Accelerating Climate Action by Australian States


Amongst the G20 countries, Australia’s emission reduction target – a reduction of 26-28% on a 2005 baseline – is unusually weak, nowhere near what is required for us to play our fair share in meeting 2°C Paris target.

The IPCC uses a synthesis of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers to assess the degree of risk at increasing levels of global average temperature.

› There is a significant difference in the degree of risk between the 1.5°C and 2.0°C Paris targets, with higher risks of damage to natural ecosystems and more intense and/or frequent extreme weather events for the 2.0°C target.
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Problems solved with battery storage

One of the biggest problems with the efforts to use renewable energy to produce large amounts of the energy consumed on a daily basis has been its inability to reliably supply power at the times it is most needed. This can and will be addressed with the installation of battery systems that allow households, businesses and energy network providers to store renewable energy for use at night or in peak periods.

Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity during the day with maximum generation being between the hours of 11 to 3pm. Unfortunately, for most people unless you are home during the day 80% of this power gets fed back into the grid for very little return. Likewise, although energy generation through wind is now very efficient and cost effective the times when wind produces energy can be intermittent.

Batteries also reduce the amount of electricity that is exported to the grid from rooftop solar during the middle of the day. This has the capacity to significantly reduce variability and stabilise grid supply. Continue reading “Problems solved with battery storage”

Molten salt energy storage for South Australia

South Australia approves 150 MW concentrated solar thermal plant

Although , using molten salt,  this is a different technological process to our SoNick, sodium nickel chloride batteries but adds credence to the benefits of using molten salt as a storage medium for batteries. Unlike the lithium batteries that are so popular at the moment molten salt batteries are non-toxic, cannot catch fire and go into thermal runaway and are recyclable at end of life with current processes not hopefully at some time in the future.
South Australia approves 150MW concentrated solar thermal plant

South Australia has made a commitment to concentrated solar thermal, the towering clean energy storage solution seen by many as a serious contender for utility-scale moderator as intermittent sources of energy replace coal and gas generation.

The Aurora Solar Energy Project located in Port Augusta, about 300km north of Adelaide, will incorporate eight hours of storage or 1,100 MWh, allowing it to operate like a conventional coal or gas power station. Continue reading “Molten salt energy storage for South Australia”

Tindo Bus summary

The Tindo buses in Adelaide were the first solar powered all-electric buses in the world and the first prototype was commissioned by the Adelaide council in 2008. The Tindo buses first commenced operation on 11/2/2008 and had operated for 60,000 km by 2010. (Tindo is the Kaurna Aboriginal name for sun)

The first prototype bus was so successful that a further 2 all electric buses were commissioned in 2010. Both the buses and the FIAMM SoNick batteries have exceeded all expectations of performance.

Overall, when compared to other electric buses now in operation the Tindo bus has one of the most demanding schedules in the world.

One of the reasons the SoNick battery technology was chosen was due to its safety. The SoNick battery is non-combustible so there are no safety issues with possible explosion or fire on impact in the case of a bus crash as there can be with lithium ion batteries. Another consideration was that the batteries are fully recyclable and the cost of recycling is included in the battery price. The SoNick batteries are virtually maintenance free, very lightweight and operate efficiently, no matter what the ambient temperature is and have a longer expected life cycle than other battery technologies. Continue reading “Tindo Bus summary”

Comparing battery technologies

Until recently lead acid batteries have been the major player in the energy storage industry, particularly for off grid installations but they have serious limitations in terms of requiring customer maintenance and of course they are made from toxic materials.

Recently, Tesla’s lithium ion batteries have received a lot of attention due to their advertised low price and excellent marketing, however the lithium ion batteries are now receiving attention due to their fire risk on the release of embodied energy. Lithium ion batteries have a smaller operating range than most other batteries and won’t operate efficiently above 35 – 40°C. Also, lithium is a toxic material and is in limited supply and at this stage can’t be recycled effectively.

There are some new technologies coming onto the market, such as Redflow’s zinc bromide, Aquion’s sodium ion salt water batteries, improved lead acid and many variations of lithium battery. These each have advantages and disadvantages, both in terms of performance and size.
Depth of Discharge (DOD)

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