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Power and Fuels 2

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Solar power prices are falling. What does this mean for our household electricity bills? After a long decade of year-on-year increases in power prices throughout the country, the cost of electricity is forecast to fall in most places.

Solar power prices are falling. What does this mean for our household electricity bills?

How far it falls — and how quickly — depends on lots of factors, but there's clear consensus that Australia is entering a new era in which power will be cheaper than it has ever been before. In two years, renewables have gone from economic "wrecking ball" to the technology that will unlock future green industries, with the Prime Minister recently setting a target of "ultra-low cost solar" by 2035. Perth suburbs chosen for $35 million virtual power plant combining solar and batteries.

As summer kicks off, suburbs on Perth's fringe that have one of Australia's highest rates of rooftop solar have been chosen for a new $35 million virtual power plant.

Perth suburbs chosen for $35 million virtual power plant combining solar and batteries

Key points: Woodside's Scarborough gas project under fire, as final decision edges closer. Woodside is set to make a final investment decision on a major LNG project in Western Australia's north within weeks, but opponents are vowing to push on with their attempts to stop it.

Woodside's Scarborough gas project under fire, as final decision edges closer

Key points: The project involves developing Woodside's Scarborough gas field and expanding its Pluto facilityConservationists are worried about the millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions it will emit annuallyBut Woodside says the project has been through rigorous environmental assessment processes The project — which has been labelled Australia's biggest new fossil fuel investment in nearly a decade — involves developing the Scarborough gas field, west of Karratha, and expanding its current Pluto facility on the Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara, where the gas would go for processing. If the project goes ahead, it is expected to emit millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually at a time when countries are being urged to decarbonise. Tasmania is pursuing 200pc renewable energy, but not everyone is sold on the path to get there.

The wind is almost always blowing at Robbins Island, lying off Montagu on Tasmania's far north-west coast.

Tasmania is pursuing 200pc renewable energy, but not everyone is sold on the path to get there

Key points: There are at least 12 new renewable energy projects on the planning table in TasmaniaSome community members say the state does not have a clear renewables strategySome people warn Tasmania could miss the opportunity to help Australia transition to a cleaner future Black wagyu cattle graze the island's green pastures, and the sound of frogs hidden in mud holes punctuate the air. Cultural concerns at Carmichael mine drive deeper divide between Wangan and Jagalingou people. As the first coal mine in Australia's Galilee Basin grows larger each day, so too does the determination of a group of traditional owners living in a makeshift camp dwarfed by the black pit.

Cultural concerns at Carmichael mine drive deeper divide between Wangan and Jagalingou people

Standing in stark contrast to the Carmichael mine's machinery and worker accommodation is a stone circle set up at the site in remote central Queensland. For almost three months, a ceremonial fire's been burning and a traditional owner has sat within the space. "Adani think I'm trying to stop first coal – but that's not it," Wangan and Jagalingou man Coedie McAvoy says. Bravus, the Australian arm of Adani, is weeks away from exporting its first shipment of coal. But fresh concerns about the company's clearing of cultural heritage sites are further dividing traditional owners split over their support for the project.

I chose the electricity retailer offering the best deal for my home. That’s not what I got. Households in most of Australia have been able to choose between electricity retailers for more than a decade.

I chose the electricity retailer offering the best deal for my home. That’s not what I got

The main reason is to reduce their bills. But past research by the Victoria Energy Policy Centre at Victoria University has found only marginal benefits in switching retailers. Our study of more than 48,000 bills from Victorian households in 2018, for example, found households typically saved less than $50 a year by switching energy providers. Has anything improved since then? A few weeks ago I decided to test the market for my own household supply. Sydney news: Police form strike force to target protesters stopping coal trains to Newcastle. Here's what you need to know this morning.

Sydney news: Police form strike force to target protesters stopping coal trains to Newcastle

Police threaten protesters with jail time Police are warning that anyone who continues to protest on the rail network in the NSW Hunter region could be charged and face up to 25 years in prison. Activists have staged eight days of protests, stopping coal trains from entering the Port of Newcastle. 'Community energy' may be the answer to regional prosperity under 'net zero'. This town wants to give it a go. The historic wheat and sheep farming town of Katanning is embarking on a project to change not just how it gets electricity, but who gets the money.

'Community energy' may be the answer to regional prosperity under 'net zero'. This town wants to give it a go

Deep in the Wheatbelt south-east of Perth, this is a conservative heartland. The region has voted for Liberal or country parties at the state and federal level for more than a century. Far from the "inner-city enclaves" often referenced in the national climate debate, it's not the type of town where you might expect to find a renewable energy program with radical ambitions. But important townspeople — including business owners, the local council and the state and federal MPs — see an opportunity to combine solar power with regional prosperity. Under the plan, the town would essentially become its own power station. Rather than importing electrons from elsewhere, it would generate them locally. Carbon capture and storage: does it work, and does it mean we can keep burning fossil fuels? Does Australia have a bad reputation on climate change?

Carbon capture and storage: does it work, and does it mean we can keep burning fossil fuels?

Among the worst in the world, according to at least one survey of international media and social media content by intelligence and social analytics company Meltwater Australia. But heading into Glasgow, the federal government did commit Australia to a net zero target by 2050. Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. South Australia sets world record in solar generated electricity, says SA Power Networks. South Australian households and businesses have set what the state's electricity distributor believes is a world record: generating more electricity from solar than they consumed for periods of time on five different days in the past five weeks.

South Australia sets world record in solar generated electricity, says SA Power Networks

Supply of solar-generated power outstripped demand on five occasions over the past five weeks SA Power Networks says it's a world first for a gigawatt-scale power gridThe rapid growth of solar has created some challenges in managing the grid SA Power Networks (SAPN), said the five events of so-called "negative demand" was a world first for a gigawatt-scale power grid. "Negative demand" events mean that, as a whole, the network managed by SAPN was a "net exporter" of power to the grid. 'Barra 2.0 it was not': new Deputy Premier Paul Toole debuts at budget estimates without the theatrics of predecessor Barilaro.

In his 26th day in the role as the state's new Deputy Premier, Paul Toole has taken some major steps to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor by shutting down plans for new coal mines and opting not to give a bouquet to the political art of pork-barrelling when he was given the chance. His second appearance in the fortnight of New South Wales' parliamentary budget estimates was the first chance to see how the new leader in the portfolio once held by John Barilaro.

Early in his evidence to the Regional NSW hearing, Mr Toole revealed he has already taken steps to ask for a briefing on how his department hands out grants. Labor's Mick Veitch took up the issue after the new Premier Dominic Perrottet announced a review into how grants raised questions about pork-barrelling in regional seats, just days after the former Premier Gladys Berejiklian's appearance at the ICAC.

"There are quite a number of funding buckets in the Department of Regional NSW, as we well know. How Australian miners have ramped up plans to cut carbon emissions ahead of COP26. In the arid land of remote Western Australia, plans are underway to build a zero-carbon new mine. Key points: Miners have been ramping up plans to cut their carbon emissions in the lead up to COP26Some, like FMG, are creating completely new revenue streamsLobby groups want more action, sooner, on "scope 3" emissions Mining company Oz Minerals wants its next project, West Musgrave, to be carbon neutral.

"It does require a complete rethink of how you design a new mine," Oz Minerals chief executive officer Andrew Cole told The Business. Renewables rollout and electricity grid security bolstered by 'shock absorbers' in South Australia. Five years on from South Australia's statewide blackout, technology to further stabilise the energy grid has been successfully installed at two sites in the state's north. Synchronous converters have been installed at Robertstown and near Port AugustaElectraNet says they will significantly boost grid security at a time of major renewables uptakeIt says they will also lead to reduced costs to the market operator, with savings to be passed onto consumers Poles and wires company ElectraNet said the four synchronous condensers that had been constructed would also help energy regulators grappling with the implications of the renewables boom.

The condensers act as "shock absorbers" for system faults, supplanting gas and diesel generators in that role. Why is the coal industry making more money than ever before? A shipment of thermal coal leaving the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales this month was worth roughly five times what it was about a year ago. It means coal companies in Australia are making huge amounts of money – more than ever before – at a time when many predicted the coal price might never bounce back. Tesla hits $US1 trillion on Hertz bulk electric vehicle order, pushing Wall Street higher. Tesla's market value has accelerated past $US1 trillion after a bulk order of its electric vehicles, pushing Wall Street overall higher.

Wall Street is buoyed by the Nasdaq rising 0.9 per centThe Nasdaq rise is fuelled by a 15 per cent gain by TeslaThe ASX is set to follow US markets The Nasdaq — which includes Tesla's stock — closed 0.9 per cent higher, while the other two indexes finished up too. The ASX 200 is set to follow, with futures up 0.2 per cent at 7:15am AEST. Tesla's market value hit the benchmark after landing its biggest ever order for its electric vehicles (EVs). Rental car company Hertz is buying 100,000 Teslas. Tesla shares surged almost 15 per cent to $US1,045. Solar farm output overloads national grid, sparking calls for accelerated transmission. Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes sells economic benefits of green investment with $1.5b pledge. From his home in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has his eyes firmly focused on the future of regional Australia.

Key points: Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife will invest $1.5b in an efforts to help fight climate changeHe says regional areas stand to benefit greatly from green investments that will create jobs and boost the economyMr Cannon-Brookes says private industry and individuals need to share the responsibility with the government The chief executive of the technology giant not only sees enormous potential of environmental investments — he thinks he knows the best way to sell them.

"The decarbonisation of the planet is the biggest economic opportunity for Australia over the next 20 years," he told ABC Radio Sydney's Breakfast program. Barnaby Joyce says fossil fuels are Australia's largest export. Is he correct? The claim The looming Glasgow climate summit has intensified the focus on the Coalition's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An energy crisis is looming and it could cost us all as stagflation prepares to make a comeback.

There are likely to be some awkward moments when world leaders gather in Glasgow in a fortnight for what could be the most important powwow for the future of the planet. WA motoring lobby says 'range anxiety' is to blame for slow take-up of electric vehicles. "Range anxiety" is holding West Australians back from embracing electric vehicles, according to WA's motoring lobby, with the uptake of the technology lagging other states.

Key points: WA lags behind the nation in EV uptakeEV owners must carefully plan for long distance tripsThere are about 400 charging stations in the state. Concerns for endangered whales amid proposed offshore wind farm slated for South Australia. A marine conservation group has voiced concerns about a proposed wind farm off the coast of Kingston in South Australia. What is green hydrogen, how does green ammonia fit in, and could they pave Australia's way to a renewable future? Green hydrogen — it might sound like something out of a Superman comic but one of Australia's richest men is betting on the substance to make Australia a world leader in renewable energy while creating jobs in the process. Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forest this week announced a major investment in the gas, which includes establishing a Queensland factory to manufacture electrolyser equipment — the machines used to create hydrogen from water.

He also revealed that his company Fortescue Future Industries would be conducting a feasibility study looking into making green ammonia from hydrogen at an existing ammonia production facility near Brisbane. The investments are aimed at producing a fuel source from green energy – in this case hydrogen of the green variety. Fans' cycling and dancing to partially power Coldplay's new, eco-friendly tour. Coldplay has announced its new, eco-friendly world tour will be partly powered by the kinetic energy of fans as they dance, along with electricity-generating bicycles.

Coldplay previously paused touring to find more sustainable ways of doing gigsFrontman Chris Martin says kinetic energy from cycling bikes and dancing will help power their new showThe band made the announcement of their new tour a day ahead of the release of their new album However, frontman Chris Martin admitted to the BBC that they risked criticism from fans and environmentalists, given the band still enjoyed the use of private jets.

Queensland will soon be home to the world's largest hydrogen manufacturing facility. Here's what that means. New $1 billion-plus project in Queensland to double world's green hydrogen production capacity. The Barcaldine brothers' journey to a renewable energy precinct planned for outback Queensland. Business Council of Australia calls for ambitious short-term carbon emissions reduction target. What is the difference between an electric car, plug-in hybrid and an internal combustion engine? NT government says plan for 50 per cent renewables on Darwin-Katherine grid will save $30 million a year. National energy program would boost economy and save power bills, ACOSS report finds. China's power crisis shocks Australia's wool industry. Price of farm inputs also tipped to rise.

Former director-general of NSW Department of Planning criticises coal mine assessment process. Many rooftop solar investors are feeling ripped off. Could battery subsidies solve the problem? Why solar feed-in tariff cuts are driving a spike in household battery uptake. TransGgrid route changes for Snowy Hydro 2.0 please some, upsets those in Gilmore Valley. Deep in the Daintree, this couple joins tree changers switching to off-grid living. States and territories revolt over federal government's coal power subsidy plan. Environmentalist Ben Pennings fears Adani legal bill could bankrupt him. South Australia's big Tesla battery sued for not helping during Queensland coal power station failure. Environment Minister approves Vickery coal mine extension after teenagers' climate change legal challenge. Renewable energy sector reforms to protect rooftop solar customers.

Batteries of the future set to be cheaper and better — just by adding sugar. Offshore wind farm projects in the pipeline to accelerate new renewable energy sector. Storage battery production to create renewable energy solution and jobs in Sydney's west. Wind farm nuisance test case starts in Victoria Supreme court. Wollongong Coal's mine extension approved by federal government despite company's $1 billion debt. Yallourn coal mine failings should be subject of inquiry, environment groups say. Southern Highlands coal mine blocked after decade-long battle. Australian Electricity Market Operator predicts stable supply despite closures of coal-fired power stations. Study finds green roofs make solar panels more efficient. Woodside-BHP merger paves way for Australia's 'last' major LNG development. Woodside's BHP oil and gas deal promises short-term gain, but is it signing up for long-term pain?

Coal-fired power pollution from Ipswich's Swanbank power station a 'toxic time bomb' for nearby residents. 'Questionable' move to charge solar panel owners for exporting electricity welcomed by welfare groups. Energy stored in electric car batteries could power your home or stabilise the grid — and save you money. More than 900 mining leases set to be retrospectively validated in Queensland. Solar panel installations are growing, but consumers have little recourse if things go wrong.

'Broke' Griffin Coal invokes force majeure, citing wet winter to suspend operations. European Union carbon tariffs could spell trouble for Australian commodities, experts say. World's biggest green energy hub proposed for south coast of Western Australia. Chinese company Shenhua Watermark Coal to sell portfolio of land in northern NSW food bowl. What the Dandenong Ranges extended power outage teaches us about backup battery power. Victorian government commits $14 million to battery facility, regional hydrogen hub. New charging stations for electric vehicles to be installed in 18 regional Queensland towns.

Epuron wind farm proposal splits Stanley residents in protest, support. University of Newcastle donors protest appointment of Mark Vaile as chancellor. Greener aviation fuels create fewer contrails. Here's what that means for global warming. Sydney news: Millions allocated for renewable energy in NSW budget. New Acland coal mine investigation drags on for years, leading to landowners' anger. Solar-hydro energy plant to be built on Liddell coal-fired power station site. Deep in Queensland's coal country, one community is grappling with what the future holds. Rooftop solar produces clean energy but most panels end up in landfill despite being recycable. Solar micro-grid helping public-housing residents save money. Tesla battery scheme rolled out to homes without solar to build virtual power plant in SA.

Has Australia's gas-fired recovery run out of steam before it even began? Global car manufacturer says Australia is failing to lure electric vehicle importers. Queensland government responds to failure at coal-fired Callide power station by turning to battery power.

What happened at Queensland's Callide Power Station and will we lose power again? High in the Himalayas, China is planning to build the mother of all mega dams. Yackandandah's community battery may not be 'big' but it's enough to 'petrify' energy providers. Matt put a solar power battery on his bike shop. He won't put one on his home and policy is to blame. Adani mine contractor left asking government for finance after insurers flee due to climate risk. Work underway to repurpose Wallerawang power station into battery and industrial zone.

Green hydrogen electrolysers to be built in regional Australia with government backing. Companies eye off WA coast for offshore wind energy project sites. Fears proposal to charge households with solar panels to export electricity will kill demand for solar energy. Renewable energy investment results in billion-dollar bidding war for Tilt Renewables. Calls to phase out fossil fuel subsidies after speculation about net-zero emissions target.

APRA guides banks, insurers and super funds to consider climate change risks. Scott Morrison to spend extra $539 million on new 'clean' energy projects. But will they reduce emissions? Solar export limits for Adelaide suburbs with most panels under SA Power Networks trial. Electricity and gas bills racking up for consumers after COVID recession hit. Farmers fear for land that produces some of 'best potato crops in the world' What are 'zombie mines'? What do they have to do with Malcolm Turnbull? Should solar owners pay to supply the grid, or are there other options? Here's what you need to know. The Adani Group denies engaging with Myanmar’s military leadership over port deal but video suggest otherwise. Low-income families back proposed solar export fees in hope of reducing power bills.

Scientists warn of 'irreversible' damage to endangered swamps near Sydney if longwall mining continues. Tensions escalate between Bravus and Isaac community as grazier takes on multinational company. Solar panels switched off by energy authorities to stabilise South Australian electricity grid.