Four Corners - Power to the People

Technology is making alternative sources of energy cheaper, more user-friendly and, crucially, it's decentralising production to the rooftops of homes and commercial buildings across Australia.
So why is the Federal Government moving away from its commitment to renewable sources of energy? Why would it consider reducing renewable energy targets, favouring greenhouse-gas emitting coal and gas?
In part the answer is simple. Price. But the renewable energy industry warns that while coal and gas might enjoy a price advantage now, renewables are the future.
Power to the People documents the revolution in power generation taking place across the globe. In California successive governments have legislated to have one third of the state's power come from renewable sources. He meets the Australian entrepreneur who left home to create a multi-million-dollar solar company in the US.
A massive solar farm in Nevada not only takes energy from the sun, but can also store it in a massive salt crystal tower. In time, the farm will power the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, back in Australia the Federal Government is being lobbied by power producers using coal and gas to wind back the renewable energy targets that would see 20 per cent of this country's power generated by renewables by the end of the decade. Little wonder they want the targets lowered. The explosion in wind farms and solar rooftop panels in homes across Australia has already cut the demand for electricity and left them with gold-plated infrastructure that can no longer be justified.

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Production Year: 
45 mins
Series Episode
Standard $165
Schools $88

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