Renewable Energy: A Core Strength for the Apple Isle


Tasmania has long been a bastion of sustainability. Their abundant natural resources enable them to draw around 90% of electricity from renewable sources including hydro, small-scale solar and wind from the roaring 40s.

In mid-December the Basslink cable – which can deliver up to 40% of the island’s power, as well as push power back to the mainland – went offline due to a tear ‘about the size of a human thumb’. Ordinarily this might not present a problem however it just so happened to occur during one of Tasmania’s longer droughts. With the state’s hydroelectric supplies down to 14% of capacity, Tasmanian authorities were forced to ship 100 diesel generators across the Strait. The result is one of Australia’s formerly most renewable states now running predominantly on diesel, at significant taxpayer expense.

People benchmark milestones in different ways, so consider this - with the majority of the state’s high-speed internet connectivity made available through the Basslink, many Tasmanians were forced to hire videos from their local stores. Blockbuster 1. Netflix 0.

Upstream took this as a timely occasion to visit the state and follow on from our success with independent schools in NSW. Over the course of a whirlwind week we met with a third of Tasmania’s self-governing campuses and provided them with energy security plans involving over 1.2MW of solar - the equivalent of 1.5 million kilograms of carbon emissions saved each year.

Energy security will long be a global concern. But when it hits home in a developed nation it’s just squeezing another elephant into the room on sustainability.

Upstream would deliver these projects – as we do all of them – at nil capital cost. The Tasmanian schools can play their part in lowering the demand on the island’s network by sourcing their power from daylight that falls on their roof everyday. As a progressive and adaptive project, Upstream can retrofit all systems with storage solutions and secure power for the schools and for all Tasmanians alike.

Only dead fish go with the flow.


Posted on 18th May 2016 / More news