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So Australia wants to become innovative. The Lucky Country wants to become the Smart Country. It wants to embrace disruptive innovation, face the future boldly and feed the teeming masses of Asia with our clean and green food. Yet, when the choice was there for Australia’s leaders to either choose to grab the opportunity with both hands or to pretend ‘she’ll be right, mate’, they chose the latter. In fact, they chose the latter with such alacrity that at least three Prime Ministers have fallen over the issue. Yet, now our leaders are telling us that we have to become more ‘risk-taking’, ‘entrepreneurial’ and willing to tolerate failure. All good sentiments, but our leaders have been found wanting on the greatest economic challenge of our time: climate change.
A couple of weeks ago, after I posted “Was it Worth It? The Benefit-Cost of Air Pollution in China“, I was asked by Ecoscore to think about the benefit-cost of Australia procrastinating on a carbon price.
— Ecoscore (@ecoscore) March 19, 2015
So, using my understanding of Australia’s carbon policy and economics what do I think? Has it been good for Australia? What can the rest of the world learn from Australia?
In this post, we wrap up our interview with Wayne Lording. Previously, we looked at what Wayne did to reduce his energy bills and water and fertiliser use. See here for an introduction to the series. The key points from the wrap up are:
- Wayne’s investment helped reduced his costs through lower use of LPG, electricity, fertiliser and water,
- Other farmers can also reduce their costs by investing in renewables and water reuse,
- Very easy to install,
- Can benefit very soon from reduced utility bills, and
- Can also benefit from freeing up cash to invest in the farm.
Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed the series!
This week we consider our series on sustainable farming by talking to Wayne Lording about how he recycles grey- and black-water to replace irrigated water and fertiliser. Key points are:
- Treated water is used to irrigate and fertilise olive groves.
- The key technology is a small pump, which is readily available.
- Water reuse system has a payback period of 18 months.
- The more water and fertiliser you use, the more you can save from installing a similar water reuse system.
- Wayne’s water reuse system also has risk-management benefits by providing a hedge against water and fertiliser price increases.
In the second of our series on Sustainable Farming on Wayne Lording’s farm (see here for the introduction), we talk to Wayne about how and why he installed solar and geothermal technologies to replace conventional energy sources. Key points are:
- Combined solar and geothermal system has a payback period of one year.
- Geothermal technologies are available and proven in Australia.
- The key savings are from reducing ongoing energy costs. In Wayne’s case, he saved $5200 per year from reducing the need to use LPG.
- Because renewable energy technologies require little or no fuel, they provide a useful hedge against electricity or LPG price volatility.
Late last year Lindsey Beck and I interviewed Wayne Lording on his farm. I was interested to see why and how Wayne implemented sustainability technologies on his farm. Essentially, he gains a financial benefit from using renewable energy and water reuse. Interestingly, he is one of the few farmers using geothermal energy on his farm. The two videos here are an introduction this series. In the following weeks we will have videos on:
- Renewable energy, specifically solar and geothermal,
- Water reuse, and
- Wrap up,
In all the videos, I provide a brief economic analysis of Wayne’s investments. I hope you enjoy this series.