It seems to be a trademark of so many films set in the future to include beautifully minimal cityscapes, filled with people dressed in polyester and of course, the inevitable whooshing sound of electric vehicles effortlessly passing by.
This classic futuristic scene usually assumes that electricity is the energy of choice, and sourced completely from renewables thank you very much.
Whilst some of today’s nations are well on the road to revolutionising the way renewable energy powers their cities and people, others (like our own) are a little behind – nevertheless Australia has plenty of potential.
In fact, according to Associate Professor Frank Jotzo, director of Australian National University’s Centre for Climate Economics and Policy, Australia can actually reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050, without any significant changes to the structure of the economy.
Other expert sources suggest that by this same year, more than 80% of Australia’s electricity needs could be satisfied by solar power, wind turbines, geothermal technology, biomass and other clear energy sources.
Solar power is considered to be a particularly strong candidate for sustainable power generation in Oz, thanks to the ideal conditions presented by most regions of the country.
So, what would Australia look like without coal?
The shift away from fossil-fuels and un-environmental processes is already being seen around the world, but here’s a snapshot of how Australia could look without coal (and an improved environmental attitude):
- More electrical appliances – From homeowners, to businesses and large corporations – expect to see a lot more high-efficiency electrical products being used, including electric heaters and cooktops replacing gas
- 3D printing – According to an article on news.com.au, 3D printing could reduce the demand for mineral and base metals, focusing on recyclable plastic manufacturing instead
- Same meetings, less travel – Many futurists predict that less coal and better technology will mean daily driving to meetings (and even work itself) will be replaced by digital conferences
- Electric mobility – From personal transportation (cars), to public transport (buses, trains) – electric motors will be powering the fleet of vehicles that get us around. This would also mean the adoption of fast-rail transport between major Australian cities, as
- an alternative to planes.
- Better buildings (with batteries) – With a reliance on renewable energy, homes and large-scale buildings will not only be built smarter to conserve energy, but with batteries that will help store the electricity being generated by solar panels or wind turbines during the day
With countless reports documenting the pitfalls of fossil fuels surfacing every week, the shift to renewable energy, and a coal-free world, is not as distant as it seems. If you’ve already installed solar power, you’re one step ahead. If not, perhaps it’s time to seize the moment!
Speak to you soon,