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Showing posts with the label renewable energy

When Climate and Air Quality Compete

Reducing carbon dioxide pollution comes with benefits to the climate that usually go hand-in-hand with efforts to improve air quality.  A new housing development planned for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), however, has been warned that by going green it may in fact worsen air pollution.

In the ACT it is compulsory that new residential developments be fitted with natural gas infrastructure, which is used both for cooking and heating.  The new 350 home development of Ginninderry, however, has now been allowed to go completely electric in an energy efficiency trial.  The ACT has access to significant hydroelectric generators and has a commitment to completely switch to renewable electricity, making the move away from gas a good one for the climate.  An air quality impact assessment report from the EPA, however, has warned that it may harm air quality in the region.  Specifically, their report cautioned that the switch to electricity "will limit the choices available for spac…

Battery Storage Coming to Victoria

The Australian Federal Government have announced support for two new battery storage facilities in Victoria.  Importantly, these batteries are slated to be online for summer, and will plug into local renewable energy generators in the west of the state.

Here in Victoria we have an old and unreliable electricity network, fed largely by failure-prone coal fired power stations.  Burning moist, brown coal, these are also some of the world's dirtiest generators, and are in the process of being phased out.  The other thing we have here is hot summers, and when temperatures soar so does energy demand. And then the grid goes down.

In 2017 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) stepped in very late in the year to bolster the state's electricity supplies for summer, in a move that included contracts to bring in air and noise polluting diesel generators to the LaTrobe Valley.  The move was so close to summer that battery power wasn't thought feasible.  Local residents were con…