The government can restrain electricity prices without threatening to break up power companies. Its adviser says so

Victoria’s Loy Yang brown coal power station at night. Breaking up generation companies might do little to bring prices down.  Shutterstock Who wouldn’t want cheaper power? And who wouldn’t enjoy a bit of a stoush between the big bad generators and the government, trying to break...

Carbon emissions will reach 37 billion tonnes in 2018, a record high

AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise more than 2% (range 1.8% to 3.7%) in 2018, taking global fossil CO₂ emissions to a new record high of 37.1 billion tonnes. The strong growth is the second...

Why battery-powered vehicles stack up better than hydrogen

A battery electric vehicle in The University of Queensland’s vehicle fleet.  Low energy efficiency is already a major problem for petrol and diesel vehicles. Typically, only 20% of the overall well-to-wheel energy is actually used to power these vehicles. The other 80% is lost through oil...

Happy birthday, SA’s big battery, and many happy returns (of your recyclable parts)

The big battery has notched up a year in operation, during which it has been widely hailed as a success. AAP Image/David Mariuz A year ago yesterday, Tesla’s big battery in South Australia began dispatching power to the state’s grid, one day ahead of schedule. By most...

What would a fair energy transition look like?

Minimising the economic and social impacts on fossil fuel communities. AAP Image/Julian Smith Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced last week that a federal Labor government would create a Just Transition Authority to oversee Australia’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This echoes community calls for...

Labor’s battery plan – good policy, or just good politics?

With the right settings, Labor’s new scheme could benefit householders as well as the grid itself. Shutterstock.com Federal Labor obviously likes the politics of giving rebates of up to A$2,000 each to 100,000 households of prospective voters so they can install domestic batteries. But is this good policy that...

The new electric vehicle highway is a welcome gear shift, but other countries are still streets ahead

Motorists and governments have each been waiting for the other to take the plunge on electric cars. Shutterstock.com Perhaps buoyed by a 67% increase in the sale of electric cars in Australia last year – albeit coming off a low base – the federal government this month...

We have so many ways to pursue a healthy climate – it’s insane to wait any longer

Opportunities to help drive the energy transition are everywhere - even in Western Australia’s remote salt pans.  Peter C. Doherty, Author provided As a broadly trained life scientist, my concern about climate change isn’t the health of the planet. The rocks will be just fine! What...

How biomethane can help turn gas into a renewable energy source

Are there greener pastures ahead for gas?  Shutterstock.com Australia’s report card on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions is not exactly glowing, but there are ample opportunities to get it on track during this period of rapid change in the energy sector. Greater use of renewable electricity...

Big firms voice lack of faith in ‘cumbersome’ and ‘impractical’ Emissions Reduction Fund

Many of Australia’s biggest emitters have not yet engaged with the Emissions Reduction Fund. AAP Image/Dave Hunt Four years after it was launched, the federal government’s A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) has still not attracted the participation of many of Australia’s highest-emitting companies. Our...