Question Time: Home Grown Energy
Climate change isn’t the only thing that’s reached a tipping point recently: renewable energy investment and implementation has surged worldwide – with more capacity for renewables now being added annually than coal, natural gas and oil combined.
What does this shift to renewables mean for households, businesses and industry – and why does the Australian Government continue to spend billions on fossil fuel subsidies each year?
Our panel devotes an hour of pure audience Q&A to exploring the current state of renewable power. What are the big technological developments behind the boom in renewables, and how will they affect our lives and societies in the next decade? Is a 100% renewable energy target a real (or increasing) possibility – and how about beyond it? Will Australia join the clean energy revolution, and what are the political and logistical hurdles?
Hosted by Madeleine Morris, with economist and author Ross Garnaut; inventor and Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology director Veena Sahajwalla; and policy analyst and senior GetUp! campaigner Miriam Lyons.
Professor Garnaut is a Professor of Economics at The University of Melbourne. He was previously distinguished Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, the Director of the ANU Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management and was the longstanding Head of the Department of Economics. He is the author of numerous publications in scholarly journals on international economics, public finance and economic development, particularly in relation to East Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Recent books include The Great Crash of 2008 (with David Llewellyn-Smith, 2009); Dog Days: Australia After the Boom (2013); Forty Years of Reform and Development in China (2018), Superpower: Australia’s low carbon opportunity (2019) and Reset: Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession (2021). He is Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Economic Society, Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resources Economic Society, Fellow of the Australia Academy of Social Sciences and Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Miriam Lyons is a Renewable Energy Campaigner with GetUp! She is also an Australian policy analyst, writer and commentator, and the co-author, with Ian McAuley, of Governomics, published by Melbourne University Press in May 2015.
Miriam is a member of the Centre for Australian Progress board, and a Fellow and former CEO of the Centre for Policy Development, which she co-founded with John Menadue AO and others in 2007. She is a frequent guest on various TV and radio programs, including the ABC shows Q&A and The Drum, has contributed to several publications and co-edited the CPD books Pushing Our Luck and More Than Luck. Earlier roles include policy editing for New Matilda, researching freedom of speech in East Timor, and organising ideas festivals.
Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow Up To Be Happy, Healthy and Smart, published by Finch.
Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, ‘Eco Alchemist’, is one of the world's leading innovators in the field of sustainable materials use and an international award-winning scientist and engineer.
Sahajwalla is founding director of the Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT) Centre at the University of New South Wales. Her research has resulted in a world-first, environmentally friendly process for recycling end-of-life plastics/rubber in electric arc furnace steelmaking, resulting in the production of ‘Green Steel’. This work is making a contribution towards creating innovative, green manufacturing, science and technology for the building and construction industries as well as consumer products.