Articles on Renewables

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Treasurer Joe Hockey didn’t even mention the word climate in his budget speech. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The budget shows we’re now flying blind on climate change

The word “climate” was conspicuously absent from Joe Hockey’s first budget speech as treasurer. It’s not hard to guess why – the full budget sets out major cuts to climate research, and strong moves against…
The new budget has served up a big hit to Australia’s environment. Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs

Budgets are often framed as give and take. But in the case of the environment, the government is taking large amounts of money in cuts, while giving little back beyond funding the Direct Action climate…
Many long-promised renewable and low-emission energy programs have been scrapped or cut back in the Coalition’s first budget. Lukas Coch/AAP

Billions axed in clean energy: renewable target is next

There are billions of dollars of broken promises in the Abbott government’s first budget for low-emission and renewable energy programs – and wiggle room to break even more in the next few years. Among…
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…
Automatically labelling people as NIMBYs if they have concerns about local power projects is not a constructive way to proceed. Grahamec/Wikimedia Commons

Calling people NIMBYs won’t stop development arguments

From coal seam gas to wind farms, new resource projects seem to be pitting communities against corporations, and people against their neighbours. We often see, in such cases, community concerns labelled…
Panel power in London. Tom Chance

Solar power can bring a bright energy future – even in the UK

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports has once again called for a “massive shift” to renewable energy. The challenge of curtailing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is considerable…
The future will be dimly lit without tackling the growing energy gap. Ben Curtis/PA

The energy policy pendulum must cease its endless swinging

The Conservative Party apparently plans to introduce a moratorium on future onshore wind farms from 2020, hanging their hat on the growth of offshore wind instead, and following Germany’s lead by expanding…
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…
One in five Queensland homes have gone solar, like this house in Brisbane’s Alexandra Hills. Melanie Cook/Flickr

Killing renewables softly with endless reviews

You have to feel sorry for people working in renewable energy. Their industry has been reviewed to within an inch of its short life, and the goalposts have been shifted so many times that they don’t know…
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has announced a review of Australia’s renewable energy target. AAP/Alan Porritt

Renewables inquiry leader vows ‘open mind’ on target’s future

The head of the Abbott government’s new renewable target review says he is going into the inquiry with “a very open mind”, despite his scepticism about humans’ contribution to global warming. Former Reserve…
Cooling towers at Yallourn, one of Victoria’s major brown coal power generators. Flickr/ccdoh1

Is $15 a year really too much to pay for renewable energy?

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target looks likely to be weakened or even axed, with the Prime Minister saying the scheme needs to be reviewed because it is causing “pretty significant price pressure”. But…
Will transmission charges cloud over Germany’s solar industry? Ben Birchall/PA

Grid access tax may cost more in lost renewables than it earns

Germany, one of the world’s leading users of solar power, is set to charge people generating their own solar-powered electricity for access to the national grid. The move is part of the package of reforms…
Building in their backyard will annoy them - but the public know energy decisions have to be made. John Giles/PA

Hearts and minds must be won for us to fill the energy gap

On a clear day one can see North Somerset – the future site of Britain’s Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station – from Cardiff Bay, across the Severn Estuary. Deep in hilly Powys, arguments rage around…
David Cameron’s government has got their new nuclear power stations - but at what cost? Tim Ireland/PA

New nuclear is a lose-lose situation for Britain

The first new nuclear power station in Britain in nearly 20 years is to be built, an announcement that comes only two and a half years after the disaster at Fukushima focused the world’s attention the…
It’s too late for this ship, but practical strategies for tackling climate change are needed fast. Staecker

Give us practical climate solutions, not more problems

Scientists have hammered home once again the message that climate change is very real and very important. Climate scientists have been saying this for decades, yet carbon emissions worldwide continue to…

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