Biz News: Haystacks Solar Garden Co-operative, RACQ, Buchan architects, Alibaba Group, ICON Science RMIT, Consumer Action, and more…

ECONOMIC NEWS: Great progress in solar in New South Wales and Queensland, as well as positive news for e-commerce and data centers internationally. More action is needed on urban biodiversity and dangerous and obsolete fossil fuel cars (although this is nothing new for us!).

NSW Solar Garden opens to tenants, apartment owners barred from rooftop solar

The Haystacks Solar Gardenwhich will be built in the NSW Riverina, has launched solar “plots” available for purchase for NSW residents, who will benefit from an estimated savings of $505 on their electricity bill each year.

The plan is to make solar power more accessible to renters and apartment owners who cannot install solar power, giving them a similar cost advantage to the roughly three million households that currently have solar power. solar energy on the roof.

A 1.5 megawatt solar panel will be built on five hectares of paddock on agricultural property in Grong Grong, one hour west of Wagga Wagga, NSW. The network includes 333 solar plots and reduces emissions in New South Wales by 3,100 tonnes each year.

The project is funded by the New South Wales Government in association with Community Energy Agency, Pingalaand Komo Energyunder the Regional Community Energy Fundwith a partnership between three key organizations Community Energy AgencyPingala and Komo Energyand with the support of several other organisations.

Kristy WaltersPresident of the Haystacks Solar Garden Co-operative and Director of Community Energy Agency, said: “The Haystacks Solar Garden will allow all tenants, apartment dwellers and anyone who simply cannot install solar power on their own roof to see the benefits on their own electricity bill of this investment. in renewable energies.

Haystacks Solar Garden Project Manager Kim Mallee said it was an “exciting model to be a pioneer for Australia that other countries have enjoyed for years”.

“With the Albanian government’s commitment to fund 85 solar gardens across the country, we will see many more households have the opportunity to access solar energy,” Ms Mallee said.

RACQ joins Queensland solar boom as GEM Energy changes name to RACQ Solar

Mutual organization the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) this year acquired a majority stake in a highly awarded solar company Gem Energywhich he will henceforth rename RACQ Solar enter the renewable home energy market.

general manager of the RACQ David Carter said RACQ Solar aims to help Queenslanders live more safely and sustainably.

“Queenslanders are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and they are also battling cost of living pressures. RACQ Solar provides reliable service that will help homeowners combat rising electricity prices while supporting their transition to clean energy. »

RACQ Solar (formerly under the GEM Energy brand) Managing Director Managing Director Jack Hooper said the services will now be available for residential customers in greater Brisbane, Toowoomba, Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – and will now be available nationwide for commercial installations.

The company has a strong track record, including installing a 648 kilowatt rooftop solar panel at australia zoothe Queensland Native Wildlife Park founded by Steve Irwin. The network is the largest of any zoo in Australia.

Queensland currently has the second highest rate of rooftop solar installations in the country according to the Australian clean energy retailer. According to Queensland Government around one in three residents already have solar panels in their homes and another third plan to install a system within the next decade.

Buchan Architects move into offices designed by its founding partner in 1904

In an interesting turn of events, the international architecture, interiors and brand experience studio buchan moved into his new Perth studio at 44 King Street. The location is the same building as the studio’s founding partner, Charles Oldhamdesigned in 1904.

The move has apparently unearthed an archive of historic architectural drawings of some of Perth’s early infrastructure, dating back to the 1890s. Perth manager and Buchan manager Andre Jones said the office’s new location overlooks some of the early company projects in the Perth CBD.

The company now has a global team of around 250 design experts in studios in Australia, New Zealand and China.

Buchan’s New Office 44 King Street, Perth. Image: Lease equity.

Alibaba Group Releases 2022 ESG Report, Tops Bloomberg Renewable Energy Rankings

Chinese multinational e-commerce company Alibaba Group published its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, and according to BloombergNEF The 2021 ranking was the biggest buyer of renewable energy among Chinese companies. In the first half of 2022, it purchased more than 800 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, an increase of 150% compared to the year 2021.

The company reduced more than half a million tons (562,404) of carbon emissions by increasing the use of renewable energy in the last fiscal year. Packaging materials have been reduced by 15% and its logistics warehouses have installed 24.9 megawatts of solar power capacity.

Its data centers achieved an annual average energy efficiency (PUE) of 1.247 in the last fiscal year. Data centers average a PUE of 2.5, while peak facilities aim for around 1.5.

Alibaba Group Data Center. Image: Alibaba Group.

Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said the company’s vision was to “last for 102 years”.

“This will require resilience to overcome major economic cycles and unexpected challenges… For us to last 102 years in a healthy and sustainable way, we must manage our impact on the environment, our relationship with society as a whole and our long term business. governance “.

“The design of our ESG strategy is key to achieving our vision. ESG not only provides companies with a framework for action to address universal risks and challenges, but is also increasingly important as a global standard for evaluating a good company,” he said.

RMIT experts call for action on urban biodiversity

Professor Sarah Bekessyorganizer of Interdisciplinary Conservation Science (ICON Science) at RMIT Urban Research Center said more needs to be done to ensure that urban environments encourage rather than diminish biodiversity. “The magnitude of the loss” since the last Federal State of the Environment Reportshe says, is “shocking”.

“Australia continues to be a global leader in species extinction…202 new plant and animal species have been added to the endangered species list, including once-common species such as koalas , gang-gang cockatoos and bogong moths.”

“Human behaviors are key to finding solutions. Many of our daily actions have both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity. There are other ways to build a house, plant a garden, drink coffee and care for pets that benefit rather than diminish our natural heritage.

ICON Science is a team of researchers working to better understand and manage the interactions between society and our natural environment, reconciling ecological, social and economic dimensions.

The Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Team (ICON Science) at RMIT Urban Research Center 2021. Back row LR: Alex Kusmanoff, Marco Gutiérrez, Thami Croeser, Pia Lentini, Casey Visintin, Hugh Stanford, Matthew Selinske, Front row LR : Cristina Hernandez, Sarah Bekessy, Emily Gregg, Roshan Sharma, Katherine Berthon, Georgia Garrard, Ascelin Gordon, Lily van Eeden. Image: ICON Science.

Researcher Dr Holly Kirk claims that urban sprawl and densification “results in habitat loss and fragmentation”, destroys remaining native vegetation and “the health benefits that biodiversity brings”.

“Small spaces like urban backyards, courtyards and balconies can have a big positive impact on urban nature. If everyone made a few changes – planting flowering shrubs, providing water or shelter, then many of our animal neighbors could survive alongside us in the big city.

Consumer Action calls for the appointment of an automotive mediator

In other reasons why consumers avoid buying obsolete fossil fuel technology, data from Australian Consumer Complaints Commission (ACCC) the lawsuits revealed that there were at least 472,968 defective motor vehicles sold to consumers since 2017, putting the safety of users at risk and forcing buyers into debt.

Consumer Action Law Center helps Victorians resolve disputes with car dealerships and guides them through the Civil and Administrative Court of Victoria “expensive and labyrinthine” processes that can take up to two years.

Tania ClarkeDirector of Policy and Campaigns for Consumer Action said “the system is broken”.

“We need a new and more effective dispute resolution solution, a car ombudsman, that incentivizes better driving in line with Australian consumer law and can prevent misbehavior before it happens through transparent focus on systemic issues.

“We have presented this idea to the Victorian government and opposition parties as a platform for the next state elections in November.”

“We’ve heard of people who got into deep debt after borrowing money to pay for a lemon and then losing their jobs because they couldn’t travel.”

The Consumer Action Law Center team. Image: Consumer Action Law Center.