Australians Locally Shoulder Climate Responsibility: The Gap Between the Government and the Local Effort- Part 3

The Australian federal government’s lack of leadership in these dire times, threatening our existence with merciless climate change, is juxtaposed with local effort and awareness. Solar and wind energy is being harnessed to establish projects that provide electricity to small towns and work on quelling big city energy crisis.  Numurkah Solar Farm provides enough power to supply 48,000 homes in rural Victoria. Karadoc Solar Farm in Victoria’s far north-west, owned by BayWa r.e., has 300,000 solar panels that produce enough energy to power around 40,000 homes. The Victorian government will generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 as committed in Australia’s state wise distribution. The state has 14 large-scale renewable energy projects under construction, with a further 46 large-scale wind and solar projects in the pipeline. Goldwind’s Cattle Hill Wind Farm in Tasmania finally arrived at completion stage. The Clean Energy Regulator has officially confirmed that enough renewable energy has now been built to guarantee that the target will be met in 2020.

And these are handful of examples of only a few projects. The state wise distribution works under the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which has a financial infrastructure for large scale and small-scale operations.  The RET has been instrumental, in planning the Country’s Energy targets. Most states have complied by them and are on their way to achieving their set goals, much like Victoria and Tasmania. There have been steady efforts seeing local bodies coming together and launching schemes that will fight electricity crisis using renewables. The Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA) launched a Community Solar Scheme in 2019, devised by Regional Development Australia (RDA), that will boost energy security while helping residents save money on power bills.

Channelized investment in large wind and solar power projects is expected to keep Australia’s action aligned with the federal government’s 2020 large-scale renewable energy target. The Government stated that 6400 megawatts of large-scale renewable capacity was to be created between 2017 and 2019 to generate enough electricity to meet the target of having 33,000 gigawatt hours of additional energy by next year. And with the operational opening of 4 major plants with large scale capacity, the country may be way ahead of its target.

However, the renewable energy providers are in a state of perpetual frustration over the ground realities. Yes, Australia has a horde of wind and solar projects. And yes, people are installing the apparatus in their households. But if the country needs to replace the entire energy operation with renewables, then the infrastructure needed to support this, must be renewed as well. Challenge to the providers; they are unable to put their projects on the grid. The reason for this is not the lack of thought leadership in Australia’s renewable scene but the aging transmission infrastructure that won’t allow it. Most of the transmissions are designed for coal plants.

Though there is a very independent surge of renewable energy, the mission is not solidly supported by the government, who are yet to invest in replacing the old infrastructure. Experts say that the country has unexplored and still unaccounted potential for renewable energy which has not been tapped. With the present projects waiting, Australia can produce enough to have renewable energy exports. But the nonchalance exhibited by the government in allocating more resources, having more refined policies and unequivocally have supporting projects is hindering this.

Where is the Australian Federal Government invested? What is the government’s scandalous stand on coal? What are the consequences of the route taken on coal? Is it as much of a threat as it is made out to be? The Answers to these lie in reports, articles and open opinions. We gather some fundamental actions that clearly show the Australian Government’s position in the global climate change mitigation action. Stick around to read more.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply