A brief pitch: Australia: Clean energy superpower


A 21-second pitch for climate action

Map: Global distribution of combined wind and solar generation potential

Australia glows orange on this map: We have outstanding winds and sun.
And more, we have minerals, like iron ore.
So, Australia can act on climate and become a renewable energy superpower.
Wins for our climate, industry, jobs and prosperity.


Keep it brief in a discussion or interview

This superpower vision is a complex topic, especially for lunchtime discussions, interviews, and TV panel shows like Q&A, so it helps to argue for it briefly.

Here’s a 3-minute pitch, which includes some half-minute pitches that could stand alone.


A 3-minute pitch for the superpower vision

Climate emergency

We face a climate emergency and need to act now to protect ourselves, our children, and our environment.

Renewable energy superpower

Fortunately, by acting now, we can also grasp a prosperous future with sustainable industries and jobs.

Powered by our cheap renewable energy, we can radically expand our industrial base, for example, steel production, and become a renewable energy superpower. However, if we are slow, others will grab this opportunity.

(After 32 seconds, you’ve introduced the superpower vision. For a fuller description, see the free, 87-page “Renewable Energy Superpower” report by “Beyond Zero Emissions”.)

Price, reliability and emissions

Our states and companies have made some fantastic 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 South Australia’s electricity use:

  • reducing expensive gas generation,
  • reducing the state’s wholesale electricity prices: it had the highest prices on the east coast grid for years, but now it often has the lowest,
  • increasing electricity reliability,
  • cutting emissions, and
  • making industries more competitive.

(After 66 seconds, you’ve got a pitch that could stand alone. Despite its brevity, it challenges claims made by fossil fuel promoters, e.g., gas generates cheap electricity, and renewables will (1) generate unreliable electricity, (2) increase electricity prices and (3) destroy industries.)

Industrialise with renewables

When Australia exports refined minerals, it also exports the energy used in producing the refined minerals, i.e., the embodied energy. Australia is already exporting renewable energy in this way, and this export could become enormous.

Exporting green aluminium and renewable energy

We already export renewable energy from our four aluminium smelters, e.g., the Bell Bay smelter:

  • uses Tasmania’s 100% renewable electricity to make aluminium,
  • exports aluminium, and so
  • exports the electricity used to make this exported aluminium, that’s 20% of Tasmania’s electricity, and
  • employs 440 people, that’s good for employment and the Launceston region.

Exporting green steel and renewable energy

The Grattan Institute reports that Australia could refine more of its iron ore and create 25,000 manufacturing jobs in the coal mining areas of Queensland and NSW. Several companies are pursuing green steel:

  • the existing Whyalla Steelworks in South Australia, and
  • Fortescue’s proposed green steelworks in Western Australia.

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of ores that need energy-intensive processing. Now, our cheap renewable energy will make it economical to refine more of these minerals here. Our export of embodied renewable energy will increase as we (1) move towards 100% renewable energy and (2) export more refined minerals.

Australia is industrialising and moving towards being a renewable energy superpower.

(After 1-min 40-sec, you’ve also included benefits to jobs, community, industry, and energy export.)

Wide support for massive renewable expansion

Renewables have broad support, including from state Liberal governments:

  • the South Australian Liberals plan to expand renewables generation to five times what the state needs, so the state can export energy via a new hydrogen and ammonia industry, and
  • the other two Liberal state governments, NSW and Tasmania, also have ambitious plans for renewables.

These state plans make the Federal Coalition’s attacks on renewable energy look increasingly misguided.

(After 2-min 13-sec, you’ve included some surprisingly ambitious plans. And it’s conservative politicians pushing these plans, which indicates the broad support for renewable energy and its export.)

Vast commercial plans to export energy

We also see gargantuan commercial plans to export renewable energy.

(1) The Asian Renewable Energy Hub plans to generate 100 Terawatt hours a year which is:

  • about 68% of Australia’s 2019 coal generation, and
  • more than China’s Three Gorges Dam, the second-largest generator in the world.

(2) The Australian company, Sun Cable, plans to supply 20% of Singapore’s electricity from the Northern Territory via a submarine cable.

These are two of over 30 commercial plans for exporting green hydrogen or ammonia.

A green-energy gold rush

The above developments have come in surges. At times, it’s seemed like the start of a green-energy gold rush, with Australia pushing towards being 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 58-sec pitch, but the initial 66 seconds can stand alone. I could talk about a one or a three-minute pitch, but the critical point is, it’s a brief pitch for an inspiring, multifaceted vision.)



Brief, good news, evidence-based argument

The above pitch rests on Australia’s (1) surprising progress towards the superpower vision and (2) the resulting benefits. This pitch is both good news and evidence-based.

We no longer need to push for action just by warning of fires and floods – because climate action now offers prosperity and security.


Support for each of the above assertions

Here’s a slightly longer, 4-minute version of this pitch.
It shows links to articles supporting each of the above assertions.


The importance of an economic pitch

I wish that arguing for climate action to protect our environment was effective, but it’s not. Half the Great Barrier Reef has died, and this has not moved the Federal government! Now that renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel energy, our states and companies are finally acting. Let’s spread the economic argument.


A brief pitch challenge

What’s your brief 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 via my contact page. I’d be particularly interested if you have a short, sharp pitch for your vision.


Other brief pitches


Other progress towards the superpower vision

There are many other examples of our progress that you could use in a pitch.

An overview of Australia’s progress towards renewable energy superpower


Concern about the inefficiency of hydrogen

While there’s a lot of excitement about hydrogen, there are many plans for the inefficient use of hydrogen.

(Inefficient use of hydrogen: This site)


Solution feedback cycle: Vision, progress, & benefits

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. Warnings are necessary, but they’ve left so many people in fear, denial, and despair. That’s why the example pitch focuses on generating hope and reinforcing our progress to get more progress.

“Vision popularity”, “progress towards the vision”, and “benefit” can form a self-reinforcing feedback cycle.

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”, leading to “more popularity of the superpower vision”, which leads to “more progress”. 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.

For more see, the advantages of promoting the superpower vision and our progress.


Problem feedback cycles: Global heating

While the above “progress feedback cycle” can increase climate action, many feedback cycles 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 heatingMore melting of ice containing methane
More greenhouse gassesMore methane in the air

In the above cycle, heating releases methane 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.


Organise a talk on Australia’s progress

My presentations on Australia’s progress towards the superpower vision have excited people who’ve been discouraged or tuned out of the forever climate wars.

You can request a presentation on Australia’s progress towards the superpower vision.


A poster promoting these brief pitches

Here’s a poster promoting these brief pitches for Australia becoming a renewable energy superpower


Slogans presenting vision and progress

Photo: A banner saying "The big tesla battery turns me on"

A brainstorm of slogans for promoting climate action


Climate change evidence

Graph: Carbon dioxide levels over the past 400,000 years. Since 1950 levels have rocketed.

Evidence of human-caused climate change.


Convergence: The basis for scientific confidence

Image of convergence: A red arrow and five blue arrows meet point to point

Convergence: The Basis for Scientific Confidence.


Site Purpose

  • 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.

Visitor Site Map: a compact overview of the website.


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 17 September 2021

3 Replies to “A brief pitch: Australia: Clean energy superpower”

  1. Thank you for this useful compilation of information – VERY useful to have on hand if one is having a debate with a denier of climate change
    Regards
    Pat Phair

    Reply

  2. This is brilliant Andrew, love the positive slogans. I do think they are the way to go. Undermines a lot of the antagonistic stance. Perhaps instead of ‘stop Adani’ type comments, there could be calls for a transition program to help fossil fuel employees. That might bring more folk on board.

    Reply

  3. This is a simply brilliant coverage of the issue Andrew, and so straightforward & accessible. It provides a wonderful reference for discussions and helps us remain positive, despite the difficulties we are all facing as the climate warms. Thanks you so much for putting this together and keeping it updated.

    Reply

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