Preppin’ for a scorcher
We’ve known for a while that we’re due to have a sweaty summer, and now our energy chiefs have given us permission to turn the air-con on… The Australian Energy Market Operator says even though El Nino means we’re in for a once-in-a-decade surge in electricity demand – extra rooftop solar and wind farms means, in theory, we’ll be a-ok for supply. But there is a catch – the system can’t afford any unexpected breakdowns (think ageing coal-fired power stations going offline), and if there are, Victoria and South Australia are at risk of blackouts. Scientists are also continuing to warn us about rising temps around the world – researchers reckon 5 times as many people could die of heat-related causes by 2050. And in the US, it’s Fifth National Climate Assessment warns greenhouse gas emissions need to fall much faster to reduce severe weather events. So it’s a mixed bag, then…
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