Tuesday 3 May 2011

Wave energy harnessed

West Australian
21 April 2011, Page: 16

Large scale wave energy has come a step closer to becoming a commercial reality after a WA company launched a world first flotation buoy in waters off Garden Island. Fremantle based Carnegie Corporation Wave Energy said the successful deployment of the 7m wide buoy, called a CETO unit, was proof waves could generate reliable, renewable energy. The submerged unit, launched at the weekend, harnesses the wave energy beneath the surface, much as seagrass moves to and fro as waves move through the water column. The float is not connected to the power grid, but it could be used to drive a turbine and supply power to homes and businesses.

Carnegie Corporation chief executive Michael Ottaviano said the technology could be used in the southern half of Australia and around the globe. CSIRO calculations showed that if just 10% of the wave energy off southern Australia was turned to electricity, half the country's entire power demands could be met. Carnegie Corporation aims to deploy a further 10 to 20 buoys off Garden Island enough to generate 5 MW of power. It has a bigger project in Albany, which could potentially generate 50 MW.

Charity solar power installation takes Melbourne Citymission back to the future

Clean Energy Council
19 Apr 2011

The century-old Hartnett House in Brunswick was fitted with the latest in clean energy technology today, to mark the official launch of the inaugural Clean Energy Week, to be held in Melbourne, May 2-7. Leading solar company Clenergy donated and installed a three-kilowatt solar power system valued at $10,000 at the Melbourne Citymission facility on Albion Street. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the charity installation was a fantastic way to launch the landmark event on Australia's clean energy calendar.

"Hartnett House and Melbourne Citymission have been providing magnificent service to the local community here for a century. We're bringing a wonderful old building into the new energy age, giving it access to cheap, clean power to run its operations."

Clean Energy Week will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and is expected to attract more than 1500 delegates from Australia and around the world. It will be the biggest clean energy event ever staged in Australia, combining the previously separate Clean Energy Council National Conference and Australia's biggest solar event, the ATRAA Conference.

In another first, the Clean Energy Week exhibition area will be open to the public and the week will also feature a newly introduced education program for school children that sold out in days. "We felt it was time to open our doors to the public, because the shift to clean energy sources is one which will reach into every lounge room and will be talked about at every kitchen table in the country," Mr Warren said.

"The first two days of the conference will focus on the major policy challenges. We are lucky to be joined by some of the world's leading authorities on carbon pricing, investment finance and clean energy innovation by industries such as defence. "The latter half of the week will feature an innovative schools program teaching kids about clean energy and energy efficiency, and public open days for anybody wanting to know more about the energy technologies of the future," he said.

IPART blame game hits wrong target

Clean Energy Council
15 April 2011

Australia's peak body for renewable energy says the previous NSW government's solar scheme should bear the blame for the electricity price increases attributed to renewable energy by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said it was not accurate to blame the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target when network costs were still the main driver of price increases, and the cost of renewables had been driven mainly by the design of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme.

"Two thirds of the projected price increases are due to investment in poles and wires," Mr Warren said. "The Renewable Energy Target is an important scheme that will help to drive the transition to cleaner energy in Australia. In contrast, the poorly designed NSW scheme simply overheated the market. It has been the biggest contributor to the smaller renewable component price rise announced yesterday.

"The over-ambitious gross feed-in tariff in NSW delivered another boom-bust for an emerging solar PV industry that is starting to make a real difference to energy use and carbon emissions in Australia. "That type of short term policy doesn't help the renewable industry and it now has to be paid for by NSW households. But this is not the fault of the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Target and IPART knows this. "Network upgrades continue to be the main driver of electricity price increases in Australia," he said.