Higher levels assist lower ones in going 100% renewable or achieving zero net emissions

January 24, 2017

In Australia, the New South Wales government is looking to assist companies to go 100% renewable or to achieve zero net emissions.  In the Monterey Diocese of California, the Catholic Diocese is doing the same.

In New South Wales, businesses have been registering expressions of interest in the Clean Energy Strategies for Business program, which will provide up to $10,000 in funding for each successful business in making the energy transition.  The program will provide provide grants and consultancy services to businesses to allow them to develop a strategy to reduce operational emissions to zero.

This would likely involve deploying renewable energy generation, likely solar PV or micro wind but plausibly even biodigester or other emerging technologies, with some energy storage and energy efficiency measures.  Off-site procurement of renewable energy or the purchasing of carbon emission offsets can also be incorporated into a businesses zero emissions strategy under the program.  The adoption of on or offsite renewable generation and energy efficiency measures by business will likely play a major role if Australia is to achieve its publically-stated emission reduction ambitions.

Additionally, the falling cost of renewable generation technologies and enabling technologies such as energy management and battery storage systems are likely to deliver to the business financial advantages over relying purely on the grid.   The ability of businesses to lock in electricity prices over time, through a PPA or via on site generation, is also a considerable advantage for energy intensive businesses, as has been demonstrated by numerous examples oversees and recent developments such as the Sun Metals’ 100 MW solar farm in northern Queensland, which is in early stages of development.

The NSW government program will provide grants of up to $10,000 for businesses looking to develop a zero emissions strategy. Participating businesses will be required to contribute $5,000 of its own money. Funding for the capital works, hardware required for the energy transformation, is not included.  The New South Wales Department of Industry and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage are administering the program. They report that there are “limited places” available and that successful businesses will be selected based on their application.  Interested businesses can request an expression of interest application by emailing [email protected] and more information about the project can be found at http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-consumers/sustainable-energy/clean-energy-strategies-for-business.