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).
Wind turbine makers Vestas, Gamesa and Nordex have seen big rises in share prices on the back of healthy orders but offshore wind remains too expensive. Meanwhile Audi has unveiled a 500km range all electric SUV.
While some regulatory uncertainty remains both the Victorian and NSW energy efficiency certificate markets have shrugged off much of the doubt and uncertainty dogging the market in 2014, with prices above the $20 mark.
Imagine if you got a bill from railway operators asking you to compensate them for lost revenue from use of your car, or from Telstra for fixed line compensation to account for your use of a mobile phone. Well that's what the energy networks have just proposed in response to solar, batteries and energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency - not renewables, not gas and not nuclear - is our best option for lowering carbon emissions. But it won't get far if we let simplistic sloganeering about red tape stop sensible new regulations supported by both manufacturers and consumers.
Behavioural economics has provided a vast improvement in our thinking about economic problems. Yet nothing in this research suggests governments should limit themselves to gently nudging us to better options, while leaving us free to make dumb choices too.
The Energy Supply Association has released a report spruiking the benefits of a shift to electric and natural gas fuelled vehicles, with bullish predictions of uptake even if government does little to encourage them.
The reason there is little incentive to export power to the grid is because as far as the poles and wires businesses are concerned it doesn't matter whether a generator is 100 kilometres away or just 10 metres up the road. A new regulatory rule could change this.