The number of electric cars in Australia doubled in 2022 – yet it remains nearly impossible to buy the model you want, and the nation’s public charging infrastructure remains on the drawing board. Big things will need to change, quickly. Co-hosts Sally Dominguez and Drew Smith dive into the systemic changes needed to get these ‘batteries-with-wheels’ charged and charging into the future. With contributions from Richard Hackforth-Jones, Joe Simspon and Daniel O’Brien. Can you drive across Europe in an EV? Can you charge an EV in your kitchen? Are swappable batteries the answer for ‘range anxiety’ – or can we try to rid ourselves of this ‘big-is-better-ism’ that automotive manufacturers have used to lure new buyers for half a century?
Caught between an energy crisis and a climate crisis, the Lucky Country has stumbled upon a unique opportunity to solve both problems with one solution – a complete electrification of our homes, saving us money while saving the planet. The amazing Saul Griffith outlines his plan to electrify Austinmer, NSW – and reveals a blueprint for Australia’s future.
Saul Griffith’s new book The Big Switch: Australia’s Electric Future is a must-read. Get it here.
If you’re an aspiring energy geek (like myself), you’ll be interested in Spark Club – a monthly get-together of like-minded people working hard on Australia’s energy transition. Learn more here…
We worry that doing ‘the right thing’ for the climate will be hard yards. Three simple, easy changes show us how much we can do – and how empowered we already are to fix this problem.
Here’s the New York Times reporting on the rains in Greenland.
A recent survey of 16-25 year olds reveals the majority feel ‘doomed’ because of climate change.
Our World in Data visualises an ugly truth: Australians emit more carbon per person than almost everyone else.
What to do?
CHOICE shows you how to identify and switch over to a renewable electricity generator. Switching to a renewable electricity generator does more to lower your carbon emissions than any other single act. Let’s do this!
Inventor Saul Griffith has a radical proposal: electrify everything, saving energy, money, and cutting emissions almost to zero. It simultaneouisly transforms the costs of climate change into enormous opportunities. Co-host Sally Dominguez explores three amazing new battery technologies.
A must-read companion to SUSTAIN:
Saul Griffith’s forthcoming book ELECTRIFY is, well, an electrifying read that makes the clear, and obvious case that electrifying everything (coupled with renewable generation) is the win-win solution for the planet and our economy. Pre-order it here.
Sally Dominguez loves sodium-ion batteries, and here’s a report about why they may come to rival the dominant Lithium-ion batteries we use today…
Sally and I both love ‘structural batteries’ – they’ll allow us to store electricity pretty much everywhere, in pretty much everything. Read about them here.
In 2020, renewables became the cheapest source of electricity – and frequent guest Ramez Naam brings us all the stats about this fully underway transition to solar and wind power. But without cheap storage, renewables will never be able to be the entire solution for a world that looks to need a lot more electricity. Australian startup MGA Thermal may have invented the ideal technology to accelerate our transition from coal to solar.
Read this article about how much wind energy the USA added to the grid in 2020 (a record!)
And finally, here’s a story about the day that solar generation (briefly) eclipsed generation by coal-fired plants in Australia’s winter!
Special correspondent Drew Smith explores a European car market that appears to have reached a tipping point in sales of electric vehicles. Is it real? Is it sustainable? Can the power grid handle all those new EVs?
Drew asks the experts – and gets some surprising answers.
Drew co-authors the amazing ‘Looking Out’ newsletter – read the latest one here.
Solar power cost $100 per kilowatt hour when energy futurist Ramez Naam entered the world. Last year, the UAE signed a 20-year contract for solar power at a four thousandth the cost. For Ramez Naam it’s no longer a question of if renewables, it’s a matter of when: the data proves it. Energy has been mixed with politics from the beginning – so over the next billion seconds, how do we talk ourselves out of our coal culture and into a sustainable future? Ramez Naam makes a convincing case for a future where we profit from the sun.
Here’s an excerpt:
There are some amazing things happening in the renewable energy space, as shown in this chart about a typical week of energy generation in South Australia:
Ramez gives a lot of talks about energy futures, here’s a recent one given in South Africa – a nation with some energy problems…
Ramez has also written a series of blog posts on the energy future – the first is linked here.
Finally, here’s that infamous photo of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, on the day they passed a lump of coal around in Parliament: