While all are good ideas- for me, my initial priority was to hug a wind turbine. A dream somewhat hindered by the first candidates that I saw as I flew in, standing about a kilometre out to sea outside of Copenhagen.
It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, lets think about it, they take the wind; something that will never run out… and make power- it’s incredible. Shame we don’t have many in Australia.
The Danes have really got it going on. In the 1970’s during the huge fossil fuel shortages, while the rest of us waited it out, vulnerable from fluctuations in oil prices, the Danes and the Scandinavians in general, got to work. Denmark developed new renewable energy industries and is one of the world’s largest wind turbine producers in the world, now Denmark gets 20% of its energy from renewable sources.
I decided against swimming into the Baltic Sea in winter to fulfil my strange dream. Luckily for me, my friend took me on a road trip down to Lolland, one of the other islands of Denmark. Think the Danish equivalent of Tasmania, where the people speak funny and have two heads. You tell people in Copenhagen that you went to Lolland and they look at you funny and take two steps back.
I couldn’t vouch for the speaking funny, my Danish being limited to procuring beer, but I could see that things moved slower in Lolland. We would get caught behind tractors on the road to the farmhouse, but far from the perfect idyllic cottages and farmhouses being stuck in the past, it seemed that every second field had, you guessed it- wind turbines. They were everywhere you looked, and far from destroying the ambiance- it was a sight to see.
It did get awkward when I had to ask my friend to drive up to a field of turbines. Never in the course of our friendship had my wind turbine fetish come up before. Luckily, she loves me for me and she consented to drive me down the dirt track that led me to my special moment. I soon realised that my vision of me being able to get my arms around one of these things was simply never going to happen. They are big; quiet up until the moment you are directly underneath it and mesmerising. The turbine I shared my special moment with was one of maybe forty in a grouping near the coast of Lolland. Makes me warm inside thinking about it even now.
We also drove around to towns whose economies had been transformed by the turbines. The significance of the turbines goes much further than making me and other urban latte sipping greenies feel good, it’s the practical solution to a real problem. It’s clean energy, it’s innovation and it’s jobs for the people of Lolland. My Danish friend’s very frank reaction to them made me realise, they are not a token, exciting or threatening new technology as they are seen in Australia, but a proven, common sense solution.
That’s why I am dedicated to achieving 100% Renewable energy in Australia. Not so I can go around visiting, nurturing, reading to and hugging wind turbines, but so that we can escape our addiction to dirty, polluting coal and make a clean energy future for everyone, even Tasmanians.