Articles on Renewable energy

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We can use renewable energy even when the sun doesn’t shine. Martin Cathrae/flickr

Renewable energy can provide baseload power - here’s how

The myth that renewable energy sources can’t meet baseload (24-hour per day) demand has become widespread. After all, the wind doesn’t blow all the time, and there’s no sunlight at night. But detailed…
Four times Australia’s GDP could be hiding in here. AAP

Will rare earth elements power our clean energy future?

Rare earth elements (REEs), for so long ignored by big mining companies, have recently become incredibly popular. But, contrary to what their names suggests, they are not particularly rare. They do, however…
Direct geothermal energy provides more than half this Vienna building’s heating and cooling requirements. Energietecknik GmbH & Co, Vienna

Direct geothermal energy could be key to our clean energy future

While direct geothermal energy is extensively used in other countries, it is rarely encountered in Australia. This might be because we have cheap sources of energy (although, regrettably, not the cleanest…
Researchers hope to use piezoelectricity – which is generated by mechanical pressure such as fingers tapping a screen or blood pressure – to power gadgets like iPads or pacemakers. Flickr

Could blood pressure power pacemakers in future?

That tangled collection of chargers could one day be obsolete, as Australian researchers report a breakthrough that brings…
Plants are expert photosynthesisers, but humans are catching up. Galactic Circus Diplodocus/Flickr

New global solar fuel project to improve on photosynthesis

Plants have been making fuel and food from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide for billions of years. Oil, coal, wood and natural gas can be called “old-photosynthesis” fuels. As the human population approaches…
Europe is leading the world in renewable technology. AAP

Bleak emissions outlook points to a renewable future

This week, unpublished estimates from the International Energy Institute showed that 2010 was the most carbon-intensive year in human history. Chief Economist of the IEA Dr Fatih Birol responded to the…
Renewables or fossil fuels, we’ll send them offshore when it makes sense. Flickr/nosha

Australian energy may be more useful abroad than at home

Australia is a major energy exporter. Are we going to continue to increase our contribution to Asia’s energy mix? Will it be clean energy? And is it possible that our best renewable energy resources will…
We need quieter wind farms that don’t annoy the neighbours. AAP

Wind turbine syndrome - genuine affliction or just a load of noise?

Wind turbines are often billed as one of the world’s best solutions to climate change. And why not? They are a mature and effective means of generating large amounts of electricity with next to zero carbon…
Large-scale solar could be Australia’s dominant renewable technology by 2030. AAP

Australia’s confused solar policy lacks energy

Australia has a huge solar energy resource. Solar collectors spread out over a square 50 km could generate all of Australia’s current electricity demand. Of course in practice, we would need a mix of renewable…

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