Ten years in the past, the primary landmark in Port Augusta, a metropolis in South Australia, was a 200-metre-high chimney belching fumes from a coal-fired energy station. “You may see it from about 25 miles away,” says Gary Rowbottom, who labored on the plant for 17 years.
At present, nevertheless, there isn’t a proof of this historical past. The chimney is gone and the sky is obvious blue. The primary landmark now’s a tall tower topped with a blinding mild, the place daylight mirrored from 23,000 mirrors on the bottom is targeted to energy 4 big greenhouses the place tomatoes are grown. Subsequent door is the newly constructed renewable vitality park, with 50 wind generators and 250,000 photo voltaic panels.
Port Augusta is consultant of a outstanding shift that has hit South Australia. In 2007, only one p.c of the state’s electrical energy got here from photo voltaic and wind vitality. Now it’s 73 p.c (see graph beneath) – the very best proportion of any main community on the earth. On days which can be significantly sunny and windy, the vitality provide is constituted of 100% renewable vitality sources. That occurred on 180 days in 2021 and for ten consecutive days in December 2022. The state is now dashing to ramp this as much as renewable vitality solely year-round.
Coming from neighboring New South Wales, the place solely 31 p.c of electrical energy comes from renewable vitality sources, I discover this movement of unpolluted vitality very enviable. It’s also very academic for the remainder of the world, who…