Our Clean Energy Future: 100% Renewables Powering Australia’s Future

Dr Mark Hughes of Cambridge Modelling is lead author of this report, which was prepared in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Climate Risk, to evaluate renewable energy deployment potential in Australian transport and stationary energy.

The report finds that investment in Australia’s renewable energy resources is likely to stall in 2020 under current policies without an increase in the Renewable Energy Target (RET) out to 2030. Modelling indicates that a 2030 RET of between 137,000 GWh and 169,000 GWh (i.e. 43-53% of business-as-usual electricity demand) would prevent this post-2020 stall in renewable deployment and put Australia on the pathway to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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UK Solar PV Industry: Implications of the Planned Feed-in Tariff Reductions

This report examines the impact of the UK government’s planned reduction in feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations up to 250 kW. The analysis described here explores key considerations, not covered in the consultation on the Comprehensive Review Phase 1, that are pertinent to grid parity in the UK solar PV industry, the price of retail electricity and national commitments under the Renewable Energy Directive.

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The Low Carbon Simulator

There is currently insufficient information available for businesses, investors, governments and non-government organisations to effectively plan for—and succeed in—the transition to a low carbon economy. The Low Carbon Simulator, developed by Cambridge Modelling, is the first model that truly addresses this problem by accurately identifying the best opportunities and most favourable low carbon strategies for each of these sectors.

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Mobilizing Private Finance to Drive an Energy Industrial Revolution

While uptake of renewable energies as a solution to climate change is widely discussed, the issue of public vs. private financing is not yet adequately explored. The debates over the Kyoto Protocol and its successor have maintained a strong preference for public over private financing. Yet it is also clear to most observers that the energy revolution will never happen without the involvement of private finance to drive private investment. In this Viewpoint, we discuss the ways in which private financing could be mobilized to drive the energy industrial revolution that is needed if climate change mitigation is to succeed.

“Mobilizing Private Finance to Drive an Energy Industrial Revolution”, Energy Policy, Vol. 38, No. 7, 2010

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Carbon Nanotube-Conducting Polymer Composites in Supercapacitors

Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and NanotechnologySupercapacitors are devices used to store and deliver electrical energy in high power pulses. With the advent of electric vehicles, digital communication and other electronic devices that require significant bursts of electrical energy, the need for supercapacitors has expanded rapidly. At present, the most promising materials on which supercapacitors are based can be divided into two categories – those that make use of a double-layer charge storage mechanism (e.g. carbon nanotubes, carbon aerogels and activated carbon black) and those employing a redox pseudo-capacitive charge storage mechanism (e.g. conducting polymers and transition metal oxides). Already, the electrical charge that can be stored in each of these materials is typically several orders of magnitude larger than that of most commercially available conventional capacitors. However, it has been shown in recent times that even greater charge storage capacitances can be achieved in composites made by combining carbon nanotubes (a double-layer capacitive material) with a conducting polymer (a redox pseudo-capacitive material). The superior charge storage performance of carbon nanotube-conducting polymer composite supercapacitors arises from their ability to merge the properties that separately make carbon nanotubes and conducting polymers so suited to their respective charge storage mechanisms. That is to say, the composites are able to combine the high surface area and electrical conductivity of carbon nanotubes with the redox electrochemistry of conducting polymers.

Mark Hughes, “Carbon Nanotube-Conducting Polymer Composites in Supercapacitors”, Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Ch. 51, 2008

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