Australia unveils new Smart Energy Council
Australia’s Smart Energy Council has been launched, a body which will push the agenda for cleaner, smarter energy solutions nationwide.
It combines the expertise of the Australian Solar Council and the Energy Storage Council into one streamlined association, describing itself as the new national voice for Australia’s smart energy future.
Chief Executive John Grimes said: “Australia will inevitably be powered by Smart Energy. We represent the most innovative renewable energy leaders in the field. We are transforming to better reflect our members and Australia’s energy future.
“We have been enormously successful in the past, and will continue to work with our members to support Australia’s Smart Energy transition. Australia has the world’s best solar scientists, the world’s highest uptake of household solar, and is a world leader in energy storage.”
- Australian government gives $8.25mn to blockchain energy project
- Shell sells stake in Woodside Petroleum
- Read the latest Energy Digital magazine
While this may be a new organisation, its origins trace back to 1954 with the formation of the Australian Solar Council, with the Energy Storage Council being founded in 2014. Members of both bodies will see their memberships transition into the new association.
Grimes says that consumers are ready to join them in pressing for a renewable future. He added: “Almost 4mn Australian homes have solar on their rooftops. Over 6,000MW of solar photovoltaics have been installed, and this number continues to grow. That’s because Australians know solar works. Solar saves money. Solar is the cheapest way to generate new electricity, bar none.
“Australians want cheap, reliable, clean energy because they know it’s the smart choice. They want tailored solutions that match supply and demand in the most efficient and cleanest way. They want control of their energy. They want to produce and store their own energy. They want smart energy management systems that do the work for them.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
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.