Impact Labs Australia Logo
Free Rebranding Handbook


Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

Fifteen years ago, a scientist at UNSW (one of the world leaders in solar energy tech) said that all of Australia - the entire country - could be powered by a solar farm around 2% the size of Tasmania.

Fair to say that Australia's population has grown a bit since then, but today I got curious about all of the power options available to us at the moment.

There are countless credible, semi-credible, and less-than-credible sources of info around this, so I'm hoping I've landed somewhere in the middle.

Of the major renewable and non-renewable energy sources, there are 5 of each:


  • Petroleum (oil and petrol)
  • Hydrocarbon (also petrol, but different)
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Nuclear energy (from uranium)


  • Solar
  • Geothermal (heat from inside the earth)
  • Wind
  • Hydropower (from moving water)
  • *Biomass (from plants)

I put an asterisk next to biomass because it's a contentious one. It's essentially using plants for energy, but in various ways. One way is simply burning (like firewood). Of course plants regenerate, so it's "renewable" in that sense. There is an extreme argument though, that we could burn through all the available biomass fuel, and be left with none (very extreme). Also burning isn't the only method of extracting energy from plants - so it's contentious.

All of the non-renewables are limited. There is a set amount of everything that will run out, and they way they need to be used produces a by-product that is or can be bad (nuclear is arguably the safest and most economical, aside from that it can explode catastrophically and leave radioactive fallout). Removing non-renewables from the ground and consuming them are both bad.

Renewables are basically unlimited, and have little to no by-products. The sun's got a good 4-5 billion years left, so that's not running out. Magma heat will radiate up, wind will blow, and water will move. As long as that happens, we just need to be able to capture energy from all of them, and we know how to do that really well.

For example, geothermal energy is used in volcanically-active countries like Iceland, where they capture the heat from the rift in the continental plates below, and distribute it via it's 5 geothermal power plants. Almost all of Iceland's power is generated from renewable sources - as in literally 99.9%. Geothermal is around 25%, hydro is 75% and only 0.1% is imported for some petrol uses.

Now sure, renewables have challenges (eg, the power and freight required to make solar panels and turbines) but still, doesn't that make the idea of building new coal mines seem insane!?

So... Australia is kinda insane.

Australia currently has 72 new coal projects, and 44 new gas and oil projects under development... we're already the largest coal exporter in the world, before you count these new projects.

Remember that solar farm that could power Australia - the one that only needs to be 2% the size of Tassie? That's roughly this big:

Oversimplified sure - but that little pink dot could power the whole country. And every single country on the planet has a viable option for powering itself on 100% renewable energy.

Ready to move your money out of big banks and super funds that are paying for all those new coal mines yet? ๐Ÿ˜œ

We send sustainability and rebranding insights like this every day.

Jargon free, designed specifically for Aussie organisations.

Feel free to sign up ยป

    We'll never sell your data, unsubscribe anytime.

    We acknowledge that we work on the lands of the Wangal peoples of the wider Eora nation in the place now known as Sydney. We are humbled to work on Wangal lands, used for generations as a place for Aboriginal learning and knowledge exchange.

    We respect the Elders of the past, our current Elders and the Elders we are building for our future. May we all continue to look after Wangal, Eora and surrounding lands.
    Impact Labs Australia Logo
    Resources and tools for efficient rebranding in line with your sustainability goals.
    Sign Up
    Get exclusive rebranding insights that we only share with email subscribers.
      ยฉ 2022 Impact Labs Australia.
      crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram