My Grandma Bonnie is from good Scottish stock and like any good Scot she has passed her ingenuity of recycling, upcycling and reusability on to me.

This has been so ingrained in my way of being, I refused to buy a wedding dress I couldn’t wear again, I wear my runners out until they have holes in the bottoms and I’ll re-use my plastic water bottle again and again and again.

Did I mention re-gifting? I can hear you gasp!

So it’s no surprise I find fossil fuels and their use so confronting; they are non-renewable. This fact alone I struggle with. It means once they’re up and out of the ground we only get to use them on one occasion and that’s all.

Every time I turn on an air conditioner I get a bit of the guilts.

Surely dragging stuff up from the depths of the earth is not a good thing, but it is easy to dismiss when on the surface non-renewables are cheaper to use then renewables in the short term.

I’m always reminded we have it good here in Australia when I revisit an article on my wall from 2012. We pay for electricity on a simple on-peak and off-peak model. Very different to some of our neighbours such as the UK where retail users pay something closer to the real cost of electricity through time-of-use pricing to flatten out the peaks in demand.

It’s a hard line approach which encourages a more proactive attitude towards renewable energy use. But as Australians, how do we feel about it?

The current arrangement makes the business decision to switch to renewable energy in Australia more challenging. A minimum 7-year payback period is not what I would call a short term decision for most businesses.

We’re lucky here at Tahbilk that we have plans which extend way beyond 7 years so the decision to implement renewable energy, by way of solar, is an easy business case for us. In an ideal world we would all move to renewables now, but I know this is an unrealistic business case. And particularly difficult to swallow given the financial powerhouse of mining.

It is inevitable though that we will need to move in the direction of renewables and I look forward to the transition.

My Scottish blood will thank me for it.

2017-09-25

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