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‘No one is steering the ship’: five lessons learned (or not) since the SA blackout

A year ago, the power system went down in South Australia. Homes and businesses across the state were without electricity for hours, some for days. While its specific causes have already been worked through, the nation’s most widespread blackout in decades quickly became a symbol of “Australia’s energy crisis”. One year on, it is time […]

Renewables will be cheaper than coal in the future. Here are the numbers

In a recent Conversation FactCheck I examined the question: “Is coal still cheaper than renewables as an energy source?” In that article, we assessed how things stand today. Now let’s look to the future. In Australia, 87% of our electricity generation comes from fossil fuels. That’s one of the highest levels of fossil fuel generation […]

More coal doesn’t equal more peak power

The proposed closure date for Liddell, AGL’s ancient and unreliable coal power station, is five years and probably two elections away. While AGL has asked for 90 days to come up with a plan to deliver equivalent power into the market, state and local governments, businesses and households will continue to drive the energy revolution. […]

Time for pragmatism, not panic, for the electricity market

There was a familiar knee-jerk reaction to last week’s announcement by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that there are risks to our electricity supply after the scheduled closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station in New South Wales in 2022. The sight of the Prime Minister looking for options to keep Liddell open raises […]

The day Australia was put on blackout alert

The only way the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) could be blunter in its report on the state of our electricity system would be to stick a neon sign on top of its Melbourne head office saying “The market has failed”. AEMO’s Advice to Commonwealth Government on Dispatchable Capability, released today, shows there are significant […]

Victoria is the latest state to take renewable energy into its own hands

The Victorian government’s intention, to legislate its own state-based renewable energy target is the latest example of a state pursuing its own clean energy goals after expressing frustration with the pace of federal action. The Andrews government has now confirmed its plan for 40% renewable energy by 2025, as well as an intermediate target of […]

WA bathes in sunshine but the poorest households lack solar panels – that needs to change

WA bathes in sunshine but the poorest households lack solar panels – that needs to change Solar panels are still a rarity in WA’s lower-income areas. Many Western Australian householders are living in “energy poverty”, according to our new Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre research report, Power to the People: WA’s Energy Future. Although average household […]

What blackout? How solar-reliant power grids passed the eclipse test

What blackout? How solar-reliant power grids passed the eclipse test Dev Tayal, Curtin University The total solar eclipse that captivated the United States this week was more than just a celestial spectacle (and a reminder to take care of your eyes). It was also a valuable lesson in how to manage electricity grids when a […]

‘Smart home’ gadgets promise to cut power bills but many lie idle – or can even boost energy use

Yolande Strengers, RMIT University and Larissa Nicholls, RMIT University “Smart” home control devices promise to do many things, including helping households reduce their energy bills. Devices such as “connected” lightbulbs and smart plugs let you operate or automate lights and other appliances from your smartphone, and are widely available from major retailers and online. They […]

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