Griffith’s first solar farm is not too far away from becoming a reality, and it’s likely the first step down the road where the city becomes more reliant renewable energy.
It’s a growing trend across the world likely to see most cities one day become 100 per cent renewable energy efficient.
It’s a long way off for Griffith, but it’s worth looking beyond our own backyard at other places across the globe to see how they tackle energy.
There are cities no longer relying on the grid for any source of energy, so faults state-wide of national faults are no longer a concern.
It’s communities around the world rather than governments leading the way in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Suburbs, small towns and, increasingly, entire cities are driving the change to an exciting future for 100 per cent renewable energy.
Towns like Newstead, Uralla, Lismore, Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour and countless others across the country are developing and implementing 100 per cent renewable policies.
For example, Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) formed at the beginning of 2014 as a result of a community energy forum organised by the local council.
TRY has brought together locals who are passionate about the notion of powering their town entirely with renewables and aims to be energy self-sufficient by 2022.
While each community has unique challenges, they all share a common approach of engaging the local community and representing a broad range of motivations.
Georgetown in Texas is a fiercely conservative city of 55,000 and is close to achieving its target of 100 per cent renewable energy in 2017.
Economic and regulatory factors, rather than climate change motivations, forced the hand of town planners and the local energy utility to abandon costly and unpredictable coal and gas in favour of wind and solar.
Another prime example of the 100 per cent renewable model is Samso, Denmark.
It’s the world’s first clean energy powered island and arguably the poster child for the movement worldwide.
Australia’s energy market used to be the envy of the world.
Now it’s no longer cheap and reliable, it’s time for communities to consider snubbing the federal government’s obsession with coal for alternative energy sources.
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