MPCCC Carbon Price Architecture a Step Forward on Climate, But Australia Still Needs Additional Measures

February 24, 2011

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee announce the architecture of a national carbon price amidst expert consensus that carbon pricing alone is not enough to drive a rapid transition to renewable energy sources.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director Matthew Wright says:

‘The consensus of energy experts and climate change advocates is that carbon pricing is no silver bullet. We welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to present the Multi Party Climate Change Committee’s carbon price architecture, but it’s time for her government to move beyond a narrow focus on carbon pricing.’

IEA: Australia could run entirely on renewable energy within a decade, expert claims

 18 January 2011

Ambitious blueprint to cut out carbon emissions is presented at the Agency’s Paris-based headquarters

Australia could shred all reliance on oil, coal and gas and become entirely dependent on renewable energy sources by the end of the decade, experts at a think-tank and an Australian university claim in a report presented at the IEA’s headquarters.

High-Speed Rail Necessary as Airport Patronage Increases

Significant growth in domestic patronage at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport underscores the need for a high-speed rail (HSR) link between Australia’s largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.  

New figures released by the Melbourne Airport corporation reveal that an additional 1,763,367 extra domestic passengers visited the airport in 2010—an increase of 9 per cent in one single year. The overall total increase in passengers passing through the airport (which includes international visitors) also adds weight to the urgent need for a rail link between Tullamarine and the centre of Melbourne. 

The Melbourne to Sydney air route is already one of the world’s busiest domestic routes. Any reduction in flights between the two cities will bring substantial carbon reductions over time. Due to inaction on the high-speed rail front, low-budget carrier Jetstar added additional Melbourne-Sydney services to meet growing demand. 

Australia Falls Behind in Crucial Energy Infrastructure Investment

The State Grid Corporation of China has announced that it will invest $75.8 billion in ultra-high-voltage transmission projects over the next five years, embracing cutting-edge transmission technology to meet the rapidly expanding energy needs of the world’s most populous nation.

This significant project has drawn attention to the Australian government’s lack of investment in important energy-related infrastructure.

By 2015, the State Grid Corporation of China aims to have established a strong nationwide grid consisting of three latitudinal and three longitudinal ultra-high-voltage AC transmission projects and 11 ultra-high-voltage DC transmission projects.

The technology being embraced by this project is the same technology recommended by Beyond Zero Emissions in the Banksia award-winning Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan.

Solar State: Queensland’s World Leading Solar Resource

A recent study by the Queensland State Government in partnership with the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative highlights Queensland’s excellent potential for future large-scale solar generation projects.

Oakeshott Briefed on Zero Carbon Australia Plan

Pictured: Patrick Hearps meeting with Rob Oakeshott, Federal independent MP, and Leo Pitt, former manager of Munmorah power station.

This week, Beyond Zero Emissions’ technical director Patrick Hearps briefed Federal independent MP Rob Oakeshott on the Zero Carbon Australia – Stationary Energy Plan. Mr. Oakeshott is one of the members of Prime Minister Gillard’s multi-party Climate Change Committee that was announced in September 2010, and is a strong advocate for renewable energy and effective climate change policies.

The meeting involved a detailed briefing for Mr. Oakeshott followed by some extensive discussion about a range of policy issues: the potential ineffectiveness of a low carbon price and a need for more targeted incentives, such as direct investment in renewable technologies.

Beyond Zero Emissions sweeps Banksia Awards

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has swept the prestigious 2010 Banksia Awards announced on 15 October, winning two key prizes.

BZE founder and Executive Director Matthew Wright won the Environment Minister's Young Environmentalist of the Year Award. Judges' comments on Matthew were:

"Matthew Wright epitomises personal sacrifice, determination, commitment and passion. In 2006, he set up Beyond Zero Emissions in response to the inaction of leaders and decision makers in addressing issues related to climate change.

"His vision behind Beyond Zero Emissions is to help bring about the changes needed to reach a safe climate for current and future generations. This vision complemented by his inexhaustible passion has generated high level support from a diverse range of sectors."

Beyond Zero Emissions also won the Mercedes Benz Australian Environmental Research Award for the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan - written in collaboration with the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director Matthew Wright wins EcoGen Clean Energy - Young Industry Leader Award 2010

Matthew Wright Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) receives his award presented by Aaron Wood (right).

The Young Industry Leader award recognises an individual who has made major and sustained contributions to the clean energy industry in any area of activity within the industry. The award recognises a contribution over and above the call of duty.

Nominees were judged on their overall contribution, including through their actions, initiative, leadership in the industry and the broader Australasian community, any specific achievements and recognition through other awards or outside the industry.

This is an award not only for Matthew, but for the whole BZE team, whose work has been recognised by EcoGen - well done!

Zero Carbon Australia finalist for Mercedes Benz Environmental Research Award

Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan has made it to the finals of the prestigious Mercedes Benz Environmental Research Award. Finalists were announced in Melbourne. The winner will be announced in Sydney on October 15.
The award is presented to the submission that has been deemed via the judging process to demonstrate significant contribution to understanding, or resolving local or global environmental problems, through research.
That ZCA2020 has been selected as a finalist is further testament to the high quality of research contained within the report which details how Austalia could be emissions free for its energy sector in a decade if it chooses and the seriousness with which it is being taken.
Click here for more details on the relevant page at the Banksia foundation website

Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan Launched

Download the report from here (8.4MB). Purchase a hard copy here.

As our state and federal governments announce climate policies that will result in little effect to Australia’s rising greenhouse gas emissions, a cutting-edge new report released on Wednesday July 14 shows that a 100 per cent renewable electricity supply system implemented in Australia in 10 years is technically feasible and affordable.

At the launch a huge crowd filling the seats and the aisles was shown the details of this plan, put together by researchers from Beyond Zero Emissions and the University of Melbourne Energy Institute.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director and lead author Matthew Wright says the new PM must consider the Zero Carbon Australia report’s findings when developing government climate policy.

“All parties must incorporate findings from the Zero Carbon Australia plan into its climate policy. Our research shows that baseload renewable energy is now available and that Australia can get started building a renewable energy system, right now, today,” says Matthew Wright.

“Australia needs a nation-building climate change project with the scale and vision of a Snowy Mountains Scheme for the 21st Century. We can repower our economy with 100 per cent renewable energy, and set ourselves up for energy security and prosperity” says Wright.

Download the report from here (8.4MB). Purchase a hard copy here.

REPORT LAUNCH: Cutting-Edge Renewable Energy Report To Spark National Debate About Climate Policy

MELBOURNE – On Tuesday June 22, climate change solutions research group Beyond Zero Emissions will launch the Zero Carbon Australia - Stationary Energy report at the Australian Parliament in Canberra. 

Senators Christine Milne (Greens), Judith Troeth (Liberal), and Nick Xenophon (Independent) will host the launch, and will be joined by:

  • Matthew Wright, Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director 
  • Professor Mike Sandiford, Melbourne University Energy Institute
  • Tom Long, Australian actor (SeaChange, Two Hands) and Beyond Zero Emissions volunteer. 

The Zero Carbon Australia report provides a detailed blueprint for transitioning Australia’s stationary energy sector to 100% renewable energy sources by 2020. The report shows that Australia can replace fossil fuel baseload electricity using renewable energy technology that is available today, with the additional investment required equal to about one cup of coffee per person per day. 

Federal government picks solar innovation but fails on large scale baseload solar commercialisation

MELBOURNE – While the Federal government has at last shown it can identify Australian innovation with the Budget's support for the Australian National University’s “Big Dish” Technology, it has negligently overlooked other key renewable energy solutions.

ANU's Big Dish is committed to receive $60 Million to get a 40MWe power plant up and running at Whyalla South Australia.

Frustrated by Rudd’s ETS Backflip, Thousands Call for Massive Federal Budget Investment in Renewable Energy

MELBOURNE - Frustrated by the Rudd Government’s inaction on climate change, a broad coalition of prominent Australians and organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people have signed an open letter (see below) calling for the government to massively increase renewable energy investment in tomorrow’s federal budget.

Notable signatories include:

  • Progressive online campaign organisation Get Up!, boasting over 350,000 supporters
  • Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
  • Leading climate scientist Professor David Karoly
  • Guy Pearse, Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute and author of High and Dry
  • Major national environmental organisations Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria and Greenpeace Australia
  • The Australian Youth Climate Coalition, with a membership of over 50,000
  • Renewable energy advocate the Alternative Technology Association
  • Renewable energy industry group the Australian Solar Energy Society
  • The independent think tank The Australia Institute
  • The Electrical Trades Union Victoria
  • Over 30 community-based climate groups from around Australia.

Yes We Can! - Zero Emissions Electricity by 2020

Download here.

Yes We Can! - Zero Emissions Electricity by 2020

Zero emissions electricity by 2020 – affordable, sensible, do-able

  • The full report will be available for distribution and download by mid year.

Beyond Zero Emissions' cutting-edge Zero Carbon Australia 2020 (ZCA2020) Stationary Energy Plan is a detailed, costed blueprint demonstrating how Australia can reach zero emissions electricity by 2020 using proven, existing, commercialised technology.

Solar Power All Through the Night


‘Baseload’ solar power; once a distant dream, is now a reality. While solar electricity was once limited to when the sun was shining, solar thermal energy can now operate 24 hours a day, even at night, with an ingenious and cheap storage method utilising molten salt.

“There are plants in Spain operating with energy storage right now, providing electricity all night long” Matthew Wright, Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director said.

“Most Australians are not aware of this technology, even though it has the capacity to revolutionise the way Australia produces electricity and eliminate global warming pollution from coal”.

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