Great wins for renewables
Posted on 22 May 2014 by e-news
Switch on to our e-news! Switch off fossil power. The next e-news will be published on Thursday, 5 June, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am. Step right up folks, we’ve got a bumper edition this fortnight. The People’s Solar is up and running and the Wash Against Waste Trailer is coming to the Farmers’ Market. And there’s more! In the wake of a grim Federal Budget for renewable energy, there has been a great win to the people in NSW, and we have a fun competition with a prize, open to all. Remember you read it here, at MASG, first.
The People’s Solar: first site launched
Last week we launched the first People’s Solar site at the Castlemaine Childcare Co-operative. The solar panels are installed. Our partners, The People’s Solar, and we are already laying groundwork on new projects, at Taradale PS, Chewton PS and others. We have raised the money through crowd funding ($8,250, including a 10% auspice fee to MASG) for the 4kW system. Castlemaine Child Care Co-operative now has 2kW-worth of panels facing east and 2kW facing north. This will ensure they are producing energy at the time they need it most, in the mornings and through to early afternoon. All technical specifications, pricing etc are here, http://www.thepeoplessolar.com/project-castlemaine-childcare-centre/ but in short:
- 4kW system: Hareon panels with tigo optimisers (http://www.tigoenergy.com/) to maximise output from panels in low-light, partial shade conditions, and mitigate panel degradation over time
- Fronius inverter with 10-year warranty – top of the line sun lock mounting system
- 2kW face north, 2kW face east to reflect a morning bias in the Centre’s energy demand
- Our modelling of daily load profiles (8760 x 30mins increments), including variations across seasons, weekends and holiday periods, shows that approximately 25% of production will be exported to the grid, 75% will directly offset consumption by the childcare
- Based on current tariffs (and electricity is expected to go up), we expect the financial value to be at least $1000 a year, and up to $1250 a year
Over the life of the panels, this is likely to result in more than $25,000 in savings, which will be returned to the community.
Great news – we had WAWT crockery at the Harcourt Tavern on the weekend and they served 150 coffees and numerous paellas. Remember the time before we drilled for oil, transported it to a refinery, turned it into plastic cutlery and sent it out to warehouses and supermarkets so you could buy it and bring it home because it was convenient? No? You used to be able to wash your own dishes!
MASG will have our WAWT at the Farmers Market on 1 June. Come along and meet us and find out more about the fun, wonderful and sustainable world of washing your own dishes. If you can help please call or email Anna on 0435 291 835.
Competition – Prize
Is Hector the Lump of Coal the world’s most inappropriate mascot for kids? Even Australian Mining says his notoriety is now extending beyond the Mackay area. Remember when the worst offence of a kids’ mascot was a catchy tune? Those days are over. Hector the Lump of Coal is the copyrighted spokesrock of Australia’s Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) in Mackay, Qld. Hector talks to kids about the arts, dental hygiene, bullying, sun safety and pretty much anything else the PR people at one of the world’s biggest coal export facilities can think of. Even caring for the environment!
See if you can come up with a better, fun mascot for kids in Mackay, where the have been served The Hector Show sandwiched between segments of Saturday Disney. Your prize? A MASG-sponsored visit, including coffee and cake to the value of $25 for you and a friend, to our new premises and, of course, our lovely café, The Bakery. Send your ideas – a paragraph, a picture with an explanation, a video etc – to email@example.com by World Environment Day, 5 June, and coffee and cake with Natalie, Deb and Simone could be yours.
RET Action Road Trip
Welcome back to Dean Bridgfoot, who has returned in a part-time capacity to MASG. One of his projects will be to help demonstrate strong community support for the RET in the seat of Bendigo, by demonstrating this region’s support for renewable energy and the RET. Watch this space for more news.
Come and work for MASG
MASG needs a Project Officer for our new program: Waste Less. MASG and the Shire Council have an exciting new project to map hard business waste in the Shire and match it with people who can use it. Got a passion for re-use? We have a one-day-a-week paid position for two to three months. Contact Anna @ MASG on 0435 291 835 for a position description and more detail on the position. It will close on Friday, 6 June at 5pm.
Climate Reality leader training
Learn from former US Vice-President, Al Gore, and leading scientists. Apply here until 23 May (tomorrow). The training will run on 25-27 June in Melbourne.
Bentley coal seam gas drilling suspended, referred to ICAC. Resources company Metgasco’s plans to drill for coal seam gas at Bentley on the NSW north coast are in disarray after state energy minister Anthony Roberts referred the project to the Independent Commission Against Corruption and announced its license would be suspended due to insufficient community consultation. Read the full story
On 20-21 September, the biggest demonstration in the history of the climate movement will take place in New York City. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has summoned the world’s leaders to the city in late September to consult about climate change. Because those leaders have done a lousy job, and because most of us are tired of fancy words and ready for real action, there will be a huge march on New York, in thousands and tens of thousands. 350.org will be planning some bold climate action in solidarity with people in New York who are marching this September, so stay tuned and we’ll let you know what’s happening locally. And if you’re in NY, join them. Read more
IKEA has begun installing up to 16,000 solar panels on its Australian east coast stores. It’s part of the company’s drive to be powered by 100% renewables globally by 2020.
Green Building Day
Melbourne Brain Centre, 30 Royal Parade, Parkville, 30 May 2014. Full details and registration here.
Last week tonight with John Oliver: the Climate Change Debate
Study finds Australian states with operational ?#windfarms enjoyed cuts to wholesale electricity prices of up to 40%.
The Australian Industry Group (AIG) has told the Renewable Energy Target (RET) review that reducing the RET will not lead to a fall in electricity prices. The AIG says the RET has reduced wholesale prices. Meanwhile, renowned economist, Jeffrey Sachs, says Australia will not be able to go it alone on not responding to climate change.
Billions axed in clean energy: is the RET next?
There are billions of dollars of broken promises in the Abbott government’s first budget for low-emission and renewable energy programs – and wiggle room to break even more in the next few years. Among last night’s surprises was that government has budgeted to spend just A$1.15 billion, or less than half of its centrepiece A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund over the next four years. Read the full story
Contact Deutsche Bank – help protect the Reef. Market Forces is close to getting an important commitment from Deutsche Bank that they won’t finance the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. But they need your help to get this over the line. Please send a message to Deutsche Bank, urging them to take a clear public stand at today’s annual general meeting that they won’t finance the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port. We’re concerned because Deutsche Bank recently joined a loan to support the existing coal export terminal at Abbot Point. You can find out more about the background here.
You are invited
Making Your Money Fossil Free Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, 350.org Australia, Market Forces, The Australia Institute, Tuesday, 3 June 2014 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (AEST), Carlton, Vic. To register: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/making-your-money-fossil-free-tickets-11599461301
The Age and The Australian report that 76 wind workers have written to their local member, Premier Denis Napthine, calling on him to stand up for jobs and the Renewable Energy Target. If the Renewable Energy Target is weakened the future of Portland is in jeopardy. The town’s second largest employer is Keppel Prince – a leading manufacturer of wind turbine towers and renewable energy business. All those gains are under threat with the Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target which is biased towards an outcome that favours fossil fuels. What can we do to help? Let’s throw our weight behind the wind workers whose jobs are at risk. ??Contact the Premier today and urge him to support his constituents and publicly oppose changes to the Renewable Energy Target: firstname.lastname@example.org Electorate office – (03) 5562 8230 Parliament office – (03) 9651 5000
You can watch the endgame of the fossil-fuel era with a certain amount of hope. The pieces are in place for real, swift, sudden change, not just slow and grinding linear shifts: If Germany on a sunny day can generate half its power from solar panels, and Texas makes a third of its electricity from wind, then you know technology isn’t an impossible obstacle anymore. The pieces are in place, but the pieces won’t move themselves. That’s where movements come in. They’re not subtle; they can’t manage all the details of this transition. But they can build up pressure on the system, enough, with luck, to blow out those bags of money that are blocking progress with the force of Typhoon Haiyan on a Filipino hut. Bill McKibben