Highlights

BlackRock crosses the aisle at AGL Energy shareholder meeting, calls for accelerated coal station closures

BlackRock, the $7.3 trillion asset manager and one of AGL Energy’s largest shareholders, broke ranks at AGL’s recent annual shareholder meeting to side with the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s resolution to accelerate the closure of the energy giant’s coal-fired power stations. The move is significant for BlackRock who had so far only talked the talk, but now seems to be walking the walk.

Coalition’s $1.4b ARENA extension cuts solar and wind while enabling fossil fuels

The Australian Government has finally announced new long term funding and an expanded remit for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) beyond 2022. The funding package, which looks more like a cut than anything else, pushes investment away from solar and wind and toward fossil fuel enabling technologies like carbon capture and storage. 

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Long read: White elephant Morrison Government announces gas-led relapse

The Morrison Government has announced its plans for a gas-led recovery including an ultimatum to the private sector that if it doesn’t prop up the gas sector the Government itself would step in to build a new gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley and an expanded Australia Gas Hub in QLD. For many experts the announcement reads more like a suicide note than a recovery strategy.

Hobsons Bay City Council set to become first Melbourne metro council to start a VPP

Hobsons Bay City Council is accelerating its Large Scale Solar Installation Program with a Virtual Power Plant to enable the sharing of solar generated energy around the Council’s assets. Going forward, Council wants to see its VPP expanded to include the vast array of members in its community.

Keeping PV panels honest — ACT innovation fund pumps up testing capacity

Michelle McCann and Lawrence McIntosh, the partners behind the solar panel testing facility, PV Lab, in Canberra think of Australia’s PV installations, large and small, as making up a vast virtual power plant. Their goal is to wring the promised performance from panels being sold into the Australian market and the ACT Government has just boosted their chances.

WA colours in 30 regional school rooftops with PV

Call it a school upgrade, a maintenance improvement, a learning opportunity, a right start in life … Western Australia’s Solar Schools Program was launched last week in the Pilbara town of Port Hedland to bring multiple benefits to the quality of student experiences in the state’s regions.

Green light for the $300 million green Bundaberg Hydrogen Hub

The first of three large-scale green hydrogen plants in the pipeline of the Green Hydrogen Australia Group has been given the green light. The Bundaberg Hydrogen Hub, featuring an 80 MW hydrogen electrolyser, will produce clean hydrogen for Australian hydrogen vehicle developer H2X.

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Goyder Renewables Zone off to a capital start as ACT charges up two big batteries

The forecast for the ACT is two big batteries and gale-force winds as the territory’s Government awarded two considerable contracts in its latest ‘reverse auction’, including a 14-year contract with Neoen, the first for its massive Goyder Renewables Zone. 

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QLD to go it alone with $500 million Renewable Energy Fund to lead green recovery

After being ignored by the Federal Government, Queensland has announced a $500 million Renewable Energy Fund for state-owned energy corporations to invest in commercial renewable project and infrastructure, a particular complement to QLD’s three pending Renewable Energy Zones.

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$215 million proposal for 50 MW of solar across QLD’s social housing

Solar Citizens, the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and Queensland Conservation Council have come together to propose a $215 million initiative to the Queensland Government which would see 50 MW of solar installed across more than 50,000 social dwellings to help households save on their energy bills in these tough economic times.

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