January 5, 2018

Australia is becoming the Saudi Arabia of Solar Energy & what we can all Learn from It.

This issue of energy is neither new nor unknown to the general public, yet it seems that there’s still a strong unwillingness to address it properly.

From regular Joes to world leaders, from small households to huge multinational companies, we all need to come together and find a solution.

Luckily, it looks as if Australia and, more specifically, the people of Queensland, have found one that might work: they rely on solar power, renewable sources, and natural materials much more than the average country.

Here’s how this idea works, why it’s so effective, what the secret is, and how this approach can be implemented in other regions of the world, starting today.

Global energy crisis.

We live in an age of several major crises—from finances and freedom of speech to the worldwide water supply and migrations. When it comes to energy and resources, the situation isn’t simple, and therefore, can’t be summarized in a handful of words, but some coordinates of this major problem can be identified. The population growth, the usage of energy, and an overall lack of care for the future are all driving us into a new era of energy crisis that is certain to take a toll on us all.

Another issue we’re dealing with is logistical: can we bring our current power sources to the next level and make them more adequate than they are today? Unless we start producing more energy—or, at least, distributing it more effectively—and finding new sources, we’ll soon face a difficult situation wherein more and more people are going to require more and more energy, and we won’t be able to give it to them.

This scenario has tragedy written all of over it, but the worst thing is that this isn’t something that may or may not happen in a couple of decades; it’s happening as we speak, and chances are, the problem is going to become much more serious in the future. So we need to find the answer quickly, and one of the ways to solve the problem is by locating positive examples and learning from them.

How Australians faced their energy crisis.

Being one of the most developed countries of the world, Australia has been facing a problem with energy for quite some time—but, unlike people from other powerful nations, those from the “land down under” actually work toward finding the solution and making things easier for everyone.

Although not as heavily populated as some other regions of the world, Australia might even be considered the perfect place for solving the energy crisis, as its millions of residents are battling with a lack of resources no matter if they’re living in a residential building surrounded by dozens of other families or on an isolated farm with nobody around for miles. This problem affects everyone, and we all need to unite if we want to reach a sustainable change of perspective.

The need for change in Australia wasn’t induced by a need to become an energy superpower nor a desire to find a solution overnight. It’s actually a result of a very simple aging process affecting coal-fired power stations. With most of these almost half a century old, they have to be put out of order, heavily altered, and then restored if they are to keep up with the constantly rising demand of new consumers.

However, there’s another problem: besides being old, these power stations are inefficient and bring more harm than good. They produce a massive amount of pollution and could easily be considered among the worst in the world when it comes to emissions and greenhouse effects. That’s why the government wanted to find another solution and switch from power stations that rely on fossil fuels to something more practical, sustainable, energy-efficient, and, ultimately, healthier.

And here’s where things got interesting.

How Australians solved their energy crisis.

The solution for such a complex problem is naturally equally complex, and patience is vital. When it comes to solving the energy crisis, it seems that the good people of Queensland are the most patient bunch of people in the world. What we did might not seem spectacular at first, but turning sugar cane fields into solar energy hubs essentially made us leaders in renewable and sustainable energy. And with over 400,000 solar panels planted on just 200 acres, it’s no wonder this idea is working!

After realizing this could actually solve all of our energy-related problems, we took things to a new level and installed wind farms all over our state and started storing this newly produced energy deep in former gold mines. We realized that storing power is just as important as creating it, and that’s another change in the paradigm that other regions of the world are beginning to implement as well.

All over the Philippines and Malaysia, for instance, more than 10,000 combined battery storage systems are about to be installed in the next two years. This is expected to result not only in over 200 percent growth in the solar market industry in that region, but also in a more sustainable and affordable living standard for the people who live there. That’s how Queensland is spreading its message and making its own path from crisis to stability visible on a global level.

Unfortunately, the war against the energy crisis is far from over. There are lots of things we need to do and a number of changes that have to be introduced, but just one great example, such as the one coming from Australia, could be the first step toward a brighter future.




Author: Will Sandford
Image: Flickr/ESA_events
Editor: Travis May

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