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This article was originally posted at Climate Progress. View the original article here

The government of Queensland, Australia is just beginning to implement a new energy policythat changes the way businesses are charged for electricity, a policy that the solar industry says is designed to make sure businesses have no reason to install commercial-scale rooftop solar panels.

According to a report in RenewEconomy, the policy reduces the price of actual energy consumption for businesses, but increases the price for energy service in general. That “service fee” has made it so businesses that were originally charged $42 dollars a day are now being charged $488 a day. With the area’s Goods and Services Tax, that amounts to a charge of $533 every day for electricity use. Prices on energy consumption have fallen to 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour from 11.6 center per kilowatt hour, the report said.

This…

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Shadow energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio (Labor) addresses the packed Portland Forum. Shadow energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio (Labor) addresses the packed Portland Forum.

Victoria has got what it takes to grow and maintain a thriving renewable energy jobs sector, but government policy roadblocks are standing in its way, a packed forum of locals heard in Portland on Sunday.

Former Australian Liberal party leader, Dr John Hewson, kicked off the Renewable Energy & Jobs Forum. Dr Hewson said governments need to do much more than we’re doing today to address climate change. “There are enormous opportunities from a sensible response to climate change,” Dr Hewson stated, referring to the jobs that can be created by the growing renewable energy sector.

John Hewson Former Australian Liberal leader, Dr John Hewson thinks a Victorian Renewable Energy Target is a good idea.

Speakers from Portland-based businesses that employ hundreds of locals told the packed audience that renewable energy is a key pillar of south west Victoria’s regional economy. 

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I have to confess, until I saw Rod Quantock speak at a Western Vic Greens fundraiser last week, I had no idea right-wing “think tank” the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) had written a 100-point plan of their vision for Australian policy. Repealing the carbon tax is number on the list – tick.

I found a great article on Crikey.com where each point has been analysed to see what has been adopted and what might be adopted. It’s scary stuff.

What the IPA will get from Abbott

What the IPA will get from Abbott (part 2)

 

I cannot begin to say how impressed I am with this piece. The writer really takes a long, hard look at the way we live, in the society we are allocated. The writer is C Shaw – he deserves such credit for raising such an important issue. Thanks Ross Lark for sharing this with me.

Depression is not a Disease but an Indication that Human Consciousness needs to Change.

Just got sent this great story on community owned energy. This is terrific news for the sector. Thanks to Trent Hawkins, a senior energy consultant at Enhar, for sharing.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-06/nr-energy/5652356

Well, it took a long time to get to this point but I’ve finally finished – and submitted the report from my research trip. It’s pretty long, but it’s terribly juicy and the appendices are all lovely news stories. Please share – it’s really important this information finds its way into the hands of law-makers.

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts, positive or negative.

Eve Fisher MAV fellowship report

GREAT report. Such fantastic information.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PM Click here for the report.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have released a new report detailing the economic and environmental costs of Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws to Victoria.

The analysis shows that anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu has hit the wind energy sector hard, costing jobs and investment opportunities for regional Victoria.

The findings of the report – The Biggest Losers

  1. Jobs and regional economies – an estimated loss of 490 construction and 64 ongoing jobs (for the life of the wind farm), as well as the numerous flow-on effects lost to these vacancies (an estimated $10.5m worth of economic activity to rural economies).
    Projects worth over $864million in the past three years alone have either been lost or scrapped due to these laws.
  2. Climate change action – 438MW of wind energy generation capacity scrapped or stalled thanks to the TB laws, designating a loss…

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Thanks to Mik Aidt and Tony Gleeson for having me on their show – The Sustainable Hour on 94.7FM The Pulse. It was great to be invited.

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http://climatesafety.info/?p=6269

Samso wind farm, Denmark. Photo: Eve Fisher

Samso wind farm, Denmark.
Photo: Eve Fisher

Harvard researchers have revealed they have created an organic battery that could reduce the cost of storing solar and wind energy from around $700 per kilowatt hour to $27. The researchers themselves have been quoted as saying this could be the clean energy “game-changer”.

Here are a few links that have appeared in the past few days.

http://bit.ly/19Yyw6g

http://bit.ly/1dEPm5r

http://bbc.in/1d6i0jt

Naturally at the start of a new year every man and his dog takes the opportunity to reflect on what was, is and could have been. It’s great to take stock; great to reflect on the journey and hopefully look upon the experience with gratitude. 2013 afforded me the opportunity to explore far-flung places and learn about an avenue of environmental protectionism that has been revealing itself as my passion. Renewable energy is the “easiest” way we can combat the effects of climate change, save money, make money and live a sustainable existence. I read a great quote yesterday – “if you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money”. Nothing speaks more clearly than those few words. Nothing expresses the sheer madness more … the madness of the coal, oil and the epitome of hell, the nuclear industry.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a tendency to hold the human race in contempt. The bleakness that prevails as I watch Earth’s billions coat the land in the concrete and fill the sky with poison is relieved only by the realisation that while the world is indeed populated by the ignorant  – who don’t care – and the marginalised – who haven’t the energy nor resources to care – it is also filled with those shining lights who know the power of change lies in their hands. It takes just 10 per cent of the population to create a revolution, to build the momentum that institutes change.

In my world, 2014 will be a defining year. After meeting such an impressive array of environmentalists during my journey for the past two months, I know I enter the new year armed with the buds of knowledge those people are keen to pass on. Hour-long interviews with 27 people have not only filled my notebook and sound recorder, but have filled my mind with hope. I’m still to tackle Denmark, the most environmentally sound country on the planet and, according to a poll published just last week, the happiest nation for 2013!

By no means do I think I have even remotely scratched the surface of what I need to know. I have merely started my campaign to collect ideas that can be implemented and adapted within communities. I’m collecting ideas, so everyday people who want to institute change can look at what is out there and have something to work with. Germany has around 800 community organisations devoted to bringing clean energy to their homes. Australia has just a handful of organisations attempting to make the switch to local, clean energy and, to my knowledge, Hepburn Wind in Victoria is the only co-op actually producing energy anywhere in Australia. Just before new year I traversed a large swathe of Germany by train and I passed a town where wind turbines were located quite near houses. Perhaps some hate it but you know what, I bet most love it. And I bet you those turbines were community owned.

I’ve made a pledge to a few people that I’m really going to focus on the positive work being done by our environmental warriors. It’s too tiring and demoralising to constantly focus on the power the coal and oil industries have over our politicians and, in turn, the voters. If people are so foolish that they actually think it makes economic sense to ignore the signals of doom, then so be it. When people like the oil tycoon Koch brothers in Texas can force the withdrawal of a nominee for the role of chief US energy regulator because he is biased towards clean energy, then there is little to be done but continue to spread the message of people power and hopefully, one day, that message will get through. If we want to stop oil and coal being our dominant fossil fuel, then we need to stem the flow of demand.