A couple of years ago when I moved to Australia from Germany I took a photo of Central Australia from the plane on my way to Sydney.
Somewhere over Australia – from Dubai to Sydney
You might find it weird but when I looked at this vast land and the sun that glared across the wingtips, I wondered where the hell the solar farms were? Wind turbines? Ok, we were still far from denser population areas so I was hoping I would spot some solar and wind farms once we got closer to our final destination.
2 years and a few more flights across this amazingly beautiful country later, I am yet to spot any substantial renewable energy development visible from the air.
You see, during my time in Germany I spent quite some time driving up and down the “best motorways in the world” (sorry had to throw this in as this is one of the few things I miss about Germany). Add to that the flights across Europe, I had plenty of opportunities to take a few snapshots of renewable energy projects. Not sure why I did this but I do like these things. If you have read my last blog post about the value you will know that I am a “value” fan.
Guess what, these things literally produce value (energy) out of thin air or sun. It is really pretty satisfying to watch this. I hear there are other ways to produce renewable energy such as hydropower, biomass and geothermal solutions. I am no expert but I love the idea that after an initial investment you get stuff for free! For a lifetime (or many if we are lucky).
I have a friend in the North of Germany who owns and operates 9 Enercon and Nordex Wind Turbines. He bought them after being a cattle farmer for 20 years. Today, after 17 years not only does he have a permanent smile across his face because he obviously doesn’t pay for his electricity no he also supplies his surplus into the local electricity grid. I remember he had this cool software showing all technical data like RPM and wind speed but more importantly, the thing showed kW x EUR / per hour. I have yet to see a more satisfying KPI dashboard. You could literally see the money spinning and spinning.
On way to Rostock
Solar Park near Munich
Nothulm Test Solar Park
This isn’t about money though. This is about our planet and you can imagine my disappointment when I heard that Australia isn’t really leading on the renewable energy front.
Quick check if I may.
Germany: 82.5 million people on 357,022 sq km, 27% of energy from renewables
Australia: 24.6 million people on 7,741,220 sq km, 16% of energy from renewables
Hang on a minute. I can assure you that Germany isn’t the sunniest of all places (there is a reason I live in Australia), it is also pretty hard to get anything bigger than a garage build between all those people and different private land ownership rights and still …
Germany vs. Australia size comparison
Australia, let’s see. Sun? Yep, quite a lot. Wind? Yep, same. Water? As in the liquid stuff swinging back and forwards? Yep, check. Any limitations regarding space and where to put the stuff? Not really, I think we could find a little corner somewhere if we asked nicely.
So why is Australia not 100% on renewables? IT IS A NO BRAINER. REALLY. We could even export the stuff and give free energy to all Australians.
I know, I know. Politics, and I think there was something about coal. That’s why I am super excited that this gentleman started something that could change this all and forever.
⚡️Taking Australia 100% onto renewables eventually? Been asked a few times – so I’ve tried to write up some logic off top of my head, I hope others can bring the maths & fact check my thinking paths. apologies for typos – it’s late. We can do this 🇦🇺. More… (1/8) — Mike Cannon-Brookes 👨🏼💻🧢 (@mcannonbrookes) October 17, 2018
If you are interested you can support this and make Australia an even better place here
And this is my very sophisticated solution to how this can work 🙂 It’s from 2016 but probably even more possible today than at that time.
Super sophisticated renewable energy implementation Australia