First published in the Bass Coast Post*
We’re currently in the midst of a worldwide renewable energy revolution which is also taking place in our own national electricity market. Because of our vast solar and wind resources, we have the opportunity to lead the world in developing a renewable energy economy.
One of the most influential figures in this revolution has been Saul Griffith, a Wollongong lad who recently returned to Australia after doing some amazing work in the USA. He’s one of the lead influencers in the recent release of the Inflation Reduction Act in the USA and the recent inclusion of renewables and hydrogen in both the state and federal budgets.
His book The Big Switch (about rewiring Australia) and his Quarterly essay The Wires That Bind (electrification and community renewal) are essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the future of sustainable energy in Australia. He explains where we are now, where we will be in the future, and what we must do to get there.
The two videos on the home page of his electrify2515 website are also a great introduction to understanding how we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a community, and how we can also save a lot of money on the way. For further details I would recommend the home page of the Rewiring Australia website.
The vision is to replace our current domestic gas-consuming appliances (when they require replacing) with more efficient renewables-powered electric appliances. For industry, the aim is to change over major industrial processes so that we’ll be exporting green steel and green aluminium instead of iron ore, coal, bauxite and alumina.
When thinking about your next appliances, think about the total cost of the fuels you will use to power those appliances during their lifetime – their true cost not just the upfront cost. The biggest savings come from efficient electric appliances using rooftop solar.