Renewable Energy

Renewables Booming Approaching Australian Federal Election


Portugal and Germany surviving purely on renewable energy for hours and even days, Santa Monica makes solar a requirement, more big companies are committing to sourcing electricity from renewable sources, the UK burnt absolutely no coal for the first time in over 100 years – In all corners of the globe, renewable sources of energy are becoming the norm while coal and ‘dirty’ fuels are being phased out. In recent years it seems that Australian politics has been falling behind the rest of the world and not introducing supporting policies – this is becoming more and more evident! With a Federal election looming, will Australian politics campaign to support renewables?

It has been reported in the last week or so that Portugal survived entirely on renewable energy for more than 4 days! From 6.45am Saturday 7th May to 5.45pm Wednesday 11th May – a total of 107 hours where all electricity demand was catered for from renewable energy sources. Coal production ceased in Portugal in 1994 – yet here we are more than a decade later and we not condone the use of coal, our government not so long ago (the Abbott Government) was encouraging it over all else!

In a few weeks – all new single family homes will have to install a minimum of 1.5 watts per square foot (equivalent to a 3kW solar system per 2000 square foot homes) while multi-family homes and commercial buildings will have to install a minimum of 2 watts per square foot. Already, most of the city’s vehicles run on alternative fuels. Santa Monica has goals of being self-sufficient by 202 and carbon neutral by 2050 and this is one of the ways they are hoping to achieve those goals.

More and more big companies around the world – such as Microsoft, Google, Ikea, Target, Facebook etc – have committed to getting the electricity from renewable sources.  A new organisation called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) has been set up to help big companies overcome the barriers to using renewable energy sources.

The UK has gone coal-free for a few days (not consecutively) since May 10th 2016. Experts say it’s the first time the country has not generated coal fired electricity since the first steam powered station opened in 1882. May 12th and 13th they lasted most of the day without drawing on coal fired generators.

Reachtel polls are showing that around 56.1% of Australian voters would rather vote for someone who is going to phase out coal powered stations and 64% of voters would rather vote for someone who aims to get to a 100% renewable Australia.

“The transition to 100 per cent clean, renewable power is happening now – without strong policies that support an orderly transition Australia will miss out on our $800 billion slice of the global renewables investment boom,” said Claire O’Rourke, National Director, Solar Citizens.

With the Federal election looming and campaigns well underway – is this something our candidates are going to address? Are they prepared to make the big decision and follow the rest of the globes lead (and save money in doing so) or are we going to continue to travel upstream? Are you prepared to vote for those who will take us in the wrong direction and miss out on the renewable energy investment boom?