With at least 27 human fatalities and a scarcely credible estimate by scientists that more than one billion animals have been killed nationwide by the unprecedented blazes since September 2019, Australia’s bushfire horrors have stunned the world. The climate crisis is contributing to the catastrophe, at least to its scale and intensity, whether or not it is its primary cause. And scientists revealed only this month that global heating is causing daily weather change. But something else happened in Australia in 2019 which could point the way towards a fast route, not for Australia alone but globally, to renewable energy and a safer future. In the state of South Australia the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery – 129MWh, able to power 30,000 homes for an hour during a blackout – was switched on just 60 days after the contract to build it was signed. So ways of cutting the use of fossil fuels and reducing their contribution to climate heating, now clearly implicated in Australia’s catastrophe, are within reach. The battery was commissioned in order to bring greater reliability and stability to the state’s electricity grid, preventing blackouts, improving reliability across the network and helping to even out price spikes.
Climate News Network 9th Jan 2020 read more »