For the last few years I have been a member of the Ausgrid NIAC – the Network Innovation Advisory Committee – on behalf of Solar Citizens. This involves attending a couple of meetings a year, by use of Microsoft Teams (an alternative to zoom) for the last few years. The meetings are used by Ausgrid to describe the innovations they are investigating, and to seek feedback from the committee.
While the cities are starting to speed ahead with the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), regional Australians are paying the price at the petrol pump and missing out on affordable EVs. The petrol car lobby is trying to weaponise myths that EVs that suit the regions don’t exist to keep Australia as a dumping ground for polluting vehicles for as long as they can.
We can’t win the policies we need to unlock affordable EVs for all Australians without the support of regions, suburbs and cities together.
Enter: the Electric Ute Roadshow.
At its heart, Solar Citizens’ mission is to reduce carbon pollution and build a fairer energy system for all Australians. At the core of those goals are the values of protecting this land’s precious ecosystems, safeguarding our way of life from the impacts of climate change, and building a brighter future for everyone.
Right now Queenslanders are facing a cost of living crisis while dealing with the worsening impacts of climate change. Fast-tracking the rollout of renewable energy, and ensuring clean and affordable energy is accessible to everyone, is a key solution to manage both pressing challenges.
Solar citizens across Queensland are calling for the Queensland Government to invest in the below initiatives in addition to the commitments made in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.
Summer has arrived and with it, the heatwaves, severe storms and extreme weather. During the summer months, I struggle to keep my poorly insulated Queenslander cool as temperatures soar - not helped by the fact that geckos ate the wiring in my air conditioning. But despite this I'm still one of the lucky ones.
Australia is lucky: we have incredible renewable energy resources that can be turned into abundant, cheap energy, as well as deposits of key minerals needed to make technology like battery storage and solar panels. By harnessing our clean energy potential we can drive down household power bills, reinvigorate our transport system to be fully electric and run our cars, buses and trains on affordable renewable energy, and establish new manufacturing industries to provide the world with clean technology.
Our renewable energy advantage is our opportunity to slash the cost of living while creating strong, future-proof regional economies. But to make the most of these opportunities, we urgently need bold national policies to accelerate the rollout of solar, wind and storage, and electric transport. Solar Citizens is calling on the Federal Government to adopt and immediately implement the following five policies.
How can one town in regional Queensland change Australia’s clean energy future?
For the last few years Solar Citizens has been working in Townsville—Queensland’s largest regional city—to demonstrate how embracing clean energy can slash power bills and create good jobs in new clean manufacturing industries.
This work has been vital in shifting the national conversation because we’ve been able to show federal and state politicians that communities in the cities, suburbs and regions are all demanding clean energy solutions – it's just good economic sense!