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Increasing Chinese investment in renewables is driving costs down. The Danish Wind Industry Association / Vindmølleindustrien/Flickr

Chile’s mines set hot pace on renewables — Australia take note

Mining is the fourth-largest energy consumer in Australia, using roughly 10% of Australia’s total. Some of this comes from the electricity grid — but much is supplied offgrid in the form of diesel and…
Wind farms like this one probably wouldn’t exist if the government didn’t provide a hefty subsidy. Shutterstock

Congress shouldn’t revive the failed policy of subsidizing wind farms

Congress passed the wind production tax credit (PTC) more than two decades ago to spur development in an industry still in its infancy. The wind sector has since matured into adulthood, prompting thousands…
Roof-top solar panels are just one part of the micropower revolution. Presidency Maldives

Move over big power – the micropower revolution is here

There is no shortage of shouting and dire warnings about the state of the climate and our need to phase out fossil fuels. But there is a more silent revolution happening too — in micropower. Small-scale…
Clouding the issue: the latest analysis of the impact of the Renewable Energy Target contradicts previous reports. Bo-deh/Wikimedia Commons

How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your power bills?

The review of the Renewable Energy Target is due to be handed to the federal government any day now, yet amazingly there are still conflicts over whether the policy makes electricity more or less expensive…
Water storage is used to smooth the output from hydroelectric power - but it can be used with other renewables too. Martin Kraft/Wikimedia Commons

How pushing water uphill can solve our renewable energy issues

More and more renewable energy sources are being plugged into Australia’s electricity grids. South Australia, for example, will get 40% of its electricity from wind and solar once the Snowtown wind farm…
Australia has a possible path to 100% renewables – if governments and business can be persuaded to take it. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Renewable energy target can go all the way to 100% – if we let it

The political outlook for renewable energy is not great – and I’m not just talking about the view out of Joe Hockey’s car window. The Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to deliver 41 million megawatt-hours…
Lake George, complete with “offensive” wind turbines. Expect more views like this around Canberra soon. Darcyj/Wikimedia Commons

Sorry, Joe Hockey – Canberra is Australia’s home of wind farms

We now know that Treasurer Joe Hockey is not a fan of wind farms, on aesthetic grounds at least. On Friday he told Macquarie Radio’s Alan Jones he finds the view “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the…
Better hold on to those 10-gallon hats, Texas. AWEA

With money to be made, wind power booms in oil-rich Texas

Wind power is now big business in the US, and it is getting bigger. Last year, the US wind industry added 1,087MW of new wind power capacity, about the same as is currently installed in Austria, and by…
An engineering renaissance for Hull. Siemens

British hi-tech engineering is more successful than you think

Building serious infrastructure – such as energy supply, energy distribution, road and rail – is a big undertaking. It takes a long time to build, but an even longer time to plan and to generate enough…
The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. Terence Doust/Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm reviews are pointless if they leave out anxiety illness

The Australian Medical Association has released a statement once again affirming that there is no evidence that wind farms harm human health. Geoffrey Dobb, chair of the AMA’s Public Health Committee…
Proximity to wind farms may cause annoyance but not ill health. Image from shutterstock.com

Study finds no evidence wind turbines make you sick – again

There is no reliable or consistent evidence that proximity to wind farms or wind farm noise directly causes health effects. That’s the finding of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC…
Offshore wind: pause for thought. Frank Augstein/AP

Offshore wind is too expensive, and that’s unlikely to change

The government has announced that the final prices paid to generators of solar, onshore and offshore wind would change to favour offshore wind at the expense of the others. While the difference is fairly…
People report symptoms from wind farms even when the wind turbines aren’t in operation. Image from shutterstock.com

Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can

Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they…
South Australia produces plenty of wind power, but it might become more than the grid can handle. Flickr/holidaypointau

Pumped hydro energy storage – making better use of wind

In late September, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released a report investigating how wind can better be integrated into the power grid. AEMO reports that as more wind turbines are deployed…

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