Australian island considers becoming 100% renewable


Kangaroo Island is situated 120 kilometres from Adelaide and aims to supply 100% of its electricity need and the majority of its transport fuels through “locally sources renewable energy,” says The Guardian.

The island is calling for proposals that include a mix of clean energy sources – solar power, wind energy, biomass and even ocean energy. These energy sources will then be combined with battery storage, smart software and existing diesel back-up. [Australia utility moves from coal to off-grid solar and smart meters]

According to the chief executive of the local council, the island will eventually be cut from the mainland grid to run as a separate ecosystem.

The Guardian adds that the move has been prompted by a need to update and replace the ageing cable that currently supplies electricity from the mainland.

Self-sustaining renewable ecosystem

[quote] Andrew Boardman, Kangaroo Island council chief, said: “100% renewable is a very real, very clear target … Technology is not the issue. We have got solar, wind, wave, tidal, biomass. There is nothing we can’t really do.”

South Australian Power Networks, operator of the South Australian electricity distribution network could also consider a proposal that sets out a plan to replace the cable, estimated to cost $45m to $50m.

Boardman added that should its plans go according to plan, Kangaroo Island could be the first in Australia to become entirely reliant on its own renewable energy sources. [IRENA renewables report analyses global deployment benefits]

Other islands are planning to install significant amounts of renewable and battery storage arrays, but still depend on fossil fuel to supply least 20%-30% of its electricity needs.

Boardman went on to say, “We could create a centre of excellence … If we can make it work on Kangaroo Island, it is transferable for other areas.

“If we can show that renewable energy is technically and economically viable for Kangaroo Island, it would be a powerful precedent for communities around Australia who are seeking to develop their own renewable energy.”


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