Write a magazine article on sustainable electric energy supplies for Western Australia Essay Example





The current electric energy system does not have coordination or proper planning between generation, transmission and energy demand management. This incapacitates the implementation of renewable energies for there are ad hoc developments caused by mismanagement (GoA 2008). The energy policy of Australia is subjected to three levels of government common in Australia in regard to regulation and fiscal influence. The federal energy polices deal with primary industries and therefore they support the coal mining and natural gas industries linked to fossil fuel use and production. Australia is one of the most coal independent countries in the world (Abrahamse & Steg 2005).

Western Australia hosts a variety of renewable energy sources ranging from solar, ocean, geothermal and wind which if utilized sustainable energy will be achievable. However, there are potentials and obstacles to go with this which need to be addressed as stated by the minister Ferguson. Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) provides the central contact for companies willing to invest in renewable energy and enabling technologies. If these companies are granted the chance, they are capable of making it easy in achieving sustainable energy in western Australia whereby big and small consumers are considered both in terms of cost and reliable energy.

Coal, natural gas and oil based products are the primary source of energy usage irrespective of the fact that coal industry produces about 38% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (Kennedy 2010). This being the case, the federal policy has announced an emissions trading scheme and that of national mandatory renewable energy target of 20% share of electricity supply by the year 2020 (Ernst & Young 2008). According to stern report, Amongst the developed countries Australia emitted the highest greenhouse gasses in the year 2000 (NEMMCO 2005.). This was contributed by a total reliance on coal and gas energy putting the country at the most risk of climate change.

If renewable are combined with energy storage then it can result to sustainable energy supply and above all there can be an ability to match the varying load of electricity without requiring the generation of power supplied by gas generated electricity (Steinberger 2008). As for SEI 2030, if the fossil fuel generation is replaced with renewable energies then there are a lot of benefits. They include; reduced greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce environmental energies, provide fresh/desalinated water, reduce use of water from mining coal , have access to safe adequate and reliable energy alternatives for instance nuclear (GoA 2008) ; Just to mention but a few.

The Western Australia has to undergo several policy changes so as it can achieve sustainable energy. For instance, there has to be an urgent removal of regulations that only support the status quo. By developing smart Grids, then there will be high chances of having renewable energy potential and supply consistency. It’s also going to improve in absorbing fluctuations in demand and supply unlike the traditional systems. The use of long lines and remote generators are unreliable incase of natural disasters or mechanical problems. If the storage potentials are increased, then there will be an achievement of gas security and thinking of dual fuel options for power and transport needs will in a big way secure energy supply security and providing it to customers at an affordable price (Andrews 2011).

In any case, there has to be a reduction of energy demand and wastage. Bulk energy users should be helped so as they can achieve energy efficiency and get the best from this energy, for they will in return increase revenue. Bulk energy users who are given the first priority in districting the energy need to be assured of sustainable and consistent supply so as they can continue with their businesses effectively. Incase there be waste heat, then it should be captured and reused and this will increase energy efficiency. Energy suppliers sell large amounts of discounted power to increase and guarantee demand (Steinberger 2008). . However, small consumers pay much higher rates so that they can guarantee profitability.

The small consumers therefore suffer high costs but this has to change if the future energy situation has to be improved to accommodate both the big and smaller users without incapacitating any one of them. This put the small users at a disadvantaged position which they can be delivered if different energy production options are utilized. For sustainable energy to be realized, then pricing equity and regulations reductions will result in great market transparency (Blanco 2009). Transparency and equity will encourage smaller scale renewable energy power providers to deal with customers who pay high rates for power. This will ensure that all, the big and small users of energy demand are met efficiently. In Western Australia, many do not afford energy due to costs. People need to be assisted in managing power use to curb uncontrolled costs.

PV is commonly used in telecommunications, solar lighting, road signs and isolated commercial purposes. The Common Wealth government has offered a photovoltaic Rebate programme (RVRP) subsidy of $b/w for residential grid connected PV systems to $8000). For community organizations and schools the PVRP provides 50% of the cost of the system up to 2kW. Mostly it is found in kalbarri photovoltaic system, and horizon power is working with PowerCorp Pty Ltd and SunPower Corporation Australia to build a highbred solar photovoltaic at Marble Bar and Nullagine. Western Australia leads the small scale thermal technology mostly on solar hot water systems. If it can be implemented in large numbers, then the region will be on the way to achieving sustainable energy and more so in a cost effective way to small consumers.

Heavy investment by the government in renewable energy as an alternative power generation is another option of realizing sustainable energy is Western Australia (Steinberger 2008). For instance the use of sources like, wind energy which will require development of energy storage technologies so as it can expand. Solar thermal, biomass, geothermal energy, bio-fuels, tidal energy and many others which will result to making energy readily available to all at a cheap price and be less harmful to the environment (Kennedy 2010).. The ability to harness and use different forms of energy will help in a big way to change the lives of low income people allowing them to enjoy a level of comfort and mobility and giving them a chance to input to the economy if provided with affordable energy. Furthermore, there is also a need of to capture carbon and store it instead of it being released to the atmosphere where it results to effects of global warming (Fridleifsson 2001).


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