Climate Change #2

Climate Change

Weekly Report


Words Arthur Hunt

Image by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Vogue Magazine, 2009

Image by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Vogue Magazine, 2009

Queensland solar and battery subsidy extended

The Queensland solar battery grants and loans scheme has been so successful that the State government is expanding it.  The scheme, introduced in November, comprises offers of interest-free loans of up to $10,000 and grants of $3,000 to purchase solar batteries or solar plus battery systems. The offer applied to 1,500 applicants, including households and small businesses.  However, the demand was so enthusiastic that the Government is making an additional 1,000 packages available.  There will also be a waiting list, in case existing applicants change their mind.

Bank Australia provides innovative assistance for householders wanting to install solar power and battery systems.  Their customers can pause their home mortgage repayments while using the funds to install energy-saving devices.  The energy cost savings will make future mortgage repayments easier.

Talk about climate change

If you feel that you can do little about climate change, you are encouraged to talk about it so that it becomes more firmly embedded in the national consciousness.  This is the message from the Climate Council which has provided a suggested list of discussion points during BBQs.

This is also the message provided by Dr Katharine Kayhoe, director of the Climate Science Centre at Texas Tech University, in an amusing and informative TED talk which is recommended viewing.  Search for it at

One possible talking point is the State of the Climate 2018 report recently released by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology which states, as its first point, that Australia’s climate has warmed by just over 1 °C since 1910, leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.

Tandem solar cells offer increased efficiency

The Renew Economy newsletter reports that ARENA-funded research based at ANU claims to have found the right mix of ingredients that could make solar PV generation even cheaper and more efficient, through a combination of silicon with perovskite.  According to the ANU team, combining two materials in a tandem arrangement can be a difficult task, but once you get it right the efficiency of the solar cell goes up very quickly – well beyond what is possible with silicon by itself.

Perovskite has been one of the great hopes of next-generation solar technology for some years now.  But, ironically, one of Australia’s longest running solar technology developers, GreatCell Solar, recently went into voluntary administration after failing to find funds to support future development.

Their future – their words

The posters at the recent “Strike 4 Climate Action” by students were obviously hand-made and the messages were sincere and deserve to be heard. A selection:

  • No safe climate, no future

  • Climate action NOW

  • The consequences are real

  • If you don’t act like adults, we will

  • 100% renewable is 100% doable

  • I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA

  • If you were smart, we’d be in school

  • This can’t wait till I’m bigger

  • There is no Planet B

  • Why should we go to school if you won’t listen to the educated

  • Don’t just ignore our future until we don’t have one

Penny Hunt