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Peter Boyer has inspired me to dream of collecting the known technologies and bundling them to shift Tasmania into the renewables age and somehow involve the people with reduced electric bills.

First thinking outside of present constraints, the means by which we can create an urban solar environment, which pays for itself and rewards households to the tune of $1,200 and reduce commercial energy bills by half.

We can attract new manufacturing investment into the State by providing a safe and secure electric supply to our distribution system by requiring Tas Networks to:

• Store Solar heat energy and expand the productivity of power providers.

• Lease maximum rooftop space on all Public Housing to install photovoltaic systems and hot water systems.

The public tenants will then receive a 20% reduction from the electricity bills to the householder. Housing Tasmania would receive 10% as the lease payment as the house owner, the remaining energy becomes the property of Hydro Tasmania.

Further, Hydro Tasmania will negotiate the same arrangements with private rental properties.

Private housing roof leasing, will maximise the photovoltaic system by deducting 30% from every subsequent electricity bills to the house owner.

The same leasing arrangements will apply to public buildings and commercial roof space outside of the CBD in Launceston and Hobart and a 50% deduction in their metered electric usage.

Excluded from this scheme will be heritage and historic buildings.

Benefits include:

• No massive infrastructure transmission lines required as the power is generated right where it is needed.

• More power is available for commercial development. Making Tasmania an attractive investment hub.

Dam water storage rises as Hydro business model changes to multi-industry advice and support i.e., an irrigation asset for agriculture and horticulture.

We put Tasmania first instead of becoming an economic slave to Canberra in its big-is-best-and-huge-is-even-better mantra; the most dubious ‘$5 billion Battery of the Nation’ idea.

Any surplus electricity generated by wind and tidal or wave and solar, can be sold to the national grid.

Ensuring new investors that there is the capacity and lower priced energy available when they lease roof top space to Hydro.

This rational approach does not cost the earth and we maintain our sovereignty.

We would have the capacity to build “Micro Grids” powered by electric cells, using hydrogen for our hospitals, retirement homes, local fuel stations and emergency shelters, following the micro-grid model in California USA.

The household returns per annum would be in the order of $1000 to $1200 p/a range adding to empty pockets that would boost spending and GST returns.

Another is that micro-grids can ease the entry of intermittent renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, into the modern grid. Utilities are also interested in micro-grids because of the money they can save by deferring the need to build new transmission lines.

Benefits:

• Can be installed in tranches, pension Card Holders first, then students, renters, home buyers or owners and commercial roofs.

• Would have huge popular appeal.

• Will return about $1000 per annum, to each household every year.

• Participants will feel they are part of something big and worthwhile.

• Vacuum tube hot water systems could mean new manufacturing base in northern Tasmania.

• Hot water storage is store of solar power overnight.

• Water storage will rise in Hydro Dams as a larger reserve.

• Aurora and Government benefit by increased earnings.

• The solar panel installers already in Tasmania would be a successful businesses rather than hanging on by the fingernails

• Agriculture and Horticulture would be able to better irrigate; more funds for government.

• This scheme begins to pay for itself from day one.

• No more or far fewer, new transmission lines In this system.

• Funds available with ARENA and can be drawn as the system grows rather everything at day one.

• The Rollout can be done over 5 years and finally pay for itself after eight.

Will Hodman’s on the other hand will cost some $5 billion for 15 pump up massive constructions including Hydro’s second cable across Bass Strait and probably run dams down to the lower limit and draining taxpayers’ wishes for hospital and education funding; that is if they don’t burn those cables out by pushing too much Battery power to Victoria.

If they want to spend that sort of money they could Drill tunnels to the southern part of King Island and Flinders Island and save having to provide local vessels. The Tunnels could run an electric train carrying freight and passengers. The two Bass Strait ferries could leave from the north of King and Flinders islands breaking down the isolation on the islands north of Tasmania.

That way mainland taxpayers would be less happy about paying for a ‘flat battery. ‘

*John Ward is Managing Director of Workplace Transformations Pty Ltd. His Work Background: Wool Classer; Australian Army Medical Corps; Civil Defence (SES) Darwin, Northern Territory. Middle Manager Oil Refining for Royal Dutch Shell (Granville refinery). Union Secretary Association of Foremen and Supervisors; Industrial Relations and court appearances: Member of the Conciliation Committee of the NSW Chemical, Oil, Brewing, Soap and Detergent and the Metalliferous Mining industries. NSW Public Service, Research in Employment Development and Training. Establishing Employment and Industry Development Schemes in NSW. I have extensive experience in project management, administrative services and team building. I have held the position of Deputy Director, Industry and Regional Policy Branch of the NSW Department of Industrial Relations and Employment. Served as Secretary of the Employment Advisory Council (EAC) NSW Ministry of Employment. I also have wide experience in workplace training & workplace reform and industrial relations in the oil, food, sugar, iron and steel, mining, power, manufacturing, chemical and construction industries.