Simon Holmes á Court is a director at the Smart Energy Council, he’s a senior advisor to the Energy Transition Hub at Melbourne University, and he was also a director of the Hepburn Wind Farm cooperative.

It was the story that came from the Hepburn community that brought Simon to my attention, it’s a story about a small town that said no, to the developers who wanted to build wind farms, and instead, they built them themselves! It was local money, building local infrastructure to make clean energy. 

On this episode…

Simon gives us the inside-word on how rapidly Australia’s electricity grid is going renewable. Despite the tumult in the media and politics, it seems that industry is ignoring the lack of long-term policy and simply going full-steam ahead and embracing the energy transition.

Here are some numbers:

  • Australia’s renewable energy share went from 9% to 20% (an 11% increase) in 17 years.
  • But now, in the next TWO years, we’re set to increase that by another 11%.
  • Australia built 12GW of renewable energy in the 30 years to 2017, and we’re going to build the same again in the next THREE years. It’s a massive acceleration.
  • Estimates suggest that we’ll hit 50% of Aussie power being renewable by the end of the next decade.

My key takeaway this week…

The price of electricity is at the whim of the market, like any other product. And in Australia, a huge driver of power prices is the lack of competition among the key power producers.

Good Future’s Good Books

Sunburnt Country

The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia

By: Joelle Gergis

One of the best things I’ve read lately is by Dr Joelle Gergis, Sunburnt Country, she’s a Melbourne University climate scientist, and she’s a contributor to the IPCC. She’s written a book about the climate history of Australia. Going back prior to European settlement, looking at the colonist’s challenges in dealing with Australia’s variable and harsh climate.

She puts it into context about how fragile our climate is in Australia, or I should say, how reliant we are on a benign climate, and how quickly that’s changing.


@Simonahac on Twitter

Smart Energy Council

Energy Transition Hub, Melbourne University


UN Climate Summit

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