Green Uptake on The Move – Solar Power in Brisbane Booms!

Solar Panels in Brisbane are In! – Financial and Green Benefits…

As a resident of Brisbane, i commented in my column that there is a very high degree of visibility to the safe-climate actions many householders around Brisbane. Around 2.8 million Australians either use Green Power or have solar PV (read , solar panels), and it is reasonable to assume that many, many more are taking the easier and cheaper safe-climate actions, yet the misconception that most householders are doing nothing about climate change persists. This is not surprising if you consider that most such actions take place behind closed doors and in backyards! My neighbours Bob and Sue Ryan installed solar panels on their Brisbane home in 2002 – they were trail blazers! My other half decided it was time to do our bit on a practical level for the green movement and environment by installing solar power on our Brisbane roof. We installed a large 5KW solar system and are now self sufficient in terms of now producing more electricity than we use – how cool is that! John, from the solar panels Brisbane  company reckons we will reduce carbon emissions released into the atmosphere by more than 25 tonnes per year. That is an astounding amount. We get paid for the extra electricity that we ‘export’ to the electricity grid. The State Government in their wisdom pays us 44 cents per kilo watt hour for all the power we ‘sell back’ to them, meaning we get a credit on our electricity bill. The solar panels cost $8000 to install and my ‘other half’ calculates we will pay off the solar power system in 4 years. Why we did not do it earlier i dont know. The renewable energy industry needs to be given incentives to grow – installing solar power in Brisbane has become an industry in its own right. Brisbane solar installers are , according to the Queensland State Government , installing 1200 solar power systems in Brisbane every day!

Collective Action In Reducing Carbon Emissions Through Renewable Energy and Solar Power Uptake

We need to really consider global warming and how, on an individual level we can reduce our household carbon solar panels - renewable energy in Brisbane is boomingemissions. By making all those actions widely visible, like , as we did, installing solar,i hope we can help to  achieve a cultural shift towards a society in which everyone is engaged in reducing GHG emissions because they know that everyone else is doing it too (like in wartime). People would be less likely to ‘tune out’ or deny climate warnings if they could see action is being taken – it would remove the disconnect between the warnings and what they see around them – and visible mass action would send a strong signal to governments. Bravo the Queensland Government for promoting solar power .

If you are involved in a climate/sustainability/environment group, please consider submitting a Group Solar Power Application in to give visibility to what your group is doing towards a safe climate. This feature has two aims: firstly it is part of the overall strategy to increase climate-action visibility, but also it is a way of introducing solar power and renewable energy to your group to people who may wish to join in and help. This will take a few minutes using the online form, plus the time to compose the description of your group. John at the Solar power Brisbane site has kindly agreed to talk to a group of us on 22nd May at 7.30PM at the Brisbane Town Hall – note: it will be in the Council Annex. Call John Forsythe on 0456778990 if you would like to attend.

“Greening” Brisbane – My Passion!

A year or so ago I sent an email to the The Brisbane Greens suggesting that giving visibility to existing safe-climate actions could help weaken psychological barriers to taking action, and wondering how to achieve greater visibility. Some of the members responded with suggestions and comments, then and since, and have helped shape this project. The most obvious difficulty was finding an affordable means of “reaching” mainstream householders, since many would be unlikely to stumble across a website like this unless they were directed to it via non-web communications. My original strategy was to create a survey of householders’ safe-climate actions for my local LGA,Brisbane city council, and have them use their existing channels of communication with all residents in the area to invite residents to take the survey and, more importantly, to publicise the “results so far”. I was hoping then to interest other LGAs in copying the model. Since we have taken the plunge and installed solar panels we are working with John, to really promote practical ways the individuals can reduce green house emissions. Solar power installation , wind power on a small scale, home insulation and low energy, high efficiency lighting are ways we are suggesting to the groups…..more to come!!



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