- A total of at least 1GW of large-scale solar could be added to existing Australian wind farms, boosting renewable energy development, generation, and and smoothing its delivery to the grid, according to a new report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency investigation the benefits of solar and wind “co-location.”
- The report estimated total cost savings of co-location to be between 3-13 per cent for capital expenditure and 3-16 per cent on operational expenses. On top of this, there was significant potential for a boost to revenues, with more energy being produced at a more consistent rate.
The study looked at 10 existing wind farms and found the best opportunities for adding solar to existing wind were in SA and WA. Here’s a map of wind farm locations against solar potential:
Greeenfield opportunities are also best in SA and WA as well as parts of Queensland and small parts of New South Wales. The 1,200MW Kennedy wind and solar project proposed for north Queensland would be the biggest hybrid of all.
There is also a “firming” effect on intermittency with co-location.
I don’t think I’ve posted this one, but prefab solar could reduce costs fro big solar. For small solar it has the added advantage that you can pack it up and take it with you when you move.
A recent poll found 47% of people agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change and renewable energy will influence the way I vote at this year’s federal election”. Only 22% disagreed with the statement.
- Similarly, 44% of respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed that measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef would influence their vote – again, more than double the 20% who disagreed.
In all, 65% said they were quite worried, very worried or extremely worried about the impact the Carmichael mine would have on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Only 15% said they were not worried at all and 20% were not aware of the plans.
- The survey also asked respondents what they thought of the statement: “The federal government was right to cut jobs, including those of climate scientists at the CSIRO.” A total of 49% disagreed or strongly disagreed, with only 20% agreeing or strongly agreeing.
3. The world’s lakes are drying
The New Scientist says many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever.
The reasons are mainly water extraction, silting and climate change. The water in lakes is warming faster than the surrounding air. Rain patterns are being disturbed. The eastern Mediterranean has just gone through its worst drought in 900 years, for example. In northern Alaska over the last 60 years the surface area of ponds has diminished by nearly a third, and nearly a fifth of the ponds have vanished.
In a few areas, such as the Tibetan Plateau, new ponds are forming and lakes are growing, presumably again because of climate change.
We are losing more than water. Ecologies are changing and fisheries are failing.
4. Hotter, wetter, drier
World Meteorological Day is each year on the date on March 23 to mark the day in 1950 when the treaty creating the World Meteorological Organization came into force.
- Human-produced climate change is already hiking the odds of the three weather trends highlighted by the WMO. Heat extremes are on the rise both nationally (see photos below) and globally. In many parts of the world, the heaviest precipitation events (such as the top 1% of one-day totals) are becoming even heavier. And when drought strikes, the impact is exacerbated by a warmer atmosphere, which allows more moisture to escape from parched soils and drying lakes; in turn, the ever-drier ground allows temperatures to soar even further. This year’s World Meteorological Day theme reminds us, as does a recent report from the National Academies, that the climate of our future is related to the weather events that we deal with every day.
Here’s a figure showing the percentage of warm days (exceeding the 90th percentile of the reference period, 1981–2010) relative to
average during European summer 2015:
5. Climate Reality Project
I’ve added a link to the Selected Climate Sites page (see LHS side-bar).
Woodward is a member of the Labor Party and is challenging Tony Abbott in the upcoming election.