Smart Energy

Are batteries what energy consumers really need?

Affordable home energy storage coupled with solar offers amazing potential. But if solar retailers really want to help their customers lower their power bills there's a few other options they should consider first.

AEMO analysis indicates disaster for residential gas market

AEMO's recent analysis of battery uptake also looked at the potential increase in electricity demand from households abandoning gas. It found not that big an increase in electricity demand, but once you take into account electricity appliances' superior energy efficiency it suggests residential gas consumption would plummet.

The latest furphy from the utilities

By cherry picking data utilities are suggesting that unless solar reduces the amount of capacity of the transformer in your street, then it makes no difference to the billions of dollars in network assets sitting upstream. It's time for an audit of their books.

Motor vehicle fuel economy standards - easier, cheaper than thought

New research finds automakers can meet the US 2025 fuel economy targets more easily and cheaply than had been expected — all without resorting to a slew of expensive electric vehicles, but through development of "conventional" technologies and designs.

Smart meter data can keep utilities honest and unleash innovation

The energy regulator showed that SA Networks tried to pull the wool over others' eyes with its selective use of customer demand data. Networks are on the verge of making some changes to tariffs with far bigger impacts than the carbon price. Yet we lack the data to ensure such changes are in the community's interests.

How utility distributors will cannibalise themselves

In trying to protect their electricity business network distributors are trying to distort the idea of reforming power prices to be more 'cost-reflective' by making them like unavoidable fixed charges. This will then make consumption of a unit of energy from electricity appear far cheaper. Which incidentally will then drive an exodus from gas, hurting these same utilities' gas businesses.

Vic Govt remains timid on energy efficiency

State Government releases energy efficiency statement that hints at regulations to upgrade rental stock and require disclosure of energy efficiency performance of homes at sale or lease - pity it's eleven years late.

AEMO: Batteries will be cheap but no one will want them or electric vehicles

New research by our grid operator suggests minimal market for home energy storage or electric vehicles, but not because batteries will be too expensive but rather because they think solar will get more and more expensive.

ClimateWorks: Australia can halve emissions by 2030

Energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport would bring Australia’s emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Then switching to renewables in the electricity sector, and powering more sectors with that green energy, plus some land use changes and a switch to biofuel and gas in some areas, would finish the job.

The electric e-Golf is here, Australia needs to prepare

The e-version of the popular seller is a major step towards mass adoption of all-electric transportation, and if Australia helps facilitate this transition it will herald a 90% reduction in fuel consumption.

The future grid is about more than just smart meters

Batteries, microgrids, automated devices ... these are the ideas dominating our view of Australia's future grid. But changing lifestyle patterns too, such as our rapidly evolving approach to pet ownership, means the grid'll be defined by more than just technologies.

German dreams: What we need for our belated home-energy revolution

Australia's homes are some of the least energy efficient in the world. Finding a way to fund upgrades, like the German KfW has been doing there for years, will lift our houses into the 21st century.

The Australian cold is a bigger killer than Sweden's freeze – here's why

Swedes are far more prepared for cold temperatures. Insulating Australian homes would address a large portion of our cold-related deaths, which far outweigh the heat-related.

EPA eyes America's big rigs and pick-up trucks

The EPA has proposed rules requiring manufacturers of semi-trailers, pickups and vans - responsible for 20% of the country's transportation emissions, and about 5.4% of total emissions - to reduce fuel consumption by up to 24%.

Nine myths about new energy

You hear some wild things said against solar, wind and energy efficiency. Among my list of favourite such furphies is that grids can only handle 5% renewables, the developing world will reach Western per capita consumption and merit-order makes solar worthless.

Better forecasting for cheaper energy and a climate kick-start

Instead of predicted strong growth, electricity demand fell over the past four years. We desperately need a more detailed picture of how energy is consumed.

CEFC backs $400m plan to upgrade old office stock

Sustainable property trust to lift buildings to minimum 4.5-star environment rating.

RMI: Tesla’s batteries 7 years ahead of our price predictions

We admit it, our battery price projections were much more conservative than what Tesla has unveiled. A 7-year accelerated price reduction opens up cost-effective 'solar plus storage' for tens of millions more.

Bright minds show multiple ways to tackle energy issue

Smart building and clean energy firms among 30 shortlisted for technology award.

A stroll through PV paradise

As Europe's massive solar conference shows, the sheer weight of investment and development in the renewable energy industry, and in particular the consumer-end PV energy area, is immense.