operator estimated last year that by 2023/24 the state of South Australia may, at times, have its entire electricity needs met by solar systems on mostly urban rooftops, without the aid of coal, gas or oil.
Guardian 9th May 2016 read more »
A renewable energy consultancy and asset manager is gearing up for a bumper year as British companies try to complete projects before a change in regulations. Natural Power’s revenue rose 16 per cent to £24.8 million last year and is running ahead of budget for the first quarter of this year. While that is driven primarily by work from wind power, the company also operates in areas such as solar, biomass, hydro and renewable heat. Large cuts to subsidies and prices paid for renewables have been announced by the UK government and Ted Leeming, Natural Power’s managing director, said that those changes had created a strong pipeline of work.
Times 9th May 2016 read more »
More and more farmers and landowners are turning to the generation of renewable energy as an alternative source of income. Wind turbines sited on exposed, windy hills are appearing all over Scotland in response to the good returns that can be made. Developers pay an annual income to the landowner of around £25,000 for each large turbine. So a group of 10 should yield the landowner about £250,000. No wonder there are so many applications to construct wind turbines on poor hill land that until recently had little value. A recent survey by WWF Scotland revealed that electricity generated by wind power has leapt by 15 per cent in the last year, enough to supply the electrical power of nearly 4 in 5 Scottish households. In fact, the survey found that wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100 per cent or more of the needs of Scottish homes in 8 out of the 30 days of April.
Herald 9th May 2016 read more »