Federal Court rejects SA Power Networks’ proposed charge on solar-powered households

WA Home owners and businesses can be assured that a similar fight against the WA proposed solar tax will go to court and face the same result as SA – its great news and win for common sense and doing the right thing. The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by SA Power Networks to charge a tariff on homes with solar panels.

The electricity distributor wanted it to approve a tariff of about $100 a year.

It argued that solar-powered houses have different energy consumption patterns and are effectively subsidised by houses without panels.

SA Power Networks took the matter to court when the Australian Energy Regulator rejected the proposed charge.

The distributor said that it was “disappointed by the appeal decision” and maintained that its application was about “fair and equitable cost-sharing among customers”.

“This was not about additional revenue,” SA Power networks said in a statement

Ford investing $4.5 billion to bring electrification to 40% of its vehicles by 2020 : TreeHugger

Ford investing $4.5 billion to bring electrification to 40% of its vehicles by 2020 : TreeHugger

The Blue Oval is starting to get more serious about cleaner transportation, with a commitment of investing billions to bring 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020.Now, I’m not saying it’s connected or anything (wink, wink), but it’s interesting to see how many companies are making big announcements about their green initiatives right around the same time that the global climate summit is happening in Paris. However, even if there was some strategic timing to the news of calls for more fossil fuel divestment, coal phase-outs, and big corporate renewable energy purchases, there’s no harm done if it’s merely stating the facts. As they say, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”In that vein, Ford announced that it would be investing some $4.5 billion over the next five years toward its goal of building better “electrified vehicle solutions” and bringing electrification to 40% of its vehicle lineup by 2020. Seeing as transportation is a key climate issue, it’s only fitting to learn about Ford’s sharpened focus on EVs as a solution. According to the company, it will be adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, which could offer more options for the potential EV customers who aren’t currently able to drive electric, either because of price or driving range or size.

Source: Ford investing $4.5 billion to bring electrification to 40% of its vehicles by 2020 : TreeHugger

Paris Talks, renewable energy and Norway: An example of the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of climate warming ‘solutions’

Paris Talks, renewable energy and Norway: An example of the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of climate warming ‘solutions’


Saturday December 12th marked the end of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, where the leaders of nearly 200 nations, committing to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions to remedy climate warming, signed up to end of fossil fuel era. In its place are ambitious national plans for solutions including energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. But is renewable energy really a feasible climate change solution? Let’s takes a look at Norway for example.

Norway’s geography is ideal for hydropower and in 1970, the Norwegian government announced its plan to build the Alta River Hydro Power Plant, to increase energy security. This caused the Alta Controversy, a decade long conflict between the indigenous Sami people – a reindeer herding community – and the non-indigenous population, concerning land rights. What had long been considered as worthless and unusable land could potentially become a gold mine for the state and industry, thanks to its natural resources. But the land has vital social, economic, and cultural functions for the Sami community.

Sami have a strong reliance on reindeer and the natural resources needed to herd them as survival in extreme arctic environmental conditions rule out many other forms of livelihood. The reindeer aren’t just substantial as food and income from trade, but they serve important traditional and cultural purposes, with reindeer herding having been carried by Sami for thousands of years. Herding is a way of life.

sami-reindeer-herder-615.jpgThe government of Norway did not include the Sami in the decision-making process for the dam, disregarding local knowledge of the environment and the potential negative impacts. In a way, ethnic discrimination occurred. The conflict lasted more than a decade with protests, hunger strikes, blockades and attempts to blow up the dam by the Sami delaying the construction of the dam for three years. Eventually, a modified version of the dam was built.

Unfortunately, to this day, the dam is having negative impacts on the environment and on the local Sami communities’ livelihoods. Displacement and a loss of land have pushed Sami people into ever more fragmented areas, making reindeer herding more difficult. Socioeconomically, this causes loss of livelihood and traditional knowledge and practices, whilst increasing social problems such as drug use. It is a struggle for the Sami to continuously fight for their rights to land and water.

The hydropower facility and equipment are also having ecological impacts. Potential direct environmental impacts include floods, loss of biodiversity and soil erosion. In fact worldwide, dam building and other factors have caused freshwater ecosystems to lose approximately76% of their populations since 1970. Moreover, while it’s true that the actual production of electricity from hydropower doesn’t release any greenhouse gases, the production of them undoubtedly does.

Whilst affecting the domesticated reindeer owned by Sam
i, wild reindeers are also impacted by the hydropower. The Renewable Reindeer Project has started quantifying the cumulative impact caused by infrastructures on wild reindeers. Hydropower has resulted in a 40% redu
ction in the habitat of reindeers, causing the population to split into 26 detached and mainly non-interchanging sub-populations s the reindeer tend to avoid areas with infrastructure by between 2.5-5km. Research by UNEP indicates that
further hydropower development will put wild reindeer at great risk, as further loss of habitat and fragmentation will leave stretches of land that are too small to viably hold the populations.


Decrease of wilderness areas in Norway from 1900-1998

This is worrying as reindeers are important in efforts tackling global warming. Research by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland indicates that reindeer grazing is an important determinant in counteracting climate warming, as the amount of reindeer grazing determines how much greenhouse gases will be released into the climate, directly effecting temperature rises. Long-term light grazing causes less gas to be released, but long-term over-grazing has no effect and will therefore not be beneficial in combatting global warming. Long-term over-grazing will continuously occur as more land is out of use for domestic and wild reindeer.

It is quite clear that renewable energy will not solve the climate crisis. Restoring biodiversity and natural systems through methods such as reforestation, grassland restoration, regenerative agriculture should really have been the main priority of the 2015 Climate Change Conference. Lastly, as Global Justice Now stated,

“what is needed is system change, not climate change. This change will not be made by corporations or world leaders. Rather it will be made by us as a global movement of citizens.” How is this possible when the communities which are affected aren’t invited [to the talks] and are evicted by the French police?


We have the power of the Sun to send a message to Govt

Turn off your solar system to prove to the government that solar power works.

The collective effect of the general public turning off their solar systems on the grid would create a significant disturbance and likely cause power outages to demonstrate the value and contribution of solar power to the grid.

The proposed national power action has been making the rounds on Social Media.  Here is the link to the weekly event National Solar Switch Off held Nationally every Thursday.

Every Thursday in Summer
We want you to either turn your solar off when you get home or turn your AirCon on Full to show the Government that Solar Cells are saving the Government the cost of a new Power Station
And that money should come back to the PEOPLE !!!
We are Expecting Rolling Blackouts!!!
You have voting power now!!!Tariffs


Source: Facebook Solar Strike For Feed In Tariffs

Solar Power provides FREE Air Conditioning!

Solar Air ConditioningSolar_Air_Logo_Australian_Sun_Energy

If you’re thinking of making the switch to Solar Power now is the best time with summer on it’s way.

Take advantage of our sun now before the heat sets in and run your solar air conditioning for free this summer.

Plus you will…

Reduce your power bill by up to 60%

Qualify for the Government Solar Rebate (whilst they still apply)

Like to know how this can work for you?

Contact our friendly team at Sunwise Energy for more information.

Call in to our office at 105 Spencer Street, Bunbury or telephone to arrange an appointment on 9791 1117.