Australia: Renewable energy exporting superpower
Australia glows orange on this map: We have outstanding winds and sun and
… we can become a renewable energy exporting superpower.
A 2-minute pitch for the superpower vision
This superpower vision is a complex topic for lunchtime discussions, interviews, and TV panel shows like Q&A.
So here’s a 2-minute pitch for the superpower vision. It’s based on (1) our achieved progress towards the vision and (2) the resulting benefits. You might find bits of the pitch useful. Here’s the pitch:
Powered by our cheap renewable energy, Australia can radically expand its industrial base, for example, steel production, and become a renewable energy exporting superpower. We can grasp a prosperous future with sustainable industries and jobs.
(After 18 seconds, you’ve introduced the superpower vision. For a fuller description, see the free, 87-page “Renewable Energy Superpower” report by “Beyond Zero Emissions”.)
Our states and companies have made some amazing progress towards this superpower vision, showing that the vision is realistic. And this progress has brought benefits.
Look at what’s happening in South Australia:
- Renewables now generate 60% of their electricity.
- Renewables have:
- reduced expensive gas generation,
- reduced the state’s wholesale electricity prices,
- increased electricity reliability, and
- cut emissions.
(After 51 seconds, you’ve got a pitch that could stand alone – about renewables displacing gas, and the beneficial movement of price, reliability, and emissions.)
- Renewables kept the Whyalla steelworks from closing in 2017:
- saving 1,300 jobs,
- stopping Whyalla from becoming a ghost town,
- saving a proven and efficient way of exporting renewable energy, as our steel exports also export any renewable energy used to make the steel, and
- opening the way for Whyalla to become one of the largest steelworks in the world with zero-emissions steel production: sustainable world-scale industry with a long-term future.
(After 1-min 20-sec, you’ve also included benefits to jobs, community, industry, and energy export.)
- Renewables have broad support, including from the state Liberals who are planning:
- a massive expansion of renewables to five times the state’s electricity usage, and
- export energy export via a new hydrogen and ammonia industry.
Like South Australia, the other Liberal state governments, NSW and Tasmania, also have ambitious plans for renewables. These plans leave the Federal Coalition’s continuing attacks on renewable energy looking increasingly bizarre.
(After 1-min 55-sec, you’ve included some surprisingly ambitious plans promoted by some conservative politicians. This indicates the broad support for renewable energy and its export.)
Sun Cable is progressing an amazing plan to supply 20% of Singapore’s electricity from the Northern Territory via a submarine cable.
Also, there are over 30 plans for green hydrogen, including vast plans by Fortescue and the Asian Renewable Energy Hub.
This is the start of a green-energy gold rush, and, arguably, Australia is becoming a renewable energy superpower, despite the Federal Coalition. Our progress shows that the superpower vision is realistic, and the benefits show it would be good for jobs, security, and prosperity.
We need to urgently push ahead with this transition before other nations grasp these opportunities.
(That’s a 2-min 40-sec pitch, but the initial 51 seconds can stand alone, so I could call it a 1, 2, or 3-minute pitch. The point is, it’s a brief pitch for an inspiring, multifaceted vision.)
Evidence for each assertion
Here’s a slightly longer, 3-minute version of this pitch.
It shows links to articles supporting each of the above assertions.
Do read about more of our progress.
There are many other examples of our progress that you could use in such a pitch.
- State governments are powering into renewable energy
- Companies are leaping at renewable energy opportunities
- Renewables are bringing investment in local mineral processing
- We’re already exporting renewable energy
- We’re supplying renewable energy equipment & solutions
- Driver: Renewable energy costs plummeting & big batteries
- Driver: Australia’s renewable energy advantages
Vision, progress, and benefit
The above pitch promotes: (1) an attractive vision of a sustainable Australia, (2) our progress towards the vision, and (3) the resulting benefits. The pitch focuses on reinforcing our progress towards a solution and generating hope, involvement, and enthusiasm.
By contrast, climate scientists and many others urge climate action by warning about climate change fires, floods, drought, and death. The trouble is that these warnings have left so many people in fear, denial, anger, and despair.
That’s why the example pitch focuses on generating hope.
The feedback cycle of vision, progress, & benefits
By reinforcing our progress, we can generate more progress.
|More popularity for the superpower vision||———->||*|
|More benefits||<———-||More progress towards the vision|
While this self-reinforcing feedback cycle is dominant, more progress leads to more benefit, which leads to greater popularity of the superpower vision, which leads to more progress and so on. In South Australia, there’s:
- a vision of increasing renewable generation to 500% of local demand.
- progress, like reaching 60% renewables, and
- benefit, like retaining their steel industry, an industry with a long-term future as it’s moving towards zero-emissions steel production.
We are seeing a rush of developments, and this self-reinforcing feedback cycle is gaining strength: a green energy gold rush is underway.
A two-minute challenge
What’s your 2-minute pitch for your vision of a sustainable Australia, a pitch you could use in a discussion or a radio interview?
This website is still evolving, and I’d welcome your feedback. On my contact page, I’ve got a few questions about the site. If you’d like to send me your ideas, please do. And I’d be particularly interested if you have a short, sharp pitch for your vision.
Vicious heating feedback cycles
While the above “progress feedback cycle” can increase climate action, there are many feedback cycles that amplify global heating. In these cycles, global heating causes further global heating. Unfortunately, our high levels of greenhouse gases are force-feeding these vicious climate feedback cycles.
|More global heating||———->||More ocean surface warming|
|More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere||Less nutrient upwelling|
|Less photosynthesis||<———-||Reduced phytoplankton population|
In the above cycle, heating reduces the phytoplankton population, which increases heating. These sorts of vicious heating feedback cycles could end life as we know it on our planet, so we need urgent climate action.
For more see, The critical danger: amplifying feedback cycles.
A talk on Australia’s progress
The progress presented here has excited people who’ve been discouraged or tuned out of the forever climate wars.
Slogans presenting vision and progress
- urge action on climate change, and
- present “amplifying feedback” as a tool for understanding climate change and as a general organising principle.
Amplifying feedback cycles are driving change all around us; this led to this website’s name, “Feedback Reigns”.
Site Author: Andrew Gunner
- I worked in the petrol and petrochemical industries as an operations researcher for 20 years after gaining a science degree,
- worked as a counsellor for 17 years, gaining a Master of Social Work by research into my counselling practice, and
- have urged climate action on this website since 2009.
- For more, see my background and amplifying feedback.
Image Source: The global map of wind and solar potential is from the “Beyond Zero Emissions” 2015 publication “Zero Carbon Australia: Renewable Energy Superpower”.
Updated 3 May 2021