Most of us know by now that we need to decarbonise the global economy – fast – if we are to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Fortunately, the technology to do just that is booming, charging ahead so quickly that merely keeping up with the news is difficult.
Solar and wind power are demonstrating astonishing growth rates, with or without government incentives, now that their costs have dropped below the costs of new coal and (in many cases) gas; some time last year we even began hearing of cases in which it was cheaper to build and run new wind and solar power plants than just to run old coal plants.
Last year, for most of us, was the Year of the Battery. Tesla’s big South Australian battery did something its many little Powerwalls couldn’t, i.e., make battery storage seem like a serious option for the real world rather than just a cool idea. Bloomberg’s 2018 outlook report sees this continuing and allowing electric vehicles to undercut conventional, internal combustion engine cars on both lifetime and upfront cost by the mid-to-late 2020s.
The Green Path facebook page does its best to keep up with all this news but anyone wanting it all, and unfiltered, should bookmark or follow these sites:
Launched in 2012, RenewEconomy.com.au is an Australian website focusing on clean energy news and analysis, as well as climate policy. It is an independent website founded by Giles Parkinson, a journalist of 30 years experience and a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Australian Financial Review. RenewEconomy also has a popular daily newsletter (subscribe via the form on the website).
One Step Off The Grid
Cleantechnica claims to be “the world’s #1 source for cleantech news and analysis” and have “3.5 million monthly global readers,” both of which may well be true. Their focus is solar power, clean transport, wind power, energy efficiency and energy storage, and they also cover geothermal, hydropower, nuclear power, climate change, etc.
Founded in 1999, Grist calls itself an “independent, irreverent news outlet and network of innovators working toward a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck,” and goes on to say that “Climate, sustainability, and social justice are the most important stories on the … well, on the planet right now. The stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future.” That should give you a fair idea of their style. Their topics include clean energy, sustainable food, liveable cities and environmental justice but they do spend more time on American politics than Aussies might like.
Other websites cover renewables and electric vehicles, of course, but usually less consistently or less intelligently than these four. Bloomberg New Energy Finance and two leftish economic think-tanks deserve to be mentioned, however.
IEEFA focuses on energy economics and its mission is “to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy,” so it enthusiastically covers the demise of fossil fuels as well as the emergence of renewables.
The Australia Institute has a broader base, looking at social problems as well as renewable energy. Following our link to their front page will give you a good idea of their range.
Green Path will still try to keep up with the news, naturally, and share the most important stories, but we have a really heartwarming problem: there is just too much good news.
That’s not to say that the battle against fossil fuels has been won, of course – we do need to keep fighting, especially against Adani’s Galilee Basin project – but in the last year or so the momentum has swung decisively towards sustainability.
And that’s good news.