Energy “down under”

After almost one month in Southern Australia, I am now on my way home. One month is just enough time to give you a sense of what is going on here. The big issue here is coal. Australians are facing huge changes in their energy sector. Hazelwood, the largest coal-fired power plant in the southern hemisphere, is already closing. This is a very big deal in Australia. The plant is using brown coal – one of the more polluting types of coal, with high levels of emissions as a result of its burning. But brown coal is an important industry here and the backbone of the current energy distribution system. For this reason, the government’s conservative party in the capital Canberra is trying to paint wind power and green energy as an unstable supply of energy. The truth, more likely, is that the grid has not been modernized and even worse the system is very centralized because of these very large power plants.

Quote from Sydney Morning Herald:

Quote from the Sydney Morning Herald:

“State and even local governments have recently adopted their own targets and policies to boost renewables in their jurisdictions, but few have raised the ante as rapidly as the ACT.

While the Canberra-based wing of the fossil fuel industry – their lobbyists and political supporters – try to scare us into thinking the transition to 100 percent renewables will be a disaster, the ACT government is just getting on with it, and the benefits of doing so, directly and through the impact of its leadership on others, will flow for decades to come.”

Author: Tom Swann, researcher at The Australia Institute and designated “ACT Environmentalist of the Year”

[ACT stands for: Australian Capital Territory – made by states. Australia has three levels of government: Federal, state, and local.]

Obviously, the individual states are so disconnected from the federal government that they have separate goals for emissions and Renewable Energy integration. The federal government is talking about “clean

Why do I care? I think we are all guilty and therefore responsible for the state we are currently in. For many years, Denmark imported almost its entire energy supply in the form of coal. A lot of this coal came from Australia. So, in a way, we built our modern society on the back of the Australian coal industry! We’ve changed this lately, but still! I think we need to help out where we can and try to ensure that, while our development was fueled by coal, that the clean technologies we are working with are a part of the change taking place in Australia, Japan and other countries with whom we do business. In Denmark, we like to say we are a nuclear free nation, but we still drive Toyotas and watch TV on Sony screens.
Let’s put into practice the Paris Declaration and the signed UN agreement!

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