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Our Definition of Sustainable Energy
SEN defines Sustainable Energy as energy that is renewable within a human lifetime and can be produced safely and equitably for all time with minimal impact on the environment and future inhabitants. We believe this does not include nuclear power with its many unresolved issues.
We are working to raise awareness of how a mix of renewable energy technologies are able to meet all of Western Australia’s electricity needs, with a particular focus on WA’s main electricity grid, called the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). The renewable energy types that we believe are most suited to WA include: solar and wind.
We provide presentations to government agencies, corporations, schools, community groups and politicians, as well as running display stands at public events, writing letters to the media, producing and distributing information leaflets and disseminating information via this website.
In addition, we host regular free public talks by leaders in the renewable energy field at our general meetings. Click here for more details on SEN Presents.
Our current activities can be classed under these key areas:
Promote: Promoting an understanding of the available renewable energy technologies and resources appropriate for Western Australia. This has included submissions and reports to a number of government inquiries, available here.
Research: Conducting ongoing research into renewable energy technologies and resources regarding their potential to meet WA's electricity needs.
Simulate: Developing a computer simulation that demonstrates how all of the demand on the SWIS may be met by a mix of renewable energy sources. Users are able to explore potential locations for wind, wave and solar farms, biomass and geothermal power plants and model various sizes of these plants to meet electricity demand. Graphics show energy supply versus grid demand and the cost of the various scenarios. For more information and to try out our simulation go to our simulation page.
Educate and advocate: Presenting information about renewable energies to the general public, politicians, government agencies, corporations, community groups and schools via presentations, our simulation, this website, leaflets, educational resources and other publications. Submissions available here.
Our Member Body
The SEN team consists of volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, including energy science and policy, physics, geophysics, engineering, computer programming, information technology, management, graphic design, marketing and media. We all share a passion for sustainability and renewable energy. We are not aligned with any political party and are keen to broaden our membership and committee. View/update your membership details or find out more about our committee and our working groups.
The Transition to Renewable Energy
How much progress has been made in WA transitioning the SWIS to renewables?
Last calendar year, 2021, renewables made up 32% of the energy mix delivered on the SWIS grid. This was made up of wind (12.9%), rooftop solarPV (12.1%) and utility scale solarPV (0.8%). The remaining 68% of energy served on the SWIS was made up from fossil fuel generation sources. These were coal (36.4%) and gas (37.3%). By comparison in the National Energy Market (NEM) which covers the eastern states, SA and Tasmania, renewables made up 31.4% of the mix, coal 62.8% and gas 5.7% of the mix.
Graph data sourced from OpenNEM.