Smart Energy

Two charts show whether a Powerwall works for you

While there's lots of hype about Tesla's Powerwall, numbers are lacking. Its benefits depend highly on your particular circumstances and two charts help show what it might mean for you.

Rottnest Island adding solar to go almost half renewables

Energy management controls will align desalination plant power use with solar & wind output, avoiding need for batteries.

Going off-grid part 3 – it’s a waste of solar panels

Going off-grid may cost a lot of money but the biggest issue is that your solar system will go to waste. In my case, 80 per cent of solar generation would be surplus to my needs and dumped. Far better to use it to displace fossil fuel generators supplying my neighbours.

By 2020 batteries still don’t add up, but neither does an SUV

One of Australia's leading authorities on solar and batteries has found that even by 2020 the economics of battery systems won't add up unless you live in Adelaide or Alice Springs. But they aren't eye-wateringly bad either and that may be good enough for many consumers.

Weaning myself off gas and then the power grid – Part 2

Following on from a look at what happens to your power consumption when you switch off the gas central heater, I’ll now look at what type of battery and solar system might get me through winter without the grid connection.

Batteries are no threat to the grid

Contrary to the assertions of some, electricity networks will be vital in any effort to decarbonise our power system. The issue is whether we allow the growth of solar and batteries to be driven by the value they create or their ability to shift costs onto others.

I regret calling customers greedy and selfish

The managing director of one of Australia's major power networks - Jemena - better explains his remarks about those considering the use of solar and batteries to go off-grid, and why customers and society will be well served by using the electricity network to share power.

Australia's new emissions rules will put yet another bump in the road for diesels

Diesel vehicle sales have surged in Australia in recent years. Yet as the Volkswagen scandal reveals - controlling their harmful pollutants is challenging. The move to tougher pollution standards requires diesel makers to make compromises in other attributes that could blunt this new found popularity.

Weaning myself off gas and then the power grid

What happens to your power consumption when you switch off the gas central heater? And what does it mean for taking the next step of disconnecting from the power line too?

Energy rule maker seeks input on market for demand reductions

Consultation paper released on establishing market to allow customers to reduce demand in competition with extra power generation.

Vic Gov't expands energy efficiency loans scheme

Scheme to finance green building upgrades such as solar systems, efficient lighting and double glazing via council rates expanded to all local councils.

Lithium-air: The biggest battery breakthrough yet?

Scientists may have just cracked the code for smaller, longer-lasting, more powerful batteries.

The energy efficiency certificate market's wild ride

Victorian energy efficiency credits had risen 110% since June, but this month the market turned in spectacular fashion with prices plummeting. NSW has suffered similar but less spectacular gyrations.

Batteries — why you should believe the hype

While much of the focus has been on Tesla's household Powerwall, it is the commercial-grade 100 kilowatt-hour (kWh) Powerpack battery that will end up transforming grids. Within a few months of launch, orders for Tesla’s stationary batteries hit $1 billion and 100,000 units, the majority being Powerpacks.

Government launches process for new vehicle emission standards

Environment Minister suggests new standards on the way, but Minister chairing process more equivocal.

Clean energy investment dives

by AAP
Investment in clean energy has almost halved under the Coalition Abbott Government according to new figures.

Increased recycling could reduce China's metal industry energy use

Compared to the US, China's rate of metals recycling to overall production is very low. If recycling rates in steel and aluminium could be increased it would lead to considerable energy and emission savings.

Could a cleantech boom replace the mining boom?

A new report charts the incredible cleantech opportunities that represent the upside of coal's demise. But has Australia already missed the boat? One Aussie manufacturer matching it with the Germans in solar-battery technology shows all is not lost.

Disconnecting from the grid via batteries – a sobering tale

Every bloke in the street wants to talk about how battery systems like Tesla’s Powerwall could drive mass disconnection from the grid. Yet the painfully slow progress of rolling this out by a utility in a place where it makes great economic sense provides a sobering tale.

VW scandal sparks car makers' shift to electric

Other global developments in clean energy include some billion dollar investments in renewable energy in India and talks heat up for the Paris conference.