Few animals have as much energy as the Tasmanian devil. While the cartoon character by the same name—created by Looney Tunes—may be fictional, Tasmania’s own renewable energy production certainly isn’t. The island state, part of the Commonwealth of Australia, leads the entire nation in renewable energy production.
Tasmania’s huge focus on and gains within the renewable energy industry are especially notable for what they mean for the rest of the country. Some industry experts believe that the production in the island state and more broadly in South Australia have the country on course to achieve almost 100 percent of its energy needs through renewables in only the next 10 to 15 years.
Of course, the success is not yet guaranteed. First, browner energy producers like coal and gas plants are looking out for their own interests and trying to lessen the focus on and investment in more renewable sources. Because of their long histories and strong financial and political backings, these producers can hold a lot of sway. Similarly, green energy’s bright future is partially contingent upon continued governmental and policy support in the form of financial and tax incentives tied to renewable production.
But the groundswell of support for renewable energy around the globe is unavoidable at this point and investors and proponents of it should take heart. Because of significant recent technological gains in the sector, costs for renewable production are dropping rapidly. These lower costs are being passed along to consumers and will keep manifesting as more and more affordable monthly energy bills, which should only accelerate consumer interest.
Also in play is Australia’s stark topography. While its arid climate may not be ideal for hydroelectric power, it couldn’t be better for wind and solar farms. Many consumers are starting to implement their own solar arrays, as price points for installations fall and make it financially feasible to do so, and wind is booming in Down Under. For example, with the completion of a large new array called Snowtown 2 this July, South Australia will be meeting around 40 percent of its energy needs entirely through renewables.
Like the Tasmanian devils own energy reserves, Australia’s renewable energy sources are inexhaustible. Continued investment in them should pay huge dividends in the very near future.