Kangaroo Island is one of the greatest Australian tourism icons. The island, which is just 120 kilometres from Adelaide, is making a new headline by wanting to provide 100% of its electricity needs and most of its transport fuels through locally sourced renewable energy as posted by the Guardian.
The island is calling for proposals that can take advantage of its local resources that include wind energy, solar power, ocean energy and biomass and mix them with battery storage, a smart software and the existing diesel back-up. It’s also supporting an initiative to have the island off from the mainland grid. The move has been prompted by a need to update and replace the old cable that presently supplies electricity from the mainland.
The South Australian Power Networks has initiated for the alternative proposals. They stated that they will consider it if someone can come up with a proposal that matches the $50m cost of replacing the cables. The firm is aiming to make a decision by the end of the year. Andrew Boardman, chief executive of the Kangaroo Island Council said that 100% renewable energy is real and a very clear target.
Technology is not the issue because they have solar, tidal, biomass and wind. And if the idea works, it could make the island the first in Australia to be entirely dependent on its own renewable resources for their electricity needs and transport requirements. It can also provide a blueprint for others to follow as stated by Boardman.
Other islands like King island and Lord Howe Island have or about to install significant renewables and battery storage arrays but, still, mostly rely for up to 30% of their electricity requirements to fossil fuels.
The island has teamed up with the Institute of Sustainable Futures in Sydney to help in finding the best alternatives. ISF director Chris Dunstan says that the institute got involved because he saw the idea that it is an opportunity that is too important to miss. Dunstan and Boardman are hoping South Australian Power Networks gives more time for alternative proposals to be assembled together, which is why ISF has entered in pushing the idea that there are good alternatives to just simply laying new cables.
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