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.
This is a reply by GetUp!’s Anthony Gough to Andrea Bunting’s article “GetUp, Oxfam’s Powershop partnership raises questions” printed in Green Left Weekly #1064. It has been about 12 months since we at GetUp! launched the Better Power campaign, and so far we have encouraged 12,000 people to switch their household electricity away from Australia's biggest polluters.
Following a recent meeting of federal and state ministers with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figures, the federal government announced that it will publish by mid-year the emissions target it will take to the Paris Climate Summit in November. However, even if all the world's governments agree to limit future emissions to what would cause the global average surface temperature to rise by no more than 2°C from before industrialisation, it will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Australia has fallen behind similar economies around the world in the generation of renewable energy, a new report has found. The Climate Council’s new report, The global renewable energy boom: How Australia is missing out, says that despite having enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over, jobs and investment in the renewables sector have fallen sharply since the Coalition government came to power.
Despite the brutal cuts to leading renewable energy bodies by the Coalition government last year, incredible benchmarks in the field have been achieved.