Transcript of The need for renewable energy

The need for renewable energy(6:06)

WARNING - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following video may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

Narrator - Imagine this, not having enough energy to light up your room, your home, cook your food, run your fridge, your washing machine, or even worse, charge your mobile phone. You are the energy generation but how will we meet your future energy needs? In this episode, you will learn about our energy needs for the future and why it is desirable to have renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity for clean and sustainable energy production. So what are the energy needs of the future? Why is there a need for hydroelectricity? The global demand for energy has risen dramatically over the past 30 years and continues to rise. Fossil fuels such as crude oil, coal, and natural gas currently supply approximately 80% of our global energy consumption. There is a limited supply of fossil fuels in the Earth's crust. Of course, supply of fossil fuels is only one issue. Global warming and climate change linked to the burning of these fossil fuels is a huge global concern. Carbon dioxide, emitted when fossil fuels burn, traps heat within the Earth's atmosphere causing the temperature to slowly increase over time affecting the Earth's climate. This begs the question what needs to be done to meet the energy needs globally whilst creating a clean, sustainable future for our planet. Electrical energy needs to be produced from renewable and clean energy sources. Sources such as solar power, wind power, and water power may be our main suppliers in the future. Snowy Hydro have started to think about these future prospects. Here, Kent Allen from Snowy Hydro discusses the future possibilities.

Kent Allen - Certainly, you know, our current Scheme has a capacity of 4,200 megawatts delivered back into the Eastern grid. But as the Eastern grid decarbonises, coal fired power stations are retired off that needs to be replaced. And some of that's going to be replaced by wind and some by solar, but we also need certain capacity. These machines provide certain capacity. We can turn them on when we need them.

Narrator - Ideally in the next 50 to 70 years, our energy needs would be sourced exclusively from these renewable resources. This is where hydroelectricity comes in. Hydroelectricity captures the energy from flowing water to produce electricity. Flowing water falls from a height passes through pipes and turns generators in power stations. Hydroelectricity is a clean energy source. It won't pollute the air with carbon dioxide like burning fossil fuels does. Hydroelectricity is also a domestic source of energy, allowing Australia to produce its own energy without being reliant on international energy resources. Today the Snowy Hydro Scheme helps to light up the morning and evening rush hours of all homes and businesses through the national electricity grid that runs from Rockhampton in Northern Queensland, right round the East coast to Adelaide and even down to Tasmania. But the original Snowy Scheme, Snowy 1.0, hasn't got the capacity to meet the energy needs of the future. Snowy 2.0 has a greater capacity to meet these needs.

Kent Allen - Wind turbines only produce power when the wind's blowing and solar when the sun is shining. Sometimes we need power, any point in time, and we may not have wind or solar there and available, so we know that capacity at the click of a finger back into the, into the marketplace. So Snowy 2.0 is actually going to deliver, as I said before, 4,200 megawatts capacity in our current hydro scheme. It's going to add another 50% increase to that, so another 2000 megawatts into the marketplace. And once again, we'll be able to turn that on very, very quickly and respond to the market when demand is there for power, and we can continue to provide that. And when there's excess power in the market place and the consumers aren't consuming we can actually turn that power to pump water back up to our reservoir. So it's ready for when our demand is required back in the marketplace.

Narrator - Snowy 2.0 has raised questions. Are we looking at building more dams and tunnels that potentially will cost taxpayers dollars and damage the environment? We put these questions to Kent Allen Area Manager for Snowy Hydro Limited.

Kent Allen - What it's about is it's about connecting to existing storages. So not building any new dams, just connecting two existing stores, Tantangara and Talbingo together through a power station. And that power station will also have pumping capability

Narrator - Today, renewable energy production is more cost efficient and it is the way of lower emissions future. Snowy 2.0 is extremely important in providing Australia with sustainable energy. In this episode, you have learned that fossil fuels are expected to be depleted in your own lifetime. Even Snowy Hydro and the expanding of the Scheme with Snowy 2.0 will not be enough to serve our future energy needs. Our nation still overwhelmingly relies on non-renewable resources. More needs to be done in reducing waste and researching power alternatives that are sustainable for our future generations.

End of transcript

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