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Batteries to store excess solar power will be a game-changer. But energy-efficient appliances will mean you can use a smaller battery. AAP Image/Raoul Wegat,file

Energy storage is crucial, but it’s not the only piece in the puzzle

The unveiling of Tesla's Powerwall home battery has been hailed as a huge moment in renewable energy. But don't forget the other innovations that can help you use that stored power more efficiently.
Amid the fanfare over the launch of the Powerwall, has Tesla’s Elon Musk struck a decisive blow for renewable energy? YouTube/Tesla Motors

The Tesla battery heralds the beginning of the end for fossil fuels

Tesla's new home battery could help halve the costs of electricity for typical American households - all using existing technology. The fossil fuel industry is right to be worried.
BP’s energy outlook would make it difficult to keep warming below 2C. EPA/BERND THISSEN

BP’s extreme climate forecast puts energy giant in a bind

BP's Energy Outlook report forecast an increase in fossil fuel use by a third. That would make it difficult to keep warming below 2C.
Switching to alternative energy sources, such as renewables, and using more electric cars could double Australia’s energy productivity. NRMA Motoring and Services/Flickr

Australia could double its energy productivity by 2030: report

A new report shows Australia can and should double its energy productivity, increasing economic productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Fossil fuels can only go so far towards meeting our burgeoning energy demands. Shutterstock

New nanomaterials will boost renewable energy

A non-metal alternative to platinum electrodes in fuel cells could make them an affordable solution for energy security.
Australia likely has several decades of coal left in it yet. eyeweed/flickr

Four ways to boost Australia’s economy that can help the climate

Australia likely has decades of fossil fuels left to extract, export and burn. That could prove to be a problem if the world comes to an agreement on climate change. Here's four ways to help the economy, and the climate.
Use your solar photovoltaic panels to heat your water too, and you could cut the amount of excess electricity you give away cheaply to the grid. zstock/Shutterstock.com

Get more out of your solar power system by using water as a battery

Most solar power households feed excess electricity back into the grid, for very little financial reward. A hot water heat pump could put that power to better use, by heating water for evening use.
Not coming to a motorway near you. rawhead

Scalextric is fun, but it doesn’t make sense for the M1

It sounds like something from the pages of books from the 1960s looking to the future: electric cars powered by current drawn from electrified rails beneath the road. However possible such ideas seemed…
Blowhards? The debate over wind turbines is heated, so it’s best to rely on solid science. Fir0002/Flagstaffotos/Wikimedia Commons

Wind turbine studies: how to sort the good, the bad, and the ugly

Yesterday, The Australian ran a front-page article about what it called a “groundbreaking” new study on wind turbines and their associated health impacts. The study supposedly found a trend between participants…
To find out if the carbon price worked, you have to look at the electricity sector. Paul Hocksenar/Flickr

FactCheck: did carbon emissions fall faster before the carbon price?

Emissions fell by six times the rate in the five years before the carbon tax than they did under the carbon tax. – Environment minister Greg Hunt, The Guardian, January 17, 2015. Australia’s total greenhouse…
The Western Treatment Plant in Werribee, Victoria, largely powers itself using biogas – a by-product of sewage treatment. Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock

Biogas: smells like a solution to our energy and waste problems

Could what we flush down the toilet be used to power our homes? Thanks to biogas technology, Australia’s relationship with organic waste – human and animal excreta, plant scraps and food-processing waste…

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