ReNew Issue 142

Summer issue – Solar for all, 100% renewable grid and more

ReNew 142 is our landlords and renters special, plus we’ve updated our ever-popular solar panel buyers guide. We look at how the benefits of solar can be shared by those often excluded – landlords, renters and apartment dwellers, present a progress report on Australia’s transition to a 100% renewable grid and review the current status of solar PV recycling. Plus: an induction cooktop mini guide, Australia’s largest solar car park, landlords and energy efficiency, renewables improving the grid, solar system monitoring and much more!

Issue Contents:

Issue 142 is hot off the press and full of advice for your sustainable home this summer. As always, ReNew comes overflowing with articles to satisfy both the technically and the not-so-technically minded. Regardless of whether your interest is buying a solar system, converting to an induction cooktop, solar system monitoring or solar + energy efficiency for renters and landlords, there is something for everyone in this issue.

ReNew 142 has a special focus on landlords and renters. Inside you’ll find:

Special feature: Landlords and renters

Solar for apartments and rentals

New schemes are evolving that mean renters and apartment dwellers can more easily join in on the solar revolution.

Case studies: sharing the solar benefits

Altruistic landlords, separate solar systems per apartment, innovative new sharing models: we track down rentals and apartments that have made solar work for them.

Landlords and energy efficiency

There’s a lot landlords can do to make their investment more comfortable and efficient to live in. Jacinta Cleary talks to some great landlords, but also considers the need for minimum standards.

What can renters do?

Tips for renters on what they can do to improve energy efficiency at home.

DIY pelmets to reduce heat loss

A simple and cheap DIY pelmet that is so lightweight you can stick it to the wall.

Energy efficiency scorecards

A scorecard for your home’s energy use promises benefits for both renters and homeowners in the quest to improve Australia’s housing stock.

Other features

100% renewable by 2030

The ATA’s Andrew Reddaway tracks Australia’s progress and analyses a plan that gets our electricity grid to 100% renewable by 2030.

Beyond solar PV: renewable heat

Heating using your reverse-cycle air conditioner in winter is harvesting renewable energy from the air. Amazing!

PV recycling

What do you do when a solar PV panel comes to the end of its useful life? Moreover, what
do you do with billions of them?

Renewables improving the grid

An innovative trial is using smart solar inverters on homes, both on their own and combined with batteries, to improve grid stability.

Australia’s largest solar car park

This car park in Toowoomba now has great shade for the cars and a 1 MW solar array!


Solar panel buyers guide: soak up the sun

Our guide to the latest solar panel technology, including the important issue of panel quality. Plus, how to maximise your investment, both financially and environmentally.

Solar steps: from research to install

Getting solar may be common, but when you’re doing it for the first time it can be a bit of a mystery. Stephen Zuluaga explains his research to get the best system for his house.

Solar monitoring basics

From checking the inverter to a wi-fi connected app, it’s useful to keep track of your solar system’s output.

Induction cooktop mini guide

A guide to what to look for in an induction cooktop including a table of some options and three users’ experiences.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicle update

The electric vehicle market continues to heat up: what’s happening overseas and in Australia.

EV maintenance

Bryce Gaton looks at the ways you can test and monitor the battery pack in a Nissan Leaf—useful info for both owners and potential purchasers.


The Pears Report: Houses are public assets, too

Why can’t we support long-term investments in energy-efficient buildings for the benefit of all in the community, the way we’re prepared to invest in infrastructure like roads, asks Alan Pears?

Member profile: Fighting climate change in Tasmania

Helen Hutchinson has been working tirelessly since the 1980s to increase awareness of climate change and sustainability issues. She talks to Anna Cumming about her motivations.