The stories featured in this report have been chosen by a selection committee incorporating feedback from stakeholders in the low-carbon economy; businesses community groups, NGOs, researchers, academics, investors and individual experts.
We sought to highlight the low-carbon heroes who are finding, developing, investing in, and delivering real solutions from wind and solar energy and services to new low-carbon technologies, as well as those challenging the status quo to demand a more rapid change from our polluting past. Some are well known. Others are not.
Through the preparation of this report, a number of trends emerged, namely the speed at which low-carbon technology is being developed, the diversity of that technology and the geographic breadth of its take up across Australia. Cost and opportunity are driving that move, and individual leaders stepping up to shoulder the risks have been critical in allowing that to happen.
South Australia is leading the charge to develop and deliver a wide range of renewable energy solutions including large-scale battery storage, virtual power plants, electric vehicle and hydrogen prototype technologies. The ACT and Victorian governments are also taking a lead though innovative, system-wide strategies including the use of power purchasing agreements via reverse auctions.
Big companies including BlueScope Steel, GFG Alliance, Mars and Telstra are showing that the best way to control energy prices is to source their own renewable energy. Companies including Neoen, SIMEC ZEN Energy and Tesla are providing the technology to enable them to do so. Communities from Yackandandah to Tathra are uniting to source their own clean energy and in the process are sending a strong market signal that old-style fossil fuel energy is no longer cost effective.
Investment funds and banks including Local Government Super, Future Super, Australian Ethical Investment, Bank Australia and even NAB have shown there is a growing demand for fossil-free investments, and they are able to make clean profits. Australian councils have led local government authorities around the world in divesting from fossil fuels; and innovative social enterprises including ClearSky Solar Investments are allowing people like renters and those in apartments, to share in the renewable energy boom.