Aug 17, 2020

AUS$2.17mn given to Alice Springs renewable energy project

Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy
Alice Springs Future Grid
Renewable Energy
Energy
Jonathan Campion
1 min
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided funding for the Alice Springs Future Grid project, to use more renewable energy in the city’s grid
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided funding for the Alice Springs Future Grid project, to help add more renewable energy to the city’s...

This AUS$2.17mn (£1.19mn), two-year project will be funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It will research ways to break down the existing technical, regulatory and economic challenges to connecting more sources of renewable energy to the city’s electricity network.

The project will be led by the Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy, which is part of the solar energy research centre Desert Knowledge Australia. It is being supported by the government of the Northern Territory.

One of the principle tasks of the Alice Springs Future Grid project will be to draw up a roadmap for how 50% of electricity in the Alice Springs grid could be supplied from renewable sources by 2030. The current figure is about 10%.

Tristan Simons, the general manager of the Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy, commented on the potential for the newly-funded project: “Alice Springs Future Grid takes a unique approach to a multi-faceted challenge, in a rapidly-changing environment.

“Alice Springs is ‘small enough to manage but big enough to matter’ and we are confident the project will not only help secure a clean and reliable energy future for the town, but the knowledge generated will have a positive flow-on effect, well beyond the other isolated electricity networks in the Northern Territory.”

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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