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Why not demand to take your town/region/city off the electricity grid?

Not a bad demand, eh?

Recently published maps of my suburb  one hundred years hence, projects that most of my neighbours and maybe your good self (if I was as old as Methuselah ) will be underwater.
  • Erosion prone areas—areas of the Queensland coast considered at risk from coastal erosion or tidal inundation in the period to the year 2100.
  • Permanent inundation areas—areas of the Queensland coast considered at risk from climate change induced sea level rise to the year 2100.
  • Storm tide inundation areas—areas of the Queensland coast considered at risk from temporary inundation by a storm tide resulting from a 100-year average recurrence interval storm event. It shows two risk areas: high risk areas where inundation would be greater than 1 m in depth, and moderate risk area where inundation will be less than 1 m. 
The scale of the inundation -- in the light of the recent Queensland floods this Summer -- is startling. Leastways what drowned us in the early months this year was rain from above flowing down through the river catchments. The sea, in the main, was a constant in the deluge -- only contributing a minor rise to the level of  the floodwaters in sync with  high tides.

But throw in a sharper rise in sea levels due to the increasing impact of climate change ... and the drowning game changes.

Dark Blue: 1 metre rise. Light/Aqua Blue: 1 metre rise White: Today
Since so much development has preferenced itself along the coastal strip the ramifications of sea level rise will impact on many coastal communities. (I dare not look at the maps for the Gold Coast for instance as it may be morphing into a modern version of  Atlantis.)

But today here where I live we installed solar panels on our house roof top. The properties of solar energy as a means to generate electricity as a passive homemade activity  are projected to impact on our electricity bills sharply so that we may find ourselves down to zero outlays.

Thats' right: free electricity -- just short of the federal government's rebate cut off date.

But of course if we are going to be underwater ...

So I got to wondering about this and it seemed that a town such as ours in the face of some massive rises in electricity charges these last 12 months could come together and take itself off the grid. 

Run the whole town on solar.

Here wind is an option too as the breezes blow strong and often constant off the Coral Sea.

This demand is not new as it was raised by the Socialist Alliance during the Climate Action Council election campaign for Newcastle back in 2008.   
"We can cut Newcastle’s emissions dramatically and become energy self-sufficient by utilising solar and wind power and supplementing this with combined heat and power plants (CHPs). About 70% of the energy from coal-fired power stations is lost in heat or transmission. CHPs are highly efficient, decentralised power plants make use of this usually wasted energy to heat or cool buildings,” said Mayoral candidate Zane Alcorn.
The irony is that the sort of retrofitting required to move one suburb off the grid -- by installing solar panels both atop domestic dwellings, public buildings and spaces -- would not be super expensive even for a local council. Why let the market rule the industry so that house by house retrofitting is only for  those people who can afford to go solar and pay for their individual share of the free, climate friendly,  energy? Why not plan a total package that incorporates everyone's energy input, everyone's needs but varying ability -- or inability -- to fund the initial outlay?

The federal  solar energy rebate scheme -- just like the watertank one and the roof insulation scheme  -- are engineered to be ruled by market forces so that the corporations receive a direct profit subsidy. 

Built into them is an engineered hats off to the status quo -- a determination not to take the transition to renewables seriously or urgently. They are launched half cocked and function as greenwashery.

Let the market decide -- a sort of when you get-around-to-it program for those who can afford it / are eco-conscious enough to strive to invest in it. 

But from  where I am -- soon to be wading to the shops -- if I live that long --  keeping those carbon numbers down just got very personal. 

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