renewable energy

[Ross Garnaut is a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. In 2007 he was appointed to examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity. The Garnaut Climate Change Review was finalised on September 30, 2008, with an update released on May 31, 2011. This is a speech given by Garnaut to the renewable energy summit hosted by the South Australian government on October 6.]

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Power is gradually returning to South Australia after wild storms blew across the state last night, but some areas could be offline for days. The storm — associated with heavy rain, lightning, and severe winds — damaged transmission lines that carry electricity from power generators to people, causing a state-wide blackout.

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill told ABC radio “the system operated as it was meant to operate”.

In 2000, renewable energy made up just 6.3% of Germany's electricity. By last year, it had risen to 31%.

Cloudy Germany became a leading innovator in solar energy. It did so not by subsidising large power utility companies, but by mobilising hundreds of thousands into energy cooperatives. The two legs of this democratic energy transition are Germany's commitment to phase out nuclear power and its feed-in tariffs, which allowed small renewable energy producers to sell their electricity.

Protesters gathered in Melbourne on August 8 to urge the replacement Hazelwood Power Station with renewable energy.

Australia's dirtiest power station, Hazelwood is owned by Engie France and Mitsui Japan.

According to the OECD it is one of the world's most polluting power stations, both in terms of the toxic cocktail of chemicals it daily emits and its carbon emissions.

Hazelwood is also Australia's least efficient power station and a major consumer of water: 1.31 megalitres of water is consumed per gigawatt hour of power generated.

The Victorian Labor government has announced an “ambitious and achievable” Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET). This target will commit the state to generating 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, and 40% by 2025.

A new Climate Council report card on the renewable energy progress of Australia's states and territories finds South Australia and the ACT are topping the class.

NSW received the worst grade due to its low and falling percentage of renewable energy, no renewable energy target and low levels of rooftop solar.

According to a new report Australia will have to increase the pace of large-scale renewable energy development sevenfold to reach its Renewable Energy Target (RET) this year.

As a First Nations activist I’ll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

Newcastle’s beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.

People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures.

The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners.

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

A new survey commissioned by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has found communities across New South Wales are big fans of renewable energy.

An overwhelming 91% of the 2000 people surveyed across NSW said they support the use of renewables to generate electricity.

The community campaigning organisation GetUp! recently emailed subscribers seeking donations so it could develop a pathway to 50% renewables by 2030.

Fifty percent renewables by 2030 is also Labor's current target. While it is an improvement on Labor's previous policies, it is not sufficient. The South Australian government has a 50% renewables target by 2025; the ACT has 100% by 2025.

We are facing a climate emergency, and Australia needs a rapid shift to renewable energy. Most climate campaigners have long called for 100% renewable energy, plus an end to coal exports.

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