The advances in renewable energy just keep on coming. The latest we’ve seen is a ‘portable energy mill‘ – a trailer that can provide wind and solar energy to disaster- affected areas.
Innovations such as these show how useful renewable energy can be at providing for those in need of a reliable source of electricity. India is leading the way in electrifying rural villages using solar micro-grids. In areas where the cost of expanding the grid would be expensive and transmission losses high, solar is proving to be a game-changer.
Solar energy has, quite literally, saved lives in these areas. Burning wood and kerosene indoors impacts heavily on people’s health. Providing better light to see by that is reliable and safe makes a significant difference to the entire community. School-goers can complete homework in the evening. Those working from home or workshops can increase their income by producing more. Women feel safer in well-lit areas.
Australia continues to base its economic prosperity on coal exports, even as India, China and the US, turn their back on dirty fossil fuels. We have some of the best solar researchers in the world, and an obligation to live within our carbon budget. Rather than trying to phase out the Renewable Energy Target, it’s long past time to phase out coal and gas.
Our reliance on the fossil fuels for domestic use and for the budget becomes more and more irrational by the day.