Off-grid mountain house.
Lowering your carbon footprint by living off-grid is a sustainability dream. But how possible is it using current technology?
More blue sky thinking could help the grid get even smarter.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
'Virtual power plants' offer extra power to the grid by tweaking the operation of batteries and appliances right across the network. But even this might be too blunt a tool for our future energy needs.
Keeping the lights on has always been a stormy issue in South Australia.
Jon Westra/Wikimedia Commons
Two decades ago, the then SA premier, John Olsen, defied a campaign promise and announced plans to privatise the state's electricity industry. It's been a high-voltage issue ever since.
Solar and wind compete with coal power plants when it comes to energy storage systems.
AP Photo/Mel Evans
Energy storage, such as big batteries, on the power grid is generally seen as 'green' technology but the reality is more complicated, an analysis finds.
Bill Shorten said he had become increasingly sceptical of Adani in recent months.
Bill Shorten has taken a further step toward opposing the proposed Queensland Adani coal mine.
There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times.
AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY
The urban heat island and summertime blackouts.
The Conversation 25.6 MB (download)
Today, we're asking why some of the most disadvantaged parts of our cities cop the worst of a heatwave and how you -- yes, you! -- can do your bit to reduce the risk of a summer time blackout.
The storm clouds have been gathering over energy policy for a decade or more.
Joe Castro/AAP Image
The Long Read: Most Australians' power bills have been rising for a decade. There are many reasons why, but the common thread is a lack of government willingness to get to grips with crucial policy problems.
Managed in the right way, wind farms can actually help stabilise the grid, rather than disrupting it.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
New modelling suggests that Australia could use renewable energy to hit its 2030 emissions reduction targets, without it costing any more overall than maintaining the status quo.
A solar and battery-powered microgrid got San Juan’s Children’s Hospital quickly back online after Hurricane Maria.
Yes, Puerto Rico and any other storm-vulnerable location could benefit from on-site solar and battery backup, but it's unrealistic to say these microgrids are enough to power the island.
Grid operators set the prices for energy markets and are structured to take the lowest prices – a disadvantage for coal and nuclear power.
Two moves by the Trump administration signal a dramatic shift in energy policy to favor coal and nuclear, but markets forces and legal challenges mean changes could take years.
Pumped hydro: all you really need is some reservoirs and a big hill.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Electricity storage is vital to the stability of a renewable energy grid. The world's favourite form of storage is pumped hydro – and researchers have located thousands of candidate sites.
Using solar power could give the U.S. military some advantages – and more security.
Diane Durden/U.S. Marine Corps
US military bases usually get their electricity from the civilian grid, which is vulnerable to attack and to disaster. Solar-powered microgrids could protect national security, and would save money.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused widespread power outages.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Would putting power lines underground avoid hurricanes knocking out electricity service for millions of people? The answer is not as straightforward as it seems.
Coal power has long been a mainstay of the electricity system but has lost share as natural gas prices have gone down.
The Department of Energy's review of the electricity grid finds natural gas, rather than renewables, has hurt coal and nuclear power. But that's only half the story of the changes underway.
Eclipses are fun, but no one wants to be left in the dark by a blackout.
The solar eclipse offered electricity network operators a "live drill" in how to cope with fluctuating output from renewable energy. They passed with flying colours.
The implications, economic and otherwise, of this massive policy change are only beginning to sink in.
How can we ensure technology brings prosperity to us all?
Political and community leaders must act now to preserve the American middle class and adapt the US economy for the 21st century.
The bid to keep the lights on is prompting ever more government meddling in electricity markets.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Proposals for the government to commission more "baseload" electricity generation will raise private sector concerns over Canberra's growing willingness to intervene in a previously free market.
The Finkel review’s recommendations would put pressure on coal while encouraging gas and renewable energy
A Clean Energy Target and a swathe of measures to improve the security and reliability of the electricity grid are among the recommendations of the keenly awaited Finkel Review.
Lessons from the Lone Star State: A surge in wind power on the Texas grid didn’t cause reliability problems (and brought down electricity prices) because regulators improved the efficiency of wholesale electricity markets.
Sarah Fields Photography/Shutterstock.com
Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to know if wind and solar are compromising the reliability of the grid and hurting coal power. The answer lies in his home state of Texas.