The latest renewable energy news from The Guardian
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Shares tumble after company announces $1.5bn asset writedown and lower expected earnings

Origin Energy has slashed the value of its assets, including Australia’s biggest coal-fired power plant, by more than $1.5bn as cheap power from renewables floods the national grid.

Company shares tumbled as much as 10% on Friday morning after Origin announced the writedown and lower expected earnings next year to the Australian Securities Exchange, before recovering slightly to be down about 7.85% about 12.45pm.

Related: New Hope mining company referred to Asic, accused of misleading investors over future of coal

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Posted: July 30, 2021, 4:52 am

Aemo says new planning scenarios, including a ‘hydrogen superpower’ option, reflect accelerating transition in energy market

While Scott Morrison is yet to give a formal commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, Australia’s energy market operator has added the mid-century scenario to its forward planning.

In its latest Inputs, Assumptions and Scenarios Report, released on Friday, the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) has added new planning scenarios – including net zero by 2050 and a “hydrogen superpower” option.

Related: Renewables industry blasts ‘unacceptable’ Australian energy market rules it says will prolong coal plants

Related: After framing emissions reduction in apocalyptic terms, the Coalition must now present different facts | Katharine Murphy

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Posted: July 29, 2021, 5:30 pm

But federal energy minister Angus Taylor says proposed rules needed to ‘protect consumers from high prices and reliability risks’

New energy market rules intended to ensure the lights remain on while ageing coal generators exit the market have triggered a backlash from Australia’s renewables sector.

Guardian Australia has seen a draft of new rules that have been proposed to federal and state energy ministers by the Energy Security Board (ESB). The overhaul includes imposing a strategic reserve across the national energy market as well as a beefed-up retailer reliability obligation.

Related: Australia has huge potential to develop offshore windfarms near existing substations, report says

Related: Simply Energy hit with $2.5m fine after sales contractors allegedly impersonated customers in scam

Related: Australian government stokes fears that Europe’s new carbon levy could hurt jobs

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Posted: July 28, 2021, 10:50 am

Anschutz Corporation, which made billions drilling oil, is building a 732 power line to carry renewable energy to cities including Los Angeles and Phoenix

Some days, the wind rips across Wyoming’s southern plains at 70mph. Cottonwood trees bend, tall grass lies flat and 18-wheel trucks tip over along Interstate 80. It only takes a breeze of about 6mph to get the long white arms of an electricity-generating wind turbine turning, at full speed they can power thousands of homes.

As one of the US’s windiest states, Wyoming has enormous potential to help power the country’s green revolution, but renewable energy in the west has long been dogged by a fundamental problem of transmission. Wind and solar farms tend to be located in remote areas separated from populated cities by hundreds of miles of rugged terrain, a tangle of government regulations and resistance from landowners who don’t want power lines buzzing over their yards.

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Posted: July 28, 2021, 10:00 am

New petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, and sales of electric vehicles are rising fast. But with drivers reliant on charging points how practical is the greener option? One writer finds out

Range anxiety hits hard on the A9 in the Highlands of Scotland. For the uninitiated, this is the fear that an electric vehicle (EV) won’t reach its destination before running out of power. I’m driving through some of Britain’s loveliest landscape – mountains, rivers, lochs and firths – but I hardly notice. I’m focused hard – on the road in front, but mainly on two numbers on the dashboard. One is how far it is in miles to where I’m going; the other is the range in miles remaining in the battery. Sometimes, especially on downhill stretches when what is known as “regenerative braking” means the battery is getting charged, I tell myself it’s going to be OK, I’ll make it. But going uphill the range plummets. Squeaky bum time.

Plus, I’ve read Michel Faber’s Under the Skin. I know what happens to men stranded on the A9. To range anxiety add the fear of being processed and eaten by aliens.

Related: Electric cars: UK government urged to prevent ‘charging deserts’

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Posted: July 28, 2021, 5:00 am