Walpole will soon to be home to world-leading energy technology – a microgrid powered by mini-pumped hydro, that will improve power reliability in the area by as much as 80%.
Western Power is partnering with WA engineering firm Power Research and Development (PRD) to develop a mini-pumped hydro facility in Walpole and connect it to the SWIS network.
Two dams are being built on a farming property near Walpole, one high and one low, to transfer and store the water. Solar panels and batteries will power the pumping action and shift the water, making it self-sufficient.
Ashlee Jones Project Manager and Civil Engineer at PRD will present the project and discuss the wider implications for energy security and resilience in regional and remote areas.
Many remote towns, communities and work sites are reliant on fossil fuel (diesel, gas ) for power generation, but this study shows that high proportions of renewable energy (RE) are around three quarters of the lifetime costs of fossil-fuelled generation.
The Broome Clean Energy Study builds on the 2018 Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap which looked at the entire west Kimberley. This study focusses solely on Broome, but with contemporary RE technology cost estimates. Importantly, this study is derived from powerful new modelling software which allows trends in RE costs to be readily calculated.
Dr Rob Phillips will present the report and discuss the wider implications for energy security and resilience in remote areas.
Rob’s presentation is here – all rights reserved.
Please note the following event being held in Perth.
World Renewable Energy Congress XXI
online and in-person
4th to 9th December 2022
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Held online & in-person at Murdoch University, Perth, WA, on all matters relating to RE. Plenary, parallel & workshop sessions, field visits, dinner & technical tour + a 3-day social tour. A complete conference for academics and industry to benefit.
Organized by: World Renewable Energy Network
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 30th September 2022
Early bird registration: Until 5 October 2022
Standard registration: Until 2 December 2022
Final registration: After 3 December 2022
Submission of full papers: 5 February 2023
Student architecture competition closes 28 October 2022
Hear invited speakers including:
Adj Prof Garry Baverstock Wise: Earth PLC
Dr Jemma Green Chairman & Cofounder of Power Ledger
Dr Brad Pettitt MLC Member for the South Metropolitan Region Greens (WA)
Associate Professor Tania Urmee Murdoch University
and Keynote speaker Prof Peter Newman, Curtin University, among others.
A very eminent line up. For further information go to the Website: http://wrec2022.com
With the announcement of the closure of coal fired generation in WA, increasing electricity demand from decarbonisation via electrification and a plethora of green industry projects, the stage is set for a rapid deployment of renewable energy from a range of sources.
Flotation Energy will address the role Offshore Wind (fixed and floating) could play in the SWIS clean energy transition.
Please come and hear Flotation Energy on this important topic with time for questions at the end.
Marcus’s presentation is here – all rights reserved.
We are happy to relaunch SEN Events following a Covid hiatus. Please come and hear electricity industry expert Greg Ruthven talk about his reflections on the road ahead for the SWIS. With the trend towards renewables, and mindful of emission targets to influence decision making, the closing of coal fired power stations and network access will present some problems.
Greg Ruthven is well qualified to bring unique insight to the topic, as a specialist in Energy Market Regulation and a strategic advisor in Electricity Market Reform while at AEMO. Greg now works in private enterprise providing regulatory, strategic and commercial advice to companies, businesses and regulators to anticipate, navigate and optimise the transition to a net-zero future.
Greg’s presentation is here.
In a Special Joint Presentation with
East Fremantle Climate Action Reference Group
and Sustainable Energy Now
With a recorded welcome by Dr Saul Griffith the scene was set for Fraser Maywood to present a convincing argument for making the switch to an all electric home. Starting with the alarming statistic that Australia’s 10 million households are responsible for 42% of Australia’s national emissions, the audience heard that individual households can have a significant impact by transitioning away from fossil fuels to cleaner, cheaper renewable energy and reduce their energy use by a whopping 63%.
Inspired by inventor and entrepreneur, Dr Saul Griffith, and his recent book ‘The Big Switch’, the audience of around 100 was presented with an overview of the how and why of transitioning to an all electric home. Following the overview the audience heard from actual case studies – one from a local resident who retrofitted an old home to all electric and another who was undertaking a new build with all electric inclusions. There was strong interest in questions to the panel from the engaged audience after.
Please find a link to the overview presentation by Fraser Maywood here.
The East Fremantle Council and the Climate Action Reference Group hosted an event featuring Ian Porter, Chair of Sustainable Energy Now speaking on All Things Rooftop Solar.
It was a comprehensive presentation discussing the basic concepts of domestic solar, the economics, the benefits, evaluating individual circumstances, and the role of batteries.
There was a lively question session afterwards with some thoughtful scenarios posed.
In all, a most engaging and informative session.
Please find a link to the slide presentation here.
We had a full night of activity with the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry opening the discussion. She stated that she is aware of the opportunities and the need to act now and she is most supportive of green hydrogen with other forms to be used as part of a transition to renewable forms of energy.
Next, one of Australia’s most knowledgeable experts in the field of Hydrogen research, Professor Craig Buckley provided an overview of state of the art hydrogen storage options and discussed the many options with comparisons of the pathways. He described research currently being conducted by Curtin University in metal hydride technology using Sodium Borohydride as a storage media.
This was followed by an industry expert, Kent Ramsey, of 9 Tech Solutions with a presentation summarised as Hype – Hope – Nope. He provided very useful real world scenarios and actuals on barriers such high costs, inefficiencies in production, transport challenges. For example he said that it would take as many as 14 trucks to deliver the same energy to a truck as a tank of diesel. He noted that it is important to invest in the appropriate projects.
Dr Benjamin Kaebe, Director Space Industries has worked at FMG’s hydrogen project then joined the panel with the previous 2 speakers.
The event was filmed and once the video is edited, it will be posted here.
Copy of Kent Ramsey slideshow. Hype/Hope/Nope
Copy of slideshow by Prof Buckley 50 Shades Hydrogen
SEN Events was delighted to have Peter Milne, journalist, energy industry analyst and commentator through his online publication Boiling Cold (https://www.boilingcold.com.au) . He addressed an enthusiastic audience on a squally Monday night.
Peter gave an overview of the SW Power System and examined the current realities and future challenges in power delivery, decarbonisation and the interplay with the political issues impacting and holding back investment and development.
Peter lit a spark of hope however in his closing remarks and reminded us that the government is in an electorally strong and financially secure position and there is potential for the next iteration of the WoSP to be more aggressive in terms of positive reforms with improved environmental outcomes. The outdated conservative view of batteries that entrenches gas, needs to be reviewed so that batteries are factored in as an integral tool to power management. As well, the renewables resource-rich state has the capital to invest in new infrastructure and address the urgent need to slash emissions as much as we can.
It is time that the state stopped giving fossil fuels a free ride. Lower costs of energy supplied from renewables will be an imperative that no government will be able to ignore.
In addition, external factors will exert a strong influence. International partners and trade rules will demand and require that Australia goes green with punitive carbon border adjustment tariffs as the stick with the carrot being lower overall energy costs; In the future it is clear: buyers will want green energy.
Sustainable Energy Now hosted three senior energy executives to answer this question. Together, they represented the entire spectrum of the energy industry with combined experience in utilities; commercial project development; system planning and engineering; and leading-edge renewables development.
Geoff Glazier, Managing Partner at Merz, Richard Winter, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Solar River Project and Rod Hayes, Chairman of Balance Group, gave their views and answered audience questions in an open, challenging, and positive session moderated by Sustainable Energy Now. It was revealed that there were no commercial sized Renewable Energy (“RE”) projects in development or construction in the SWIS (Southwest Interconnected System), the equivalent in Perth of the NEM in Eastern Australia..
In addition to the shocking status, the biggest take away from the discussion was that there is an absence of a commercial structure that supports new energy. So, even though there are investors and funds available, being unable to forecast how much energy would be allowed to be input to the system stops any investment.
How can you enter an energy provision contract with Aldi, for example, if you do not know how much energy you are going to be allowed to sell to Aldi in future years? If you do not know how much energy you will be able to sell, how do you know how much revenue you will generate? It is impossible.
What has brought about the current situation?
It was noted that rather than rules changing to make it easier to add clean RE into the system, the opposite has happened, making it harder. Contracts and rules have changed from just a few years ago when you could at least forecast how much energy you would be allowed to be paid for.
The SWIS market is now the opposite of countries which offer clear conditions of investment, the ability to provide steady energy supply and be paid for it. After all the complaints about intermittent energy supply from RE, even steady energy supply is not guaranteed to be allowed to be transmitted in the current system, and rules can change any time, destroying investments. Participants noted that no sensible RE investors want to participate in such a system.
Right now, Western Australia provides no support and has no plan to bring RE onto the SWIS system.
While it may seem like RE is just being forced to compete on a level playing field, unlike the current energy providers, new energy providers have no idea how long the current rules will last for them and have no idea how much energy they can sell. The system absolutely supports current electrical generation, no matter what emissions may be and no matter what costs may rise to in the future. So, the recipients of electricity supply on the SWIS, from monopoly supplier Synergy, cannot choose cleaner power and are stuck with any increase in fossil fuel costs as has been happening.
In addition to the above, new energy applications are not exactly fast tracked. The slow progress of network connection applications and agreements often means that offtake commitments have lapsed before construction can begin. It is no surprise then that WA is not attracting the elite RE providers in the world to set up an office.
While it was agreed that a carbon price is an obvious missing factor, the current rules are a more subtle way of making sure RE projects do not go ahead in WA in 2021.
It was noted that, though it’s easy to understand the drive to ensure that the system must keep the lights on, in a climate emergency, other drivers should also influence the challenge of connecting renewable generating assets.
Sustainable Energy Now has been watching as the transition to RE is generating masses of well-paid highly skilled jobs in the rest of the world. To have that occur in WA needs a commitment to a transition and changes to the underlying laws and rules which support that.
The result of the current position, having undermined RE, rather than enabled it, is that the next commercial RE project is many years away. Getting big projects up and running does not happen overnight.
SEN wishes to acknowledge the sponsorship of this event by Rolls Royce Solutions, with thanks to Andrew Jones Sales Director Rolls Royce Solutions.
The much anticipated launch event for the Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) Jobs Report 2020 was held on Monday 14 September at RIFF.
Two panels comprising 8 industry leaders discussed the findings of the report, the future of the SWIS grid and new jobs rich, sunrise industries powered by renewables and storage, highlighting:
* 55,000 energy jobs on the SWIS grid over the decade 2020 – 2030.
* A 90% renewables and energy powered SWIS grid by 2030.
Panel One discussed The [R]Evolution of the SWIS Grid
Moderator: Kylie Wilkie | Senior Associate | Allens
Panelists: Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter | Senior Climate Policy Adviser | Climate Analytics
Gary Bryant | GM Assest Strategy | Alinta Energy
Anya Nova | Business Development | Power Ledger | Australian Block Chain Leader of the Year 2019
-> Please find a link to a video of the first session here.
The second Panel discussed Jobs and sunrise industries: WA’s potential for an RE-powered ‘superpower’ future.
Moderator: Emma Schmitt | GM New Energy Investments | Summit Southern Cross Power
Panelists: James Campbell-Sloane | Director | Deloittes Access Economics
Dave Manning | Global Head | Hybrid juwi Renewable Energy
Brodie McCulloch | Perth Lord Mayoral Candidate | Founder of Spacecubed
-> Please find a link to a video of the second discussion here.
The Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) Jobs Report 2020 is available to download for free. Click here.
A short explainer video detailing the results and methods of the SEN Jobs Report 2020 is available at : https://youtu.be/8Ui_cb76T58
Dr Lex Fullarton is well credentialed in taxation law, and considers what is likely to happen to future motor vehicle fuel excises with an increase in the number of electric vehicles on Australia roads, the impact of rising self-generated electricity from renewable energy sources, and how that energy might be used to power electric vehicles in the future. He refers to his own case study of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owned by the solar farm project, where he found that unless motor vehicles are charged from independent electricity sources, such as dispersed, embedded solar pv installations, little is saved in the way of greenhouse gas emissions. The case study demonstrates the ‘triple bottom line’ of economic, social and environmentally sustainable industry.
Dr Fullarton is also designer and builder of WA’s first privately owned, commercial solar farm, the Solex Carnarvon Solar Farm. That project has an integrated ice-works to demonstrate how solar energy can be applied in industry. Its purpose is to demonstrate the commercial application and viability of solar energy harvesting in a practical commercial and industrial setting. Situated on the edge of a rural/urban area it produces a commercial product without and negative impact to the environment in any way whatsoever. Lex has championed the cause of renewable energy ever since.
Please log in online to the Live Event page at 6pm 27 July to watch Dr Fullarton’s presentation, and then a live streaming of a Q & A session with Ian Porter, Chair of SEN.
Dr Lex Fullarton is an Adjunct Profess or at Curtin Law School and has a PhD in Taxation Law (UNSW), M Com (Curtin), FIPA, FFA, CTA, MAICD, AREI
Presentation slides available as a PDF [2.9 MB]
Early this month, Energy Minister Bill Johnston released the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, produced by the McGowan Government’s Energy Transformation Taskforce.
Take up of rooftop solar panels, batteries, electric vehicles and microgrids is transforming Western Australia’s electricity system. Such small-scale devices, known as Distributed Energy Resources (DER), present challenges and opportunities for the way electricity in our State is produced, managed and consumed.
The Roadmap outlines the actions that must be taken over the next five years in order to meet these challenges and harness the potential for cleaner, more affordable energy.
Actions will include pilots to determine the best ways to overcome technical, regulatory and market barriers to integrate DER into our grid, including additional community batteries.
Energy Policy WA, Western Power, Horizon Power, Synergy, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the private sector companies involved in electricity generation and distribution are all working together to implement this Roadmap to ensure Western Australians can continue to install and enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and new renewable energy technologies.
The Minister provided a briefing on the Roadmap and answered audience questions after, hosted by Ian Porter, Chair of SEN.
Professor James Trevelyan, University of Western Australia Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences talks about his experiences in engineering personal air-conditioning units, with a particular interest in servicing developing countries.
Click hear to download James presentation slides as a PDF file.
Thanks for the members who tuned in, was a great presentation by Prof. James Trevelyan.
Are Air Conditioners Really Heating the Planet?
Recent media coverage raised concerns about the effects of air conditioning on our global climate.
IPCC and other forecasts estimate that air conditioning alone will contribute about half a degree of additional global warming by 2100 unless we all start making changes now.
So, what are the alternatives? What changes can we make, as individuals? Given that summers are getting hotter, how can we have reasonable comfort while reducing our greenhouse emissions?
We now have most of the technologies that could make this possible in our lifetimes. Changes are coming and you can play a part in making them happen sooner. Emeritus Professor James Trevelyan, University of Western Australia Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences spoke about his experiences in making these changes possible.
Joint Special Event: JCIPP and SEN preset Prof Ross Garnaut.
Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) and John Curtin Institute of Public Policy (JCIPP) hosted Professor Ross Garnaut AC at an event at Curtin University.
Professor Garnaut addressed the potential of Australia to use its renewable energy resources to power a new future for the country, a theme of his newest book “Superpower: Australia’s low carbon opportunity“.
In his presentation and in his the book, Professor Garnaut offers a road map for progress, covering energy, transport, agriculture, the international scene and more. Rich in ideas and practical optimism, Superpower is a crucial, timely contribution to this country’s future.
In his presentation and in his the book, Professor Garnaut offers a road map for progress, covering energy, transport, agriculture, the international scene and more. Rich in ideas and practical optimism, Superpower is a crucial, timely contribution to this country’s future.
The iLecture is now available here: (external link)
The PowerPoint presentation is here (link to pdf)
In this presentation Mark and Martin explored the potential applications of geothermal energy for heating and cooling; whether geothermal heating of water is already competitive against gas; and whether geothermal generation can provide baseload power and match demand. We heard about who is using it and where, and what is in store for the Australian geothermal industry?
Mark and Martin have worked extensively in the geothermal and groundwater industries, and have taken on the role of geothermal educators for a variety of audiences.
Mark outlined the key benefits and challenges of geothermal electricity generation, gave a brief history of geothermal exploration in Australia and discussed how geothermally generated electricity could fit into the Australian energy mix. Note that ARENA reported that geothermal electricity can provide one of the lowest Levelised Costs of Energy in the right circumstances.
Martin outlined the geothermal resources that exist in Australia and the role that direct utilisation of geothermal energy and Ground Source Heat Pumps can play for Australia’s energy future. The presentation will include an overview of the Perth’s geothermal projects (including pool heating).
Summary and Conclusions
For a copy of the presentation follow this link.
Mike Kilcullen, Chief Operating Officer at Starling Energy, presented the project that won the Energy Innovation of the Year” award in the Australian Institute of Energy, 2019 WA Energy Awards.
The project was originally launched as the Dunsborough Community Energy Project last year during the pilot phase, but will now be implemented across the whole of WA as the Plico Energy project.
In a highly interactive session, with a very engaged audience, Mike gave an overview of the model, the benefits of signing up, and who would benefit most. In summary the project will:
– Provide an affordable battery and PV system with no upfront capital costs, fully serviced and maintained
– Help members of the community save money on energy bills from the outset
– Allow the community to own part of an ever-growing battery driven virtual power plant that aims at supporting our future grid
– Contribute to community-based projects, and
– Reduce household carbon emissions by up to 90%.
Please find a copy of the Plico Energy Project presentation. link.
Demand response can be put simply as a technology-enabled economic balancing method for grid based power systems.
Demand response is used by network operators to reduce the demand for electricity at particular times to help keep the grid stable. It has particular relevance in renewable energy power systems with intermittent generation and allows the system to cope with supply fluctuations without increasing the need for investment in more costly capacity.
At this panel presentation, we gained insights from 3 different perspectives: one from a retailer, Amanda Energy, one from the market operator AEMO, and one from a generator and consumer at the domestic level, Ian Porter.
Architecture Maximizing Solar Design: Big Picture Implications for Addressing Climate Change
A long time advocate for progressing sustainable practices within the building industry and beyond, Garry presented an insight into his journey advocating for change in land development, building design, retrofit and embedding innovation into practice.
Despite a myriad of initiatives in design support, changes in energy efficiency compliance in development and building licenses as well as exhaustive public education programs going for over 50 years now, to date, little has been achieved.
Despite the general inertia in the industry, Garry put forward a plan, while stressing the urgency, calling for a total systems change of thinking to maximize the potential for Green House Gas savings. Conservation of resources in this sector, with far more targeted scientific and innovative strategies, is needed, to deliver the outcomes.
That the built environment constitutes the significant part of the GHG emissions footprint, the presentation stressed the reason for prioritising the building industry for restructuring, towards climate sensitive objectives.
Garry Baverstock was awarded the Order of Australia in 2006 for his ground breaking work in eco-architecture and in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian society.
Further information can be found via Garry’s website http://ecotect-architects.com/
Transforming the SWIS : Julius Susanto on the new AEMO modelling tools.
Aware that the WA South West Interconnected System (SWIS) is increasingly accommodating a higher ratio of non-synchronous generators due to rapid and unprecedented uptake of solar PV and other distributed energy resources, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) took the decision to develop their own proprietary in-house modelling tools to identify where shortfalls in system security may lie and the needed system resources to offset system security risks in this area.
Here is the recording of the presentation.
Julius Susanto presented an outline of the AEMO software and how it will benefit the SWIS and other networks facing similar issues.
As a Power Systems Specialist and a Chartered Electrical Engineer with over 17 years of extensive practical and modelling experience and postgraduate qualifications in electrical (power) engineering and economics, Julius was well placed to highlight how system security and in particular inertia: the by-product of rotary generators, can be adversely impacted in the grid transformation and explained what compensatory approaches are being considered.
A link to the presentation will be uploaded shortly.
Jay Weatherill, ex premier of South Australia joined Sustainable Energy Now, BDO and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) for a discussion around energy transition, the role of government, challenges WA faces and the deal with Tesla.
Jay provided some interesting insights to the series of circumstances that led to the lights going out in South Australia, and gave a candid account of the “story” that was told in the media. He reflected that the move to renewable energy is inexorable and unstoppable, and being driven outside government by entities such as industry super funds.
Jay pointed out that there are some advantages to the transition process in Western Australia, such as the fact that WA has ownership of some of the critical generation assets and the network, and that this state has a gas reservation policy. He also flagged some possibilities for the WA market, going forward.
There was much to take away from the conversation.
the QandA that followed:
Dr Rob Phillips presented the findings of The Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap, commissioned by The Wilderness Society (WA), Environs Kimberley and the Lock the Gate Alliance. The study modelled and mapped a comprehensive, fully-costed Renewable Energy (RE) roadmap for the Kimberley.
Dr Phillips described the project and demonstrated that RE can provide a cleaner and cheaper energy future across the West Kimberley while providing much needed long term jobs. The presentation also discussed implementation and employment issues, demonstrating how a roll-out of RE across the Kimberley could result in 184 direct long term jobs for the Kimberley region and State of WA, including local indigenous employment opportunities. A link to the PowerPoint presentation is available here link.
A copy of the full report the Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap is available here Report. A hard copy is available at the SEN Presents which are held every 6 weeks, as advertised on our Events Calendar page, or send an email to email@example.com.
Eloise Burnett, Manager Offshore Wind, Programmes and Innovations at the UK Carbon Trust, gave a very insightful presentation.
The Carbon Trust is helping the move towards a sustainable, low carbon economy by innovating and developing the offshore wind renewable energy industry, and has. The Trust has been at the forefront of the offshore wind industry for the past decade, working closely with government, developers, supply chain, and innovators to inform policy, support technology designers, identify opportunities to reduce the cost of energy, and deliver innovation programmes to achieve cost reduction.
Eloise provided insights on the UK experience and the learnings relevant to Western Australia.
The final SEN Presents for the year featured number of key influencers in the Western Australian Energy sector come together for a lively panel discussion on the topic:
Western Australian Electricity Sector:
Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward.
Our panelists included:
Mark Paterson General Manager of Horizon Power’s Consumer Energy Division
Jason Froud Policy Manager with Synergy
Seán Mc Goldrick Exec Manager Asset Management at Western Power
Cameron Parrotte Exec General Manager at Australian Energy Market Operator WA
We were very appreciative of the calibre of the discussion, and the frankness of the responses. It was a most valuable and entertaining night.
The Electric Targa South West Tour was launched in May this year, which was Australia’s first dedicated tarmac Electric Vehicle category for Road Registered users. Florian Popp and other local enthusiasts discussed their drive experience on closed, Rally stage roads in the pristine South West Forrests. THhe results were impressive. Following the presentation, we had the opportunity to inspect 2 Tesla EVs,
A key message of the night is that the advent of electric cars, requires considered and pragmatic technical action by our state government and utilities, and SEN is an important conduit for such like minded industry partners.
We were very fortunate to have a presentation by eminent scientist Dr Paul Wilkes who is a “Climate Reality Leader” after training by Al Gore in Denver, Colorado. Paul gave a talk with an updated international perspective after participating in The Climate Reality Project. He covered the global issues such as greenhouse gases, temperatures and sea level rise, technical issues, opportunities such as job creation and economic benefits, the role of electric vehicles and provided local and international examples.
A brief overview of the key learnings from Al Gore ‘The Truth in 10’ is available at this link.
Holding a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering Science and a Graduate Diploma Technology Management (Deakin) Laurie Curro came to speak to our April SEN Presents at short notice. With more than 35 years’ experience working in the Power Transmission and Distribution industry, with particular interest in distribution and power system planning, distribution design, distribution reliability power quality, system operations and maintenance and smart grid planning, Laurie provided some fascinating insights into the work at Horizon Power.
As General Manager Power System Services, Laurie presented a fascinating overview of why Microgrids are important and spoke about 2 innovative projects underway in regional WA:
– The Onslow Distributed Energy resource Project
– Trials in Carnarvon leading up to Onslow.
Laurie held our attention to the end, and was generous in his responses to audience questions.
A great night!
Andrew D Moore (MSc BAppSc BSc) is a passionate sustainability scientist and founder of Life Cycle Logic. Andrew uses carbon footprinting and life cycle assessment (LCA) as some of the tools to see the big picture of where we are and where we are headed to get us on the path to a more sustainable future.
Andrew has experience across a wide range of industries including agriculture, building and construction, mining, tourism, energy, renewables and the startup sector. Andrew presented insights into some fascinating and sometimes unexpected outcomes of what happens when a thorough and comprehensive analysis of all the contributors to the lifecycle of a product, are considered. Andrew’s findings present a perspective based on consideration of all available measures of energy inputs.
Andrew is indeed an inspiring and engaging speaker.
Here is a link to his website http://www.lifecyclelogic.com.au/. Andrew will soon be adding video of his presentation.
James Eggleston of Power Ledger
James Eggleston spoke about P2P trading. This class of Platform Application gives retailers the ability to empower consumers (or in an unregulated environment, the consumers themselves) to simply trade electricity with one another and receive payment in real-time from an automated reconciliation and settlement system. He also spoke of the many other benefits such as being able to select a clean energy source, trade with neighbours, receive more money for excess power, benefit from transparency of trades on a blockchain and very low-cost settlement costs all leading to lower power bills and improved returns for investments in distributed renewables.
See below a link to James’ presentation from the event.
Vincent Algar is Managing Director of Australian Vanadium Ltd and its subsidiary VSUN Energy Pty Ltd. VSUN Energy’s main objective is to advance the understanding and adoption of vanadium energy storage. During Vincent’s time with the company he has become a global expert on vanadium in energy storage and has a wealth of knowledge about the energy market and vanadium’s uses within it.
Vincent’s presentation focused on the technical performance of vanadium flow batteries, the differences between vanadium and lithium in energy storage and the particular scenarios that the technology is best suited to. Included was an overview of the largest battery in the world, which is currently under construction in China, and case studies of installed systems in Australia and around the world.
Guest speaker was Leo Kerr who is vice president of Trillion Trees (formerly Men of the Trees WA) and has been involved in the not for profit sector for almost 30 years. In 2008 he had a Mitsubishi Mirage converted to electric and in 2009 established the community information website MyElectricCar.com.au.
Leo gave a fascinating and comprehensive overview on the disruptive nature of Electric Vehicles and the transformation of the global fleet. He spoke of reasons for change, EVs in Australia and the impact that electrification and autonomous technology will bring about in our immediate to near future.
Russell Wilson, Director Catalyst and, Co-Founder and Director of Ecocentric Energy.
Ecocentric have partnered with CSIRO and developed Numen, which is a Latin word for the spirit, or energy that lives in a place or object.
High Quality Energy Data, is proving to be of increasing value to everyone. Using a combination of cutting-edge hardware, data smarts, and beautiful user-centric interfaces, Numen is helping businesses understand where their energy is being used, conserved and wasted. Numen learns the energy usage patterns of a business, to predict faults for pre-emptive maintenance and efficiency. The entire equipment portfolio is connected with other data sets, like weather and Building Management Systems.
With Numen it is possible to see energy usage at the building level, or drill right down for detailed data and insights into the operation of each and every business device in real-time, anywhere in the world. Numen’s detailed energy data highlights inefficiencies and helps streamline business to save money and ultimately reduce carbon footprint.
Antony Piccinini has been a part of the utility scale renewable energy industry for the past 17 years. During this time, he has helped develop multiple wind, wind /diesel, solar and bioenergy projects, operating across WA, interstate and overseas markets.
Antony is the CEO of Renergi (www.renergi.net), a WA based bioenergy technology company, which is developing a suite of technologies spun out of Curtin University. These technologies encompass biomass pyrolysis, gasification and refining. Antony outlined how these technologies resolve the current impediments to utilising our significant biomass resources for utility scale power generation to help deliver a sustainable future more broadly.
Senec Australia’s MD, Ian Parkinson, has a long-term vision that sees households, businesses and whole communities empowered to take back energy control from the corporate petrochem companies. Ian is determined to make Senec a key part of the energy market in Australia and New Zealand.
In his presentation, Ian said that most homes won’t be able to get completely off the grid mostly due to our excessively high consumption of power. A 10kw battery system is around $16,500 installed and prices are unlikely to come down any time soon because demand outstrips supply. This is not only because of the demand from the housing industry but extremely high demand from the world-wide auto industry. An example is that Norway will soon be a 100% electric vehicle country.
Ian also brought an actual battery for us to view. Even though the price is currently high, demand is strong.
SEN is a 100% volunteer-run organisation. Thanks to a grant from Volunteering WA (and Lotterywest) we celebrated National Volunteer Week with a special party with lots of nice food and a presentation of gift baskets to volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty working with Politicians to provide information about Renewable Energy Policy, advancing the technical capabilities (through SIREN – see modelling_overview), and general assistance progressing the adoption of renewable energy in WA.
The various Team Leaders gave an update of the extensive work they have been doing and expect to do during the coming year.
Our speaker, Professor Bill Grace, generated quite a bit of excitement and discussion around the implications of the growth of rooftop solar and storage. Bill offered several scenarios based on very low technology costs resulting in a high uptake of ‘behind the meter’ household and commercial solar PV and battery storage. Under these assumptions, utility-scale renewables might play a less important role as we transition to 100% renewables. Bill presented scenarios for a 100% renewable transition by 2030, 2040 and 2050. The 2030 scenario shows a relatively quick transition from fossil fuel generation with a mix of domestic and utility-scale renewables. However, in the models presented, private solar generation and storage would eclipse large scale renewables by 2050 because of their rapidly falling costs. This could impact the economics for investors in utility-scale renewables.
While these scenarios paint a different picture to SEN’s own modelling, the similarities highlight the need for Government to provide leadership in the transition to renewables. Government intervention is needed to ensure an optimal mix of technologies on the grid, and plan appropriately for grid security and reliability. To see Professor Bill Grace’s presentation click here.
Our December 2016 SEN Presents was a call to WA Politicians that WA can “Cut emissions by half by end of term of Government”. Our experts, Angus King and Ben Rose, showed that 85% reduction in emissions is feasible by 2030 and how the SWIS can close all coal and replace it with wind and solar PV with no increase in cost of electricity!
Click here to see the presentation
Zero Carbon Australia Renewable Energy Superpower Report – Thursday 27 October at UWA
We were pleased to present something different this month!
The topic was Zero Carbon Australia Renewable Energy Superpower Report and it is the Perth Launch by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).
SEN AGM and Presentation by Professor Ray Wills was held on Monday 12 September 2016
Professor Ray Wills gave us an amazing preview into the adoption of smarter technologies – including cleantech, automation, robotics and 3D printing – in homes, businesses and industry in every city, and connected through social media and smart devices including wearables, is changing the world and the way we interact with family, friends and customers, and much faster than (almost) anyone imagined.
He showed us how quickly will we respond, and change how we live and work in the cities we live in and what this means for future business growth and rapidly changing community expectations. Our renewed, smart cities will be looking amazing by 2040! We hope to have a link to his presentation soon. To see Professor Wills’presentation: click here
Our August 1st SEN Presents revisited large scale solar.
Daniel Thompson, Director of Development, Australia, SolarReserve, gave us an excellent presentation on the latest in concentrating solar power (CSP), its present deployment and future prospects.
He discussed: About SolarReserve, a leading global developer of utility-scale solar power projects; CSP technology; The operating CSP facility at Crescent Dunes, Tonopah, Nevada, USA; The Aurora project – a SolarReserve proposal for CSP at Port Augusta, South Australia; International developments and the progression down the cost curve.
You can read the edited presentation on CSP here. It has great explanations, diagrams and photos.
SEN Presents June 2016 – The Potential of Tidal Power in the Kimberley
Our June 20th SEN Presents explored a largely forgotten resource in Australia, tidal power. The tides of the Kimberley, together with HVDC transmission lines, could potentially supply all of Australia’s electricity needs.
Ivan Quail, SEN Committee member, presented the findings of his study on possibilities of harnessing tidal power from the Kimberley. His study was based on a 1962 report by John Lewis, now in his nineties and present as a special guest at this meeting, which explored in detail the prospects for harnessing tidal energy along the Kimberley coastline. However, this report and subsequent submissions to government on the topic have essentially been ignored so far. Ivan showed that there were bays and inlets all along the Kimberley coast where tidal differences could be up to 14 m. Thus there would be plenty of scope for installing tidal fences or barrages to effectively capture tidal energy. New HVDC transmission line technology could effectively transfer this electricity across the entire country. Costs of establishing tidal energy facilities would only involve initial capital costs and limited subsequent maintenance, making it only one third of the cost of nuclear energy, for example. However, detailed planning and costings are yet to be done. Nevertheless, this presentation served as a reminder that a potentially viable renewable energy resource, additional to solar, wind, wave and geothermal, is available in WA and awaiting detailed official consideration.
Also, after Ivan’s presentation, Eamonn Darcy of Sun Brilliance Group gave an update on the recently held 3rd International Workshop on NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring = electricity disaggregation = energy efficiency through appliance specific feedback). He explained the latest developments in software permitting monitoring of changes in the voltage and current going into a facility, without attaching meters to individual appliances, and deducing what appliances are used in the facility as well as their individual energy consumption. This simplifies fault detection and therefore permits timely fault remediation. This is a rapidly evolving field with good prospects for increasing energy use efficiency, in both industry and households.
This SEN Presents on 2nd May attracted our biggest audience ever, of about 125, due to widespread public interest in this rapidly emerging technology. Rooftop solar PV is in the process of disrupting traditional centralised electricity distribution systems and addition of battery storage systems threatens further such disruption.
Our first speaker, Masoud Abshar of Magellan Power, provided background on battery storage, for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. His company has been supplying high reliability DC and AC power systems and associated equipment to industry since 1992, including energy storage devices. More recently, they have moved into residential energy storage systems. However, he pointed out that we are only at the base of a potential adoption curve for home energy storage, as there are several factors that would determine the extent of adoption, such as costs and future policies affecting the existing grid. He also pointed out that development of appropriate software to manage efficient use of an energy storage system was crucial.
Then, Craig Donohue of Clean NRG, gave practical insight into the logistics and economics of installing battery systems at residential and commercial level. He stated that simply replacing a grid connection with energy storage was at present not economic, although of course new energy storage options are a boon for those off-grid. He emphasized the need to fully understand the customer’s needs and expectations before recommending a particular energy storage system. He then described the procedure for installing fit-for-purpose energy storage systems.
A panel of speakers discussed community-based approaches to Promoting Suburban Solar, followed by questions and comments from the audience of more than 70.
Finally, Claire Spencer, who proposed and organized this presentation, encouraged the audience to approach their local councils to institute new build solar and generally promote greater use of renewable energy in their jurisdictions.
SEN Presents 2 March 2016: Beta Launch of SIREN Toolkit
Angus King, Ben Rose and Steve Gates presented the modelling procedure for evaluation of renewable energy options for WA’s SWIS electricity grid to a specifically invited audience of specialists and others with likely direct interests. The SIREN model permits quantification of wind and solar resources for any location using freely available global databases. This information is fed into an Excel-based Powerbalance sheet which can evaluate renewable and non-renewable options for electricity generation feeding into a grid. Options can be costed and relative carbon emissions calculated. For SWIS, a system using 85% renewable energy (a combination of wind, solar PV, ‘behind the meter’ batteries and open cycle gas turbines) would produce electricity slightly cheaper than using the current non-sustainable coal and gas resources.
After presentations a workshop allowing participants to themselves explore the toolkit was held and feedback to improve the procedure solicited. After incorporation of suggested improvements a public release of the SIREN Toolkit will be held later this year.
A well attended seminar.
Our first SEN Presents for 2016 seemed a bit unusual but this interesting topic complimented SEN’s new modelling programme SIREN (Beta Launch on 2 March). While SIREN provides costed technical options for promoting renewables, our Key Speaker, Greg Morrison, talked knowledgeably about social organization methods of transition to sustainable societies facing climate challenges, which incorporates transition to renewable energy.
In addition, SEN’s Vice Chair Samuel Begg gave a preview of SENs plans and strategies for the year. An exciting time for renewable energy, the SEN Technical Team continues to grow it’s reputation as an independent research organisation. Samuel expounded the aims of our teams and the key discussion points, outlining their part in SEN’s greater goals.
New Wave Power. At our October presentation Shawn Ryan co-inventor and Executive Director of Bombora Wave Power, described an interesting and novel invention that uses a bank of flexible cells or bags to turn differential wave pressures into large air flows. The air flow is pushed through an air turbine which converts the energy into electrical power. This all occurs close to shore on the seabed. Shawn, also described the next stage of development as a small scale prototype (~ 1.5 MW). It is being developed locally in Perth and has global potential and global interest.
SIREN model: Angus King gave us an introduction to the powerful SEN developed tool. SIREN is a modelling tool or simulator that can forecast the effectiveness, cost, production shortfalls or excess relative to grid demand, and applicability of renewable energy scenarios within the grid. It provides outputs at the hourly intervals or averages over longer time periods for up to one year at a time. It has a great potential to test the ‘fit’ of renewable farms; answer the concerns of fluctuating generation; and provides a credible basis by which to lobby for scenarios like 100% RE by 2030. The tool’s outputs have been verified to correlate well with 2014 generation data. Further refinements and validation are in progress from Angus and the Tech Team with a probable public release in the coming months. Something to follow or get involved in.
A new committee has been elected – enabling a bright and exciting future for SEN. Welcome and support our new committee.
Rod Mitchell, National Coordinator, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Australia), described the CCL approach to reversing global warming, and its call for a revenue-neutral carbon price – specifically a Fee and Dividend that returns all of the revenue levied on the Carbon content of fossil fuels to households. CCL develops a relationship with whoever is in power.
Ecocentric Energy is a technology innovator in the energy sector operating in WA. In conjunction with their business partners CSIRO and IBM, they have developed the NRGi energy analytical tool that can seamlessly, in real-time, assess the energy efficiency of every electrical device down to a circuit level. This saves money and emissions.
Our ECO MAY SEN Presents showcased how waste food and liquid waste can be diverted from landfill to make clean, renewable energy.
Founded in 1916, Richgro is a family-run WA-based national business that manufactures premium garden products. It is currently run by 3rd generation Geoff Richards. Geoff will talk about how the company became involved with waste-to-energy and is now poised to divert a variety of food waste from local supermarkets and liquid waste from breweries, soft-drink and milk companies.
Biogass Renewables was commissioned to work in partnership with Richgro for the design, commission and delivery of the food waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion. Joseph Oliver is the Engineer in charge and he will talk about the technical aspects of the system, which is capable of diverting 35,000 – 50,000 tonnes/annum of food waste for heat and power generation to the grid and to off-set Richgro’s power demand.
Here are the presentations graciously lent to our readers for perusal:
Can electrical vehicles save the existing electricity grid from obsolescence / death spiral?
As electric vehicle sales continue to increase, how will our south-west grid cope with the increased demand? At our March SEN Presents, experts in the field will discuss how high electric vehicle uptake could actually be a real asset for our grid.
Professor Bill Grace is Adjunct Professor from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, UWA. He will present the findings of his report “Solar strategy needed to avoid electricity death spiral”.
Dr Christopher Jones is Vice President of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. Chris will share what is happening with electrical vehicles in WA and present the latest information from high uptake countries like Norway and Pacific North America. He will also discuss how electric vehicles affect the local grid.
And a presentation about the exciting RAC electric recharge stations coming to the South West.
Here are the presentations graciously lent to our readers …
Your best New Year REsolution yet…..
….is being a clean energy champion in 2015!
The world is changing, and 2015 could be our year! The largest of the polluting countries (China, USA) are finally starting to take climate change seriously; a positive new direction, given later this year the globe’s leaders will gather in Paris to hopefully agree to a serious emissions reduction drive.
In Australia, a big change to the RET is in the wind (boom boom) and it is now or never for the fight for renewables. Fracking, coal and uranium are all starting to unravel overseas and it is time to finish those industries for good and get sustainable energy now!
Our first SEN Presents for 2015 takes a look into what other “clean energy champions” are doing and how our partnerships will wage war on dirty industries in this critical year.
No Fracking WAy
CCWA Coal Campaign
CCWA Uranium-Free Campaign
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Is biomass for jet fuel the future of air travel? Find out how the industry is going and what could stand in the way of success.
Kevin Goss (Kevin Goss Consulting) and John McGrath (representing Future Farm Industries CRC) will talk about the directions of aviation biofuel. They will look at the specifics of the wood production and conversion supply chain.
Costa Tsesmelis has been working on a WA Biomass-to-Liquids project. He will talk about this project and maximising Bio-Jet Aviation Kerosene from Mallee Woodchips. This project is a Fischer Tropsch process rather than the Pyrolysis route being developed by the Airbus consortium.
The Western Australian community’s uptake of rooftop solar PV has been a great success story in many ways, going from a fringe technology to over 350MW of capacity in just a few short years. But are more perils than certainty ahead for the industry and its hundreds of thousands of additional potential customers? Or has this and related technology now developed so much momentum that it will “power on” despite softening support by some political parties?
SEN is delighted to present two accomplished and substantial experts in the power industry:
Ken Brown FIE Aust , CPEng has over 40 years’ experience in the power industry, including over 20 years as the General Manager System Management at Western Power, where he had responsibility for managing and operating the South West Interconnected System. Only recently retired from Western Power, Ken will give an overview of the issues with respect to the increasing uptake of renewables and how they may affect the operation of power systems. In 2010, Engineers Australia awarded him the National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year.
Mike Laughton-Smith PSM has almost 30 years in the electricity utility industry, much of it in the service of mining and remote communities in WA. He worked in regional power delivery for the public service firstly with Western Power, and later with Horizon Power. At Horizon his work included delivery of world-first solar hybrid power stations at Marble Bar and Nullagine. He will talk about the challenges and opportunities for WA electricity network development to support the inevitable shift to renewable energy. He is currently the CEO of Balance Energy Solutions and the Chair of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia. In 2011 he was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in recognition of his work supplying reliable electricity to remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
We will also have an “action” related to solar power on the night, so come along and be a part of a movement of people who are demanding sustainable energy now!
Hear from experts in the field of renewable energy and climate change policy as they analyse the challenges and opportunities arising from the results of the recent Senate by-election. How can we best influence federal policy and what is your role?
De-bunking climate myths: Jemma Green from Curtin University. Jemma is a Research Fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. She is responsible for industry research relating to infrastructure, energy, carbon, sustainability and climate related business risks. Jemma will de-bunk some common climate myths!
De-bunking health myths: Dr George Crisp is a General Practitioner who has a deep interest in the environment and its relationship to human health. As Chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia’s WA chapter, he is also the founder of the GreenPractice campaign to inspire Doctors and their patients to live and work sustainably in an effort to save the planet. Dr Crisp will outline the close links between energy generation and human health, and along the way de-bunk some common health-related myths surrounding renewable energy.
De-bunking renewable energy myths: Professor Ray Wills has substantial expertise in ecology, sustainability, climate change science and the effects of expected future climates on Australia. He is recognised as an authoritative and respected commentator on sustainability, and especially in relation to energy. Ray will de-bunk some common renewable energy myths. Please spread this invitation out widely to all your friends and colleagues.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the country on which we work and live and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
We recognise that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land because sovereignty has never been ceded.