From Melbourne my next stop is Canberra the capital of Australia. Canberra was chosen as the capital in 1908 as a compromise between the to cities Melbourne and Sydney. My purpose to be there was to meet with university, make a presentation there and see the local government energy plan for 100% renewable energy and to meet the Danish embassy and the relative new ambassadorTom Nørring whom I actually know from his earlier assignment in the Danish Embassy in Athens and last but not less important to meet politicians.
6 month ago there was a serious black out in the electricity system in southern Australia. What happened and why? The big discussion right now is about whom to blaime for the blackout? The conservative government, lead by Prime minister Turnbull is blaiming windpower! The labour politicians are blaiming bad management and poor infrastructure! The big industries like aluminium smelters had to stop the entire system and were aout of production for a week! House owners could not air condition their houses even the temperature was sky high!
I wanted to understand how the national government responded to this!
My lobbying partner Andrew Bray from the Australian Wind Alliance had a number of appointments and we checked in and were cleared at the security gate
First we saw Mr Andrew Broad who is a conservative farmer who has a seat in the energy commission. His first comment before we even introduced ourselves was:” well fine enough that you bring this guy from a small island in Denmark with only 4000 people and a few windmills. Bring me something better to impress me!!”
I should have punched him on his nose but smiled and thought he felt threatened somehow. Never the less he ignored that windmills could do anything good for Australia.
Broadcasted on TV you could follow another way of saying the same. “here is a lump of clean coal- don’t be afraid it is clean and good. Like that could convince anybody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KoMeJB_ywY
The difference in policy from Denmark is most likely that the coal lobby is strong and powerfull. There is still business to do and what pollution can a bit of coal do? Climate denial is the thing to hold on to. Should Australia ratify the UN declaration decided in Paris? Maybe not – listening to these conservative guys!
The greens, a political party asked if it was possible to move to Denmark! They are frustrated!
Lunch at the embassy was nice. The ambassador just returned from Perth where he had walked the city with architect Jan Gehl who visited Australia. Famous man in city planning! The ambassador gave a nice friendly and Danish introduction and the party felt god, both because the food was exellent and the talk was free and enlightening. The ambassador greeted me for my work and the good story from Samso about Danish innovation and policy and asked me not to forget to mention the Danish green tech industry ;-))
I am now visiting the largest wind development in Australia – Sapphire Wind- guess who is supplying the windmachines?