Renewable energy technologies also include hybrid and related technologies. For example technologies that:

  • store energy generated using renewable energy
  • predict renewable energy supply
  • assist in the delivery of energy generated using renewable energy technologies to energy consumers.



Rapid improvements in technology and pricing present fresh opportunities to replace polluting energy sources like coal and coal seam gas with energy from the sun, sea and wind. By using energy more wisely and harnessing the power of renewable energy we can create opportunities for new employment and economic growth, foster regional development, and reduce our contribution to global climate change. It is time to make the switch to a clean energy economy by:

  • Driving investment in clean, genuinely renewable energy and committing to a timetable for replacing polluting coal-fired power stations.
  • Committing to an ambitious program for reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency.
  • Ceasing fossil fuel subsidies and putting an end to unrestrained mining and gas expansion.


Australia has the natural and institutional resources to prosper in almost all scenarios for global energy and resource use.

Global demand for exports is projected to treble by 2050 as global per capita income also trebles. We should expect long term growth of world energy demand, but demand for specific materials and energy exports could vary. Even in scenarios with strong global action to reduce emissions, energy and other resources could remain one of the pillars of the Australian economy, as long as commercially viable technology solutions are developed in a timely fashion to manage environmental impacts.

Domestically, energy affordability can improve, especially when we enhance the efficiency and productivity of the energy system. Transport affordability might also improve, especially through the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles.


Energy is one of the fastest growing costs for farmers, with electricity and diesel accounting for a significant proportion of total farm costs. Energy use efficiency describes the total amount of energy used on farm (in the form of electricity, diesel, or other sources) compared to the amount of production. If energy consumed can be reduced, while production is maintained or increased, energy use efficiency is improved. This may be one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve profitability, and will also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Research indicates there are significant opportunities to reduce energy - and therefore costs on Australian farms.

It is important for farmers to monitoring their energy use to estimate use and costs, and track these costs over time. An audit can also identify energy and cost savings, such as fuel switching and tariff negotiation.

Greenhouse gas emissions

As well as being a major cost, diesel and electricity are also significant contributors to GHG emissions. So maximising energy efficiency can not only help farmers be more profitable it can also help farming communities be more sustainable.

Renewable energy options

Renewable energy and farming are a winning combination. Wind, solar, and biomass energy can be harvested forever, providing farmers with a long-term source of income.

Renewable energy can also help reduce pollution, global warming, and dependence on imported fuels.

Wind Power

Farms have long used wind power to pump water and generate electricity. Some large organisations have installed large wind turbines on farms to provide power to electric companies and consumers. Some farmers have also purchased wind turbines; others are starting to form wind power cooperatives.

Solar Energy

The amount of energy from the sun that reaches Earth each day is enormous. All the energy stored in Earth's reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas is equal to the energy from only 20 days of sunshine. Most areas of farmland in Australia receive enough sunshine to make solar energy practical. Solar energy can be used in agriculture in a number of ways, saving money, increasing self-reliance, and reducing pollution. Solar energy can cut a farm's electricity and heating bills. Solar water heaters can provide hot water for dairy operations and houses. Photovoltaics (solar electric panels) can power farm operations and remote water pumps, lights, and electric fences. Farm buildings can be renovated to capture natural daylight, instead of using electric lights.

The options that make the most sense for farmers depend on local renewable resources, energy markets, and the types of support available from federal and state government.

Biomass Energy

Biomass energy is produced from plants and organic wastes—everything from crops, trees, and crop residues to manure. Crops grown for energy could be produced in large quantities, just as food crops are.

Crops and biomass wastes can be converted to energy on the farm or sold to energy companies that produce fuel for cars and tractors and heat and power for homes and businesses.







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