Politicians have a horrible tendency to focus on the short term. But at least a poor government never lasts very long, especially when it starts fighting itself, like our current one, and failing to adapt to changing circumstances.
Just as business needs to embrace change so do governments. And the Prime Minister has put himself firmly on the wrong side of history by continuing to fight against unstoppable global trends, such as legalising gay marriage.
Having lived in the UK for many years, I have seen how sensible governments can prosper by adapting their policies according to global trends – not just on gay marriage, but also new technologies; Uber springs to mind. These governments demonstrate just how hopelessly out of step Australia’s current political leaders are.
In fact, our leaders should look at Australia’s energy sector for inspiration as to how to cope with changing circumstances. I’ve been to many renewable energy and energy storage conferences this year and I’ve been delighted by the optimism on display – and that’s despite the great challenges of the last two years. Yes, agreement on the Renewable Energy Target gave the whole sector a big confidence boost, but that alone can’t account for the sector’s deep and obvious self-assurance.
I’m convinced this confidence comes from seeing rapid change as an opportunity, not a threat. Take grid transition, for example. So great is this change that some have likened it to the move from fixed line to mobile phones – yet it’s one that the sector has enthusiastically embraced. And what about energy storage? Telsa has made it sexy, to the extent that it’s being given the mantle of the “Apple of Storage”. No doubt Tesla’s superb industrial design abilities have played a big part, engaging consumers and making them sit up and take notice.
As a result of the sector’s ability to adapt and innovate, it could and should have a fabulous future, which would be great news for the Australian economy generally, especially for jobs.
Yet federal government resistance is a major obstacle – not least the government’s recent and senseless decision to slash funding for solar power just when other governments around the world are embracing the opportunity it presents.
As a result, Australia is in danger of having its best and brightest look at the energy sector and ask the question posed by Matthias Juhl in Peter Hannam’s Sydney Morning Herald article today: “There’s definitely a career in it, but will it be in Australia?”
What a wasted opportunity that would be.
Freshwater Group is a renewable energy recruitment business that focuses on all renewable and low carbon emission, energy efficiency and disruptive clean technology businesses as well as energy infrastructure, storage and management.
- Posted by Freshwater Group
- On August 16, 2014
- 0 Comment