There’s a severe storm. Power lines are down and the lights go out. The ground floor is flooded. What do you need most? A reliable, rechargeable torch and something to charge your phone. We’ve got you covered. It’s the POWERPlus Salamander, a bright LED flashlight and emergency powerbank all in one solar-charged package:
In June 2016 I reported on the launch of the Solastor 24-hour solar-on-demand project that was planned for Port Augusta in South Australia. At the time of the launch the plan was to have a pilot plant in operation by the end of the year. In November 2016 Solastor advised that they were likely to go ahead with the main project rather than doing the pilot first.
Today I checked in with Steve Hollis, CEO of Solastor, for an update on progress.
Brian: Your Port Augusta plans outlined in your June 2016 launch were for 1,700 collector tower modules which were expected to generate 110MW in winter and 170MW in summer. Is that still the plan?
Steve: The proposal is now to stage the project starting with a 100MW power station with 800 modules. This would do just under 50MW for 24 hours in winter and over 70MW in summer. More importantly, it will do 100MW for shorter times per day (peak hours) which is when the need is greatest.
This configuration could (would) be “cut and pasted” 5 times to give 500MW and completely replace the old to power station. Continue reading
The federal government has announced a A$2 billion plan to expand the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme. It will carry out a feasibility study into the idea of adding “pumped hydro” storage capacity, which it says could power up to 500,000 homes.
Hydro is one of the oldest and most mature electricity generation technologies. And pumped hydro storage – in which water is pumped uphill for later use, rather than simply flowing downriver through a hydro power station – is the dominant form of energy storage globally.
But there are limitations to how much freshwater hydro can be accessed, so it’s worth looking at what alternate approaches are available. One promising prospect is to use seawater instead of rivers. This tactic could potentially help South Australia resolve its highly publicised energy problems. Continue reading
Yes, your undies are a very private thing. Comfort and style are immensely important, and no doubt you’ll have a strong personal preference. But we do need to talk about undies.
Do you know what nasties are riding along with your favourite undies?
Residual chemicals in clothing
It’s a significant issue in clothing, particularly for people with sensitive skin, and especially in underwear that hugs our skin so closely. So much so that Choice recommends:
wash any new clothes twice before wearing, although washing won’t remove certain types of chemicals
Today I had a chat with Sir Tim Smit, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of the Eden Project, ahead of his forthcoming presentation for the Planet Talks at WOMADelaide 2017.
In the prologue to his book, Eden, two sentences stand out, and they sum up the spirit of our chat: “Neither do I make any apology for being optimistic about the future. I am.”
In a speech to the National Press Club, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared that the key requirements for Australia’s electricity system are that it should be affordable, reliable, and able to help meet national emissions-reduction targets. He also stressed that efforts to pursue these goals should be “technology agnostic” – that is, the best solutions should be chosen on merit, regardless of whether they are based on fossil fuels, renewable energy or other technologies.
As it happens, modern wind, solar photovoltaics (PV) and off-river pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) can meet these requirements without heroic assumptions, at a cost that is competitive with fossil fuel power stations.
I want to share with you a few of the reasons we’re so enthusiastic about our Fair Trade partnerships, and why we’re eager to have your ongoing support. Continue reading
On 7th June 2016 another important step was taken towards decarbonising the South Australian economy. Solastor Australia announced detailed plans to build a solar thermal power station at Port Augusta.
I’m aboard QF11 from Australia to JFK Airport New York via Los Angeles.
For the past few weeks I have worked with a tireless and committed group of people to gather high level faith signatures for an Interfaith Climate Change Statement.
Thankfully, amazingly, over 250 senior faith leaders across the world have added their names to this combined call for urgent action on climate change. I’m flying to New York for 50 hours on the ground to witness the formal handover of this joint statement to the current President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Fed up of folks Instagramming their dinners?
A new app from Melbourne-based climate action group Less Meat Less Heat will have you craning your neck to see what’s on other people’s plates.
Used to having control at the swipe of a touchscreen, millenials are turning to their devices for everything from financial management to weight loss to language learning. Now there’s an app for monitoring the carbon footprint of our food choices.
The aptly named Climatarian Challenge app is scheduled for launch on 1st July, and will be free to download, thanks to a bold crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of production.