Australia rooftop solar tops 8GW mark FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The boom is small-scale rooftop solar installations has continued into 2019, with total installs for the first month of the year reaching 159.4MW – a record for the month that is typically affected by the summer holiday season.The latest data from industry statistician Sunwiz shows a 49 per cent jump on the same month last year, and Victoria posting a record for any month of any year – 41MW – beating usual leaders Queensland and NSW to become the strongest market in the country.In fact, it was the first time Victoria has taken the market lead since July 2008, when it installed the grand total of 448kW!South Australia, meanwhile, added 15MW in January and broke through the 1GW aggregate mark during the month, joining Queensland (2.4GW), NSW (1.87GW), Victoria (1.6GW) and Western Australia (1.07GW). South Australia, however, still leads the country in terms of penetration of solar on dwellings (32 per cent).All told, there is now 8.2GW of small-scale rooftop solar in Australia after the record-breaking year in 2018 when nearly 1.6GW was installed. This does not include larger rooftop solar installations (100kW and above), nor the rapidly growing number of large scale, ground mounted solar farms.Another interesting aspect of the January data is that the average system size rose to 7.7kW, a reflection of not just the larger systems being put on households, but also the growing uptake from small business (usually 30kW to 100kW systems).The rooftop solar boom is likely to continue well into 2019 and beyond. The Victoria boost is helped by the Labor government’s election promise to offer state-based rebates that aims to add another 650,000 homes over the next decade (twice its current numbers), or some 2.6GW of new rooftop solar.More: Small-scale rooftop solar installs reach record 159MW in January
BI has trimmed the policy rate four times this year by 1 percent, cut the reserve requirement ratio, eased lending rules and purchased sovereign debt papers in the primary market to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.The central bank will extend the cut of the reserve requirement by 50 bps until June next year for banks that provide loans to micro, small and medium businesses and export-import oriented businesses, among others, after the policy was previously set to end by the end of this year, Perry said.The central bank has bought Rp 99 trillion (US$6.63 billion) worth of government bonds through private placement and has also bought Rp 44.38 trillion in government bonds through the primary market as part of the burden sharing scheme with the government. It has also bought Rp 48.03 trillion through the primary market, private placement and greenshoe options to help fund the fiscal deficit.The government is seeking the central bank’s help to fund the fiscal deficit and bear the debt burden through a $40 billion burden sharing scheme, which will see the central bank buying at least $28 billion.The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion for stimulus to rescue an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, widening the budget deficit to 6.34 percent of GDP to account for larger government spending and lower state revenue due slowing economic activity.Indonesia’s economy is widely expected to enter a recession in the third quarter this year after declining 5.32 percent in the second quarter, with the government expecting the economy to shrink 1.1 percent at worst this year or grow by only 0.2 percent at best.The central bank decided not to comment regarding this year’s GDP estimate but said the economy may grow by 4.8 to 5.8 percent next year.The risk of the deeper economic contraction coupled with the prospect of the prolonged spread of the virus in Indonesia, has driven the market to be more volatile than before and may jeopardize the rupiah’s stability, University of Indonesia economist Teuku Riefky said.“BI’s decision to maintain its macroprudential policy and expand the unconventional monetary policy measures will prompt liquidity and thus promote economic growth,” he wrote in a note, adding that the current rate remained attractive to maintain capital inflows and ensure the rupiah’s stability.The new BI bill proposal is ill-designed and ill-advised, according to CIMB Niaga chief economist Adrian Panggabean, adding that the country had four policy instruments to promote economic growth and jobs, namely monetary policy, fiscal policy, income policy, as well as trade and industry policy.“So far, fiscal policy has been ineffective and the latter two have been conspicuously mute,” he told The Jakarta Post, calling for the government to expedite spending to support the economy. Topics : Bank Indonesia (BI) has decided to leave its interest rate unchanged to safeguard financial market stability as the current coronavirus-induced economic downturn and concerns over the central bank’s independence weigh on the currency.The benchmark seven-day reverse repo rate will remain at 4 percent, while deposit facility and lending facility rates were also kept at 3.25 and 4.75 percent, the central bank said following its two-day policy meeting on Thursday,“This decision took into account the need to maintain the stability of the rupiah exchange rate amid the low inflation expectation,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday. “BI will undertake quantitative measures through liquidity provisions, including BI’s support of the government’s budget absorption to boost economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”A proposal by the House of Representatives to revise BI laws and a reintroduction of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta to curb the virus outbreak have knocked around 1.6 percent off the rupiah exchange rate against the greenback since the end of July. The rupiah appreciated 0.02 percent to 14,840 per US dollar shortly after the central bank’s announcement. “BI will continue to strengthen the rupiah exchange rate stabilization policy in line with its fundamentals and smooth functioning of the market through monetary operations and liquidity availability,” Perry went on to say.The proposal by the House includes significant changes to the 1999 BI Law, including giving the central bank a mandate to support economic growth and job creation in addition to maintaining the rupiah’s stability. The bill also proposes the creation of a monetary council, led by the finance minister, to coordinate the government’s and the central bank’s policies, sparking concerns over BI’s independence.Perry reiterated the words of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati that the central bank would “remain credible, effective and independent”. “The President and finance minister have made clear that Bank Indonesia will remain independent,” he said.
Thurles CBS and Nenagh CBS are the two remaining Tipperary schools in the competition.Thurles topped their round robin group ahead of defending champions Ard Scoil Rís of Limerick.Nenagh finished runners-up in Group 4 behind Hamilton High School of Bandon. Also in the hat for the quarter final draw will be Cork sides Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, PS na Tríonóide from Youghal and Rochestown College and Castletroy College from Limerick.Meanwhile Clonmel High School are the sole Tipperary team in the quarter final draw for the Corn Uí Mhuirí.
There’s always the disturbing part in those nature documentaries – when the adorable little ones wind up as a meal for some other predator. Mother Nature is a harsh mistress, but there’s nothing natural about the way common ravens have decimated the struggling desert tortoise. A plan to control ravens will soon be implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting endangered species. “There are problems with ravens that attack and eat juvenile tortoises,” said Carl Benz, assistant field supervisor in the agency’s Ventura office. “If we can reduce predation, it will be an important step in recovery” for the tortoise. Raven populations exploded sevenfold in the western Mojave, scientists estimate. The population in the Mojave and Colorado deserts of California is thought to range between 30,000 and 45,000 birds. Juvenile tortoises provide a ready meal. The shells don’t get hard enough to withstand a raven’s beak until the slow-moving reptile is 4 years to 7 years old. “As the shell develops, it gets stronger so it can stave off the pecks from a raven,” Boarman said. Given that tortoises don’t reach reproductive age until they’re 13 to 15, losing the younger generation makes it impossible for the population to remain stable, much less recover. An adult, fertile female desert tortoise lays close to six eggs a year, but most of the hatchlings are lost to predation. Recovery plans for the threatened reptile likened the desert tortoise to the California condor, the black rhino and the blue whale – all of which are in danger of extinction. It’s much easier for other species, including ravens, which can reproduce at ages 2 or 3, to generate a lot of new members in a hurry. It doesn’t help that tortoises are most active in the spring, during the same time the ravens are raising their hatchlings and most need food, Boarman said. The plan preferred by the Fish and Wildlife Service is to restrict the food and water sources available to ravens, and to remove or kill ravens that are clearly preying on tortoises. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The threatened desert tortoise has seen its populations plummet as it faces a gantlet of threats: habitat loss, disease, vehicles, livestock, and ravens. “Tortoises are threatened by the death of 1,000 cuts,” said William Boarman, a tortoise researcher. Ravens used to be rare in the desert, with limited food, water or nesting sites. In the 1940s, naturalists had a hard time even finding ravens in the Mojave Desert. But as humans spread across the desert, the crow-like black birds flocked behind, able to find food in landfills, trash cans, campgrounds and outside restaurants. Power poles, billboards, buildings, and even abandoned cars provided a vast network of places to build their nests.