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Articles on Electricity

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Good news! Christmas electricity consumption might surprise. Malingering/Flickr

What can we learn from looking at electricity use on Christmas day

On Christmas Day in Australia, fewer people are at their paid employment and more working premises are closed than on any other day in the year. How does this affect demand for electricity, widely seen…
Break down the reduction in demand and you’ll find price matters. Nicholas Lieby

Why is electricity consumption decreasing in Australia?

Until 2010, for well over a century, through two world wars and the Great Depression, the quantity of electricity used in Australia each year was greater than the year before. In the three years since…
We need more types of electricity in our mix. Flickr/Chip_2904

Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Australia has a problem with its power system that goes to the core of many issues we’re facing at the moment — increasing coal and gas prices, changing electricity usage, and climate change. That’s the…
The 2011 Tesla Roadster Sports could hit 100 km/h in less than four seconds and be charged from a standard power point. AAP Image/Tesla

Will electricity save the car?

Cars defined the 20th century … [They] shaped the wars that were fought, the way cities developed and how people and goods were moved around … [As] we look to alternative technologies to fuel more than…
How does the power get from there to here? alkhodarev/Flickr

Explainer: how does the electricity grid work?

Where would we be without electricity? Assuming that you own a fridge, there won’t be many points in your life when you aren’t making use of it. But what do we mean when we talk about the electricity grid…
Electricity prices, renewable energy, climate change, uranium exports: what does the Coalition plan to do about our energy future? akeii/Flickr

Where to for energy policy under a Coalition government?

The Coalition has returned to government at a time of uncertainty and rapid change in almost every area of energy policy. With an energy policy released and a responsible minister named, what can we determine…
When it’s hot, the sun is shining. That’s good for solar power. Flickr/jimwhimpey

When the sun don’t shine, the power don’t flow … or does it?

Renewable energy seems to be on a roll. One million Australian homes have rooftop solar cells. There’s so much renewable energy it’s reducing wholesale electricity prices. But then, that old chestnut pops…
It’s up to us where Australian energy heads, but we need to understand the options. Maxine Sherrin

What will Australia’s energy future look like?

If things keep going as they are currently Australia’s energy future is pretty clear. By 2030 we will have seen continued energy price rises and we will still be reliant largely on fossil fuels for our…
Over a million Australians are now green electricity generators: how much difference will the shift to an ETS make? Heidi Blanton

From fixed price to ETS: the complications of reducing emissions

There is little doubt that Kevin Rudd’s plan to bring forward international linking and trading of emission permits is a smart political move. It removes a key option for Tony Abbott. Now Mr Abbott is…
Wind power now contributes 3.8% to the electricity market. Flickr/Bush Philosopher - Dave Clarke

Electricity prices fall: renewable energy deserves merit

Let’s be honest: the relationship between renewable energy and the electricity market is complex. So what does the latest report from Australian energy research firm RepuTex tell us? Well, for a start…
Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
It is not currently possible to find the energy source sold by any of the licensed electricity retailers in Australia. Flickr/dereckGavey

Do you know how clean your electricity is?

In Europe and America, electricity retailers let their customers know whether their electricity is coming from renewable energy or fossil fuels. In Australia, your retailer has no such obligation. The…
Campaigns to switch off won’t work until they fit in with the ways we already behave. Andrew Huff

Hard habit to break: getting out of our energy wasting ways

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires behavioural change. But how do we get individuals into this habit or, for that matter, any habit that reduces energy consumption? Two academic disciplines concern…
New technology - among other things - means our estimates of electricity consumption are based on old ideas. Meg Lessard

Four years of falling electricity demand: can this continue?

In 2012, National Electricity Market electricity consumption continued its four-year decline. Everyone seems surprised that electricity demand continues to decline despite population and the economy growing…

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