“You would imagine it is the government’s job to see over the horizon, predict the next comet and transition your workforce – skilled, agile and ready to jump on board. Didn’t we have a prime minister who spoke like that?”
…Yet, that morning, I’m listening to a podcast of RN Breakfast, with Fran Kelly interviewing Simon Hackett, executive chair of Redflow, the battery storage company, about South Australia’s strides toward renewables. South Australia is already the nation’s largest generator of wind power, and solar panels sit on more than one in four household roofs.
Hackett says a battery revolution is coming in the way we store energy. He says early adopters of solar, who got high feed-in tariffs from governments, have already paid for their solar panels. He proposes offering those who are locked into the feed-in tariff a voluntary trade-in for a home battery: “These people are early adopters, they want to be early adopters again. Say, hey, we’ll give you a battery and stop paying a feed-in tariff … you’ve got rid of a forward liability that was actually higher than the cost of batteries.”
It must, says Hackett, be voluntary but could be transformative.
Queensland sits at a difficult crossroads, pretending that it is not really there. People who made bucks from old coal technology aren’t going to stand aside politely. Yet, in life, there are those who try to cling to a departing comet and those who spot the next and prepare.