Energy Unlimited: A roadmap towards 100% renewables for government, business & community organisations (Book review)

Under the current government, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a 100% renewable energy target for Australia as a nation, but accomplishing this goal on a smaller scale is certainly possible. For example, if you could run your  business on 100% renewable energy – and save money in the process – would you? Likewise, if you could organise for your local council and everyone in it to be powered by solar, wind & batteries, would you try to make it work?

Many people (including a good number of people reading this blog) are likely to answer ‘yes’ to these questions.

But when asked ‘how?’, they’d probably come up stuttering a bit. Although a good number of governments, companies and other organisations have set out to make renewable energy a reality, the challenge of a transition to 100% renewable energy is a formidable one.

That’s why Barbara Albert of sustainability consultancy 100% Renewables has developed a road map to get there – and shared it for everyone in her book Energy Unlimited.

Her expertise and experience is in working with corporations and government bodies (including a number of local councils around Australia), and accordingly the book is practical toolbox for senior managers of both private and public organisations.

That being said, the book’s language and structure are accessible enough to make it useful to anyone with an interest in energy transformation.

Energy Unlimited breaks the path towards 100% renewable energy into four chunks:

  • Step 1: Lead – Understand the circumstances of our organisation and get the right decision-makers on board (winning over their hearts & minds if necessary)
  • Step 2: Plan – Make sure you set clear benchmarks, goals & timelines
  • Step 3: Implement – Break the plan up into clear, deliverable projects with realistic deadlines
  • Step 4: Succeed – Once you’ve reached your goal, make sure that people know about it – both for your organisation’s brand/reputation as well as to inspire others to do the same

Of course, each of these steps is easier said than done, which is why Energy Unlimited also provides practical supporting advice on the details of how to get there – from how to understand your energy consumption (across both buildings & transport), to putting together business cases, managing risk and prioritising actions. The book also provides a useful overview of what options are available – including energy efficiency, on-site solar, GreenPower and battery storage – and what each of these is best suited for.

Energy – particularly electrical energy – is of course the golden child of climate action. For most organisations, it is the most high-profile, obvious and therefore most obvious place to start reducing carbon emissions.

And we know that businesses and government have a variety of motivations for pursuing a renewable energy agenda (as recently described in an ARENA report highlighting enormous untapped potential for businesses in particular).

For those who are even considering pursuing this goal, Energy Unlimited is a fantastic place to start.

Where to buy

The e-book can be bought on Amazon for $11.99, the paperback can be ordered from your preferred bookstore, and author-signed copies can be obtained by contacting Barbara directly.

Book trailer for Energy Unlimited

© 2017 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Jeff Sykes