More Electricity From Renewables Coming To Australia

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Prime Minister Scott  Morrison and his coterie of fossil fuel worshipers are like King Canute standing at the edge of the ocean and commanding the tide not to rise. All their huffing and puffing is doing nothing to keep Australia from leveraging its most important natural resources — sunshine and wind. Here are two small announcements that individually may seem like small potatoes, but taken together are proof renewable energy is coming to the Antipodes whether ScoMo likes it or not.

Adelaide Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity

Adelaide shopping district
Image credit: City of Adelaide

Renew Economy reports that the city of Adelaide, capital of the state of South Australia, has entered into a power purchase agreement with Flow Power that will provide 100% of the city’s electricity needs from a mix of locally generated wind and solar facilities. The new PPA goes into effect on July 1.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor says the PPA is part of the city’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality, slashing operational emissions by nearly 50%. “The City of Adelaide is taking climate change seriously and this partnership demonstrates that we are taking real and meaningful action,” she said. Being climate aware is one thing, but saving money is good, too. Verschoor says the city will pay about 20% less for its electricity than it does at present.

“This means that all our corporate and community buildings, council event infrastructure, electric vehicle chargers, barbecues in the Park Lands, water pumps, street lighting and traffic lights – everything that council operates – will be powered by renewable electricity,” Vershoor says.

Shell Building Large Solar Farm In Queensland

CNBC reports that Shell Australia is about to begin construction of a 120 MW solar power plant with 400,000 PV panels in Queensland. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021. This a “half a loaf is better than none” story. The electricity generated will be used exclusively to power a QGC natural gas installation.

The good news? A reduction in carbon emissions of 300,000 tons a year compared to the emissions generated currently to make electricity for the operation. Shell sells over 70 million tons of liquefied natural gas every year and nobody spends much time talking about the emissions created when all of that LNG is burned.

Queensland was chosen because it has “some of the most reliable sunshine in the world,” the company says. “We believe solar will play an increasing role in the global energy system, especially when partnered with a reliable energy source such as gas,” says Tony Nunan, head of Shell Australia.

So it’s some good news and some sort of good news for Australia. While no financial information has been disclosed, it is unlikely QGC is anxious to pay more for electricity than it does at the moment. The news that renewable energy is cheaper with more stable pricing over the long term will percolate through the commercial sector, prompting other companies to ask, “Why aren’t we paying less for our electricity?”

And so the renewable energy revolution will continue. The hope is eventually the world will stop using LNG altogether and switch to 100% renewables. Progress toward that goal is continuing and accelerating every day, despite the efforts of Morrison and other world leaders to stop the tide of renewable energy from rising.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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