Over the passed few days some of you may have heard some outspoken environmentalists talking about the dangers of large scale renewable energy.
It would seem to me a sensible thing to accommodate both localised and large scale forms of renewable energy. I have been talking about this here in Warrnambool for a number of years now as the SW of Victoria is possibly the richest renewable area in Australia. We have wind a plenty (if the Baillieu Govt would only let us use it), wave energy, geothermal and of course the potential for both solar panels and solar thermal.
In places like Warrnambool which supports a population of 35,000 it would be sensible to create power from our own sources of wind and waste with perhaps a booster from centralised large scale sources as well.
This is a picture of the Spittelau incineration plant which supplies heating to a district in Vienna.
Essential services already have their own emergency generators. It would be good to see these move immediately to renewable sources such as waste from our local tips and for organisations such as hospitals waste from the kitchens and other sources.
These are solar heating panels.
It is good to have such conversations as long as they are productive because they may help us refine our understanding of what a clean energy future might look like and help us to work out what our country will actually require to transition toward a fully functioning clean energy future for all our purposes. However, in the light of catastrophic human induced climate change, it would be very unwise to allow these differing opinions to distract us from our united aim to create 100% renewable clean and efficient energy for our country and the entire world.
I agree with Ben Courtice from Friend's of The Earth. The Government of Australia must make a plan for the clean energy future which involves the restructuring of our energy grid to include both localised and centralised renewable power sources.
A centralised energy grid would seem to be more appropriate for urban communities with prioritisation of energy efficiency and the maximisation of domestic feed in potential with an eye on the development of future technologies.
It would seem to me that localised production makes more sense in rural and remote areas such as Warrnambool and if that means we need some centralised help to run our businesses and industries then that should be available too.
Many of us are already aware that we cannot go on forever with the 'business as usual' mentality but perhaps we can make the transition smoother by staying focussed and working with governments, industries and communities to make a renewable energy future possible. We need to work together, not against each other.
This is a picture of the Nesjavellit Geothermal power plant in Iceland.
Here is an example of what the localised renewable energy advocates have been saying.
the following link is to a post by John Isaacs-Young, who is active in
Transition Sunshine Coast, He points out that there are serious
unexamined assumptions about movements to cut emissions and solve the
climate change problem with large scale renewable energy projects. The
probable almost certain future is one with drastically less energy not
more business as usual.
Big Green Tech - and the Beyond Zero Emissions movement could be
wasting vital energy and resources duplicating our existing
dysfunctional centralized energy infrastructure when what we will need
is locally produced electricity.
In the face of declining energy (money) availability and the
disintegration of the world as we have come to know it, we will tend
to want to cling to our big-system world and demand that it be fixed.
Most of us will continue to lend our support to those who claim to be
able to bring it back. Those who enjoy or have enjoyed positions of
power are even more invested and will be relentless in their efforts
to rebuild the big systems. Time and again this will look like it is
going to work, only to fail again - think Grecce. Eventually we will
get the idea. There will be a shift in values and a different way of
doing things with less energy.
"Climate activists in particular", says David Holmgren, "tend to focus
on the fossil energy industries as the 'enemy' (both for generating
greenhouse gases and funding climate change denial), but naturally see
any parties accepting the new climate change agenda as allies. I
believe that many of the global players promoting the climate change
agenda are as dangerous as those denying that agenda."
I commend this article to you.
Beyond Zero Emissions " BZE are developing a detailed, costed blueprint for the transition to a completely decarbonised Australian economy by 2020. The Zero Carbon Australia project will consist of 6 transition plans covering the 6 sectors of energy, buildings, transport, land use, industrial processes and coal exports."