Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 20, 2017.
Australia is getting a big boost in its wind energy capacity. According to Fortune, General Electric (GE) announced they would add a total of 123 turbines at a wind farm, 250 km north-west of Brisbane Australia. Currently, the plant has a capacity of 453MW. It will be the largest addition to Australia’s wind capacity, increasing it by 10%.
Fortune notes the project would potentially provide clean power for 260,000 homes, and slash carbon emissions by 1.18 million tonnes yearly.
It’s good news for Australia, who is gaining traction in renewable energy capacity. Australia has over 5.5GW in total solar capacity, according to the Australia Energy Council, while there has been 4.3GW of wind energy installed, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Australia is far behind other countries, including China, US, and Germany on wind power.
Austin, Texas raised the bar this week when it comes to being powered by clean power. City council approved a plan where city utility Austin Energy must have 65% of its power come from renewables by 2027, according to The Austin Monitor. Currently, Austin Energy was on track to reach its previous goal of 55% renewables by 2025. Approximately 32% of Austin’s energy is coming from clean energy sources.
There was a debate on what the updated goal should be, as some within the community wanted to have the city reach a 75% target by 2027.
However, after concerns were brought up a more ambitious goal in the short run would execute the risk of the city losing its utility in the future as many Republican state senators would like Austin energy privatized.
Austin, Texas, is one of the more liberal cities in Texas and is well-known for its South By South West festival, which discusses the hottest issues in technology, music, and culture.
Austin’s plan to increase its renewable energy sources is a very good move and showcases its tradition of being a progressive city, yet faces the challenges of being hamstrung by a state government who does not necessarily share its values.
And finally, check out my review of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, where I go over the Al Gore’s sequel to the 2006 ground breaking documentary on climate change. I also review why the sequel has not reached the box office heights of its predecessor, thanks to a changing platform landscape.
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