Wind energy

Prof Andrew Blakers

From Stars to the Sun

Professor Andrew Blakers is a professor engineering at the Australian National University. He works in the area of photovoltaics. His original goal was to be an astronomer studying Maths and Physics but while bushwalking  he was struck by so many places under threat - and that was as far back as the 70s!

He believes Australia receives thousands of times more solar energy than all the fossil fuels combined so why not be involved in solar and wind? He is a member of ARENA but fears the organisation, with the present political situation may lose the capacity to award grants. 

An interesting account of Andrew's life and work can be accessed on the ABC's Conversation Hour (13/6) and more details on the usual BZE podcast which mentions sliver, PERC technologies and silicon with its non-toxic properties. 

He has no doubt that Australia could become 100% renewable before long - and that is not just "pie in the sky"!

(Summary written by Bev McIntyre)

Further reading:

The Conversation: Wind and solar PV have won the race – it’s too late for other clean energy technologies

More articels at The Conversation

Clay Collier

Clay Collier is serial entrepenur and Co-Founder of Kisensum, a Californian start-up software company dedicated to enabling the integration of energy storage to the grid. Their project at Los Angeles Air Force Base uses software that enables them to integrate energy storage, both mobile (EV's) and stationary to support the grid. Managing the largest vehicle to grid fleet in the world has given Kisensum a unique insight into controlling mobile storage and working with many vendors to complete a complex storage integration project.

Lord Deben calls on Australia to join the global partnership on climate solutions

Cohesive Politics Are Possible

Cohesive politicians reducing environmental harm; cohesive politicians choreographing a united front; cohesive politicians able to withstand cooperate lobby groups; to an Australian audience all this may sound too good to be true but we invite you to listen to our interview with Lord Deben from The United Kingdom.  Lord Deben retains a central role in both British and international climate politics.  

Lord Deben previously prioritised environmental security within the agriculture portfolio of a conservative government as a Tory politician under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Prime Minister John Major and moreover Lord Deben still works far and wide to advocate and implement environmental harm reduction policies.  Our Beyond Zero radio show was fortunate to interview Lord Deben about British, European and Australian climate politics.  Lord Deben gave generously with his time, expertise and authority.  

During the interview Lord Deben discredited Australia’s official platform of amplifying a so called moral case for coal and also highlighted the diplomatic legacy Australia forgoes while we shun climate leadership.  Lord Deben discredited this so called moral case for coal by citing a higher probability of Prime Minister Modi accepting renewable electricity while forgoing dependence upon imported coal.  Lord Deben also discredited this so called moral case for coal by citing a lower probability of big business providing moral guidance.  Lord Deben clearly warned against the evermore expansion of Australian coal mining and export capacity as a most foolish commercial investment.

Lord Deben warns Australia must realise that the age of coal is over!

Lord Deben is a hardworking and effective climate politician.  Our Beyond Zero radio show is grateful he shared persuasive insights for our audience.  Once again we invite you to listen to a recognised authority on both environmental harm reduction and cohesive politics.  

Demian Natakhan - Victorian Renewable Energy Roadmap

Demian Natakhan is founder and co-director of Enhar, a renewable energy consultancy in Melbourne. He joins us today to talk about his response to the Victorian Government consultation on Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, following a workshop Enhar held to discuss the Goals for the Victorian Renewable Energy.

Public consultation on the Roadmap will feed into the development of the Victorian Renewable Energy Action Plan, which will set long-term actions to drive renewable energy investment in Victoria. Victoria's energy mix is currently 14% renewable energy, made up of mostly wind and hydro and smaller contributions from rooftop solar. New rooftop solar in Victoria is booming, being added at a rate of ~200MW/year. The CEC highlighted the major Victorian wind farm pipeline in their 2014 clean energy report, focussing on wind farms where the developer has done all the preparatory work to be ready for financial close, now just needing sufficient LGC pricing and certainty.  There is around 930MW of wind farms in Victoria with this advanced status, which could be readily unlocked through additional state-driven incentives. This would deliver a further 5% of total Victorian generation. There are a further ~1,570MW of wind farms already with planning approval in Victoria, bringing the total of mature wind prospects to around 2,500MW.

Additionally, Demian Natakhan recently presented on Local government solar leadership at All Energy 2015, discussing emission reduction and renewable energy progress and targets at federal, state and local government levels.

Alicia Webb CEC previews All Energy

Alicia Webb, Senior Policy Manager and wind energy specialist at the Clean Energy Council (CEC) previews the upcoming All Energy Exhibition & Conferece in Melbourne. Alicia Webb is a wind engineer with several years experience working in the Australian wind industry. She started her career working for Vestas on the construction of a 30MW Victorian wind farm, and most recently spent three years as a consultant at Parsons Brinckerhoff. During that time Alicia specialised in early feasibility studies, wind monitoring and the design and installation of monitoring masts.  

Alicia now works on wind energy policy for the CEC. In 2015, the All Energy conference has partnered with the CEC to bring you a larger exhibitor event with more conference streams such as energy storage, energy efficiency, policy, bioenergy, solar, wind, community energy and much, much more. Alicia will be presenting numerous times at the conference including:

Wind Energy: Technology developments and its impact on wind projects

All Energy is free entry to the public at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, running from 7-8 October 2015. 

Rod Quantock, Dagmar Graczyk, Leigh Ewbank

This show was broadcast on Mon 15 December 2014

Comedian, activist and national treasure Rod Quantock, recently joined the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) at the University of Melbourne as a Research associate looking at the presentation of climate change impacts and resource crisis. He joins Vivien from Beyond Zero radio to speak about the launch new project on Pozible: The Last Tim Tam. The Last Tim Tam is a 12 month research project to develop a new way of communicating the impacts of Climate Change and the Limits to Growth because the old ways have clearly not worked.

Dagmar Graczyk, Manager for South Asia, International Energy Agency (IEA) talked to Vivien at the Energy Efficiency Council National Conference 2014 in November.

Then Leigh Ewbank, renewables community co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth (FoE), talks about favourable changes in renewable energy policy that Daniel Andrews and the new Labour government have brought in since winning last month's Victorian state election. In particular, restoring fair wind farm laws and FoE pushing Victorian Renewable Energy Target following the South Australia's recently increased target to 50% by 2025 and even more ambituos ACT RET of 90% by 2020.

Comedian Rod Quantock


Craig Morris Editor for Renewables International

Trailer from Craig Morris on Vimeo.

The (not completely serious) trailer for the movie "Welcome to the Energiewende," which can be viewed in its entirety here:

Craig Morris (@PPchef) is an American writer and translator in the energy sector who has been based in Germany since 1992. He is Editor for Renewables International, lead author of, director of Petite Planète, author of the book Energy Switch (2006) along with numerous articles in both English and German on energy technologies and policies.

CEFC gone under a coalition government!


This edition is called "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" and first aired in late August 2013. With the federal election day (on 7 September) looming, renewable energy investment has slowed due to the uncertainty surrounding, firstly the Renewable Energy Target (RET) review conducted over an 18 month period, the current election campaign and then the policy changes that a possible change to a coalition government will bring.  

We feature interviews with:

John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute, an independent research organisation established in 2005, focused solely on the issue of climate change. Working across sectors and disciplines with a positive and pragmatic approach, The Climate Institute draws attention to critical issues and fosters the understanding and support necessary for the transition to a zero-carbon Australia.

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