September 17, 2021

Campaigning for clean energy

After years of misinformation from the mining lobby, the Clean Energy Council’s new national communications campaign is tipping the balance in favour of renewable energy.

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Solar panels atop the AFL stadium on the Gold Coast provide clean, free and sustainable energy.

Solar power is generating more sustainable jobs than any other energy source.

During the pandemic’s uncertainty over the last two years, one thing has become abundantly clear – Australia’s energy future is renewable.

Renewable energy is now used to power millions of homes and businesses around Australia. Thousands of jobs are being created and millions of power bills are being reduced. Renewable energy isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay and it’s growing faster than ever.

The rapid advance of solar, battery and wind technology in recent years means that renewable energy already accounts for nearly a third of Australia’s electricity generation, powering millions of homes, businesses and lives.

But if you open a newspaper, turn on a TV or listen to some of our politicians on radio, you may think the jury is still out on renewable energy and its place in Australia’s energy landscape.

To correct this fallacy, the Clean Energy Council has launched the renewable energy industry’s first national communications campaign to highlight the shift away from fossil fuels as a source of electricity in Australia and around the world.

Called “Renewable Energy is Here Now,” the campaign recognises the accomplishments of the clean energy industry while emphasising the significant job, emissions and cost benefits that will be realised as more of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

Countering misinformation and lies

Over the last two decades, Australia’s powerful fossil fuel lobby and opportunistic politicians have intentionally muddied the waters surrounding climate change, spreading doubt in the minds of ordinary Australians about the damaging effects of the industry on the climate.

These efforts have gone largely unchallenged in Australia, thanks to the Minerals Council of Australia’s misinformation campaign and the support of sympathetic media outlets, resulting in many Australians being confused about the effects of climate change and beneficial solutions.

This scepticism has been transferred onto renewable energy with energy becoming one of the primary battlegrounds in the climate wars that have sullied Australian politics for the past 20 years.

This has resulted in outlandish and exaggerated claims about the cost and reliability of renewable energy while cost reductions, job opportunities and climate advantages have been overlooked.

“Renewable Energy Is Here Now” campaign aims to remedy this mismatch.

Speaking directly to those who are sceptical of renewable energy, the campaign aims to inform them of the industry’s remarkable achievements. The campaign seeks to persuade them that a future powered by 100 percent clean energy is not only possible but is already underway and will benefit us all in our daily lives as well as the planet.

Creating true believers

Persuading people to change their minds about renewable energy after years of negative coverage is a major challenge.

The Clean Energy Council undertook extensive market research with everyday Australians to figure out just what it would take to shatter their scepticism.

Because many people who are sceptical about renewable energy are also socially conservative, the study discovered the most effective way is to focus on the topics that matter most to them.

As a result, the campaign’s key focus points are the economy, jobs and job creation, cost of living, and health.

While the majority of Australians support renewable energy, they’re unsure about a future powered completely by clean energy.

This meant that the campaign must instil a sense of certainty, possibility and inevitability about the clean energy transition by arming people with facts about the industry and debunking myths that had previously gone uncontested.

Everyday Australians

The campaign has already received over 200,000 views from average Australians on platforms such as Sky News Australia and catch-up television. It will continue to gain traction in the coming months, with widespread coverage across internet channels and social media.

With appropriate resources, the campaign will have a long-term multimedia presence spanning free-to-air television, web video, and outdoor advertising for the best chance to persuade Australians of the immense benefits of clean, renewable energy.

When sceptics are persuaded about the benefits of renewable energy, a tipping point will be reached with more than 15 million Australians actively supporting the industry.

Only then will Australian politicians get serious about speeding up the transition to sustainable energy.

Solar is here now

Solar is transforming energy across Australia.

Nearly 3 million homes across the country now have rooftop solar. Over 20,000 Australian households have already installed batteries in 2020.

Last year, there were 22,000 jobs in solar. At the end of 2020, there were 9000 workers constructing 76 large-scale renewable energy projects.

With many more new solar projects introduced this year, even more new jobs have been created.

Solar’s future has never looked brighter.

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