Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
Those who saw non-hydro renewables as a European fad just a few years ago, must now contend with a sector that provided 49% of global power-capacity additions last year, saw investment lift 17% to $270 billion, and now produces 9.1% of the world's electricity.
This is significant when it’s considered only a few short years ago solar PV barely qualified as a pimple on a flea in any country other than Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece. Solar PV is just getting started.
Shanghai-based Solar Power International will acquire a $25.5m, 80% stake in Australian wholesaler SolarJuice, setting a new record for the sector in Australia and providing a great reward for the latter's two innovative co-founders.
The week in clean energy saw UK renewables generation rise to 19.2% from under 15% just two years ago, with the country revealing an 8.4% emissions cut last year while, elsewhere, its green bank agreed to tip $US300m into Africa and India renewable projects.
Labor's Mark Butler says the party will adopt a 'very ambitious' renewable energy policy for the next election. A look at Australia's emissions performance relative to the EU and US suggests it will need to be extremely ambitious if it's to match our developed country peers.
Wind production was almost negligible for 62 hours to yesterday. While a wind-only electricity grid is unrealistic it illustrates some of the potential challenges surrounding reliance on battery storage.
Industry groups are pushing the government to concede to the Clean Energy Council's compromise offer on the Renewable Energy Target, with backbenchers adding to the call. But will environmental groups hold Labor back from such a deal - a move which would condemn large-scale renewables investment to the deep freeze.