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A round-up of energy efficiency news from Australia and around the world.

ARENA receives World Environment Day Award

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has received the Clean Energy Award for its role in promoting a sustainable energy future. ‘ARENA is honoured to be the first recipient of this award,’ ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said at the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards 2015 in Melbourne.

Source: ARENA

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Energy-efficient solar-powered aircraft

Two Swiss innovators are flying an aircraft with wings covered in 17 000 photovoltaic cells. The test plane relies on sunlight, rising to an altitude of 9000 metres during the day but descending to 1000 metres overnight.

Source: Phys.org

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Metering technologies tackle wasted energy in buildings

Buildings produce US$200 billion of energy waste every year across the USA. Breakthroughs in metering and data analysis are making it easier to pinpoint and assess energy efficiency problems. A Washington DC building had US$800 000 in annual savings identified—without the assessors even needing to set foot on the site.

Source: Business Insider Australia

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Energy-efficient data centre powered by solar

The OMNIconnect Data Centre in Melbourne has installed a 51 kW solar PV system, which will boost its power source while also reducing operating costs. The system is expected to deliver 70 MWh of energy and over $12 000 in cost savings per year.

Source: sustainability matters

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LED lights for Qantas flights

Qantas is replacing fluorescent tube lighting with energy efficient LED lights at all operational areas, including airports, ramp areas and warehouses. This will reduce the airline’s energy consumption by more than 13 million kWh and save the business more than $2 million per year.

Source: ETB Travel News

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Electricity Gas Australia report released

'Electricity Gas Australia 2015', from the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), presents statistics relating to industrial generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of energy. The 118-page report is available for purchase as a PDF or hard copy.

Source: ESAA

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Energy spikes down to the wire

Energy intelligence software revealed a major energy spike in the operations of a US wire manufacturer. The company was then able to pinpoint and manage the timing of processes, allowing them to eliminate peaks. This indicated a potential US$50 000 annual saving for the company.

Source: energySMART

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Green buildings awarded for excellence in New Zealand

NZ Property Council Awards were given to projects including a disused wharf converted into luxury apartments, a heritage-adaptive reuse development, and a factory capable of collecting its own water. The award winners all featured premium environmental sustainability and energy efficiency innovations.

Source: The Fifth Estate

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$120m discount-funding for SMEs to cut energy costs

Small to medium-sized businesses have the opportunity to apply for discounted financing on energy-efficiency and renewables equipment. The $120 million program is a joint initiative between the National Australia Bank and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The program aims to assist businesses in the uptake of greener vehicles, equipment upgrades and solar power.

Source: CEFC

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ClimateWorks’ 2050 Pathways Calculator now online

ClimateWorks’ new online calculator allows users to explore multiple pathways towards emissions reduction by 2050. The interactive tool graphically displays the effects of varying levels of energy usage, efficiencies and industrial activities as they feed into energy demand, supply, and emissions parameters.

Source: ClimateWorks Australia

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CEFC invests in sustainable property trust

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will contribute funds to a trust, managed by EG Group, which upgrades the energy performance of older office stock to reposition them in the market. EG Group will purchase up to a dozen office buildings, refurbish and retrofit them with sustainability improvements.

Source: CEFC

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The importance of energy productivity

Energy is a substantial and growing cost to end-users, accounting for $111 billion of GDP—and much of it going to waste. Energy productivity is an approach that aims to capture the total economic value created from each unit of energy applied. Doubling Australia’s energy productivity is achievable, according to Jonathan Jutsen of the Australian Alliance to Save Energy.

Source: The Fifth Estate

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