With the imminent prospect of power blackouts, surely some immediate steps can be taken to reduce power usage Australia wide.
Reschedule all outdoor sporting events (including football by all codes) to be played in daylight hours rather than many of them being played at night.
Turn off advertising signs, particularly ones that at nighttime light up our cities like a Christmas tree.
Surely this would be better than having residential and business premises blacked out.
The federal government renewable energy policy calls for 10,000km of new transmission lines to be constructed to support the movement of electricity from renewable energy generation sites to where the energy is most needed in the heavier populated areas on the east coast.
An integrated approach to the renewable energy process needs to be encouraged, all of the focus is on renewable energy being generated out in the country, yet there are huge areas in our cities that can be utilised to produce renewable energy closer to the populace that uses the energy, negating the need for as many kilometres of new transmission lines to be constructed.
Industrial buildings, warehouses, undercover car parks, multi-storey buildings can all be used as hosts for solar panels to generate power.
New technology also needs to be explored as there are more efficient electric conductors available that can be retro fitted to existing transmission lines to carry an increased load but not included in any of the options I have seen.
Wireless power transmission, while not mainstream currently, is a technology that should also be invested in to expedite its development rather than spend multiple billions of dollars on transmission lines that will become redundant assets potentially in the next 20 years.
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As a landholder currently trying to negotiate adequate compensation with Transgrid for a high voltage transmission line across our property and are now about to be issued with a compulsory acquisition order, I would encourage other landholders to start lobbying politicians, focus groups, social influencers and the general public to get this message across as it is difficult to negotiate with an authority whose social licence to operate goes unchecked by those we trust to support individuals such as ourselves.
I would love to be able have an outcome similar to the great Aussie classic movie The Castle, but the reality is that there will be no Bud Tingwell come to our rescue, and my message for other landholders is to start the fight now, because there will be a transmission line coming to you soon.
I applaud Mark McGowan and the WA government for taking the politically bold step in closing their remaining state-owned coal generators by 2030.
Investing in renewable energy, storage and infrastructure is a sensible plan, given the growing cost of maintaining their ageing coal plants and the availability of cheap excess solar generated during the day.
More admirable is the plan to support workers and the wider community in the transition to other industries.
One hopes that similar support will be provided for our remaining 10 coal mining communities when it is their turn for transition.
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