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Australian brewer offers beer in exchange for solar power

Households with rooftop solar panels can now be paid in beer for their excess power under a scheme in Australia.

Asahi Group’s Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) are offering cans of bitter in exchange for solar power, in what the companies involved believe to be a world first.

For every A$30 (£17) of solar credit a household generates, they can get 24 cans of beer (known as a slab in Australia), CUB said. The Victoria Bitter exchanged by CUB is worth A$50 in store.

“The only thing better than drinking the Big Cold Beer in the Aussie sun is earning beer while you do it,” said Brian Phan, marketing manager for Victoria Bitter.

The brewer has made the offer to help meet its target to use 100 per cent renewable power by 2025. It has also installed solar panels at its Melbourne plant and is buying power from a solar farm.

Last week, it was announced that Australian households could soon be charged for exporting electricity to the power grid when it is not needed.

The Australian Energy Market Commission said the draft policy would prevent “traffic jams” of electricity at sunny times as well as allowing more solar households to be connected to the grid.

Household solar power is popular in Australia – around 20 per cent of houses have panels – and is seen as key to decarbonising the electricity sector.

Despite advances in solar power, Australia has drawn criticism from around the globe over its attitude to the climate crisis.

Prime minister Scott Morrison, who refused to follow scientists in linking devastating wildfires in the country to climate change, was denied a chance to speak at a global summit in December because his government had not set ambitious commitments to tackle the crisis.

A report published on Wednesday by the Australian Academy of Science said the country’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 was the “absolute minimum” necessary to mitigate the impact of climate change and urged the government to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels.

Source: The Independent